... sadly, our party of 4 left disappointed. The food was all right, enjoyable in some cases. But the overall experience was really lacking.
To start with, our apps were generally good. My wife had this blue cheese souffle type dish that was quite tasty. I had the dandelion salad with poached egg, and it was also enjoyable. The apps our friends had were also well prepared. But nobody raved. There were no "wows" coming from our mouths.
Before the apps, we shared a broiled feta with jalapeno jelly. It was, well, uninspired. I could have easily made it at home, and that's not really what I'm looking for.
The entrees also fell short. My wife and I had lamb steaks with golden potatoes. Again, uninspired. Lamb steaks were fatty, so hard to get much from them. Potatoes were well prepared. No other vegetable was offered to accompany it. Again, I could make this at home.
Our friends had the scallops and the haddock. My wife tasted the haddock and said it was not good. Our friend did not complain, but he did not praise it either. His wife had the scallops. I tasted one. It was satisfactory, but, again, no unsolicited "you have to taste this. It's fantastic." I come back to the same word: Uninspired.
The deserts were good. The apple tart was enjoyable, as was the white desert wine we had with it. The lemon verbena panna cotta, also good, but very one note. Needed something for texture.
The biggest disappointment is the atmosphere. Very white, very cavernous. Lack of art on the walls. Still feels like a stodgy restaurant for, well, older people. We actually brought out own wine, even though Legume now has a bar. $15 corkage fee seems to be a little much.
I don't feel good writing this. I really appreciate what Legume tries to do. They live and breath sustainability and quality food. I guess, though, when I'm spending a good bit of money, particularly given the number of restaurants in Pittsburgh now that are serving some really top-notch food, I'm looking for a truly enjoyable dining experience across the board. I love simple food and could care less about molecular gastronomy, but I don't want to pay $25 for an entree I could make at home, and possibly even make it better.
I know Legume just re-opened, and it's still in a soft-opening phase, so it deserves some slack. But the fact is, the options for really good food in Pittsburgh have grown substantially in the past few years. If Legume is going to survive, they're going to have to step up their offerings and the larger experience. I hope they do.