In our new Monday column, we’ll give you recommendations on what to eat, drink and do in the week ahead.
Eat: Multicultural cuisine at Chaz & Odette
I once went to a restaurant in Manhattan that proudly trumpeted their unique “fusion cuisine”—specifically, a mashup of Brazilian and Japanese food. It was terrible. The experience was bad for a whole battery of reasons, not the least of which was the awkward way they attempted to smash together elements from both cuisines on every dish.
Chaz & Odette, the Baum Boulevard restaurant that opened in the former Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar space last week, boasts a blessedly more elegant menu of internationally-inspired food. Working from a template of classic comfort fare, Chaz & Odette sprinkles African, Asian and Middle Eastern touches throughout their lunch and dinner menus. They also feature a selection of international flatbreads, including Mumbai Curry Chicken and Spicy Moroccan Beef.
The restaurant is named for the two chefs at the helm. Odette Smith-Ransome worked most recently as a professor at the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Chaz Smith has owned The Culinary Artists Gourmet Catering Group for the past 11 years. The chefs have decades of industry experience and the menu is inspired by their travels around the world.
Chaz & Odette is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
Drink: Red wine at Arriba
The mention of meeting up at a wine bar usually strikes fear into my heart. While I’ll happily chat about the history of the old-fashioned or the merits of a wet-hopped IPA, the language of wine is still foreign to me. So the idea of a bar with huge leather-bound wine lists and way too many French names gets my pulse a-racing.
Luckily there’s Arriba. This summer, Duane Rieder opened Arriba as a way to showcase his excellent portfolio of Engine House 25 wines, which he has made in the basement of The Clemente Museum since 2009. Located next to the museum in Lower Lawrenceville, Arriba offers a small but stellar list focused on big red wines, including a rich Cabernet and a peppery Malbec. The cozy space is filled with rough-hewn wood, Rieder’s photography and, of course, plenty of baseball memorabilia.
Arriba is as approachable a wine bar as you could ever hope for, and the friendly bartenders will guide you through a three-glass flight. Add a cheese board curated by Wheel and Wedge and you have the perfect (and perfectly unpretentious) evening.
Do: Drink for a cause at Brewing Up a Cure
Ah, finally: a truly noble reason to drink a whole mess of beer. Attendees to this Saturday’s Brewing Up a Cure can rest easy in the knowledge that, while downing tiny glass after tiny glass of suds, they are in fact raising money for a very good cause.
Now in its ninth year, Brewing Up a Cure is an annual fundraiser organized by the Three Rivers Underground Brewers (TRUB), a small but active group of local homebrewers. Over 75 of their brews will be featured at Saturday’s event, along with food from local eateries, live music and an auction. All proceeds from the event will go to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that works to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. To date, TRUB has raised over $200,000 for the CFF.
Brewing Up a Cure will be held at the PPG Wintergarden on Saturday, October 17th from 7 to 10 p.m. To learn more and to purchase tickets, head to the Brewing Up a Cure website.