Revel & Roost (PITTSBURGH, PA)

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First, I’d like to say that I am mad as hell that my pictures didn’t save that I took from the interior of this restaurant.  I apologize.  I am embarrassed.  It was a mistake.  Can you please forgive me?  Phew.  Now that I’m finished with acting like I care about you being mad at me for not having interior pictures, I can go straight into this review.  (No, seriously, please.. Don’t be mad at me)

Revel and Roost is located off of Forbes Avenue in the heart of Pittsburgh.  I wanted to dine at this restaurant because it didn’t have that many reviews on yelp, but the menu sounded interesting.  The items that were featured looked carefully orchestrated, and the prices were extremely reasonable.  I did a bit more research and I noticed that everyone on OpenTable raved about this place so I had to find out for myself.  As I previously stated in my well-thought out apology, the interior (pictures) will be missing from this review.  However, I can let you know that you might want to dress up.  The interior is absolutely beautiful.  Hard wood floors, amazing lighting, and huge window seats.

During my visit I wasted no time trying out five dishes.  I believe I tried everything on the menu, but I’m going to point out a few dishes that I enjoyed the most.  Scallops, Salmon, Duck Breast, Lamb Chops, and a Shrimp Avocado Salad were some of the items that I tasted.  I’ll start off with the Shrimp Avocado Salad.  I don’t know what this dish was, but it wasn’t Shrimp Avocado Salad.  It was Jesus tears.  You ever have Jesus tears?  They taste like the best thing you’ve ever put in your mouth.  This was a cold dish so don’t expect anything slightly warm.  The thing that stuck out to me about this dish was the Avocado.  It wasn’t lumpy it was the definition of opposite. It was the smoothest, most pure spread you’d ever taste.  But that wasn’t the end of it, it was filled with jumbo lump crab meat.  JUMBO LUMP CRAB MEAT.  The Shrimp weren’t just two pieces of small shrimp, these were Jumbo cocktail shrimp.  There aren’t too many dishes that I rave over, but this one is worth every tear I’d give to express how in love I am with this dish.]


The next dish that was ordered was the Salmon.  It was a special of the day.  It was topped with King Crab, Asparagus, Shallots, Toasted Quinoa, and Brown Butter.  This dish was an overall good dish.  It wasn’t anything fancy about it.  Perfectly prepared salmon, topped with slightly broiled crab meat and finished off in a béarnaise sauce.  The asparagus wasn’t over cooked and had a slight crunch to it.  The toasted quinoa helped the overall dish with balance because of the starch it added.  This was one of those dishes that you can cook at home and like it, but when you come here and have the chef cook it, you’ll love it.


The third dish that was ordered was the Duck Breast.  The duck breast was the only thing I had a challenge with.  It was a bit over-cooked, but it wasn’t chewy.  The duck is served medium rare or medium at best, but the duck looked as though it was cooked well.  There was no blood on this dish therefore most of the flavor of the duck was absolved.  The duck consisted of creamy farro and endive.  A lot of people question what an endive is so let me give you a brief description.  It’s a leaf vegetable belonging to the genus Cichorium, which has a bitter flavor.  The creamy farro was very good, and cooked almost as if it was a creamier risotto, but the endive stole the show.  It’s challenging to turn something that’s as bitter as an endive or any kind of green and turn into something perfectly seasoned.  The perfect amount of onion flavor, to go with the saltines, and a hint of pepper.


The fourth dish that was ordered were the Scallops.  The Scallops were pan seared and sat on top of a Maple Bacon Glaze to go along with a shallot puree and a pickled onion.  Listen…. A shallot puree!  I’ve never had a shallot puree or heard of it happening, but it finally happened.  I love shallots and I think that they should be used in just about every dish.  They aren’t as strong as an actual onion, but they’re the sweet version of it.  The saltiness of the Scallops to go with the onion flavor of the shallots was genius.  I thought the overall dish would be too salty because bacon was added to it, but I was wrong.  The bacon certainly enhanced the dish with its smoky flavor.


The last dish that was ordered were the Lamb Chops.  It consisted of two huge lamb chops, white bean puree, creamy farro, spring peas, carrots, and red wine jus.  The lamb was perfectly cooked and seasoned.  Most times Lamb is under-seasoned but this was perfectly seasoned.  It wasn’t too salty or too spicy.  The white bean puree was surprisingly good as well. I didn’t think that I would care for a white bean puree, but Revel and Roost made me a believer.  The red wine jus was on the plate for decoration, I suppose, because I couldn’t describe any flavors out of it.  Maybe because I was too busy trying to suck the meat off of the bones of the chops.


Overall, this restaurant is a go-to.  If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and don’t go to this restaurant then you’re doing yourself a disservice.  The flavors of these dishes to go along with the beautiful surroundings make this place worth going to.


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