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Root 174

Mr. Beez and I had a lovely dinner out with our friends Christine and Trav at Root 174.  Root 174 is the new Regent Square project of Chef Keith Fuller, of Six Penn Kitchen renown.

Not only was this a great occasion for us to try a new dining hotspot, it was also a perfect opportunity for us to try the second bottle of “Old Lady Wine” that Mr. Beez bought for me (this was a 1973 Bordeaux).  The 1975 Bordeaux we had at my birthday dinner was tastier, but this one was not bad.  I am convinced, though, that we need to start buying and storing wine now.  Luckily, neither of the bottles Mr. Beez bought were skunked, but the best way to ensure that wine is kept in proper conditions for aging, is to age it your darn self.

My fancy birf-day old lady wine wine.

The appetizers at Root 174 were divine.  They had a mussels appetizer on special that I was very excited for.

The broth and cornbread had a tiny amount of bite, and a whole lot of flavor. They were delicious.  This dish was my favorite of the night, and I hope the chef recognizes what a solid offering this is and makes it into an entree.

Christine was very excited to order the bone marrow creme brulee. 

I consider myself an open minded eater, and I’m certainly not picky…but there’s something about the idea of bone marrow that makes me gag.  Even writing this, I’m feeling a little gaggy.  Still, I DID try it, and it’s really really NOT my thing.  The bone marrow was greasy and kind of tasted like butter but not really, and I felt like it coated my throat as I swallowed it….so it is like eating Crisco (not that I have a frame of reference for that). I did it.  I tried it. I don’t think I’m going to try it again. 

The brussels sprouts appetizer, however, was delicious (too bad my photography skills are abysmal).  They were topped with some sort of bacon topping, and they were perfectly crispy yet tender.  Amazing.

For my entree, I ordered the trout “taco.”

It’s breaded/fried trout stuffed with crab salad, arugula, and radishes.  I liked the trout, but it needed some contrast.  This would do well with a flavorful all-veggie stuffing, or even something completely different like chorizo.  As it was, I called it “fish stuffed with fish.”  The crab salad did not help the dish any, and it could use a kick.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.  It has potential to be a lot better with a few adjustments.

Mr. Beez and Christine each had the hangar steak.  Mr. Beez said it was delicious and “hit the spot.”  Christine loved it as well.  I was considering that option, and I should have gone for it.

Trav ordered the “salmon sausage” entree, which I thought looked and sounded kind of weird.

He expected it to be a sausage that included salmon.  Oh no, it’s a whole bunch of salmon stuffed in a casing.  He said it was good but very, very salmony. 

Following suit with my very-very dry white wine kick, we had this very tasty, very dry Riesling.

Really, the point of this picture is so that I remember what wine I drank (and loved) so that I can go out and buy it again.  I have a habit of buying wine, drinking it and loving it, and throwing out the bottle, and then having no idea what on earth it was.

For dessert, I had the warm and cozy apple crisp with a tasty cup of coffee.  Yum!

I’m glad to have visited Root 174, but I probably won’t be rushing back there as a regular.  I love that it is BYOB, but we certainly made up for the price of wine by ordering extra appetizers.  When it comes to restaurants, I’m not a hard person to please, but it can be a challenge to really dazzle me.  Only a couple of restaurants come to mind in Pittsburgh that are tried and true favorites. Root 174 was nice, but not amazing.  Also, they could really use some cushions on those bench seats.  The seating options are not forgiving.

Here I am, lookin a fool, taking pictures of plates.

I had a great time at Root 174, and I think that it’s a nice addition to Regent Square.  The chef is obviously talented, but I do think some entrees could use some tweaks.  I’ll file Root 174 back in the rotation, and make my way back there after I’ve checked out other new entries into the Pittsburgh dining scene.

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