Originally published February 19th, 2017.
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There is something about a restaurant on opening weekend. There is a buzz in the air at the restaurant.
Everybody currently at the restaurant is a foodie, or at least a food lover. No one just walked in by chance... well, a few people probably did. Why is that never me? Why do I never just accidentally walk into the most highly anticipated restaurant in the city on opening weekend?
There is a camaraderie between patrons. Last night, when it became evident that I had forgotten my ID and would not be served (despite the fact we had ubered downtown for maximum fun), the girl next to me leaned over and said, "I feel for you, girl. I never bring my ID anywhere. I felt so bad when they carded you."
When that couple left, and a new one was ushered in, we spent half the night talking to them as well.
So yes, as you have probably heard by now, a new restaurant downtown opened to the public this weekend. The Union Standard is Chef Derek Stevens solo debut as owner.
I had the chance to interview Chef Stevens this Friday for Good Food Pittsburgh. To hear more about the restaurant, Pittsburgh, and Chef's Steven's experience in the industry, check out the link below!
My mother and I ventured downtown this weekend to give the restaurant a whirl. There were a few hiccups, but hey, it is opening weekend. You must roll with the punches.
Overall, the meal was fabulous. When (not if) you go, I encourage everyone to get the following three dishes. These were the wow, instagram-that-shiz, lick-my-plate-clean, are-you-going-to-finish-that? dishes.
WARM POTATO BREAD
With cultured butter, goat butter, smoked squash & sweet onion jam.
Well, this wouldn't be the first time I went to town on a loaf of bread before the meal arrived. Though the bread was warm and fluffy, I credit my binge on the goat butter. Time to find the supplier, stat.
RED OAK & SPINACH SALAD
With pork croutons, poached egg, pickled onions, radish, chia seeds, leek ash & buttermilk dressing, herb vinaigrette.
How have I made it 23 long, dark years without pork croutons? Seriously. These lightly breaded cubes of pork complimented the vinaigrette and poached egg perfectly. They were kinda like "pork poppers." I easily could have ordered a plate of these and been happy.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE DONUT
With coconut, walnut brittle, caramel butter cream, salted caramel ice cream.
I am a major chocolate lover, so it doesn't take much to impress me. However, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate something special when I taste it. At first you are like, what? A German chocolate donut AND coconut AND walnut brittle AND caramel butter cream AND salted caramel ice cream? But everything works together perfectly... AND you can individually apprecaite every component. My mom doesn't even like chocolate, and she agreed this was something goooOOoOd.