I had the pleasure of having a great dinner at Plum in Shadyside (located in the former Richard Chens space). I was a bit leery due to the lack of info on the cuisine, menu, and reviews. I am aware that it is a very recent opening, however I expecting to find something on the web.
Here is the 911: Food is top notch. EVERYTHING my group ordered was terrific. The flavors and the fresh ingredients shined through in every dish. I was very impressed with how well each dish was presented and seasoned.
The restaurant bar provides a great drink list. The bartender was very friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu. Next time I will spend a bit more time at the bar, very spacious and the service was great. The bar area would be perfect for a quick bite after work.
The sushi bar is very comfortable and roomy. Most sushi bars are a bit cramped. We dined at the sushi bar and enjoyed watching the chef prepare many great dishes. BTW...the executive chef spent some time at Nobu in NYC.
The sashimi and the rolls were the best that I have had in Pittsburgh - including UMI and Chaya. We sampled the lemongrass beef lollipops, spicy seafood soup, and the chicken basil stir fry dish. For dessert we had the Richard Chen's famous chocolate bar with homemade ice cream. Please, do not forget to order this dessert. It feels like a sin with every bite....yes, it IS that good.
The decor is great and the lighting is much better than it was at Richard Chens. Service was great.
I am counting the days until I can return on Thursday so that I may sample more of the menu items.
I can second the recommendations for Plum. We did a quick stop in on Friday night to check it out. They wanted 20min for a table, but there was plenty of room at the nicely integrated sushi bar.
The fish we had certainly places this Plum in the top 5 sushi joints in town. I'd be interested to see if it holds, but for now, it's very nice. The Chinese oriented dishes were only ok. The exception was some phenomonally well-cooked string beans marred only by slightly heavy hand with the salt. However, the dishes that were more Thai and Malay oriented seemed to have a nice blend of home style taste and polished restaurant technique/presentation.
Maybe just a touch over-priced, but certainly in the range of the other East Liberty options. We'll see how it pans out after the honeymoon settles down. I think we'd pop in again for some quick pre-date or post-date sushi, but not sure I'd make it a destination in itself.
I have been to Plum twice now. First time was a wednesday night at 8pm. Not many people and great service. I had the salmon sashimi and my husband had the pad thai. Pad Thai was good, the noodles were not overdone. Very close to Typhoon's pad thai. Sashimi was great, but I preferred Tamari's sashimi a hare over Plum. The sushi bar is nice, the decor is great.
The second time i went was this past saturday night. Absolute disaster. It took 40 minutes to get our first drink. 40 minutes. the one friend who hadn't ordered sushi, got her meal first. Then we received our sashimi and then the appetizer came at the end. Strange. The chicken satay was really really good. They ground their chicken and marinate it and add herbs so the flavor is really consistent through the chicken. The rainbow roll was excellent, sashimi was more fresh on saturday night and also delicious. The haphazard timing of the food and the extreme wait for a beverage was a bit of a sour note and didn't allow us to relax the way we would have liked to. On the positive side, our drinks were comped which is a good sign of a restaurant still working out the kinks and understanding that issues still exist.
I will give it another week or two to settle in and get training up to speed and then try again. On the other hand, we went to Tamari the week before and I thought it was very delicious! the seviche and robata grill were excellent.