Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bite Bistro (Bellevue): Take Three

UPDATE (8/19/2012): Bite Bistro has closed its Bellevue location. As of this update, the owners are in the process of scouting a new location.

I had two goals for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week:  1) to try something new, and 2) to return to an old favorite.  My first two PRW restaurants, Bella Sera and Habitat, were new to me, and so for my third night it was time to satisfy goal #2.

Bite Bistro has been a favorite of mine since my first visit there and is always on my list when people ask me for restaurant recommendations in Pittsburgh.  They nod knowingly when I mention Salt of the Earth, and usually have some familiarity with Braddock's American Brasserie, but more often than not they have never heard of Bite Bistro.  I guess being in Bellevue makes it less of a hot spot for those who live, work, and play only within the city's limits, but in my opinion, Bite Bistro is worth the (short) trip north to Bellevue.  So as soon as I realized that PRW would be sort of close to my birthday, I decided that it would be the perfect excuse to celebrate and the perfect opportunity to introduce a big group to Bite Bistro.

For PRW, Bite Bistro offered a three-course special for $15, which came with a house salad, choice of veal chili, chicken breast, or portobello, and either lime sorbet or grapefruit granita.  A few in the group opted for the special, but I decided to create my own three-course meal from the other regular menu items.

For my "small bite," I had wanted to get the Foie Gras, but sadly they were out.  I was ready to pick another small bite, but our awesome waitress Casey talked to the chef who said he would especially prepare a duck pâté plate for me.  I couldn't believe how accommodating he was!  It came with three different sauces: apple butter, sweet potato and local honey, and duck glaze.  And it was a slam dunk!

Duck Pate at Bite Bistro
Duck Pâté ($11)

For my "big bite," I chose the Portobello with turnip and balsamic.  It was a great combination and a very satisfying vegan option.

Portobello at Bite Bistro
Portobello ($12)

Since I felt so healthy with my "big bite" selection, it wasn't difficult to justify ordering dessert.  I chose the S'mores, with truffles, walnut crunch, and roasted marshmallows.  This was an excellent dessert, and I particularly loved the perfectly roasted marshmallows with its smoky, caramelized skin.

S'mores at Bite Bistro
S'mores ($6)

S'mores at Bite Bistro
S'mores ($6)

Of the nine of us there, seven were new to Bite Bistro, and since I had been raving so much about Bite Bistro, I felt like I had seven people to impress.  Luckily, I think they all enjoyed their meals.  I had a bite of the Hangar Steak with pork fat fries and Duck Breast, and both were delightful.  A friend who got the Short Ribs described it as "to die for."

And just when we thought our fabulous meal was over, the chef had two additional surprises for us: a blood orange dessert and prosciutto and brie.  Both were lovely.

Blood Orange at Bite Bistro
Blood Orange Dessert

Prosciutto and Brie at Bite Bistro
Prosciutto and Brie

We had such a fabulous time at Bite Bistro - and it's not just the BYOB wine and beer talking!  Great food, top-notch service, and super-fun company made this night all the more special.  It was quite possibly one of my most memorable birthday celebrations ever!  What a perfect way to cap off Pittsburgh Restaurant Week!  Thanks for coming out, everyone!

Restaurant info:
Bite Bistro
565 Lincoln Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15202
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Bonus: BYOB

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