Legume's Trevett Hooper plates desserts.

Legume will host Summer Solstice party Sunday
When the calendar flips and the temperature changes, so does any good restaurant’s menu. Legume will celebrate the official coming of summer this Sunday with a two-part Summer Solstice party.

Starting at 8 a.m., Trevett Hooper’s Oakland restaurant will host food-focused educational sessions featuring everything from resident baker Neil Blazin’s basics of sourdough bread and Grow Pittsburgh’s guide to starting a summer garden, to Legume butcher Tyler Mossman helping participants navigate their way through a side of beef.

NEXT’s editor-at-large Leah Lizarondo, founder of The Brazen Kitchen, will even walk you through making the most out of your CSA.

“We’re having all of these different classes with the idea that we can better engage in our own eating,” says Hooper, Legume’s owner and chef. “There are certain formalities in restaurants and a lot of separation between the people who cook the food and the people who eat the food. For a long time, I’ve had this craving to find ways to get people to connect to the restaurant in a different way. The classes are about how we as cooks can share what we know about food—how we can share our knowledge with people beyond when they visit the restaurant.”

Though the 4 p.m. dinner is already sold out, tickets are still available for the daytime sessions through Legume’s website.

RumBQue at Bayardstown on Saturday
The folks behind Pittsburgh Cocktail Week and Rum United (which kind of sounds like a Caribbean soccer team) will join forces this weekend to host a rum-themed barbeque at the Bayardstown Social Club from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

The event includes a hog roast sponsored by Marty’s Market and features a whole hog from North Woods Ranch in Warrendale, though vegetarian options will be available. Additionally, several of Pittsburgh’s finest barkeeps will be on hand to compete in the first annual Rum Punch Challenge.

To cap it all off, the Pittsburgh Pie Guy will be on hand with dessert.

Tickets to RumBQue are $30 in advance and $40 at the door and are available through Rum United’s website.

NOLA reopening
NOLA on the Square, which has been closed since February following a kitchen fire, will reopen to the public starting with lunch service on July 15. Perlé, the upstairs champagne and tapas spot, will also reopen that evening.

“We’re still finishing up some renovations but the restaurant is going to look pretty much exactly the same,” says Nick Rizzo, director of operations for Big Y Group, which owns the restaurant.

While diners might not notice many changes to the dining room, the biggest upgrade will be in the kitchen, where ownership has installed a new Pavesi oven with a CaptiveAire CORE fire protection hood system.

“It’s the most advanced technology available in kitchen safety,” Rizzo says.

To celebrate its grand reopening, NOLA is planning a jazz festival for the weekend of July 18 and 19, which will include 10 bands playing all night Friday and all of Saturday. There will also be specials and a hot sauce cook-off featuring a few local celebrity judges whom Rizzo declined to identify.

“Our two chefs each have their own hot sauce preferences, so we’re going to have a battle of hot sauces,” he says.

Free food!
TGI Fridays is debuting a food truck in Pittsburgh this weekend and will be giving away samples of some of the national chain’s new dishes at the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. If you’re so compelled, you can find the truck on Penn Avenue in Downtown dishing out sliders, potato skins and something called “Oreo Madness” from 6 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 to 10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Along a similar line, Long John Silver’s will give away servings of fish and chips at all its locations on June 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We suspect there’s a motive for this, but we have really no idea what it might be.

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.