Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Kick-Off Party At The Aviary

Achievement: #76. Pittsburgh Restaurant Week (Summer)

Summer Restaurant Week 2013 is just two days away! And what better way to celebrate than with a fabulous food-sampling soiree at Pittsburgh’s own National Aviary. (That’s right, we’re home to not just any old aviary, but THE National Aviary! Think about that for a minute, Cleveland and Philly!)

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
At the Kick-Off Party, there were fourteen different RW-participating restaurants passing out goodies, in addition to a full selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. DJ Digital Dave spun tunes for the guests, and of course, there was plenty of socializing and chatting about Restaurant Week planning to be done. After you were done enjoying the food and drinks, you could wander through the exhibits at the Aviary and meet the birds (even if, like me, you’re a little terrified of them). With that being said, there are a TON of photos of the evening, so from here on out, this post will be simply a photo post with small captions. Enjoy!!

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
The large atrium section of the Aviary was home to the bar, DJ, and some of the tables.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
The specialty cocktails all had clever bird names.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Our table was next to the penguin display. We found out that all penguins make the same faces as our dog.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic reduction from Skinny Pete’s Kitchen in Bellevue.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Chilled green chile soup with black beans, onion, corn, and roast chicken from Skinny Pete’s Kitchen.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Mint melon gazpacho from Pino’s in Point Breeze.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Salmon pate from Pino’s.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Crabmeat endive from River City Grille in the Pittsburgh Marriott North.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Bacon mac & cheese from Hambone’s in Lawrenceville (so excited – this is our Saturday night dinner for RW!).

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Tomatoes stuffed with quinoa, black beans, mushrooms, red onion, and corn, & empanadas with olives, pork, and tomatillo salsa from Alma Pan Latin Kitchen in Regent Square.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Watermelon salad from Root174 in Regent Square.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Korean Duck taco with squash aioli and pickled vegetable from Bistro 19 in Mt. Lebanon.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Pineapple salsa sausage sandwiches from Texas de Brazil in Station Square.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Chimichurri vinaigrette braised sirloin from the Capital Grille downtown.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Flourless chocolate torte from the Capital Grille.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Cajun shrimp and grits from James Street Gastropub in the North Side.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Braised rabbit mousse with fennel from Lola Bistro on the North Side.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
A triple-feature from Cornerstone in Aspinwall: roasted red pepper on crostini, scallop ceviche with blueberry & watermelon, and duck confit with salsa.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
(Why have a fancy SLR wide angle lens if you can’t use it to take a selfie?)

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Table of raffle prizes.

After enjoying the food, we took a short trip through the Aviary to check out the birds.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Flamingos, who did not want to have their pictures taken.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Yellow birds with a nice blue wall (seriously, all those birdwatching picture books I read as a child, for naught).

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Stern eagle who did not want to have his picture taken.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Penguin who cares, and doesn’t mind having his picture taken, and wants to listen to your thoughts and feelings.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Bitty bashful sweet tiny cute little owls!!!! (Sorry penguins, these guys were my favorite.)

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Husband posing with penguin statue.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
“Hi there! I am not the grim reaper, and I am not going to poop on you! HAHAHAHA PSYCHED YOUR MIND I AM BOTH,” said this bird.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Brian announcing the raffle winners.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Final treat of the evening: shrimp, kielbasa, smoked pineapple chunk, and curried polenta from Kaleidoscope Cafe in Lawrenceville.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Summer 2013 - Kick-Off Party
Annnnd it’s not a trip to the Aviary if you don’t pose with the statues outside the building.

So! Hopefully looking over these pictures has given you some ideas of where you’d like to eat, if you’re still trying to plan your schedule for the week. Here’s where we’ll be dining:

Monday: The Carlton
Tuesday: blogger dinner at Sausalido
Wednesday: dinner at the Terrace Room
Thursday: dinner at Up! Modern Italian
Friday: lunch at Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria and late-night tapas at Ibiza
Saturday: late night dinner at Hambone’s
Sunday: dinner at the Capital Grille

It’s an ambitious 8 meals in 7 days, but we’re pumped about supporting our local restaurant scene. Check back late each evening, as I’ll be posting blog entries following the meals. Where are you eating for Restaurant Week? Any challenges or themes you’ve set for yourself? We’d love to hear! And if you’re a fellow food blogger and will be going to the blogger dinner on Tuesday night, we’ll see you there!

1 Comment

Filed under #76, #76-13, aviary, birds, food, restaurant week, rw kickoff, tasting menu

One Response to Pittsburgh Restaurant Week Kick-Off Party At The Aviary

  1. It was so nice meeting you guys at Braddock’s, too, and we look forward to seeing you again at the blogger dinner tomorrow night! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun! Also, it looks like you guys had a great time at the kick off party at the Aviary. Love all the pictures 🙂

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