Saturday, November 24, 2012

E2 (Highland Park)

E² (That's right, it's "E-Squared," not "E-Two") is one of those restaurants that people are always shocked to hear I hadn't been to.  I finally had my opportunity back in September when I was fortunate enough to be a guest of a private party down in E²'s new basement "party dungeon."  I felt so honored to be one of the first people to check out the new space, and I was even more excited to finally experience Chef Kate Romane's culinary expertise.

Party Dungeon at E2
E²'s Party Dungeon

Party Dungeun at E2
E²'s Party Dungeon

The party dungeon decor is spacious, simple, yet modern.  Though our group had about a dozen or so guests, the space can certainly accommodate a gathering of a much larger size.  Our meal was a set eight-course menu, consisting of a generous variety of anti-pasta, two different salads, two small bites, two main courses, and a dessert, each of which was a flavorful and undoubtedly thoughtful creation.

Although all of the anti-pasta items were fabulous, the clear favorite among our group was the Gorgonzola Mess.  Lucky for me, as a supporter of E²'s Kickstarter project on the party dungeon, I had been gifted the recipe for this dish.  I haven't tried making it yet, but when I do, I know it'll be a crowd-pleaser.

Anti-Pasta at E2

Anti-Pasta at E2

Anti-Pasta at E2

After some anti-pasta, BYOB wine, and general mingling, we were seated for dinner.  I loved both our salad courses.  Salads can so often be mediocre; the Big Fat Salad - a perfect balance of fresh greens, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar - was anything but.  The Heirloom Caprese Salad, likewise, was a tasty twist to the typical caprese salad.

Big Fat Salad at E2
Big Fat Salad

Heirloom Caprese Salad at E2
Heirloom Caprese Salad

Our small bites consisted of Arancini with Marinara, which were essentially deep fried rice balls served with a marinara sauce and shaved cheese, and Beans and Greens with Sausage, which was lovely, and I'm not even a big fan of beans.

Arancini with Marinara at E2
Arancini with Marinara

Beans and Greens with Sausage at E2
Beans and Greens with Sausage

Then came our main courses.  I was very intrigued by the Rabbit Ragu, served with grilled baguette, Saint-andre cheese, and a light tomato broth, as I'm not sure I've had rabbits before and I'm (almost) always up for trying something new and different.  Though the Rabbit Ragu was delicious, I'd have to say my favorite course of the evening was the Tortellini with Chive Butter, Pine Nuts, and Chiles, which was absolutely heavenly, and I say this as someone who's generally not into stuffed pastas.

Rabbit Ragu at E2
Rabbit Ragu

Tortellini with Chive Butter- Pine Nuts- and Chiles at E2
Tortellini with Chive Butter, Pine Nuts, and Chiles

We rounded out the meal with a decadent Chocolate Bread Pudding: a perfect end to a perfect dinner.

Chocolate Bread Pudding at E2
Chocolate Bread Pudding

To sum up, I think it is safe to say that our entire party was hugely impressed by the quality of our dinner at E²; it was an exceptional meal and a fabulous celebration to remember.  For more perspective on this meal, check out SaborPgh's post.

Restaurant info:

5904 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
On the web: htttp://
On Facebook:
On twitter:
Bonus: BYOB

View Larger Map

E2 on Urbanspoon