Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Restaurant Echo: Take Two (Cranberry Township)

By far, one of the coolest things that happened to me this year is reuniting with a high school friend, Jenn, I hadn't seen for about 16 years. What makes this event incredible is that we went to high school in Canada, yet somehow, after each having called two other U.S. states "home," both of us ended up living within 5 minutes of one another in the Pittsburgh area!

Another cool thing that happened, relatedly, is that one of our high school teachers happened to be passing through town, and so the three of us met up for dinner. Mr. B. was staying at a hotel in Cranberry, and having had a good meal at Restaurant Echo before, I suggested that we dine there.

I arrived right at 6:00 pm sharp; Jenn and Mr. B. were already seated in the dining room. We hugged hello, caught up for a bit, and perused the menu. Mr. B. and I decided to split the Autumn Squash appetizer ("roasted squashes with dates, chicken pâté, housemade clarified apple butter, apple cider crème fraîche").

Autumn Squash at Restaurant ECHO
Autumn Squash ($10)

As the person who recommended the restaurant, I can't help but feel responsible for the quality of the food, so this is often the point in the evening when I start to feel some pressure. Luckily, Mr. B. seemed to enjoy the appetizer, as did I.

For my entrée, I simply couldn't resist the Beef Bourguignon ("beef short ribs braised in red wine and veal stock, fingerling potatoes, pearl onions, carrots"). R. and I had this dish in Paris while on our honeymoon last year and I have been thinking about it since. Restaurant Echo's version did not disappoint; the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce was flavorful.

Beef Bourguignon at Restaurant ECHO
Beef Bourguignon ($26)

Finally, I could not resist the Ginger Molasses Toffee Cake dessert either, served with roasted pineapple ice cream, since I love ginger and I love toffee even more.

Ginger Molasses Toffee Cake at Restaurant ECHO
Ginger Molasses Toffee Cake ($8)

We all thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The food was fabulous (phew!); the only thing better was the company. For hours, we talked. We laughed. Mr. B. showed us pictures of his travels and recounted stories of former students he's visited lately. We laughed some more. Mr. B. talked about coming back for a longer visit later in the summer. We stayed until there were no other patrons left at the restaurant, yet the staff never made us feel uncomfortable or dropped hints that it was time to leave. In fact, the service was impeccable.

It was an all-round excellent evening!

Restaurant info:
Restaurant Echo
1740 Route 228, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
On the web: http://www.restaurantecho.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/restaurantecho
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/RestaurantECHO

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Restaurant ECHO on Urbanspoon