No, that's not the subject of the post, it's the name of the restaurant. Well, I guess its also the subject of the post. So confusing.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, Meat and Potatoes. If you remember Tony Pais's Cafe Zao in the Public Theater's O'Reilly Theater building then you should forget it because it's closed and it's now occupied by Meat and Potatoes. 649 Penn Avenue is the address. Here's the website: Meat and Potatoes.
We went there on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012
A note about the pictures: There aren't any. That's because we're sort of new at this and haven't figured out the whole pictures of food with the blog thing. We're working on that and we're going to do better next time, promise.
What did we think?Its an attractive space, done in dark wood. A bit crowded and really, really noisy.
Let me stop right here. You should know that the No Rules Eating Club has a thing about noisy restaurants. Maybe we're crazy but we like the idea that you can have a conversation at dinner and the people you are speaking to can actually hear you. Sadly, too many restaurants don't get it. Most of the blame rests on modern concepts in restaurant design which emphasize clean, modern spaces with clean modern furniture. Unfortunately, that means an acoutically live space with nothing to absorb noise.
Meat and Potatoes bills itself as a Gastropub and they do have a large list of beers as well as a reasonable wine list. Margo and I both tried the Farmhouse Ale which was a Belgian style beer served in a cute little snifter. Tasty but not particularly memorable.
But on to the food. As is our practice we started with a set of appetizer things that we shared.
Short Rib Flatbread was the hands-down favorite. A tasty, crusty crust topped with meltingly delicious short rib meat, gorgonzola and cheddar and topped with arugula. We could have eaten this all night. Of particular note: the crispy flatbread stayed crisp, did not become soggy from toppings.
Bone marrow--comes right there in the bone, split open. You get a spoon, a knife, 6 slices of grilled toast and condiments: salt, capers, pickled onions, gremolata. Outstanding, if you like marrow.
Liver Pate, was really more a rillete or meat paste. If you are thinking rectangular pate cut into slices, this is not for you. Duck liver and not much else judging from the taste served in a little pot with grilled bread. Not a favorite of the table.
Kobe Corn Dog was a fun item. Served on a stick it's a delicious hot dog covered in a fried corn meal wrapping. Tasty. Served with a homemade spicy ketchup that was a big hit.
For main courses Margo and Richard split the Pig Ear Salad and the Mussels in Curry. Pig Ear Salad was just great. Greens along with pickled radish and red onions in a mustard vinaigrette topped with a fried egg plus "croutons" made of friend pig skins. I'm a complete sucker for salads with fried egg and the way the yolk mixes with the dressing and the greens to create this unctuous combo. Egg in this case, however, slightly too cooked with a yolk not as runny as I would have liked. Pig Ear croutons, however, the total bomb. Salad a major success.
Mussels were truly fine. A nice big plate, plenty for two people, of perfectly cooked mussels, sweet and tender. So easy to overcook mussels but these were delicious. Curry sauce was rich and a bit spicy--enough so that you noticed but not enough to make eating it unpleasant. Jim had the mussels as well.
Mary Alice and Gary both had the Pappardelle. Wide noodles in a rich bolognese sauce that featured short rib, pancetta and pork shoulder. A big hit.
Barbara had the Wild Mushroom Risotto. Just OK.
There were a variety of great sounding desserts but we passed, too full.
Service was very pleasant with a nice waitress who knew her stuff. Food showed up as expected and we were neither rushed nor left waiting excessive periods of time. Aside from the noise level a really pleasant experience with some terrific food highlights.
Would we go back? Perhaps on a different night if it were less crowded and quieter. Lunch might be a better choice for this place. They have brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Located at 649 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15222. Website: http://meatandpotatoespgh.com/index.html