Foie Gras from Twisted Frenchman

Our Twisted Date Night for Restaurant Week

With adventure in his heart and a grumble in his stomach, one night TasteBudA decided that Wednesday would be the best opportunity for a date night during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Winter 2016 edition. His top choice after browsing the menus was The Twisted Frenchman, and so he made the reservation.

The Twisted Frenchman is located in the space formerly of Abay, a past favorite of ours. The interior was chic and the clientele dressed up. TasteBudA made mention that the neighborhood feels plucked from DC and not the East Liberty he grew up with.

My cocktail, the Vogue, was a vodka, white cranberry and lime martini/Cosmo with an orchid ice ball floating.

the Vogue, was a vodka, white cranberry and lime martini/Cosmo

Across the table, The Frenchman cocktail was served with billowing clouds flowing down the martini glass. Apologies for not capturing the magical display.

TasteBudA was very pleased with the Potato and Leek Soup, course one from the PRW special.

Potato and Leek Soup

I had the most delectable piece of foie gras that I’ve ever tasted. Both dishes were plated wonderfully and explained in detail upon delivery.

Foie Gras from Twisted Frenchman

For our main courses, TasteBudA had the duck while I had Salmon.

Rohan Duck, parsnip, sweet potato, grapefruit, foie emulsion

The pomme purée stole the show for me. The applewood smoked purée paired with the braised leeks were a match made in heaven. The salmon was, in my opinion, a little undercooked to my standard liking. But since salmon is a safe thing to eat raw, I ate it as the chef intended.

Salmon, béarnaise, braised leeks, potato nest

TasteBudA wishes we had saved this destination for a Valentine’s Day affair as it was quite romantic. Alas, I get to pick the restaurant for that occasion. The $90 8-course chefs tasting menu from Twisted Frenchman sounds great, but I have set my sights on somewhere else already. More to come on that later!

Pittsburgh Mommy Blog at Sukhothai Bistro

Four Pittsburgh Restaurants Pittsburgh Mommy Blog visited to get over the winter blues #PghGBE

Today’s post comes from Nadine of Pittsburgh Mommy Blog, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Don’t Forget to Eat!, where I discuss the dinner we had while in Jacksonville, Florida at BB’s restaurant.


Over this past winter, I found myself in a “blah” place that is unusual for me. Usually, I embrace the carpe diem philosophy and all the fun it entails. But, I’m ashamed to say–I was a bit bored this year. In order to make the winter months pass a little faster, I decided to explore new (to us) local restaurants that would a) introduce my kids to world cuisines and b) would be kid-friendly enough to take my 3- and 4-year olds. Here are four of the restaurants we visited and what we thought of them:

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Abay Restaurant announces plans to close

AbayRestaurantIt brings me great sadness to share with our friends that the owners of Abay have made the tough decision to close its doors as of the end of this month.  Restaurant owner Jamie Wallace released a statement on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Given how much development there has been in the neighborhood and the fact that beautiful apartments are being completed literally across the street from us, it might seem like the worst time to step down. But, honestly, we’re tired.

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Photo of us from our very first wine exchange, hosted at Abay Restaurant

Abay Restaurant was the host restaurant of the very first Pittsburgh TasteBuds wine exchange in December 2009, back before we even called ourselves the TasteBuds.  The wonderful experience we shared with our close friends during that holiday dinner inspired us to create the Pittsburgh TasteBuds as an event experience to introduce wine novices like ourselves to wine and to take advantage of the wealth of BYOB restaurants that Pittsburgh has so many of.

Abay opened their restaurant to us and welcomed us into their family.  We took great pleasure in our experience that Abay is one of only two restaurants that we’ve hosted more than one wine exchange at.  Our 13th wine exchange was also held at Abay in February 2012.

Part of the reason people have such strong opinions about restaurants is because they are personal to them. The dining experience is an emotional one. Guests have had first dates with us as well as celebrated new jobs, anniversaries, graduations, and birthdays. We’re humbled to have been a part of all of those life achievements. We’re equally humbled to still have a 4 star rating on Yelp and a 90% rating on Urbanspoon.

The restaurant has and will continue to flourish as a cultural beacon in the east end of Pittsburgh until the very end.  Please take a moment to post a kind note on their Facebook or Twitter.