Dinner Lab Debuts First PGH Installment ft. Chef Mario Rodriguez

Published On June 8, 2015 | By Alyssa McGrath | Food & Drink

11312343_907215736003329_1850295353_nDinner Lab is an unconventional dining experience happening in major cities across the country. The events are hosted in an undisclosed location, with an undiscovered chef, a communal table, and a once-in-a-lifetime, multicourse meal. As a member, you are invited to attend events by date and time. Accept the invitation and await your adventure!

The day before the dinner, you will be informed of the location. You might be dining in an art gallery, a historic building, or a warehouse, perhaps! It’s a pop-up restaurant that is only happening on that night for you and a hundred of your new friends.

Pittsburgh’s first Dinner Lab was held a few weeks ago. This time, the location was at one of the warehouse spaces in the historic Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction and Sales Building of the Strip District. Chef Mario Rodriguez of La Petit Grocery in NOLA was the chef for the evening. Mario developed a passion for cooking early in life from his Ecuadorian grandmother. He began his career training at the French Culinary Institute, followed by apprenticeships in New York with Zak Pelaccio of the Fatty Crab and Michael Anthony of the Gramercy Tavern.

marioUpon arrival, a cocktail hour is held, where everyone is able to mingle and get to know each other. Once seated at the family style tables, the chef greets each guest and introduces the featured cuisine. The first Dinner Lab held in Pittsburgh was a five-course meal of delicious Malaysian cuisine. To begin, everyone was served a refreshing Green Mango and Lychee Salad paired with a crisp glass of Prosecco. The next course was Red Chili Mussels with Chinese Sausage and grilled green onions. It was the perfect balance of savory, spicy, and sweet, and it was served with a light pilsner style beer to cool the palate. Tamarind fish stew followed for third course, then Goat Rendang with coconut rice and pickled pineapple, and Coconut Panna Cotta for dessert! Each delightfully spicy course was paired beautifully with a refreshing wine, beer, or hand crafted cocktail.

Dinner Lab promises an experience that is entirely unique and unforgettable each time–join the movement and find out for yourself what the next dining experience will be. All that you have to bring is your appetite and your sense of adventure!

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