Dining Review- Sharp Edge Bistro- Sewickley by: Suz Pisano
Recently we stopped by our friends at the Sharp Edge to get some information on their Christmas Belgian Beer selection (which is awesome!) and before we knew it, we were invited to visit the Sewickley Bistro for some fantastic food and beer pairings. The Sharp Edge really knows craft beer and their Christmas selections are far too numerous to begin to mention. They have over 70++ Christmas beers! The Sharp Edge is your Belgian Beer connection.
With five locations, the notorious Beer Emporium in Friendship, the Creekhouse in Crafton, the Brasserie in Scott Township (remember the burgers we told you about!), Loft at Penn Downtown and the Sewickley Bistro, they felt we needed to tell you about their food which is so much more than just burgers. Every Bistro location gives their Chef the opportunity to create a few signature dishes monthly as part of their Chef’s Feature Menu and each menu varies by location. The Pubs have daily specials and seasonal feature menus. I can’t wait to tell you about what we got to try!
The Sewickley Bistro is located at 510 Beaver Street Sewickley, where there is plenty of parking close by and after 5pm, parking is free! With all the crazy meter changes in the City, free parking is almost too good to be true! On the day of our visit, I was anticipating sampling some of the Bistro menu knowing that they would be paired with great beers. My anticipation turned to excitement with the first appetizer – the Wild Mushroom and Leek Tart ($10) paired with a Petrus Oud Bruin a Flanders style top fermented dark beer, which was likened to a “Flemish Sour”, or tart beer. Paired with the Mushroom and Leek Tart it was delicious and quite different from any other dark beer I have tried. The tart consisted of wild mushrooms braised in a Belgian Double with fresh leeks, chives & shallots atop a crispy pastry topped with a panko parmesan crust drizzled with aged balsamic. In other words- heavenly. Our next selection a Chef’s Feature, the Chorizo and Habanero Mussels ($11 individual or large serving for 2-3 $26) paired with Over the Edge a Belgian Triple IPA. The Mussel’s were sautéed with chorizo, roasted red peppers, garlic, shallots & cilantro tossed in a spicy Habanero oil & butter. I swear I ate them right out of the cute little pot they came in, they were so delicious, spicy and flavorful AND beautifully presented. Once again, I was glad that part of the Nightwire crew didn’t sample the mussels. I ate their share with absolutely no guilt! The hoppiness of the beer complemented the spicy chorizo so well. All bistro locations have mussels but offer different preparations. If you’re a fan of mussels, definitely give them a try and don’t ever be afraid to ask your server for a beer paring suggestion.
All Sharp Edge Bistro’s serve an amazing selection of soups & salads. On this night, we tried the Flemish Onion ($7) a delicious take on classic Onion Soup with an addition of Augustin Abbey Ale to add that something special flavor. We also tried from the Chef’s Feature menu the Guinness Beef Stew – slow cooked with Guinness Stout and topped with a flakey puff pastry crust. Salads we sampled included a Field Green Salad ($6 side, $9 full) with fresh baby greens and crisp romaine topped with crumbled chevre, toasted pecans, dried cranberries and sliced gala apples; and the Spinach Salad ($6 side, $9 full) spinach topped with roasted walnuts, crumbled bleu cheese, crispy bacon, grape tomatoes and red onion. The salads were very fresh and flavorful with excellent mixes in each. All dressings are house made but be sure to sample the raspberry, it’s my personal favorite! I couldn’t say which salad I liked better but I’m glad to report that the salads can also include grilled chicken, marinated flatiron steak, grilled salmon, or a grilled marinated Portobello cap. There’s something on their menu to suit every taste or mood and a beer to be paired with every selection. Again, don’t be afraid to try something different or ask for help in choosing the perfect paring.
Next, we sampled the Grilled Chicken Pesto Pizza ($13) basil, pesto, tomato, artichoke hearts, wild mushrooms, and fresh grilled chicken, asiago & provolone cheeses atop a perfectly thin crust. It is large enough to share but when you take a bite you might not want to – paired with La Chouffe a Belgian Strong Ale with its strong, spicy, lightly hoppy, bottle conditioned and unfiltered without any additives, this was an instant favorite. I’ve had this beer before and highly recommend it not only with the Pesto Pizza but it’s also a nice pairing with the Chicken Avocado Club ($12). The Chicken Avocado Club was served panini style with fresh grilled chicken, crispy bacon, tomato, baby greens, Swiss, avocado and herbed aioli. Not one bite remained of this sandwich and I could taste why it’s a best seller.
Our final pairing, Duck Sausage and Gravy with Cheddar Biscuits served with a Fig & Pear Salad ($16) is another Chef’s Feature and was my personal favorite of the evening. Duck sausage gravy served over cheddar cheese biscuits, topped with two sunny side up eggs and paired with Gulden Draak, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (10.5%) felt like a meal fit for a king. The Gulden Draak is often served as an aperitif or dessert and it was a nice compliment to the spiciness of the sausage and the richness of the gravy. This entrée is only available on the Sewickley Bistro menu and it’s totally worth the drive. We sipped our Gulden Draak and caught our breath until we were presented with a Sharp Edge favorite -Lindeman’s Framboise Cheesecake ($6). I personally think it’s a “must have” and my favorite pairing with the Lindeman’s Faro. This beer is made from malt, wheat, hops, water and yeast. Candy sugar is added before the bottling takes place. It produces a clear, light red colored faro lambic with a small creamy head. If you’re familiar with the other Lindeman’s lambics such as Pesce, Pomme or the Framboise, the Faro is highly recommended. Its sweet clear flavor certainly left an impression on my palate.
The Sharp Edge is a Nightwire favorite for so many reasons – so many convenient locations, so many menu varieties, constantly changing Chef’s Feature menus, so many Belgian beers, so many different and exotic burgers, duck sausage, top quality, fresh ingredients, excellent value, I could go on & on. If you’ve never tried the Sharp Edge, check out their website, pick a location or compare menus. They have something for every taste! I’m glad we got to try the Sewickley Bistro. General Manager Gino Susi has an extensive knowledge of Belgian beer and would love to have you try his location. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11am until midnight, Friday & Saturday 11am until 1am and Sunday 12pm until 9pm. Hours vary by location. www.sharpedgebeer.com
One last note the Sharp Edge boasts an award winning Happy Hour and for the past 18 years the best beer selection in the city. Check them out and as always- tell then your friends at Nightwire sent you!
The Sharp Edge Sewickley Bistro is located at 510 Beaver Street Sewickley, PA 15143 – (412) 749-0305 or visit them on the web for a listing and menu of all their locations at www.sharpedgebeer.com