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Legume

I’ve been meaning to try Legume for ages and ages, ever since it opened its doors back in Regent Square. Legume has been in its larger space in Oakland for a while now, and I still haven’t made it there. I blame Pittsburgh’s swanky food scene, always innovating, always changing, and always way too many places on my “to try” list.

Last night was my 5 year law school reunion. I very nearly missed it because I was disorganized and confused and ended up walking all over the darn campus only to find that my car was actually about 20 feet from the entrance to where I was supposed to go. GAH. Once I made it inside, there were friends and wine and it turned out OK.

As the reception was winding up, my gal pals and I still had rumbling tummies, and we wanted something yum. Legume to the rescue! It was close by, and we managed to get a table after only waiting a few minutes.

Legume focuses on local, seasonal, fresh foods. You may recall that Legume and Chef Trevett Hooper were honored as the best restaurant of 2012 by Pittsburgh Magazine. The menu changes regularly, and with a new chill in the air and an empty belly, I was thrilled to find elegant versions of comfort foods on the menu. Selections included leg of duck, beef kielbasa, lamb steak, and a vegetarian tasting menu.

Being a cold night, I could not help but indulge in the butternut squash soup. I love the little crispy and cheesy bits on top. They gave the soup a perfect little kick.

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For my main I selected lamb. Boy do I love lamb. Even when I was a vegetarian for 10+ years, I missed lamb (and corndogs. Don’t get me started on how much I love corndogs). I could live without any other kind of meat, but now and then my stomach would rumble for a lamb chop. Legume’s servers are careful to explain the dishes thoroughly. When I ordered the lamb, she explained that it has a small bone in the middle, with connective tissue, and a rim of fat. I liked the attention she gave to explaining the dishes, and it probably goes a long way to preventing diners with mismatched expectations.

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The lamb was rich, and paired perfectly with mashed potatoes and chard. There were some bites that were a bit chewy (although that’s probably to be expected from that cut), and I would have enjoyed a larger helping of the taters and the greens, but these are minor observations. My dinner was delectable, and in my next visit to Legume (hopefully sooner rather than later), I’d happily order it again, even though I am so determined to always try new dishes.

I was entirely too exhausted by the course of the evening to indulge either in cocktails or dessert, so I’m afraid I cannot report on those fronts. The ambiance was warm and friendly, and Legume is a lovely spot for a nice romantic evening, or a charming meal with friends.

Legume Bistro on Urbanspoon

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