Monday, November 19, 2012

Taste of Dahntahn

Last Saturday, SP and I had tickets to see War Horse at the Benedum. Amazing show! Those puppet horses made me get all teary and I heard more than a few sniffles at the performance! Anyway, we decided to try a new to us restaurant and use one of our Pittsburgh Dining Cards. We chose Taste of Dahntahn.
Turns out, the Light Up Weekend parade route went right past the restaurant. Since weren't seated near a window, we didn't get to see the parade, but that's OK. Parades, crowds, music at Market Square - it was reminiscent our St. Patrick's Day experience when we saw La Cages Aux Folles at the Benedum and tried to dine at NOLA.
I'm not sure what to make of Taste of Dahntahn. They take reservations, so we made one, just in case. When we arrived, there were a few people in the bar, but no one else. Upon entering I thought, hmmm, not what I was expecting, seems kind of pizza-pub like and what's with these white & red leather stools and these round formica tables and where the heck is the hostess station? We finally asserted ourselves since no one seemed to want to approach us and were seated through the bar and in the back dining area. I still wasn't sure what to make of the place.
The tables seemed to have black and white photos of Pittsburgh on them. But not ours - ours was a round table covered with a very long white tablecloth. As I was looking over the menu, it seemed much smaller than the menu I had seen online and I didn't see the pre-theater specials, so I asked. Turns out that because of Light Up Night they were not offering the pre-theater specials and the menu was stripped down. Hmmm... Kind of annoying since I had just been on the site and I hadn't seen any information about lack of pre-theater menu because of a special Light Up Weekend shortened menu. Frankly, I was pretty darn disappointed and annoyed.
Feeling a bit disheartened, I simply ordered iced tea. So did SP. While it was fresh brewed and tasty, both the water and iced tea were served in clear, disposable, plastic cups. Um, really? Plastic cups? I wonder of that's the normal, or a special Light Up Night thing. I was shocked and kind of... appalled. Is it too much to expect a real glass/cup?
We decided to share two meals. First, the Chicken on the Half, honey/rosemary sous vide chicken with herbed risotto and broccolini. The risotto was very good, flavorful, creamy, I couldn't stop eating it. The broccolini was good, simply steamed. The chicken was huge and very tasty. The seasoning tasted very paprika-y. Crispy skin, tender chicken, I could cut my chicken pieces with my fork.
Our second choice, the Margherita Pizza. A thin crust, but not too thin, pretty substantial but not thick, lots of a thick tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil. Good pizza. I can think of places with pizza I personally find tastier, but I can also think of a lots of places with worse tasting pizza! So a good, safe choice.
 For dessert, SP tried the Lemon Souffle. He said it was lemony and light and delicious.
I got the doughnuts, of course. Cinnamon Spice 'N Everything Nice with cinnamon glaze. There were about 8, very hot, freshly fried, dusted with sugar and some cinnamon glaze plus more glaze for dipping, tasty dough.

Our server was very nice. He kept our iced teas filled, didn't rush us.

I just.. I left kind of confused about the place. The food was good but not great, prices didn't seem too bad (a 14" pizza, the entree, 2 iced teas, 2 desserts was $49) and it helped that we had a Pittsburgh Dining Card. I think the interior from front bar area to back dining area doesn't really track and definitely isn't my style, although I did really like the Pittsburgh photo topped tables. The decor also didn't seem to match what I expected from the web site and online menu and name of the restaurant.

We decided that maybe it has a bit of an identity crisis, but one with tasty iced tea, doughnuts, and chicken. I would go back, if only to dine there on a night with the full menu and the pre-theater menu and see what it is like. And to see if we again get disposable plastic cups that make me feel like I am at a keg party. **NOTE: SP says the server told us the plastic cups were for Light Up Night only, but I must have missed that. I still wish at least the diners if not the bar patrons had been served in real glasses! Taste of Dahntahn on Urbanspoon

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