Our Wednesday night Restaurant Week dinner brought us to a restaurant that was never even on our radar prior to this week. Since we love checking out places we haven’t been before, we were eager to jump on a place whose name we’d never heard before – especially once I saw their tantalizing vegetarian tasting menu. And that’s how we found ourselves with dinner reservations at the Terrace Room, located in the Omni William Penn downtown.
Really, the best word to describe this hotel and restaurant is magnificent. Stepping inside the lobby is like stepping into a different time and place, where elegance and class are the standards. This is the lovely scene you encounter upon entering the hotel, and the Terrace Room restaurant is situated to the left on the main floor.
And this is the majestic dining room to the restaurant. Doesn’t it just make you feel like you’ve been swept into the past, like maybe you stepped through a portal in the ‘Burgh and landed at a Gatsby party? Love it!
We were seated and served a plate of bread with seasoned butter and oil for dipping. I loved the salty breadsticks and olive bread. Since the vegetarian Restaurant Week menu was what had caught my eye initially, I knew I’d be ordering off of there, and Michael got the meat version. We also opted for a bottle of Malbec to go along with the meals.
One of the items on the vegetarian list that caught my eye? Beet napoleon! This little beet stack was piled high with creamy goat cheese, and drizzled with a lemon oil, and accompanied by toasted pistachios. SO GOOD. I love the Pittsburgh restaurant scene for enabling my beet addiction!
And then, since I’m a foodie who just can’t say no to tasty things, I had to add on an order of the pumpkin fritters from the regular menu.
While the word ‘fritter’ often brings to mind the fritters of the south, which are mostly breading and some meat, these were on a different plane. They were lightly breaded on the outside, and inside, they were stuffed with gooey fontina cheese and risotto, as well as a cinnamon aioli, making them juicy to bite into. These were served atop swiss chard, and the bitterness of the greens was just right to go with the creamy, sweet fritters.
For entrees, Michael got the seared red snapper with grilled artichokes, pastini risotto, sweet peppers, and crispy shallots. (Crispy shallots are really a hot item right now!) Pastini is the ittiest bittiest of pasta, somewhere around the size of couscous but a thicker, more-noodle-like consistency. It was wonderful. I had more than my share of sneaked bites of this entree. The fish was cooked in a way that I can only ever wish to achieve!
For my entree, I got the orecchiette pasta with sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, and a basil and white wine sauce. This was such a simple dish, but so expertly prepared. It was buttery and filling, and the tomatoes and peas were so fresh. Basically, beets for an appetizer and peas for an entree mightaswell be called The Fox Special. My two favorite vegetables!
Thankfully, our server Slavko was able to box up half of each of our entrees for us (with another full serving of bread to accompany the leftovers!), so we were able to save a *little* room for dessert.
Michael got the chocolate raspberry terrine with crushed hazelnuts and rum anglaise. The terrine has a texture much like a fudge or flourless torte, very dense and rich without the crumbliness of a cake. The rum anglaise was a nice pairing to the booziness of the port wine. All in all, both desserts were top notch.
We adored our trip to the Terrace Room. The service was impeccable – there was never a time that our glasses were empty or our plates were not cleared in time. Slavko was able to answer questions about the menu and the wine list, and he really ensured that the timing of the courses was just right.
Although the Terrace Room is more of a ‘splurge night’ dinner (the prices are a bit high, particularly on the wine list), it is definitely worth checking out. Right now, the tasting menu for Restaurant Week is only $35, and you get more than enough food for that excellent price. They also have a Sunday brunch that we have heard rave reviews about, so it’s without a doubt that we will be returning!