Oui Oui, Jean Louis

Pomme frites in pittsburgh at jean Louis

French restaurant in Pittsburgh

It might be hard to find a direct flight to France from Pittsburgh, but at least we now have multiple spots to enjoy authentic french cuisine in town. The newest French culinary destination in Pittsburgh is Jean Louis restaurant, located on West Liberty Avenue (some know this as the old Needle & Pin Cocktail Bar & Eatery). This French restaurant in Pittsburgh offers a Parisian experience by seasoned chef Gaetano Ascione.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a foodie dinner at Jean Louis restaurant organized by Amanda of Bold Pittsburgh and hosted by Chef Ascione & his staff. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as did my foodie friends. Not only was the decor charming, the drinks and food superb – but I was also fascinated by the Chef’s history.

Chef Ascione has a serious resume having worked all over the world throughout his career. He told us stories from when he served presidents while working at The George Town Club in Washington, D.C., and from serving as executive chef for the inaugural banquet for South African President Nelson Mandela. If you look him up you’ll read accolades tied to two two-star Michelin restaurants in France, owning two upscale restaurants in Singapore, and working with world-famous Antinori wine family of Tuscany. It’s amazing that someone so accomplished is now treating us yinzers french culinary delights.

His new venture, Jean Louis, is named after his late mentor, French chef Jean Louis Palladin (another super famous chef). The restaurant features the classic blue and white checkered tablecloths, bold floral wallpaper, and touches of gold hardware. Our group of foodies had the basement floor a speakeasy-style lounge to ourselves. Probably a good thing, as we were all very serious about capturing the gram’.

We sampled unique cocktails including the Floating Cloud, Scotch Walker, Saints & Geese, and a classic French Martini. They were all strong and made really well. Amanda said it best in her review on Bold Pittsburgh, “Each cocktail was handcrafted and made with such care it was as if they were a piece of art.” 

The menu includes the classic French dishes you’d expect. Jean Louis’s dishes are brought to life by highlighting quality ingredients like superb potatoes from Maine, local maple syrup, and lamb from Jamison Farm in Latrobe (my hometown!).  

For our foodie dinner we were treated to a sampling of classic menu items. We started with escargot in a mouth-watering, herb-filled garlic butter cream sauce. The sauce was seriously delicious. We asked for spoons to indulge in every drop. My favorite dish of the evening was the gnocchi with Gruyère cheese, mushrooms and black truffle. The gnocchi was soft & pillowy. The sauce was so rich and flavorful, so tasty and distinct. The kind of thing you crave once you’ve experienced it. Seriously I plan to visit with my BF and family soon just so we can indulge in this sauce. Us foodies were all raving about the sauce so much that our server brought us a bowl of it. The bowl was quickly devoured. We also sampled the duck à l’orange, french fries with truffle oil and parmesan, ice cream with tomato marmalade and handmade chocolate truffles. 

If you’re looking for a special night full of french charm and deliciousness then Jean Louis is definitely worth experiencing. The whole French culinary package is here with unique ambiance, great service, and high-end cuisine; equaling a memorable dining experience – without the non-direct, cross-Atlantic flight to France.

Grams’ Cause the Phone Eats First






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