General Manager of The Café at the Frick, Michael Chavara has worked in the service industry for more than 18 years—from small family eateries to Michelin restaurants in Napa, California. He became a true lover of food and wine while living on the west coast, and we’re grateful he decided to bring that passion back to western PA.

What’s the best meal Michael had last week?

Not much is better than having a reason to celebrate, and all celebrations must involve great food and wine. I can enjoy world-class cuisine in an old railroad car but throw in superb ambiance and you create a magical evening.

That’s exactly what took place last Saturday night at Paris 66. Quaint French bistro—check; French chef and wait staff—check; Edith Piaf in the background singing—check. The perfect equation, how can you not love it?!

Recently back from my end-of-summer vacation, I returned to a promotion as the new General Manager of The Café at the Frick, a reason for celebration with my wife.

The storefront says it all: the entrance transports you to a Parisian side street. Dark wood, simple décor and café posters sprinkled around the building all add up to perfection. Taken to our table tucked away in the patio corner I knew exactly what I wanted. It was to be a simple meal, but sometimes simple is best.

One must have champagne in this situation, so with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on ice, our lovely server began to describe all of their amazing entrées. But, we came for our favorite food—meat and cheese. A plate of Creamy Roquefort and buttery Manchego paired with two kinds of cured meat, clover honey, fresh greens with a simple vinaigrette. We could have just had this but our waitress also tempted me with the Pâte de Foie gras. This entire meal was uncooked, and enjoyable without silverware—and there is nothing like ripping apart a baguette, smearing cheese on it and drizzling honey on top.

Everything I love about food was there that night– the best meal I had last week.

Looking for other Pittsburgh foodies’ best meals? Click here.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.