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Hello, Monday

Hello World. It is Monday. I have lots to do this week! Bring on the coffee!

First up, we’re counting down to this week’s Breakfast and Blogging here at Clark Hill! There is still time to RSVP to join us for a bagel and to chat about the law! The other panelists and I sat down last week and worked through a lot of the program, and I’m really excited for this event. I think there are a lot of bloggers/social media enthusiasts out there who have a vague idea of how the law impacts them, but would like to learn more. This is a great opportunity to ask your questions and get some great feedback, and best yet– the program is free!

breakfast and blogging

On Friday, I was crazy excited to get my April/May issue of Edible Allegheny, where yours truly was featured in the Online Dish column! What a sweet pic of Baby Beez!

edibleallegheny

Finally, even though there is snow still in the weather forecast, I’ve decided that it’s full-on spring round these parts. Mr. Beez thinks that lawyers generally should have more grown-up manicures, but I say that the gloomy weather gives me no option. We need some COLOR up in herrrre!

spring nails

Wishin’ all yinz a fun & sunny week!

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You remind me of the babe

On Wednesday we had a mid-week outing to the movies. In our days before Baby Beez, this was not an unusual occurrence. Mr. Beez and I love the movies, and many of the local theaters run midweek specials (free popcorn Mondays, etc). At one point, I had all the specials memorized, and could tell you what the best option would be any day of the week. Throwing a kid into the mix makes midweek movies very difficult. Not just because we have to uphold a responsible bedtime, but also because there is just so much more STUFF you have to do with a kid around, that two free hours for a spontaneous movie is difficult to find.

The AMC Lowes Waterfront has started running older movies on Wednesday nights. When we saw that Labyrinth would be playing, Mr. Beez declared that we MUST GO. I’m the one usually leveling demands around here, so when he makes a declaration, we must abide.

Labyrinth

The theater was PACKED. We got there a few minutes before showtime, and the only seats left were in the front row. That’s not my ideal location, but the rest of the fam was fine with it. The movie of course was great, because it’s Labyrinth. What’s not to like about Labyrinth? I worried that Baby Beez might get a little scared of all the goblins, but she didn’t. Not in the least. In fact, I think she wanted to party with Jareth and the goblins up in the tower. (Also, can you imagine how bizarre-funny-crazy filming that scene would have been? It’s megarockstar David Bowie dancing around in tight pance with muppets and a baby. So strange.)

baby wormLabyrinth Worm

Baby Beez has had a connection with Labyrinth since birth, can’t you see the resemblance?

We all had such a fun time, but the best feeling of all was being able to share something Mr. Beez and I have long loved with Baby Beez, and watch her find just as much joy in it.

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!

DANCE MAGIC DANCE!


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It’s a spicy meata-ball at @SiennaMercato ‘s Emporio

It’s a spicy meata-ball at @SiennaMercato ‘s Emporio

When word came out that a MEATBALL RESTAURANT would be opening dahntahn, the litigation group got excited. I circulated a P-G article announcing its plans, and every once in a while someone would email me asking “Is it open yet?” “How about now?” “When will it ooooopen?”

Finally, it opened, and it was time to go to lunch! Because we go big or go home, we visited Emporio twice in one week. Both times, the chow was awesome. The service ranked “ok.” Our servers were friendly, but in our first visit the server was painfully slow. In the second visit, the speed was unremarkable, neither fast nor slow. I expect this is part of the growing pains of a new restaurant, and should even out.

Emporio’s principle is simple: They serve meatballs. You can pick from beef, pork, chicken, veggie or the special of the day. They have a long list of sauces to choose from, and you pick your presentation: slider (1 meatball), panini (2 meatballs), grinder (3 meatballs), or bowl (4 meatballs). They also have various salads and starters to round out your meal.

The lighting is pretty dim in there, so I wasn’t able to get decent photos during my first visit. For the first visit, I went the slider route, and picked pork with bolognese sauce, chicken with parmesan sauce, and beef with mushroom sauce. They were all excellent, but the pork/bolognese was super excellent. I’m admittedly not much of a red sauce person, but I loved this bolognese, and could chow down on it for every meal. My dining companions were all equally enthusiastic about their picks, which is of course why we went again a few days later.

On my second visit, I started things off with the wedge salad. This was much more than your typical wedge of iceberg. The salad delivers plenty of crisp iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, chopped egg, pancetta and croutons, with a creamy garlic dressing.

Wedge Salad at Sienna Mercato

Although I usually like to try something different at each visit to a restaurant, I loved that bolognese sauce too much to pass it up on my second visit. This time around, I opted for the pork panini. I expected that sauce would be baked in with the sandwich, but it was served on the side in a dish. This was even better, because I was able to heap generous spoonfuls on every bite.

Meatball Panini at Sienna Mercato

Because Emporio is so new, I expected it to be jam-packed each time we went. However, on both visits we were seated right away. This may be in part because it was so bitterly cold on the days we went that no one in their right mind wanted to venture outdoors. The restaurant itself, however, is quite large and has plenty of seating. It also has a garage-door front to open to the outside when the weather is more pleasant, and I have heard that they have a large balcony space. Emporio has a long list of beers on tap and many other drink selections, and with the meatball menu being just the right size for small bites, Emporio is sure to be a to-go place for summer happy hours.

Emporio: A Meatball Joint on Urbanspoon

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Things I am liking this Monday

    • On a whim during grocery shopping yesterday, I picked up some packets of Justin’s Honey Almond All-Natural Nut Butter. I spread it on my english muffin this morning, and OMG I want to eat Honey Almond Nut butter all day long.

justin-s-natural-honey-almond-butter

    • This weekend involved a few frustrating incidents of very not-good behavior from Baby Beez. This weekend also involved very focused efforts on QT with Baby Beez. We went on a nice long stroller jog on the Jail Trail, we dressed in costumes and had fun at our Temple’s Purim Spiel, we played dolls, we played with Play-Doh. But there was also lots of screaming, some hitting, and some general all-around unpleasantness. I keep reminding myself that this is a process. That Baby Beez is not instantly going to turn into angel child from me playing dolls with her once. But it still puts me in a hard and frustrating position when I want to do fun things with her, but I have to instead stick her in time out because her behavior is not acceptable.

Purim fun!

What do you have coming up this week?

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Cozy and fancy night out at Arlecchino Ristorante @AllaFamiglia

Cozy and fancy night out at Arlecchino Ristorante @AllaFamiglia

For New Years Eve 2012, our double-date dinner was held at the delightful Alla Famiglia restaurant in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Due to our delightful experience there, I was thrilled when my friends and colleagues suggested we have a Clark Hill “Ladies Night” dinner out at its sister establishment, Arlecchino Ristorante. The restaurant is technically in McMurray, but if you’re planning a trip there, it’s just a little bit south of the South Hills Village mall.

For starters, the venue is super-cute. It’s a converted old schoolhouse. It’s absolutely darling, but this also means it’s absolutely tiny, so reservations are a must. You might be able to squeeze in a dinner for two up in the bar area, but it is also tiny, so you are probably better off playing it safe with a reservation. Arlecchino offers complimentary valet parking, which is excellent because the parking area is also tiny and unworkable for self-park.

Arlecchino Ristorante

Arlecchino offers a long list of wines by the glass, and when I asked for a recommendation based on my preference (white, as dry as it possibly can be), the bartender came up with a perfect match.

Arlecchino Ristorante

With every meal a hearty bread basket with “holy oil” delicious dipping oil is offered. We also went with a few starters: a fresh caprese salad, and my personal favorite: the truffoli, a mix of sauteed mushrooms in a sweet sauce with raisins. Amazing.

For my dinner option, I selected the Cottoletta del Monzu (or simply: veal). Each meal comes with the house salad, full of fancy toppings like beets, goat cheese and sunflower seeds, and the pasta del dio, both served family-style. The veal was buttery and savory. The pasta, topped with vodka sauce, was also delicious, and this coming from someone who isn’t a big pasta fan. The house salad, with all its fancy toppings, was fresh and a welcome departure from the typical iceberg-tomato-onion house salad.

A few people in our large group opted for the signature veal chop, which is ENORMOUS and quite a sight to behold. I wish I took a picture, because it is just crazy. They reported that it, too, was very tasty.

Cottoleta del Monzu at Arlecchino

The portion sizes are enormous, and unless you share an entree, you are sure to have extra to take home. The enormous size is very appropriate, given that the prices are, shall we say, special occasion prices. Very special occasion. Coupled with the restaurant’s small size and romantic atmosphere, this would be the ideal venue to propose to your significant other or celebrate a very special anniversary.

For dessert, we all shared the marble cake with salted-caramel icing. It was light and the icing had the perfect salty-sweet contrast. It was entirely too enormous for one, and it was a great option for us to pass around. It is also nice that Arlecchino offers a full coffee bar of cappucino, lattes, drip coffee, a variety of teas, and dessert wines and cocktails.

Salted Caramel Frosted Marble Cake at Arlecchino

While I may have had some reservations about hauling all the way out to McMurray after a workday, I was ultimately thrilled to visit this special restaurant. Like it’s sister restaurant, Arlecchino is sure to become widely known for its quality through excited word of mouth, rather than flashy advertisements.

Arlecchino Ristorante on Urbanspoon