Sunday, July 28, 2013

Legume: Taking the Industry Out of Food

So, here’s a lil’ secret for you.  I avoided dining at Legume for quite some time.  Why?  It’s simple really.  You see I am a carnivore at heart and the namesake of this eatery led me astray.  Silly little me assumed that a place named Legume (defined as the fruit or seed of plants…think beans for example) was a sole provider of vegetarian delights.  After stumbling upon their website, I realized I was wr…wr…wrong.  It turns out that Legume does plate up some tasty greens, but it’s also one of the best places in the ‘Burgh to savor just about anything. 

Legume is an upscale restaurant in the Oakland area that sources as many of its ingredients from local farms and artisans as possible.  Once those items are procured, the magic begins in their spacious kitchen.  Executive chef, Trevett Hooper, and his team take pride in preparing each dish by hand.  These folks are no strangers to butchering whole animals fresh from the farm or rolling out fresh pasta.  It’s commonplace to witness the grinding of grains to make polenta or to see all hands on deck when pitting bushels of sour cherries.  You can literally taste the time and the love that goes into every thoughtfully prepared dish.

On our latest visit to Legume, my in-laws (visiting from NY) were willing participants in trying one of my favorite dining spots.  As they perused the menu, they asked if we’d ever tried this (Blue Fish with Carolina Gold Rice and Chive Butter), that (Short Rib Ravioli), or the other thing (Lamb and Mashed Pototes).  The answer each time was, “Nope.”  That’s one the qualities I admire most about Legume.  The menu constantly changes because Chef Trevett only uses what’s fresh and in-season.  So if you’re the kind of person who orders the same dish each time you eat at a particular restaurant, you might be saddened by Legume…but only for a moment. Your frown will be turned upside-down because the daily menu (released each day by 5pm) is so masterfully constructed that you won’t be disappointed in trying the latest masterpieces.  (Okay, okay, one time I was looking pitiful because the Cherry Pie for Two they had earlier that week was all gone.)

Blue Fish with Carolina Gold Rice and Chive Butter
Lamb and Mashed Potatoes
Pork Three Ways (Crispy Pork Belly, Pork Loin, and Sausage)
Rhubarb Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream 
Legume also serves up some delicious, craft cocktails as well.  Drinks are prepared next door at the Butterjoint.  If you don’t have reservations for Legume or you’d like a more relaxed atmosphere, the Butterjoint will not disappoint.  You can still order from Legume’s menu if you choose or you can eat some spectacular “bar food” like fresh ground burgers or house-made pierogies. 

Legume is downright special.  It’s no secret as to why they’re getting some much-deserved attention.  If you care about where your food comes from and you appreciate genius flavor combinations, that only skilled hands can create, then I’ll be seeing you at Legume soon. 

I give Legume: 5/5 forks
214 North Craig Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Neighborhood: Oakland

Legume Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. So nice to meet you at Braddock's tonight! And I'm totally sharing this review with my husband - he keeps putting off Legume because I think he also believes it to be only for the veggie-minded. (Although trying Butterjoint's Singapore Sling at the Mattress Factory Urban Garden Party was a good first step at convincing him lol.)

    Sorry you guys got a bummer of a Buccos game, but at least you got some good eats in beforehand! See you at the other RW blogger events!

    1. Great meeting you too! And yes, the game was rather pitiful. Those duck fat chicken "wings" were definitely comfort food.