It’s fair enough to say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but there are a lot of sound reasons people judge restaurants by the look of their exterior. These reasons tend to apply more to contemporary restaurants opened in the last ten years or so. For establishments residing in the same place for decade after decade, worn exteriors often mislead as shabby, rundown, or divey. Even if one of these traits does apply, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a poor dining experience. You just have to have the right expectations.
The Moonlite Cafe in Brookline is a good example of having an expectation based on an exterior appearance completely surpassed by the performance of the restaurant within. Assuming you didn’t carefully read the green awning over the main entrance, it’s more than likely you’d assume this was just your standard old dive bar in a neighborhood full of them. And you wouldn’t be totally wrong – the lounge leading into the back dining room is fairly divey. But the dining room is something else altogether. Continue reading
Posted in Dining Out, Dinnertime!, Food
Tagged brookline, brookline blvd, dining, dining out, eating, food, homemade croutons, italian dining, italian restaurant, local, moonlite cafe, pasta, pittsburgh, ravioli, restaurant review, seafood, shrimp
I've come to realize that I'm never gonna get sick of sweet potatoes.
I don’t make a whole lot of pasta, but after reading over the chapter on pasta-making in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (an aforementioned cooking bible that everyone should own), I realized that as an owner of a food processor, there is little to no reason that I haven’t been trying out more pasta dough recipes, especially ones that don’t require much more than flour, oil, and water.
For once, I had some time on my hands early Sunday evening. Tweaking Bittman’s recipe just a little, I set to work.
Sweet Potato Ravioli
Posted in Food, In the Kitchen
Tagged cooking, dinner, dough, food, homemade ravioli, how to cook everything, kitchen, mark bittman, pasta, ravioli, recipe, sweet potato, sweet potato ravioli, vegan ravioli, vegan recipe, vegetarian
I’m not making an honest attempt at hitting up everything British Isles in Pittsburgh, but it really does seem that way. Perhaps it’s the season: the weather getting consistently cool and gray, I’m finding myself wanting hearty stews and large pints of Guinness. There’s really no better place to find such a thing than at a pub or restaurant with the emphasis on the cuisine of the British Isles.
In regards to last Tuesday’s trip to Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, the other main drawing factor for me and my dining companion was the promise of a free Irish dance class, to be followed by dancing by and with the Celtic Society of Pittsburgh. Kait is of Irish stock, so maybe the cultural ties to her heritage appealed to her, but probably more the notion of drinking some Guinness and learning a few dance steps.
As for me, I will openly admit that I am a terrible dancer. There are many things that I am passable at, but dancing is simply not one of them. But I have a fondness for Irish music (traditional Irish music too, not just a crazed adoration for The Pogues), and looking at a dance clip on the Mullaney’s website, Irish dancing seemed almost like a square dance. I may not be able to move exactly to the beat or even succeed at not tripping over my own feet, but I’ve been a decent square dancer in the past (the long ago past, when square dancing was taught in gym class, as well as something us Girl Scouts were instructed in). But what the hell, maybe an hour or two of drinks and company would quickly wear the routine out of the traditional dances. I was ready to settling for interesting experiment, but holding out hope for a full on hootenany. Continue reading
Posted in Dining Out, Dinnertime!, Food
Tagged British Isles, dancing, dining out, dinner, food, guinness, irish dance, irish music, irish restaurant, Live Music, mullaney's harp and fiddle, pittsburgh, ravioli, restaurants, soup, strip district