WSET Level 2 Wine Class Review with Palate Partners

If you've spent any amount of time on this site, you're likely well aware that we like wine. Not only do we have a quest to check out the best Pittsburgh wineries, but we're also visiting all the best wine bars in Pittsburgh too.

But perhaps one of our favorite experiences in Pittsburgh comes from the wine education company Palate Partners with their informal First and Third Friday feature which includes several wine samples, education about the grape and region, all at a fairly attractive price point. 

We knew that Palate Partners offered many wine classes beyond these, and their offering of the multi-week Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses caught our eye. This is an international, standardized wine program (with four levels) and the folks at Palate Partners are certified to teach the first two levels (plus bringing in a guest instructor for Level 3).

Our favorite wine instructors teaching an international wine course that is highly regarded the world over? Sign us up. 

But in being ones who always like to go big, we skipped Level 1 and jumped straight into the eight-week Level 2 course. While challenging, we also had a rather great time in this one.

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Fig & Ash Review – Wood-Fired Dining Exceeding All Expectations

If you pay attention to restaurant opening news like we do, odds are good you've been anticipating Fig & Ash in the North Side for quite some time. This restaurant was on the books for over 3 1/2 years before finally opening for business in late 2020. 

In that time they won Pittsburgh's Sandwich Sampler event not once, but twice (one of which we were fortunate enough to try), received a fair bit of press coverage, and even gutted the entirety of the restaurant space to make way for their indoor fire pit.

Naturally, we went to this one the day it opened for lunch, we liked that so much we went back for lunch again the next week, and when they finally opened for dinner reservations a short time later we returned for a third time to check out that portion of the menu as well.

While they have since stopped lunch service (for the time being at least), we have to say- we're still ready to go back for more.

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Fet-Fisk Royal Market Review – A Smorgasbord Feast in Pittsburgh

Fet-Fisk started out as a pop-up dinner series in Pittsburgh. But thanks to the craziness that was 2020, the folks behind the series adapted it into a storefront known as the Fet-Fisk Royal Market just north of the city. But rather than offering in-house dining, they focused on producing Scandinavian smorgasbords to go!

We put an order in for one of their weekly smorgasbords shortly after this one opened, and it was one of those moments where we wondered why it took this long for this to be a thing.

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General Shu’s Review – Shubrew Opens a Chinese Restaurant

We're quite familiar with breweries expanding and adding a restaurant menu onto their repertoire. Shubrew in Zelienople is one such brewery and is known for having one of the best food menus of any in the region.

But one thing we're not used to seeing is a brewery opening its own standalone restaurant across the street from their main space. But in 2020 Shubrew did just that with their leap into the Chinese food market- the aptly named General Shu's.

We have to say, this one has some solid dishes.

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Pita My Shawarma Review – Food Truck Turned Restaurant

Although we love our Pittsburgh food truck scene, we always enjoy hearing that our favorite trucks open up brick-and-mortar restaurants in the city. Why? So we can get their food all the time!

It is always a treat to find a favorite food truck at a brewery or event, but sometimes we cannot drive far across town to grab an order from a favorite. When they open a dedicated storefront, that problem is solved as we know where to get them all the time.

Pita My Shawarma was one such food truck that moved to a dedicated location, and now that they're in the heart of Lawrenceville, we see placing many orders from this one in the future.

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Oak Hill Post Review – Artisan Sandwiches in Brookline

Oak Hill Post is a cute neighborhood restaurant in Brookline serving up soups, sandwiches, and sides, all made from scratch with special, creative touches.

The menu here goes way beyond your typical burger and fries – take the Man Bear Pig, for example, with fried mortadella, shaved roast beef, fontina, house-made giardiniera, and mustard; or the No. 26 with fried chicken, kimchi, gochujang BBQ sauce, and mayo. Naturally, we were intrigued and went shortly after they opened.

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Kayaking to Sycamore Island from 10.7 Marina in Verona

We love getting out on the water whenever we can, and one of our preferred methods for doing so is in a kayak. 

There is no shortage of kayak options in the Pittsburgh area, and on a recent outing we took out rentals from 10.7 Marina in Verona to explore the Allegheny River a bit upstream from the city. This made for a great starting point as Verona is a short distance away from Sycamore Island- a green space we've been wanting to check out from years that is only accessible via boat.

So we boarded our kayaks and were off!

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Farmer x Baker Review – Fresh Dining on the Allegheny River

Farmer x Baker is a unique restaurant housed in a shipping container along the riverfront in Aspinwall that offers fresh, local, and seasonal brunch fare (with the occasional dinner menu). We have long wished for better waterfront usage in Pittsburgh, and Farmer x Baker is a beautiful and delicious concept that we hope is the start of more great waterfront dining options for our city.

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