December Menu Updates From 8 Pittsburgh Restaurants

Do you enjoy savory or sweet winter flavors? Are you craving a healthy salad of winter greens, fresh fruits, and spiced dressings…or decadent treats with sweet notes of sugar, peppermint, vanilla, chocolate, and cranberry? Either way, you’re in luck: local eateries have prepared choices full of December cheer. Enjoy these intriguing seasonal menu updates from your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants but act fast: they will only be available for a limited time. 

Mediterra Cafe

Enjoy all your favorite winter flavors in cocktail form. Four of them, in fact, each one designed to keep you feeling holly-jolly. The Cranberry Pomosa combines cranberry pomegranate simple syrup and Prosecco. For a sophisticated grown-up treat, the Peppermint Mocha Espresso deploys Martini Boyd and Blair Vodka, Maggie’s Farm Coffee Liquor, Averna Amaro, peppermint, mocha, and espresso. The Honey Sage Sour features MLH Spiced Rum, Smoked Tea Liqueur, sage honey, lemon, and red wine. The Ginger All The Way is made from Teremana Blanco, blood orange, lemon, lime, Maggie’s Farm Falernum (always a TABLE favorite), ginger hot honey, and pink peppercorn. 

An array of colorful winter themed drinks from Square Cafe restaurant in Pittsburgh sit on a wooden table in front of red and silver christmas trees.
Photo courtesy of Square Cafe

Square Cafe

Step in to Square Cafe for a comforting dining experience. Start with The Grinch Latte, which is a green tea matcha latte steamed with oat milk, peppermint, vanilla, and topped with festive green and red sprinkles. If you’d prefer a more classic option, order the French Vanilla Mocha made with vanilla, hazelnut, and dark chocolate brewed with espresso. Want a beverage with a spike? The Winter Mimosa and Ginger-Cranberry Punch both incorporate cranberry and pomegranate in unique ways. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat before you head back into the cold. A perennial ‘Burgh favorite, Turkey Devonshire, combines roasted turkey, tomatoes, bacon, and béchamel sauce on sourdough bread. If sweet rather than savory is your jam, order up the Banana Chocolate Hazelnut Pancakes filled with chocolate chips then topped with fried bananas, powdered sugar, and a drizzle of chocolate hazelnut sauce.

Khalil’s

Celebrate the holiday season with Syrian flavors at Kahlil’s. Dive into traditional dishes like Mowzat, a fall-off-the-bone lamb shank in a savory tomato sauce served over Khalil’s signature Syrian rice. Three specialty cocktails also incorporate Syrian notes. Christmas In Bethlehem is made with arak, amaretto, rosé, and almond, while The Star In The East features arak, jallab, date, rum, vanilla, and almond. Then Winter Holiday cocktail is a combination of all things merry and bright: mint, cucumber vodka, cranberry, and berry.

40 North at Alphabet City

This respected and beloved North Side restaurant puts a festive twist on holiday dining. Order a Relish Tray that includes pickles and olives, or their signature Cheeseball for sharing around the table. Keep the party going with Borek, Meatballs, and Deviled Eggs. 

For a very special night out on December 23, reserve a spot at 40 North’s Christmas Eve’s Eve Party with a prix fixe menu. Chef Bethany Zozula is planning to cook up a storm, and if that’s not worth venturing out, what is? 

A glass of alcoholic hot chocolate overfilling in front of a white present and fluffy cloud snow in Ritual House in Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of Ritual House

Ritual House

The new dumpling menu at Ritual House is perfect for share among a tableful of friends and family. It includes Pork Street Dumplings with chili honey sauce, shaved scallions, and sweet peppers, as well as Spinach Edamame Dumplings with kimchi and Thai basil oil. Beyond dumplings, the kitchen is cooking up decadent holiday dishes like Crab Fondue with blue crab, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, parmesan, and asiago; Chilean Sea Bass with butternut squash puree, prosciutto bacon, and sage Meunière sauce; and Sous Vide Beef Short Rib topped with a Burgundy wine demiglace and served with pearl onions, carrots, and parmesan grits. Also on the must-try list: eccentric cocktails. The Mistletoe Martini includes vodka, cranberry, lime, and rosemary, while the Caramel Hot Chocolate is crafted with vanilla vodka, amaretto, chocolate liqueur, and caramel.

Four stuffed bao buns from EYV in pittsburgh sit on a wooden tray next to chopsticks and a container of sauce.
Photo courtesy of EYV Restaurant

EYV Restaurant

Get your winter daily serving of veggies at Eat Your Vegetables Restaurant. Start with a Jingle Beet Rock made of Beet Infused Vodka, Fernet Branca, Cabernet, Garam Masala Cumin Syrup, and Peyschauds. Also on offer the Krampus 2: The Reckoning, which combines Blanco Tequila, cranberry juice, Cointreau, and fig. To continue the fruit-and-veggie forward trend: Or, try the Grow a Pear mixed from gin, Averna, Montenegro, spiced pear, orange, and lime. Finish it all off with a Cinnamon Oat Punch Rum filled with vegan egg nog, vanilla bean syrup, Frangelico, and nutmeg. 

Once you’ve had your festive sipper, move on to a warming West African Pumpkin Soup with shrimp chips, bitter greens relish, and peanuts. Or, take part in a Potato Mille Feuille topped with warm bacon dressing, wilted Fiolaro leaf broccoli, and roasted pork belly. While you’re enjoying yourself, try the Heirloom Radish Stuffed Bao Buns with Shitake Mushroom. Finish your repast with a Spiced Apple Tart served with dried plum ice cream, walnut streusel, and vanilla sour cream.

Celery Root Soup in a bowl with two spoons on a cloth on the side

Station

Seasonal menu items from Station are made with locally sourced ingredients. Taste the farm-to-table goodness of Chef Curtis Gamble’s Celery Root Soup with caramelized onion, crispy oats, and shallot powder. Then order an entrée of Crispy Duck Confit with broccoli rabe, red cabbage puree, mustard green spaetzle, and fig mostarda. Or perhaps you’d prefer the Braised Short Rib with English Pea Royale, steak fries, maitake mushroom, roasted shallot, and natural jus.

The restaurant also has a long list of new drinks available including Sweater Weather featuring Old Grandad, Five Saints Blood Orange, cinnamon, and maple; We Don’t Have Espresso featuring Smith and Cross Rum, Maggie’s Farm Coffee, and Averna Amaro; Give It A Chai with Rittenhouse rye, Chazalettes Di Torino, and chai; Meet Me Under The Mistletoe with Lunazul Reposado, cranberry reduction, rosemary, and citrus; and Peace Among The Chaos featuring Sibona chamomile, Arte Latino Cava, thyme, and cinnamon.

The Commoner

Have Christmas Day dinner a little early this year with The Commoner’s course prix fixe meal. The menu begins with an Artisan Greens Salad topped with shaved apples, dried fruits, and tarragon vinaigrette. The main course is Roasted Prime Rib with black truffle jus served with castron mushroom lasagne, Robuchon-style potatoes, maple glazed baby carrots, and fried Brussels sprouts with pecan praline. Dessert follows with a Dark Chocolate Ganache with banana, bitter orange, and Nutella cake. Accompany your feast with a Sugar Weather cocktail made with Diplomatico Mantuano, Laird’s Apple, yuzu Curacao, balsam, maple, and milk wash.

Story by Kylie Thomas

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