Located within the historic Shadyside neighborhood just east of Pittsburgh’s downtown core is an amazing boutique hotel called The Inn on Negley. This beautiful property features eight huge bedroom suites, sunny dining area and two professional chefs. It’s intimate and charming with a seemingly endless list of amenities that would rival any upscale corporate hotel.
I was recently invited to join the owner for brunch at the property to experience her talented Chef Albert’s approach to his seasonal and locally grown cuisine. Liz is a fabulous spit-fire of a lady who is clearly passionate about constantly looking for creative ways to improve her business.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. Liz insisted we try everything on the shortlist of entrees and sides. I was thankful a tour would immediately follow to help walk off some of the calories. I learned Chef Albert rotates the selections based on what’s at its peak of freshness with many ingredients purchased from local purveyors. I couldn’t help but take pictures of every course as they appeared from the small, yet efficient, kitchen.
Get ready for an explosion of flavorful beauty as I share with you my seven-course brunch marathon!
Seasonal Fruit Salad with Fresh Baked Goodies
A small bowl of fruit was a great starter to help us ease into our surroundings. The ginger scones and nut bread were a welcomed reminder that fall is near.
Irish Oats with Dried Cranberries & Brown Sugar
These stone-ground oats have a heartier texture than traditional oatmeal you would find in the store. I fell to temptation as I added a little cream, brown sugar and a sprinkling of dried cranberries before diving into the bowl.
Loose Leaf Tea and a Nibble Tray
Since I’m not much of a coffee drinker, Liz suggested I try something from their extensive list of teas. I opted for a loose leaf herbal tea that was warm and comforting. While the tea brewed, we nibbled on a small plate of cheese and crackers.
Breakfast BLT with Fried Eggs
There were three main entrees on the menu that day. My brunch companion and I ended up sharing each of the entrees to give us both a chance to taste everything. I’m a huge fan of BLT’s and the fried eggs were perfectly cooked.
Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Omelet
Trust me…I have had my fair share of omelets. This entrée ROCKED and was my most favorite dish. The omelet was tender and perfectly enveloped the flavors into a cute package. The goat cheese was extremely flavorful and seemed to bring out the freshness of the roasted vegetables.
Waffles with Homemade Applesauce
By this time we were thoroughly stuffed to the brim but couldn’t help but try the waffles as a dessert. They looked rustic against the crisp white dishware. The homemade applesauce was so flavorful it nearly didn’t need anything additional condiments. Of course, I couldn’t help but pour a bit of warm maple syrup on top.
Homemade Fudge Squares
While Liz and I chatted about the Inn, Chef Albert joined us by offering a bit of chocolate to enjoy with our tea. It was a perfect cube of sweetness to round out a perfect afternoon of flavors.
Authors Note: I would like to extend my many thanks to Liz and Chef Albert for their generous hospitality. It was a truly memorable experience.