Small Bites: My top four restaurants from Pittsburgh’s Restaurant Week launch party!

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Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is a semi-annual, week-long event, directed by Brian McCollum, a software engineer, and co-writer for The Pittsburgh Taste buds blog.

Restaurant Week gives foodies the opportunity to enjoy special deals, and menus from 69 area restaurants all around Pittsburgh from Point Breeze, to Regent Square and as far out as Cranberry.

I had the privilege of attending the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Launch Party on Aug. 8, a cocktail style event held at the National Aviary, located on Pittsburgh’s Northside. The launch party gave attendees an opportunity to preview the fare by sinking their teeth into small bites, and gives restaurants an opportunity to lure the consumer into their restaurants with deliciousness during this week long celebration.

The cocktail party featured tapas from fifteen out of the sixty-nine area participating restaurants. The launch party was a lively environment complete with a dj, full service bar, and of course, hand passed mouthwatering small bites.

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in charity raffles, proceeds benefiting Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, as well as vote for Pittsburgh’s Restaurant Week Awards Best Preview Category.

After sampling the fare, there are four restaurants at the top of my list that nailed everything from presentation to taste.

Coming in at #4 with their Trio sample that featured a crostini with sundried tomato pesto and goat cheese, shredded duck with pickled watermelon,  roasted corn salsa, and shot glass ceviche with a blueberry watermelon drizzle was Cornerstone! On Freeport road! This week they will be featuring a $30 3-Course Prix Fixe.

Next, at #3 with their peach and crab endive, kissed with a peach and jalapeno vinaigrette, was River City Grill, Cranberry Marriot! This week they’re featuring a $35 3- Course Prix Fixe.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake (Photo/Capital Grille)

Coming in at #2, with their flourless chocolate cake was The Capital Grille.

Last but certainly not least, earning my vote for best preview, is Bistro19 in Mt. Lebanon with their succulent Korean Bbq Duck taco. This week they’re offering $20/$40 3- course Prix Fixes.

For a complete list of participating restaurants visit http://pittsburghrestaurantweek.com/restaurants/summer-2013-restaurants/
As always, feel free to tweet me with any culinary questions @EliseTDC and for recipes, Visit my website http://www.elisethedivachef.com/

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