Out of the Kitchen: Eden - The Surznick Common Room

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Out of the Kitchen: Eden

This year Sarah and I thought it would be fun to try a new series of posts on the blog called Out of the Kitchen. Yes, we definitely cook a lot in the Surznick house, but we love to try new restaurants as well (remember our Restaurant Passport?)

This month we're talking about Eden, located in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. You may remember that we went there last month to celebrate six years together. It was our first time at this restaurant, and it was an absolute gold mine. It is safe to say we are already eager to return. (Disclosure: it was a bit dark in there, and while we were trying to have a nice dinner together, we didn't really want to be fussing too much over pictures, so here are the best we have!)

The Atmosphere:
The place is small, but great. Down a tiny flight of stairs just off the street, it is set half under/half above ground. I felt like we were going into some sort of secret restaurant. I felt cool just knowing about it and being there. On the inside, it was nothing out of this world spectacular -- nice and cozy, but nothing too fancy. Really fun conversation starter cards on the tables kept us occupied while we waited for our meals.

One of my favorite things about Eden was the BYOB cost: $1/person. Sarah and I enjoyed a bottle of wine for just $2. (It was a gift, so we didn't even have to pay for the bottle! Boo ya!) When it comes to corking fees, that is very low!

The Food:
It was out of the park. The entire menu is vegan (with some options to add meat if you want it). Much of the menu is raw and gluten free as well. Being our anniversary, and our first time at this restaurant, we wanted to go all out: appetizer, entrees, and dessert. Right now they're serving their Winter 2015 menu, which will likely go through the end of March. We split the Cinnamon Apple Bread as a starter, and the house made vanilla cashew butter was fantastic! It is also served with apricot preserves and fresh apples -- a great way to start the meal.

For the entrees, I had the Mushroom Noodle Bowl (Miso and mushroom broth. Noodles made of green bean flour and thinly sliced portobello mushrooms. Topped with fresh veggies.) and Sarah had the Cheesy Penne (Brown rice penne with broccoli, red pepper and shredded carrots. Cooked in a cheddar style cashew cheese sauce).

The Mushroom Noodle Bowl was a bit out of my comfort zone on the menu, but I decided to take a chance. I. Loved. It. It has been a VERY long time since I've been that excited about a meal at a restaurant. I had enough for left overs to bring home and I couldn't have been happier about that. The flavors were so rich and earthy. It was unlike any soup or noodle bowl I've ever had in the best way possible.

The Cheesy Penne was absolutely delicious. I wanted to save half of it to bring home, but it was so hard to stop eating. As someone that's relatively new to vegan food, I'm always amazed when I try something that tastes so cheesy, but has absolutely no dairy involved at all. The addition of carrots to a pasta dish sounded pretty unusual to me, but paired with the broccoli and the delicious cream sauce, the carrots didn't seem strange at all. All of the flavors combined were just so great -- I'd love to have this dish again! (And pretty much everything else on the menu that I didn't get to try!)

For dessert, we went for the huge Banana Split (With two kinds of ice cream, cherry, pistachio, cinnamon, and white chocolate. As well as chocolate fudge, candied walnuts, and vanilla whipped cream). This was the perfect dessert to share at the end of this meal. Big, but not TOO big, really sweet, and amazingly satisfying. It really hit our "missing ice cream" sore spot!

It's great to know that such a delicious, all-vegan restaurant is so close to us here in the city. One thing I forgot to mention is that we did NOT break the bank enjoying this evening. All the meals were very reasonably priced, and for an anniversary dinner, we were more than willing to spring for all 3 courses! We can't wait to go back, and if anyone ever comes to visit us with a desire for some out-of-this-world vegan food, you can bet we'll be heading to Eden!

Sarah & Nick


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