The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Richard Chen Pittsburgh

Somewhat disappointing visit to the much-ballyhooed Richard Chen location in East Liberty this weekend. It wasn't terrible by any means; it was just not up to our (lofty) expectations. We ended up both getting the prix fixe dinner, which was probably the error: those are never a restaurant's best dishes and (as we all learned from KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL) they're usually a way to dispose of an overstocked item. Anyway, it was a four-course meal for $38, which is really reasonable, and included two appetizers, an entree, and a dessert. The appetizers were the best part: we had a salad that was unremarkable in itself but had a fantastic dressing, with a heavy horseradish bite, as well as a soba-noodle salad that was excellent. The second appetizer was a kind of beef-noodle soup, not really pho but an approximation of it, and quite respectable spring rolls. All quite good. The problem was the main courses; I had a sort of beef and pepper stir-fry and she had salmon, both of which were just fine, and well-cooked, but surprisingly bland. Actually, really bland. The desserts were odd: a chocolate pudding thing and then mine was--literally--Rice Krispy treats made with a Japanese lemon. Disappointing.


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