Since we had thoroughly enjoyed the first time we dined at Toast, when we’d attended a special “Kentucky themed” tasting menu there, we knew we would want to go again, but to try their regular menu. And that’s what we did last month.
I think one of the things I like most about dining at Toast is its unique ambiance. It’s located in a former house that from the looks of it dates from the turn of the last century. (Toast can be found in the city’s Shadyside neighborhood, which is replete with houses from this time.) It’s situated near one of the major hospitals so while modernity rules there in terms of things found (fast food, banks, busy roadways), here remains their quaint looking historic house. The main dining room is upstairs (a somewhat rickety old flight of steps I might add), and this time we were seated in the room that had a fireplace so I can only imagine at one time it was someone’s bedroom. The restaurant is located on Baum Boulevard, a bustling street at any time of the day and I wonder what it was like to look outside on the street 100 years ago.
We had the same waiter from the tasting menu, and he was as knowledgeable and pleasant as before. D started with a beer, I went with a glass of the Toast! Red Sangria ($6) which was made with brandy, aged rum, Cointreau, and pineapple. Different from the sangria that I am used to but still tasty.
As I find cheese is one of the best appetizers to order since it doesn’t really fill you up (even if dining on it before your meal would cause the French to gasp in horror), I went with the Cheese Plate ($10) to start. It consisted of five cheeses, fig jam, and grilled bread. There was only one cheese of the five that I didn’t care for, a rather gooey one that just left a bad aftertaste. Everything else, though, was met with hearty approval.
D selected the Soup of the Day for his starter ($5) which that night happened to be a spin on gumbo. It definitely had a spicy kick to it.
For my entree I ordered the Lamb Meatloaf which came with a medley of fall vegetables atop a bed of mashed potatoes. I love meatloaf to begin with but the ground lamb was especially tasty. If I could find ground lamb, this is definitely something I would like to try to replicate.
He had tried it at the tasting and wanted a full meal of it, so D selected the “Hot” Fried Chicken ($18) for his main course. This consisted of the spicy chicken, of course, along with a cumin waffle, braised greens, and molasses butter. He devoured it.
And for dessert we split the Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme ($7) which was the perfect size and perfect thing to consume post-dinner (i.e.it did not leave you feeling bloated).
While ethnic fare will probably always be my favorite, comfort American fare is never a bad thing either, especially when it’s served in a pleasant setting like Toast. I would most likely be back in the future.
Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar
5102 Baum Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA. 15224