Restaurants Move Beyond Specials, Keeping Diners Guessing

It used to be that restaurant menus stuck to a script, with a few variations each night recited by servers as “specials” or “menu additions.”

Take Dish Osteria. In 2008 when former Post-Gazette restaurant critic China Millman reviewed the South Side restaurant, she wrote, “… eating at Dish is such a timeless experience that much of the menu remains the same as when the restaurant opened. This constancy may help explain why so many people speak so fondly of the restaurant, although they haven’t eaten there in quite some time.” She went on, to “encourage the kitchen to let loose a bit with the menu.”

Fast-forward to 2013 and Dish changes much of the menu weekly, if not daily. Case in point: Chef Michele Savoia offered a memorable linguini with morels, fiddleheads and ramps as well as shad roe with greens in early spring, then soft shell crab later in the season.

Such is the case with many Pittsburgh restaurants, where menus change frequently, seemingly driven by seasonal items.

Continue reading . . .