Last Updated on by Angie
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The Fairlane in Mt. Lebanon is a trendy restaurant with a menu that has Southern and international influences and utilizes local, seasonal ingredients. The cocktail program is top notch, too. It's the kind of restaurant that would fit right in in Lawrenceville, but instead it's in the suburban environs of Mt. Lebanon, which seems a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
A Strong Bar Menu at The Fairlane
Our recent visit started off with some cocktails from the impressive craft cocktail menu. The Last Ward was a riff on the classic Last Word cocktail, replacing gin with bourbon and green chartreuse with yellow chartreuse, plus maraschino and lemon. We enjoyed it but probably prefer the herbal notes of a gin in this type of cocktail.
The Once Upon a Time in Mexico was fantastic, with both tequila and mezcal, plus smoked honey, lemon, and chili bitters. Finally, the Jungle Bird was a great balance of bitter and sweet with black strap rum, pineapple, Campari, and lime.
Beyond cocktails, the restaurant also has a fairly impressive draft beer list plus a bottle shop attached- do not skip a libation when here as the options are plentiful!
Biscuits, Cheese Plates, and More
We started our meal off with the cheese plate and the buttermilk biscuits. The cheese plate included five different cheeses, each paired with a house made condiment. Some of the combinations reminded us of Caselulla, the wine and cheese bar that used to be in the North Side – this all made sense when we found out the chefs behind The Fairlane used to work there.
On the cheese plate we tried gouda (normally served with a hazelnut brittle but this was omitted due to my allergy), white cheddar with a whole grain mustard, truffled cheese with mushrooms, brie with apricot jam, and a gorgonzola with chocolate brittle. We appreciated the thought that went into this kind of condiment pairing and how each flavor combo was on point.
The buttermilk biscuits may have been our favorite dish of the evening. Just come here and order them, and then you will understand. These babies came to the table piping hot from the oven with the perfect crunch on the outside and a melt-in-your-mouth interior. But the accompanying miso honey butter was what set these biscuits apart: it was life-changing. The butter was intensely savory but offset by the sweetness of the honey. Without shame, we ate the leftover butter on the plate straight up by itself.
The small plates menu here is pretty lengthy while there are just a handful of entrees; after perusing the menu we would have been perfectly content with just ordering a bunch of small plates to share as many were seasonal and delightful sounding.
We started with the tomatoes and burrata which was a huge portion of large hunks of heirloom tomatoes, flaky salt, oil, creamy burrata, basil, and spicy peppadew peppers. The balance of peppers to tomatoes seemed off a little bit; we though the spiciness of the peppers overwhelmed the tomatoes by the time we finished the plate. But otherwise we really love simple, fresh, clean flavors of in-season plates like this.
The roasted carrots and parsnips were our other small plate choice with Greek yogurt, mint, chili oil, and warm spices. The sweetness of the veggies played well with the spiciness of the chili oil and the cooling creaminess of the yogurt and mint. We thoroughly enjoyed this dish!
Finally, we split the duck entree with risotto, rainbow chard, and agrodolce. The duck was a bit salty and some parts were chewy; we would have loved a crispy skin on the meat. The duck was served with a hardy barley side which wasn't what we were expecting given the “risotto” description, but it was tasty nonetheless. The tangy blackberry sauce was definitely needed to bring some brightness and acidity to the dish.
We went all in with desserts, trying both the peach tart and the chocolate pot de creme. The peach tart had nice baking spice notes, a tender crust, and was served with Millie's vanilla ice cream. The chocolate pot de creme was our winner of the dessert round with its luxurious, creamy chocolate topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
Overall, we definitely think The Fairlane is headed in the right direction and we really look forward to seeing how they grow and evolve. We love the seasonality of the menu, the craft cocktails, and the huge selection of interesting small plates.
The Fairlane Pittsburgh is located at 292 Beverly Road in Mt Lebanon.