Pittsburgh City Paper

November 30 2011 Pittsburgh City Paper

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Page 18 of 54

THE SLIDERS OFFERED SLICES OF TENDER FILET IN TOASTED, BRIOCHE-LIKE BUNS GOOD EGGS {BY CHARLIE DEITCH} It's just after 8 a.m. and the girls have already had a busy morning. Dozens of eggs — white and brown — line the trays outside of the chicken coops at the Eichner Family Farm. The farm, and its adjacent market, have been supplying the North Hills with fresh eggs, vegetables and sausages for decades. Generations, actually. "We've had five generations working the farm, with a sixth on the way," says Ron Eichner, who oversees the farm's management. On this morning after Thanksgiving, he and his father, Dick Eichner, are explaining the merits of their truly farm-fresh products. While larger egg-producers cut costs by giving their hens feed made with animal by-products, for example, Eichner's chickens are given a strict diet of vegetarian feed. That, the Eichners say, produces a better-tasting, more natural egg. "Our main focus here is the egg and the things that accompany it," says Ron Eichner, although the farm also produces a full array of vegetables. You'll also find the family's homemade sausage (delicious with eggs) in four varieties — sweet, maple, mild and hot Italian — along with kielbasa and natural-casing wieners. And they do it all with a family pride that has stretched back to 1897, when Dick's father Michael bought the land. Says Ron Eichner: "Above all else in this business, my grandfather taught us to take care of the customer." Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. 285 Richard Road, Wexford. 724-935-2131 CDEITCH@STEELCITYMEDIA.COM FEED Have you always wanted a gingerbread house for the holidays? Now your kids can ad ys? scan learn to make one, from the pastry chefs at the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel. The $40 class, held Sat., Dec. 17, includes all materials, instruction, an apron and refreshments for both child and parent. Plus, a gingerbread house to take home. Reserve a spot at 412-773-8911 or julie.abramovic@fairmount.com 18 ANDDINE WINE W A t k DINE {BY ANGELIQUE BAMBERG + JASON ROTH} INE HOLDS A curious position in American culture. Not long ago, it was treated as the prov- ince of snobs, whether gourmands who obsess over "bouquets" or more-tasteful- than-thous who look down their noses at beer. Some politicians still talk about wine that way, hoping to bond with voters who don't have the time — or the budget — for such uppity airs. But drinking wine hardly counts as putting on airs anymore. With American wine consumption going up ev- ery year, the old characterization is harder to maintain. Similarly, the idea of a wine bar once seemed rather hoity-toity. What is the point of such a place to a person who doesn't know the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon blanc? Yet wine is an ancient drink, and in a lot of countries it's simply an everyday social beverage, without cultural baggage. The Wine Loft follows the latter path. You won't mistake it for a corner bar, but sociability is clearly at the core of its concept. Take, for instance, the seating. There PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 11.30/12.07.2011 Filet mignon salad with goat cheese, spiced pecans, dried cranberries and pepper-jelly vinaigrette {PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL} are just four traditional tables; the rest of the seating is on couches, easy chairs or leather-upholstered ottomans in relaxed arrangements around low tables that wel- come both couples and large groups. Each grouping of seats is individually lit with distinctive table lamps and candles, creat- ing intimate, semi-private little islands. (There's also a small bar, complete with TV tuned to sports.) 2773 Tunnel Blvd., SouthSide Works, South Side. 412-586-5335 THE WINE LOFT HOURS: Mon.-Thu. 4 p.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat 4 p.m.-2 a.m. PRICES: $9-16 LIQUOR: Full bar CP APPROVED When The Wine Loft opened, a limited menu mostly provided a little something to nibble alongside the wine: bread and cheese, olives and other traditional comple- ments. With The Wine Loft's success came an opportunity to expand those choices: The kitchen, led by chef Sam Cerminara, now offers a brief but fairly comprehen- sive dining menu. In keeping with the es- tablishment's sociable concept, most items are suited for sharing, but also are not too much food for one. Baked brie en croute — the cheese wrapped in pastry before baking — is an easy indulgence, especially with a drizzle of something sweet on top. Cerminara de- livers the latter with both vanilla-infused honey and a balsamic reduction, with a sprinkling of fi nely minced nuts under- scoring the implicit comparison with an ice-cream sundae. Unfortunately, the pas- try was pale and hardly distinguishable from the (surprisingly large) wedge of cheese itself. The goat-cheese pizza board suffered from the same lack of distinction. Two smallish pizzas were served, one with roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts, the other with prosciutto, basil and toma- toes; both were topped with mozzarella and the eponymous goat cheese. This mix- ture of creamy, mild Italian cheese and the the ON SI DE

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