Ever since arriving in Pittsburgh, I have been told to make my way to Root 174 in Regent Square. It took me a while, but that wait ended recently when the mother-in-law paid a visit to the ‘Burgh. The menu was nothing short of beautiful, but we started out with a little something called Devils on Horseback. This is, of course, dates stuffed with chorizo and manchego topped with a port wine reduction. It was a solid, if not spectacular start, but it whet my appetite for what was to come.
And what was to come was certainly spectacular. The wife and I decided to split two dishes. The first was Pork Belly Carbonara, a major twist on classic carbonara with house-made gnocchi, egg, cream, garlic and shallot. Yet, each component arrived almost completely distinct from the others, allowing me to customize the flavors in each bite. And each bite was better and different from the next. The egg was soft boiled so the runny center mixed perfectly with the gnocchi, while the gnocchi was perfectly soft and tender. The pork belly was prepared in a way that the fat just added to the flavor as opposed to distracting me from it.
As for the other dish, it went by the name of Chorizo Stuffed Chix Leg. Clearly we didn’t have enough chorizo stuffing with the dates, but the chix leg was a totally different level. In addition to that chicken it came with picadillo, saffron cream, escarole, pistachio and smoked empanada gnocchi (whatever that means). It was, though, easily as good as the carbonara. The chorizo had a great kick to it, while the gnocchi had a unique flavor completely different from the carbonara gnocchi (obviously the smoked empanada). Plus, the chix wasn’t half-bad either.
Root 174 was undoubtedly one of the finest meals I’ve had in Pittsburgh. And by the way, if you are wondering what Root 174 means, apparently it has some obscure meaning related to square roots (get it, because it’s in Regent “Square”) and the 174 is apparently the square root of something. Just know that it’s deep. But not as deep as the delicious flavors of the restaurant.