By Christine Mouser
It seems in 2011, a crop of new and exciting restaurants popped up in Pittsburgh’s thriving dining scene. Here’s a look at two of the newest dining hot spots in town. Both serve up dishes of local and seasonal ingredients that will delight the hungry foodie.
Hours: Mon, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Wed-Sun, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Most times when you leave a restaurant, you feel a little fuller and guiltier than when you first stepped in the doors. But Eden may be the exception. This unique restaurant is all about serving food in its purest, healthiest form in a variety of different ways—raw or vegan using local produce, chicken and more. Literally anything on the menu can be made vegan if requested.
With its fall opening in Shadyside, Pittsburghers can now get a taste of delicious healthy foods at a reasonable price. The menu changes seasonally, but Eden is careful to always present the freshest ingredients available that they receive from local co-ops and farms, giving locals the increasingly popular farm-to-table dishes.
Eden’s dinner menu offers a raw selection in addition to sandwiches, wraps and salads. Some great raw options are the spiced cabbage slaw (with ginger, cilantro and lime) and the apple and beet salad (with lemon, mint and coriander). Its fall season menu included the pumpkin curry (with coconut, green peas, cinnamon and carrot) as well as the squash Pad Thai (butternut squash noodles, mint, peanut and orange). Following the fall theme, the dessert options are delicious and uniquely crafted —pumpkin pie (walnut, date, coconut and apple) and the sorbet and ice cream (avocado, banana and bosc pear).
The mainstay options are the wraps, salads and sandwiches that are handcrafted with harmonious ingredients and loaded with fresh veggies. The garden vegan salad has five different vegetables loaded in it (baby lettuce, cucumber, tomato, carrots and avocado) topped off with a garlic mustard balsamic dressing. The black bean burger is a favorite, served with rustic Italian bread, veganaise (egg-free mayo), lettuce and tomato. But if you’re still a meat-lover, try the grilled turkey and avocado sandwich, served on that perfectly crunch rustic Italian bread, with a cilantro avocado spread, cheddar cheese and spinach.
But food isn’t the only delicious and healthy options that Eden is serving daily to its loyal fan base. Eden offers a great selection of juices and smoothies, all created from 100 percent fruits and vegetables—with absolutely no added sugar. You can choose from regular smoothies, premium smoothies, low-calorie smoothies, juice and shots. A great regular smoothie is The Magic Hour, which is a blend of peanut butter, almond milk and banana. An interesting option for the premium is the loaded Immunity Booster, which has it all—yogurt, strawberry, mango, orange, banana and even bee pollen. The low calorie smoothies are under 60 calories, a bargain for the great flavor. Try the citrus smoothie, highlighted with orange, lemon, stevia and ice. Eden serves several different juices, and the “Pink” juice (apple, grapefruit and lemon) is a great place to start. If you’re looking for a quick burst of goodness, take a shot of one of their concoctions: Kale (lemon and ginger) or the spinach drink (lime and ginger).
Eden is here to serve you, mind, body and soul—their mission is simply to create healthy dishes for their customers by using the freshest ingredients in their purest form.
Diamond Market Bar & Grill
Hours: Mon-Sun, 11 a.m. –10 p.m.
The Primanti Bros. owners are looking to create another Pittsburgh staple restaurant with the October opening of Diamond Market Bar & Grill, a full-service tavern that serves American cuisine with an extra punch.
Executive Chef Clare Lise runs the place, bringing in customers looking for a hearty meal, in a great environment for a reasonable price. Couple that with friendly service and an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients, and Market Square has got a top-notch addition to the growing food mecca.
Diamond Market Bar & Grill has a fantastic menu, pulling from all different types of cuisine that can suit just about anyone’s preferences. The appetizers are homey with a unique twist on each one. The macaroni and cheese uses cheddar, Gruyere and pepper jack cheese, melted over Cavatappi pasta, bacon and spice and truffle oil. The Pittsburgh-made Potato and feta pierogies are crispy on the outside and filled to the brim with potatoes and feta and topped with braised cabbage, onions and olive sour cream.
In addition to appetizers, this restaurant offers salads, sandwiches, burgers, entrees and more. If you’re hungry and want a salad, stick to the Cobb, served with house-roasted chicken, a hard-cooked egg, bleu cheese, bacon, avocado and French dressing. If you’re a BBQ fanatic, then this place has got your fix: choose from hickory smoked pulled chicken, pork or beef brisket, all served on a toasted brioche bun. If you’re more of meat and potatoes kind of guy or gal, their home-style options will make your mouth water. Choose from the house-roasted beef, turkey breast or meatloaf, served open-faced on country bread with mashed potatoes or French fries (choose from several unique kinds of fries—Pittsburgh poutine, sweet potato and more).
But the big winner at Diamond Market Bar & Grill is the two-fisted, juicy half-pound, char-grilled Angus burgers. They’ve got everything from the usual combos to the sky high creations. For spicy eaters, try the “XXX”: extra jalapenos, Pepper Jack cheese, mango-habanero chutney, lettuce, tomato and onion. For Primanti Bros. faithful, try the “Ultimate Market”, piled with Cajun fries, Ameri-Swiss cheese, coleslaw and a fried egg.
They’ve also got entrees, like the Turkey Devonshire Clare’s Way and fresh gnocchi tossed with spinach, among many other options. But this place isn’t all about the food. They’ve got wine, craft beers and imaginative cocktails. For fruity fans, try the pomegranate mojito (white rum, fresh lime, mint and house made pomegranate syrup). For those with a sweet tooth, the Root Beer Float martini is a safe bet (vanilla vodka, root liqueur and cream soda).
And you can’t skip dessert here no matter how full you are. They serve milkshakes, banana bread pudding and banana splits. For those 21 and older, indulge in one of their hard shakes, like the Bananas and Chocolate, made with 99 Bananas schnapps, peanut butter syrup and chocolate ice cream.
Great food, unique creations, a wide variety of drinks and divine desserts—Diamond Market Bar & Grill is doing more than enough to keep the locals coming for more.