Monday, June 27, 2011

A 'Burgh Inspired Wedding Reception in the Mountain State

On what turned out to be a gorgeous May Friday evening, my high school sweetheart (delayed) and I exchanged our wedding vows in front of a very small gathering of friends and family at the Shaw House in Fairmont, WV.  Our wedding was vintage inspired, and very elegantly simple.  I will be sharing more photos on this blog post than I normally do, but hey it is not everyday that a gal gets married, right? ;)  The ceremony was sweet and right to the point (just like me most of the time).  But let's be real.  Most of us really love attending a wedding for the reception grub and usually the free drinks, right?  Hehehehe...
The husband and I knew that we wanted to keep the reception menu uncomplicated, delicious, and most of all 'Burgh LOCAL.
So, let's get to it.

From top left, clockwise:

  • Our reception spread was provided by the caterer and chef at Shaw House.  This two-person culinary team did most of their shopping for the menu in the Strip District.  Our menu included a lovely Nicoise salad, a beautifully poached salmon, a tender rosemary herbed beef tenderloin, an amazing spinach artichoke dip, and a fresh and gorgeous fruit platter.
  • Our reception spread also offered hunks of self-serve (aka, have as big of a piece as you would like) fresh cheeses for our guests- a nice sharp white cheddar, a more mild Porterhouse cheese, and a sweet Stilton with apricots. 
  • The cakes... Yes, the cakes.  We did not go the traditional tiered cake route here.  We delighted our guests with six different cakes all courtesy of the lovely bakery at Delallo Italian Marketplace in Jeannette.  I am pretty sure that most of the guests came back for a second or third slice.  I mean, you can't just try one...  ;)
  • When I started to think of the wedding favors I wanted to send my guests home with, I knew that personalized M&M's or those Jordan almonds were not going to cut it for me.  We offered each of our lovely guests Peanut Butter and/or Dark Chocolate marshmallows (seen in the little silver boxes) from the Pittsburgh Marshmallow Factory.  We also created our own take on the candy bar, but used popcorn from the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company instead.  After tasting every flavor popcorn the Company had to offer that week, we settled on one savory and one sweet- Sour Cream & Onion and Baklava. 
Okay, now to share just a few more pics.  Who doesn't like pics from weddings?  ;)

My lovely sister (maid of honor) is featured in the photos on the left and right.  And yes, in the pic to the right she is proudly displaying her Yuengling bottled beer. ;)

*All photos were taken by the extremely talented photographer and my longtime friend, Mr. William Brian Bee.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Suburghian Ladies' Evening Out- The Parkwood Inn

1002 Cribbs Street, Greensburg

People say that Twitter is for connecting with and eventually meeting new people, and Facebook is for keeping up with friends you already have.  Witnessing firsthand (and personally) the many connections that can be made through tweeting, it was the first avenue of social media that I turned to when I made my big move from the Buckeye capital to Suburghia. A girl needs some friends in her new city!  I connected with 3 lovely Greensburghian ladies, and now we meet regularly for dinner and drinks.  Thus, the birth of a new blog series for me- Surburghian Ladies' Evening Out. 
This past Wednesday we decided to meet for dinner and a few drinks, and were on the hunt for a place with a terrific deck to take in the gorgeous weather.  The Parkwood Inn won the vote.  (By the way, you can see that amazing two level deck in my pic above.) ;)
So, let's get to it.

From top left, clockwise:

  • I ordered what has quickly become a Parkwood Inn fave for me- the Eva Pepper Burger.  The Eva is a juicy 1/2 pound burger topped with provolone cheese and banana peppers.  I ordered mine with the Deckers, Parkwood's homemade potato chips.  I highly recommend the Deckers, although their fries are amazing as well.
  • Colleen had the Eva's Homemade Cheese Ravioli, crescent shaped pasta filled with a blend of cheeses topped with Parkwood's very own tomato sauce and a meatball. 
  • Jaimie also indulged in one of Parkwood's delicious burgers.  She had the Asiago Burger- asiago cheese, roasted red peppers, and mixed greens atop a juicy all beef burger.  And she also went with the very crispy Deckers as her side.  ;)
  • Amanda went with one of Parkwood Inn's famous Traditional 4 cut pizzas.  (You can't go wrong with that, right??)  She ordered her's with ham and green peppers.  She was kind enough to offer me a bite.  The crust is thin- just a little chewy with a bit of crisp. 
What you need to know before you go:

  • The Parkwood Inn is very easy to get to from either direction on 30.  (In fact, you can see it from the highway.)
  • Parkwood has ample parking, but when it gets busy the lot fills quickly.  You may have to park on the street if you arrive during one of their busy times.
  • Plan to visit Parkwood Inn Monday through Friday from 4-6pm for their Halfly Hour- 1/2 priced drafts, well drinks, and 4 cut plain pizzas.
For hours, directions, and menus, visit below:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hip, Big City Cuisine Right Here in Suburghia- Solstice Restaurant and Lounge

Solstice Restaurant & Lounge- 911 Green Street, Greensburg

We visited Solstice Restaurant and Lounge for the first time on a Monday evening.  We were drawn in by the promise of $2 draft microbrews.  Being a lover of all things craft beer (and being on a budget most of the time), this seemed like as good a night as any to check out the restuarant we had driven past a few times and wondered about.  Now, while we didn't receive $2 drafts (maybe they were only at certain times? Although there was no mention of that on the website), they did have an impressive draft list and amazing food. 
So, let's get to it...

From top left, clockwise:

  • We very pleasantly started out our meal with a complimentary appetizer of lahvosch and 3 different spreads- Black bean, a hummus, and a mango orange mint dip.  The spreads were served on a chilled glass plate, and each of them were very tasty. 
  • I ordered the Cioppino and Orzo for my entree.  They most definitely do not skimp on the seafood in their version of the classic San Francisan Italian dish.  Big, soft scallops, large shrimp, and plenty of littleneck clams and mussels all floating in a smoky, spicy tomato broth around an island of orzo which falls apart and into the broth as you dig your spoon in.  It is served with a big hunk of ciabatta bread perfect for soaking up the broth.  This is by far one of the better Cioppino's I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
  • My fiance (now husband ;) ) ordered the Steak Frites topped with the Maytag bleu cheese.  It came with a side of their crispy fries with basil mayo, and a side of roasted asparagus.  The steak was cooked almost perfectly (just a tad bit overdone) and the frites (fries) were to die for.  Please do dip them in the basil mayo- you will not be disappointed.  ;)
  • We topped off our meal at Solstice by sharing their Apple Crisp.  The apple slices were tender and the topping was flaky and crispy.  It was the perfect ending to our evening.
What you need to know before you go:
  • The Solstice Restaurant & Lounge offers several food and drink specials, Monday through Saturday.  I would suggest confirming with your server or bartender for any possible fine print (which I admittedly should have done).  You can find their daily specials here:  Solstice Specials
  • Solstice offers both small and large plates.  So you can go tapas style or full on dinner.  Most of the small plates range in price from $5 to $12.  Larger plates are a little pricier at anywhere from $15 to $24.  My Cioppino was priced at $18 and was worth every penny of it. ;)
  • We were told that Solstice gets very busy on Fridays and Saturdays, and that reservations are highly recommended if you plan on visiting then.  You can request a reservation online by going here:
For hours, directions, menu, and catering information, visit below: