First order of business: My photo of Bridge 10 Brasserie’s coq au vin is in the Pittsburgh Restaurant Week photo contest. And if I get the most votes, I will win tickets to the invite-only Restaurant Week closing party. And I like parties. And I like Restaurant Week. So I am hoping you’ll be fantastic and click on this link and vote for my photo. Pretty please with cherries on top!
I admit it. Sometimes I’m a snob. I drive through the South Side frequently, and when I saw Bridge 10 Brasserie open in the Holiday Inn Express near the 10th Street Bridge I had no interest in it whatsoever. I figured it was a mediocre hotel restaurant to feed the travelers. Pass. Then I started hearing some generally good chatter about the place. And then when Karla Boos (of Quantum Theater) named her favorite dish in Pittsburgh as Bridge 10’s Blanquette de Veau, I decided that yes, I do need to check this place out.
I won’t claim to have a refined palate when it comes to French cuisine. I’ve had many of the traditional dishes. But my tastebuds do know the difference between a meal prepared with high quality ingredients and care and a meal reheated and shoved out the kitchen door. I don’t think you need to be specifically familiar with any particular cuisine to be able to identify a good meal.
Bridge 10 was running a spectacular Restaurant Week $25 price fixe menu, so it was a perfect time to try the place out. This menu included a starter, an entree from a limited list and a dessert. Before I get into the food pics, I want to point out some other pluses about the place:
(1) They offer valet parking so you don’t have to hassle with the street, but if you do decide to hassle with on-street, the restaurant is in a part of the South Side that is not very crowded, so you should not have a hard time finding a spot;
(2) They have a generously sized patio, and although it’s near a high traffic bridge, they’ve got a huge wine list, so tip back a glass and you won’t notice the traffic;
(3) Aforesaid massive wine list and a staff that is very well acquainted with the offerings;
(4) Spacious dining room space (I’m looking at you, rehearsal dinners and other large parties)
Now on to the pictures!
I selected the soup du jour for my first course. I initially hesitated, thinking that since it is still hot hot summer outside, soup might be a stupid choice. I’m glad I ignored that hesitation, because this was some good soup. It doesn’t look it, but it was actually very light. I don’t think it had any cream in it at all, the thickness is all pureed carrot, but its seasoning was perfect, and the flavor incomparable. I’d go back just for a bowl of the soup.
Yes, fries. This wasn’t part of the price fixe. But we were there with Baby Beez, and like heck was I going to pay for a full meal she wasn’t going to eat anyway. And it was a night out. A night to have fun! So I said sure, she could have french fries for dinner. Except she ate 2. She was much more interested in her iPad. So Mr. Beez and I ate them, because food has no calories if it was ordered for your kid. These had all kinds of different seasonings and herbs on them (including green ones). I thought they were good, but Mr. Beez declared these fries “the best fries ever.” I don’t dispute that these were good. I’d say that they’d elevate the steak frites from “the dish on the menu that people who are scared to try new things” order, to “a dish that is worth ordering because it is very good.”
Next up was the main course: a very classic Coq au Vin. How rich, how belly-warming, how classic. Now this is what you want to devour on a cold winter night. But it’s delicious on a hot summer night too, because a good dish is a good dish all the darn time. Hey, did I mention that my photo of coq au vin is in the running for the Restaurant Week photo contest? And if I win, I’ll get to go to the invite-only Restaurant Week closing party? And I want to go to that party? And I’d be very happy if you vote for my photo? So please click here and vote for it?
For the grand finale, I opted for the chocolate Pot de Creme. And this is not just chocolate pudding. The pot de creme is rich and is a very generous helping. I was only able to eat half of this chocolatey bliss. I wasted CHOCOLATE! What a sin! But it was so rich and so tasty that it was just too much, and next time I’ll share the dessert and accompany it with a coffee.
The Beez family thoroughly loved Bridge 10. For future visits, I’d keep in mind that this restaurant is very French, both in the food and the timing. The meal is at a very relaxed pace. With a squirmy toddler, we’re usually in and out of a restaurant under an hour. That’s not the pacing in play here, and I think our meal ended up being about 2 hours, start-to-finish, and we were noticeably finishing up before other diners who were seated before us. This is not an issue of slow service. The servers are attentive, the wine and water glasses stay filled, no one is forgotten. It’s just an appropriately French ambiance that you should be mindful of when planning your visit. I would rate Bridge 10 Brasserie up there with on the list of restaurants I’d be excited to show off to out-of-town guests. We might not return with our impatient toddler, but this restaurant is definitely on our list of “top date night locations.”