Thursday, August 21, 2008
Eleven Contemporary - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Some in our group said they wanted to go to a nicer place to eat and they happen to find Eleven. I had no clue what they served but figured I could try something new on the expense account.
When we got there, I felt significant under dressed. This was one of those fancy place where the young professionals with large disposable incomes dine and talk fancy wine talk. This was certainly more upscale than my wallet can handle. This was certainly not a place for young children, especially with the pictures hanging on the bathroom walls.
The group ordered a number of appetizers. The Warm Heirloom Tomatoes with sweet corn polenta, friend chanterelle mushrooms, pine nuts, and pesto were full of summer flavor. We also ordered the West Texas Shrimp which was presented beautifully but were a tad overcooked.
The Seared Tuna ($29) with olive oil poached tomatoes, olive papparedelle, fennel, anchovies, basil, and romaine didn't look that appetizing when the plate was set before me. It appeared grayish on the outside and I wondered if the waiter got it right that I wanted it medium. When I took a knife and cut off a piece, then I realized it was seared to perfection. The sauce added a nice almost oriental flair and flavor to the dish.
For dessert, I foregoed discipline and ordered Creme Brulee. The pastry chef was a little too fascinated with the torch and allowed the sugar to glaze to a slick as ice rink layer and was about just as hard. But under the coating, was a rich and creamy dessert to die for.
Of all the sit down meals I had during this business trip, this was the most relaxing and enjoyable. Overall, this was the best food I had during the trip. If I ever return to Pittsburgh, I would make an effort to return to Eleven.
1150 Smallman St