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can anyone comment on Legume,Dinette or Toast in pittsburgh?

I see the 25 best of the burgh is out. I would like to try one before the Diane Krall concert(with my wife) any help?.....thanks

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  1. My Chow-spouse travels to Pittsburgh regularly and almost always includes a dinner at Legume. I have posted her reports on this board before. They do local/sustainable food which IS important to us, but she wouldn't go back if the food didn't measure up to some pretty high standards. The service is also wonderful, pleasant, not overly friendly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bigley9

      I looked for earlier responses but must have missed yours. I've been wanting to try Legume but reviews have been few and far between. We live 75miles out of the city so I like to get as much info as I can before we dine anywhere. Thanks alot

    2. Dinette is pizza, salad and apps, not a regular sit-down type meal. Mind you, it's excellent pizza, salad and apps and well worth the expense. But it's very casual. And sustainable.

      Last time there there were five of us, so each tasted everyone's pizza. All were phenomenal. But as they change the menu almost daily, can't give a recommendation for a specific pizza.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Panini Guy

        I was just at Dinette on Friday. Panini Guy is correct. It's a small menu but the food is outstanding. It's not "run of the mill" pizza. The Fritta Misto is delicious. We had the portabello pizza along with the anchovy pizza. I highly recommend it. It's a small restaurant so get there early to get seated.

        1. re: burghgal

          I think the place sounds perfect for my wife.(and me) I'll get there early. I can't stand eating fast before a show. thanks alot..

          1. re: kevin25

            I don't think you can go wrong with any of the mentioned places. Legume is terrific BYOB, menu changes daily and food is outstanding. Often times the chef has some great housemade charcuterie and other interesting menu items. Dinette is sort of a standby restaurant for me, probably go over 2 weeks or so. Great salads and pizza and nice small wine list. Toast would probably be considered a little more formal of a restaurant compared to the other two, although I have always enjoyed my meal and the dining room or bar area are really comfortable.
            Just as a note, none of these 3 is convenient at all to Heinz Hall where the show is, so you probably want to leave yourself close to 45 minutes to get to the show, because traffic can be a little rough and parking can fill up depending on what else is going on around town.

            1. re: mcharles

              mcharles, good point on location. I will probably eat as early as possible. I like the charcuterie possibility. We were in Paris last month and this was high on my list of great foods we tried. by the way we are fond of Mio. Do you like it?

              1. re: kevin25

                Toast! is very good, very interesting and tasty menu. However, they have no beer, not even a bottle. The bar is all wine. Also, I have noticed that on the weekends if they get busy, you are there for a very long time. I am not sure I would want to be committed to a show time.
                Legume--love it. Being BYOB really helps keep the cost down.

                At any of the restaurants mentioned, it is important to stay off the parkway and use back streets to get to Heinz Hall or any downtown location. All three of these restaurants are located in the East End and therefore easily accessible to downtown.

                1. re: grapevine

                  thanks grapevine, whats up with the no beers? I love wine but sometimes people with me really just want beer. I can only see them losing some money by not offering beer. I'll keep off the parkway.thanks again

                  1. re: grapevine

                    That's odd because I've had beer there. I've also seen others drinking it at the bar because I thought to myself "Why would you come here and order a Miller Lite...?"

                    1. re: PghJen

                      When I was there in February, my friend ordered a beer and the server told us that no one ever orders beer, and the staff were the only people who would drink them.

                    2. re: grapevine

                      Toast! does have a full liquor bar and beer as well. When I was there I drank Penn Brewery Weizen, Church Brew Works Pious Monk, and guiness...my date drank miller lite. So Im pretty sure they offer beer...not a great selection but I was ok

                      1. re: grapevine

                        It makes sense the the bar at Toast would be all wine. Hence the name. Wait do or can you make a toast with beer?

            2. Legume - I thought it was quite good and is a place i'd like to go again, but not super spectacular that I would have to go. Bona Terra is much better (although quite a bit more expensive) and from a BYOB standpoint, I prefer Piccolo forno (price/quality comparison to legume). I may have gone an off night for me, because it's a very small menu and the only thing I kind of was interested in was the cassoulet and I am not a huge cassoulet fan. The dessert was very very good though as was the app. So it's definately worth trying, service was great.

              Dinette - I like dinette. it's a cute space with a small, but nice selection of pizzas and wines. Cute for a dinner out with the girls.

              I haven't been to toast yet

              2 Replies
              1. re: yammers

                I'm going to Dinette with the girls for sure(if my wife lets me) lol, We have been to Bona Terra and loved it. We are just looking for a new spot to try this time.

                1. re: kevin25

                  I have not been to Toast so I can't comment but my husband and I love Dinette and Legume. We live in Regent Square and both are close to us. Both publish daily menus so I would suggest checking what they're offering that day and go what you're in the mood for. I have been DYYYYYYIINNNNG to have Dinette's pizza with arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano and freshly sliced prosciutto...unfortunately prosciutto is on the "do not eat" list for pregnant women....AGH!

              2. Kevin,

                You may have made your mind up already, but in case you haven't, I'd like to weigh in. I haven't been to Dinette or Toast, but my friend and most-trusted restaurant reviewer has great things to say about both. He is partial to pizza, so Dinette receives his highest recommendations.
                I have been to Legume, and have been consistently happy. The atmosphere is wonderful - you can tell that everyone working there is excited about the food they are serving. It can be a bit loud, though. So, if you and your wife are looking to whisper sweet nothings over dinner, maybe skip Legume. Otherwise, I have no reservations recommending it highly. Fresh, local ingredients, made simply and with a lot of thought and love. Check out the kitchen notes from the website for some insight into the food to come as well as the passion behind it. The area (Regent Square) is fun. For more on that, check out http://thedish-pgh.blogspot.com/2009/.... Hope you enjoy dinner and the concert!

                1 Reply
                1. re: BCF

                  thanks BCF we haven't made up are mind yet and you comments help alot...

                2. We tried Dinette for the first time yesterday, top notch stuff. Not much else to say that hasn't been said. We had the "Grilled Purple Scallions, Parano, Mozzarella" pizza (which included flavors reminiscent of meat, though there is none), caesar salad and grilled asparagus salad which has amazing bacon, mache and goat cheese. Although pizzas say "for one" on the menu this seemed like enough for two of us when we tossed in a desert of the arborio rice pudding with blueberries. Although we did consider the downside of not sampling more than one pizza. We'll just have to go back to try something else. :-)

                  1. I've been to Toast a few times. It's well-executed food with a strong inclination towards pig. One of their desserts involves chocolate w/ bacon; ok for a try for me. You can get any booze, their wines are great. When we were there last, the T people had put roast suckling pig's head on the appetizer menu. Thinking it would be a piece, my husband ordered it, and we were all surprised when the entire thing showed up. Very good, though huge. We took it home and made broth.
                    Legume's fantastic and less expensive than Toast, mostly because you BYOB. It's noisier but I very much like their commitment to local farmers, etc. Not much more to say about it that hasn't already been said though. Try both; they're some of Pgh's best.

                    1 Reply
                    1. I have visited them all, and done reviews on my site.

                      Dinette is a really great place to get awesome pairings, you have to be a big time fan of thin - almost crackers crust but if you're considering it I'm guessing you are.

                      for authentic neopolitan pie check out Il Pizzaaiolo in Mt. Lebo - some of the best in the country.

                      Toast - pretty eclectic mix of dishes, appreciate the roatational menu. I've only visited once, but I wasn't blown away.

                      Ditto Legume - only once, would probably give it the edge over toast - similar basic menu set up. Straight forward prep. Tasty but I didn't leave raving about it.

                      Salt of The Earth and Spoon (across from Dinette)

                      as your from 75 miles outside of Town, my recs go as such

                      1. Salt of the Earth
                      2. Notion in Oakmont only if you're into more traditional high end / modern techniques
                      2. Spoon
                      3. Il Pizzailo
                      4. Dinette
                      5. Tamari


                      1. I like all 3 very much myself. Legume just re-opened after moving and rennovating their space, now at Craig and Bayard in Oakland. I've not eaten a proper meal there, though we were at the pre-opening party which featured hors d'oeuvres, wine and cocktails. (Goat ravioli was delish) I imagine that they're the most revved up of the three right now, so would suggest it.

                        1. I don't get the hype with Dinette. The portions are miniscule and the dishes were interesting but not outstanding. It's overpriced for what they are serving. And it's cheesy, in that over-done Pittsburgh design way (ie: stainless steel straws... really?!). Trying to be cheeky, but not succeeding so much.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: pgh_eater

                            Compared to the typical pizza place sure. But the only other pizza place I see using similar types of ingredients is around the same price point, and also serves coke from bottles. (Il Pizzaiolo in Mt. Lebo)

                            If you compare them to the likes of more moderate places, like the ones everyone else is suggesting, I don't think they're pricey at all. Consider the pizza your entree, its 16 for an entree is pretty moderate IMO

                            Though I would prefer a soda fountain myself, I won't bash them for the glass bottles of diet coke, and metal straws.If they are that into sustainability, at least they're doing it the whole way through.

                            oh and I'm adding root174 to my list.

                            703 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15228

                            1. re: pgh_eater

                              pgh_eater, part of me wants to agree with you. I tend to cringe everytime I get the bill @ Dinette.. The tab adds up very quickly especially with wine. Last time a table of 4 spent well over $120 ended up haveing a bite or two of salad , possible 3 pieces of pizza ( mabye 2) and 2 glasses of wine

                              It takes a certain type of person to enjoy Dinnette.. My parents are convinced its big scam and the place is taking advantage of everyone, while my cousins( from Baltimore) LOVE every aspect of the place. I am caught in between the two..

                              1. re: Augie6

                                I think if you read Dinette as "pizza" in the same way as a typical pizza joint, then you'll think it's a scam. If you read it (as I do, FWIW) as local, sustainable, delicious food that happens to be mainly pizza, then I think it works out okay. For two of us I think it works out fine. I don't think our bill has been more than 50-60 bucks. Depends upon how we do it. Sometimes 2 pizzas, sometimes sharing a pizza but each getting a separate salad and maybe dessert. We probably wouldn't both have 2 glasses of wine though, maybe one each, or maybe one total, which keeps the cost a hair lower.

                                I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the stark, industrial decor. It's really loud in there when it's full. But it's not quite enough to make me not go back occasionally. Haven't been in a while though.

                                1. re: CrazyOne

                                  Yeah, I agree that the sustainable, local food angle is appealing, and you can taste it in the quality of the ingredients and their freshness. The food tastes really good and there are some inventive combinations and flavors, but the overall experience there always leaves me unsettled - it's the combination of the $$ (like your parents, Augie6) and the decor... plus there have been multiple times where I've thought that my husband's cooking, particularly his pizzas and focaccia, were better. So obnoxious, I know, that old "I could do this at home" line of thinking, but I swear - it's true!

                                  1. re: pgh_eater

                                    has anyone been to Meat and Potatos?