Friday, June 8, 2012

Legume - Part Deux

I don't really do multiple posts on the same restaurant, but since we went to Legume on Valentine's Day 2011, the restaurant has relocated from Regent Square to Oakland on North Craig Street.  Trevett Hooper and the gang bought the old Amore restaurant and renovated it before opening in Fall 2011.

When we were there in Regent Square, Legume was decorated as if you were in a French country kitchen.  The decorations were sparse, but well-placed, especially in such a tiny space as the previous incarnation.  DB~ remarked that when they moved to the much bigger space in Oakland, she hoped the flavor of the food wouldn't suffer from the lack of intensity and closeness of the tiny kitchen.

We went with DB~'s aunt last night and certainly won't disappointed in the food.  There was no loss of energy or creativity in the cuisine, even if garlic scapes must have been on sale that day at the market (featured in 3 of the 5 mains).

However, we were extremely disappointed in the decor of the new restaurant.  We wondered what renovations, if any, were done to the dining area.  The whole place felt like we were in a 1970's tacky outtake from the movie Casino.  The polished terrazzo floors, with blue diamond patterns, and the stark off-white walls left us feeling cold.  We were seated at the rear of the dining area next to a huge mirrored wall that just felt out of place.

It seemed as if all the decorating budget went into the bar, which had a warm red clay/brown tone to it.  That color scheme and feel was more in line with what should have been carried through the rest of Legume.

As for the food, it was great.  DB~ went with a Sockeye Salmon dish that had some capers, garlic scapes, and a red wine pesto sauce.

Her aunt had Bluefish with some mache or other type of micro-greens.  She got a side of fermented bok choy with red chiles that had quite a kick.

I had lamb kielbasa that was fantastic, served on a mattress of polenta and some escarole that soaked up the  juices from the kielbasa.  I got a side of daikon, cut like fries, that was oven roasted in a honey miso sauce.  It had a very strong taste and it was quite a big portion, due to its intensity of flavor.  Definitely enough to share with 2 people.

Overall the food was sublime, but the decor of the restaurant was so hideous that we won't be in any rush to go back here.  There are simply too many other great restaurants in Pittsburgh right now.

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