Tag: Pittsburgh Restaurant Week

Winter Pittsburgh Restaurant Week 2016: Try Something New!

Winter Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is upon us. January 11-17.During the week, I make a point to dine at a restaurant that I have never been to before, get out of my comfort zone, and try something new! This time I chose a Brazilian restaurant that has been around for 15 years. How did I not know about this place? Probably because the trip entails two tunnels and multiple bridges! You naaugh how we Pittsburghers are about tunnels and bridges ‘n at!

For a unique dining experience call…Green Forest Churrascaria, totally worth the trip! Here is the basic info, all you can eat meat, a great wine list, and a “salad bar,” that’s anything but salad! The battle is between the multitude of delectable seafood options versus the meat! Unfortunately, one can only eat so much!



The most important thing to know here is green means more meat and red means taking a break!



My favorite meat was the chimmichurri sirloin. Perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth, with a little kick!

The meats continued with prime rib, pork belly, bacon wrapped filet, Skirt steak, pork tenderloin, leg of lamb, and many more!


And if you have any room …

Support a locally owned Pittsburgh restaurant and try something totally new! Green Forest’s restaurant week price is $35.16!


Green Forest Churrascaria
655 Rodi Road
Pittsburgh,PA 15235


Best Of Pittsburgh Summer Restaurant Week 2015 & More!

The rules of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week are totally simple.
1.) Try new restaurants.
2.) Order something new at one of your faves.
3.) Familiarize yourself with an unfamiliar part of the city! Who knows? You just might go back to eat, to play, to shop!


WARNING: Plan your summer vacation the week before summer restaurant week! My eating has not slowed down at all, actually, I can’t stop. I am typing to you with my toes in the sand at a resort on Grand Bahama Island. I have one bathing suit that fits and my evening wear consists of flowing, beautiful, amazingly flattering maxi dresses.


Let’s rewind…
It all began with the Summer Restaurant Week Kickoff Party!
Yummy bites are served to guests cocktail party style and participating restaurants go head to head for the “best preview” award.


There were many amazing showings. Here are a few of my favorites!


The Wooden Nickel

Matteo’s – I visited Matteo’s for the fist time during summer restaurant week 2014 and 20 times since! I didn’t even take photos because I love everything at this restaurant. Bold statement? Nope, I mean everything. My all time favorite entree at Matteo’s… The porcini cappelletti!

The Porcini Cappelletti... Wow!
The Porcini Cappelletti… Wow!

Bill’s Bar and Burger



And the winner was Pork Belly! Pan, a brand new Asian fusion restaurant in Lawrenceville. I have not had the pleasure of dining, but the Andora restaurant family’s pork belly preview was awesome! Can’t wait to visit!



My first Summer restaurant week 2015 menu? Sunday Brunch at Verde Mexican Kitchen and Cantina! After visiting for Winter Restaurant Week I knew I had to go back!

I had the chilaquiles…again!!! Definitely worth the trip!

Monday night was the PRW Blogger Dinner at Grand Concourse! Oldie but goodie for sure. Ok, I forgot how good! I enjoyed a delicious meal and and wonderful night out with new and old friends.

I shared the firecracker shrimp with my new blogger friend Briana White of Breelicious Bites. Check out her blog! She just hosted a mac’n cheese contest!

Followed by the Summer Chopped Salad


Roasted Sirloin with Sweet Pepper Chutney and Chili Oil


And finished with the Creme Brûlée…

My next stop on the PRW Train was Paris 66 Bistro I cannot believe I have not visited this French gem.


I enjoyed the wine and French baguette.

French Onion Soup…

Steak and Frites
Cooked to perfection!

And the cholocate mousse …

Perfect for a lunch stop, date night, or family dinner, visit Paris 66 and its surrounding growing community of Eastside Pittsburgh!

Friday I dined at Sarafino’s in Pittsburgh’s Crafton suburb. Papa bear to my Matteo’s in Lawrenceville, Joe Caliguire does not disappoint. It was the restaurant’s first time participating in restaurant week. I invited a few of my faves to join me for a totally awesome smorgasbord. Blog post coming soon!!

I swore I was never eating again, but the kids and I were running errand Saturday afternoon and ended up at Firehouse Subs…super yummy! This franchise was started by firemen…and they have built the most amazing combinations!

Here was my choice the Sriracha Beef…

I guess this post is really saying, try something new! Support your local restaurants!
And in Pittsburgh, we are sooooo lucky to have the best!

Pittsburgh Winery and Matteo’s Lawrenceville Celebrating 2 Years! Have You Stopped In Yet?

As I walked down the staircase I could see the twinkling lights. Candles flickered on the glass-top wooden barrel tables and the smell of grapes filled the air. The band was doing a sound check and I actually got butterflies! I couldn’t help but think to myself- I need to have a party here- it’s so magical! How have I never ever been here before?


Pittsburgh Winery was born when owner and Buzz Poet’s bass player Tim Gaber’s wine hobby got serious. “I was making more and more wine, we [the Buzz Poets] stopped touring and it seemed like the right time,” said Gaber. Making wine with friends in the cellar of an old firehouse, Gaber networked with California vineyard owners and winemakers to prepare to launch his own line at 2815 Penn Ave. in the Strip District, Pittsburgh Winery.

Pittsburgh Winery credits the best grapes from the best vineyards as being responsible for their high quality, incredibly elegant and smooth wine offerings. My favorite on this visit was the California red blend, but I can’t wait to try them all!


Gaber brought his love of music to the winery. Bands, musical talent, and entertainment groups take the stage as the evening entertainment at the winery. With no windows and an incredible sound space, Gaber has equipped the winery with a sound and recording panel. Please check out the website for upcoming events. Get your tickets!! They sell out fast!






For their one and two year anniversaries, Pittsburgh Winery has held grape stomps! What an awesome opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience to stomp grapes and sample the wines! Gaber called Matt Cavanaugh owner and chef at Lawrenceville hotspot Matteo’s for the occasion. Matteo’s was also celebrating their two year anniversary. I tagged along behind the scenes with Matteo’s to see what was cooking.
As you can see in the photo above, our crew had a great time!

Sweet Thai chili wings, pumpkin ravioli, chicken sliders, and Matt’s wife Andrea’s famous rum cake were just a few of the delicious menu items.



Matteo’s food is delicious whether it is catered or served as individual dinners. As Winter 2015 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week approaches, Cavanaugh has rolled out some new winter offerings as well as old favorites!

Like the Lobster Mac and Cheese! Yes, that is a Lobster tail…

Matteo’s winter weather tender and flavorful lamb chops will warm you up!


Flavorful Dumplings…

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts in a balsamic reduction with just enough smoky char to warm you up!

And my winter warm up pick, the linguini clams in a red sauce! I ate the entire bowl! Seriously, ask them, I did!


Hopefully, Pittsburgh Winery will celebrate their 3rd anniversary with another grape stomp and more delicious food from Matteo’s!

Wishing Pittsburgh Winery and Matteo’s the best of luck for another successful year! Pittsburgh is lucky to have you!


Matteo’s Pittsburgh: Where Steakhouse Trendy Meets Italian Traditional

A quaint, small restaurant nestled in a city block; long open doors allowing a soft breeze; exposed brick for character; white tablecloths for class; a fabulous wine list; Italian staples that never disappoint. This is how I would describe my trendy, hot, new Lawrenceville restaurant. They beat me to it! It’s called Matteo’s.

Located on Butler St. In Pittsburgh's revitalized Lawrenceville. Photo courtesy of www.matteospgh.com
Located on Butler St. In Pittsburgh’s revitalized Lawrenceville. Photo courtesy of www.matteospgh.com

Open less than two years and already earning the titles 3rd best chef in the city by City Paper and “best restaurant” for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, Matteo’s front man, Matt Cavanaugh, is showing no signs of slowing down.


Matteo, Matt Cavanaugh, in his kitchen.
Matteo, Matt Cavanaugh, in his kitchen.

After working for over 15 years in the restaurant business, Matt worked his way up the restaurant ladder from busboy to kitchen manager at legendary Pittsburgh steakhouse Red Bull Inn. Matt also gained experience at Dominica’s and Serafino’s. Matt explains, “I worked hard and learned everything about the restaurant business. I worked every position. I knew I wanted to open my own restaurant.”

A humble 34-year-old, Matt took the jump with the tools he learned and the ones that can’t be taught- a strong determination and a refreshing view of life.

You forget you are in Pittsburgh. I was reminded of a small Italian restaurant I once visited in Soho, NY.
While visiting Matteo’s, both times, I forgot I was in Pittsburgh. I was reminded of a small Italian restaurant I once visited in Soho, NY.

Matteo’s menu is authentic and traditional- and then totally not. Matt combines his steakhouse background by serving steak and seafood alongside an array of Italian favorites. If mussels served in a horseradish cream sauce wouldn’t be your first pick (Are you crazy?), Perhaps the greens and beans with sliced spicy sausage would be your pick.

Mussels  White wine, garlic, blue cheese, and bacon.
Greens and Beans Sausage, banana peppers, caramelized onions, great northern beans and spinach
Greens and Beans
Sausage, banana peppers, caramelized onions, great northern beans and spinach

The wide range of absolutely irresistible menu items makes ordering impossible and returning imperative. My first visit was during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week, where area restaurants draw in new customers by offering a course menu at a discounted price. Matt says his restaurant is “three times busier” during restaurant week. Shhhh, don’t tell, but I actually had a reservation at another restaurant week restaurant the following night and cancelled so I could eat my Matteo’s porcini cappelletti leftovers. Yes, it is that good!

I was blessed to celebrate my birthday at Matteo’s last weekend with a large group of friends. I snuck back to the kitchen to learn some tip and tricks and to surprise you with a fabulous recipe!

You can tell by my apron I worked really hard in the kitchen!
You can tell by my apron I worked really hard in the kitchen!


Pans lined the stove with orders. Keeping up with the latest restaurant trends, Matt sears the black and blue ribeye creating a fabulous almost crusty edge with a melt-in-your-mouth center.
Pans lined the stove with orders. Keeping up with the latest restaurant trends, Matt sears the black and blue ribeye creating a fabulous almost crusty edge with a melt-in-your-mouth center.

This group setting was the perfect opportunity to sample everyone’s food! Hey, I was the birthday girl! I got to taste the black and blue ribeye, the tuna steak with a Jack Daniels glaze, the veal diavola, the mushroom ravioli, and many more. I ordered my favorite, the porcini cappelletti.

Mushroom Ravioli, a seasonal menu item, was incredible!
Mushroom Ravioli, a seasonal menu item, was incredible!
The steak was cooked perfectly- the outside crisp and inviting, the inside red and juicy.
The steak was cooked perfectly- the outside crisp and inviting, the inside red and juicy.
The Porcini Cappelletti... Wow!
The Porcini Cappelletti… Wow!

Everything was cooked to perfection and everyone loved the food, the location, the vibe.

I'd say we all loved the food! The food portions at Matteo's are substantial , but I'm guessing a doggie bag is a rarity!
I’d say we all loved the food! The food portions at Matteo’s are substantial , but I’m guessing a doggie bag is a rarity!

Since the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays, these are “the perfect days for private parties,” says Matt. Funny, you would think he wants a day off!

The desserts are beautiful, fresh, and delicious! Matt’s wife Andrea whips up a perfect tiramisu!

Tiramisu birthday cake! So sweet!
Tiramisu birthday cake! So sweet!

Here is the recipe for you from Matteo’s kitchen:
Surprise!!!! It is the amazing
Porcini Cappelletti Sauce! Can you believe it is this simple?

Porcini Cappelletti Sauce
Matteo’s Pittsburgh

1/2 parts heavy cream /Marsala wine
Reduce to thicken
Salt and pepper
Throw in your favorite mushrooms sliced raw- shiitake, field, portobello

Serve over your favorite cooked pasta!

Thank you Matt Cavanaugh and the Matteo’s staff for your hospitality!

Visit Matteo’s before it gets too cool to keep the doors open and sample the fall food and drink menus! Tell them I sent you!

Next time, I’m trying the linguini clams!


3615 Butler Street
Lawrenceville, PA

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-11pm

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week …You Still Have Time!

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week (PRW) brings the ‘Burbs to the ‘Burgh! Seriously, what an amazing excuse to trek to the city for course meals at Pittsburgh’s best Restaurants priced from $20.14- $35.14? You still have Friday and Saturday, and you can still snag reservations at Altius, Bigham Tavern, and Pino’s, to name a few!

Girls night out, date night, Any night during Restaurant Week is a good choice!
Girls night out, date night,
Any night during Restaurant Week is a good choice! Wednesday night out selfie with my friend and fellow foodie/food writer/blogger/cook/baker Nicky D Cooks!

I had the opportunity to attend the Pittsburgh Food Bloggers dinner at Tamari Lawrenceville Tuesday night! Great meeting Pittsburgh’s foodies! I met the fabulous Brian McCollum, PRW’s founder and organizer. Great idea, Brian! Also a great idea? Tamari’s Jalapeno Margarita! I highly recommend trying this unique, refreshing summertime drink!

The Steel trap, Everybody loves Alex, Steel City Fox, Pittsburgh Taste Bud B ...new foodie friends! Lots of laughs!
The Steel Trap, Everybody Loves You, Steel City Fox, Pittsburgh Taste Buds Bud B …new foodie friends! Lots of laughs!

Check them out:





Tamari’s Restaurant Week Menu:

Lots to taste!
Lots to taste!

Here is the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week link:

Matteo’s Lawrenceville Wednesday night was perfect! Yes, Everything was perfect!
I do not eat Italian food out, so I figured we would have a pretty good meal, fun to be out on a Wednesday, when in Rome, right? Nope! Perfectly al dente, beautiful textures and tastes, homemade tiramisu…
Here are a few photos! (The Matteo’s experience is getting its own blog post after I visit again! Stay tuned!)

Matteo's Restaurant Week Menu
Matteo’s Restaurant Week Menu
Love at first bite! Spicy Italian sausage throughout the beans and greens. Delicious!
Love at first bite! Spicy Italian sausage throughout the beans and greens. Delicious!
The Chicken Saltimbocca from PRW menu
The Chicken Saltimbocca from PRW menu
Homemade tiramisu! Amazing! Enjoy!
Homemade tiramisu! Amazing! Enjoy!

Enjoy, Pittsburgh Restaurant Week!

3615 Butler Street

3519 Butler Street