What's for dinner at Fairmont's new restaurant?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:03:27 AM. Garlicky chicken, 28-ounce ribeye, creamy lobster and citrus-bruleed pudding are among offerings at Fl.2, which opens at 4 p.m. Friday.

Referred to as Floor 2 but written as Fl.2, Fairmont Pittsburgh’s new restaurant will open its doors at 4 p.m. Friday for dinner.

It replaces Habitat, which shut down in early June, and brings some obvious changes. The dining capacity has doubled and the restaurant is open longer. A raw bar is part of the dinner scene and the menu matches the eclectic design by Barcelona-based Lazaro Rosa Violan. A tiled mosaic of Pittsburgh’s cityscape sits above an open kitchen with shiny copper pots and pans, which are for display only.

The elephant in the room is the grand central bar with a brass canopy and surrounded by mirrors that make it look even bigger. While the Habitat bar seated four, this one can accommodate 25 and is headed by Jeremy Noah. In addition to California and French whites, Italian and Spanish reds and beer by the draft and bottle, it features cocktails such as Lunch With Joe — made with elderflower, prosecco and smoked rosemary on a slice of lemon that will charm even rosemary haters.

The menu, too, has been completely revamped. Chefs Caleb Allen, Rico Diaz and Adam Reson jointly run the kitchen and have built the lunch and dinner menus with sharing in mind.

The lunch menu is split into two categories — From the Garden and From the Kitchen — and prices range from $9 to $28. A simple green salad has shaved apple and is drizzled with arugula vinaigrette; sweet and soft ‘Red Kuri’ squash is dotted with labneh, bayonne ham and smoked almonds; and the roasted pork sandwich has kick from a habanero mustard. Crisp-skinned Laurel Hill trout sits on mashed white sweet potato and is topped with earthy mushrooms and the Japanese broth, dashi.

The trout and a moist rotisserie chicken with celeriac, mustard and confit garlic appear on the dinner menu along with a 28-ounce cast-iron ribeye and pork belly, which is flavored with garlic sauce, cilantro and queso fresco, and goes down like butter. The ratatouille (eggplant, pancetta and cheddar) and wild mushrooms (beef tallow, cured roe and herbed cream) seem to have some unusual combinations jiving together but the results work.

A raw bar is open from 4 p.m.-midnight. Oysters with a whiskey hot sauce and clementine mignonette and creamy lobster with garlic and tarragon are among the choices that range from $3 to $13.

“We don’t want Fl.2 to be just a special occasion or lunch or dinner destination,” says Simon Boden, director of sales and marketing. “We want it to be more approachable and have people come by after a show just for dessert, too.”

Among pastry chef de partie Sarah Seghi’s lunch specialties are banana-chocolate beignets, clementine babka with honey almonds and coconut-flavored pavlova with blueberries. After dinner, ask for the light matcha cheesecake with preserved cherries and dark valrhona chocolate tart with lemon curd.

Fl.2 will start serving breakfast Saturday. In addition to the usual breakfast suspects of eggs, fruits and bakery items, it will offer chicken meatballs with sunny-side egg, avocado toast and ricotta pancakes. You can down it all with juices such as Clean & Green (cucumber, celery and pear) and Harvest Nectar (‘Honeycrisp,’ ‘Grannysmith’ and carrot).

Breakfast is from 6:30-10:30 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and dinner 4-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday. The hours are 4-11 p.m.Thursday-Saturday. 

Arthi Subramaniam: asubramaniam@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1494 or on Twitter @arthisub.

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