Friday, January 29, 2010

February Wine Event - Ross Outon - Winner of "The Winemakers"

Special Wine Event with Ross Outon, Winner of "The Winemakers" television program on PBS.

Date: February 18, 2010

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Place: Pittsburgh's Grand Hall at The Priory, set Bistro-style.

Price: $60.00 per person; overnight packages are available for $210 plus tax (includes an overnight for two in a standard room at our Priory Hotel and two event tickets).

What's Happening: Ross will host our event, unveiling for the first time in Pennsylvania his wine which won the competition - red blend from Paso Robles, California known as "RPM." RPM is among four wines we'll be tasting from the Central Coast region of California. We'll also have some "Top Chef" type contests and we'll be showing excerpts from the program. You can also be sure that we'll be sticking to our policy of the three finger pour and more wine if you want to taste it.
How to Purchase Tickets: Contact Gene Lucente at (412) 224-6302 or at Tables may be reserved for pre-paid groups of four or more.

Our wine host, Ross Outon, is from Austin, TX, though his parents, Paul and Peggy, live here in Pittsburgh on the North Side. Ross was the winner of the inaugural season of "The Winemakers" on PBS. Ross and nine other contestants were featured in a "Top Chef" type competition over a series of episodes, with contestants being winnowed down as the show proceeded. The program was filmed in and among the vineyards of Paso Robles, California. Click here for a recent article on Ross and his success on the show. As the overall winner, Ross's wine was made and bottled by a California winery, and is now available for sale (not in Pennsylvania as of yet, though). It's called "The Winemakers - 45 RPM." Ross, a dedicated oenophile will be discussing this and three other wines as well as narrating some outtakes from "The Winemakers."
Our co-host will be Joe Barsotti, of Barsotti Wines, who will help in the importation of the 45 RPM wine to PA. Our chefs Pete Phillipy and Mike Henney will once again be providing fabulous hors d'oeuvres paired with the wine selections.
Hope to see you on the 18th!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Priory Hotel Manager Tim McGlothlin Finalist for Hospitality Star of Excellence

Our very own Tim McGlothlin, General Manager of our Priory Hotel, is a finalist in the Manager of the Year category in the Hospitality Stars of Excellence awards sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh Hotel Association. Tim's status as a finalist is a testament to his hard work, leadership, and commitment to guest service, and we at the Priory Hospitality Group are all very proud. The awards will be distributed at a ceremony at the Westin Convention Center on the evening of February 4, 2009. We'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pictures from Our Winter White Wine Tasting

Thanks to everyone who came out on Thursday, January 21, for our Winter White Wine Tasting. I wish I could have been there, but from the photos, it looks like everyone had a great time! Follow us on Facebook to check out the entire album and feel free to tag yourself if you are in any of the pictures!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Penn Brewery Update

Updating my earlier post on the Penn Brewery, the first batches of the beer being brewed here again on the North Side are nearing readiness. Penn Brewery sponsored an open house recently to debut the new beer for its many fans and admirers, and the place was absolutely thronged. In addition to traditional Penn favorites like Penn Pilsner and Penn Maerzen, the brewery is debuting its first Pale Ale -- Allegheny Pale Ale. They featured the Pale Ale at the open house and we served it at Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's inauguration. People raved.

Penn Brewery owner and major domo Tom Pastorius is back at the helm. Tom has indicated that he and his team are aiming to re-open the restaurant in February, and that the North Side brewed beer will be back in bars, restaurants and taverns throughout the region shortly.

Attached is an article by the Post-Gazette on the Open House. Featured in the picture (reproduced above) is my friend Eric Schumann, caught mid-quaff.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paris of Appalachia

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Brian O'Neill has written a funny and insightful new book on Pittsburgh, Paris of Appalachia, examing both its warts and its high points with good humor and wit. A native of Long Island, Brian's insights are those of a transplant to Pittsburgh who has lived here for many years - having the benefit of both the insider's and outsider's view of things. Paris of Appalachia is for sale on as well as in our little retail shop at the front desk of our hotel. It's a great read and makes a good gift.

Here is a story from the P-G on Paris of Appalachia.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Restaurant, Avenue B

We dined at a new restaurant in Shadyside called Avenue B recently. Avenue B is quiet, cozy BYOB located on Center Avenue, just up the road from Shadyside Hospital. The food was fabulous and eclectic -- from a juicy Kobe beef meatloaf to a marinated strip steak with a garlicky, salty crust. The bistro also featured a braised short rib and a perfectly cooked black grouper. The appetizers were likewise interesting and tasty. Most of the menu items change daily and are posted on a black board. Avenue B is well worth a look.

It's located at 5501 Center Avenue in Shadyside. The phone number is 412 683-3663.

Here is a quick story by the Post-Gazette on the new venture.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grand Hall Hosts North Side/ North Shore Chamber Gala

Our Grand Hall hosted the annual North Side/ North Shore Chamber of Commerce Gala recently. More than 220 people attended the formal bash, which features an award ceremony for the city's North Side and North Shore businesses. Dr. Zoot and the Suits performed, playing a mixture of swing era and contemporary music, while local newscaster Jim Lokay was a gracious emcee. A nice crowd stayed to the very end!

Friday, January 15, 2010

North Side in A Thumbnail

The photo above depicts the art of North Side artist Nick Bubash, one of the hidden treasures identified in Jen Saffron's Pop City article.

Our neighbor Jen Saffron wrote an informative article for the Pop City website. Pop City is a neat, up to the minute online magazine detailing what's going on in Pittsburgh. Jen's piece looks far and wide for what's neat and going on in our North Side neighborhood. It's well worth a look.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter White Wine Tasting - January 21

Join us for our first bistro-style Winter White Wine Tasting in Pittsburgh's Grand Hall on Thursday, January 21 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

For this bistro-style wine tasting, enjoy four unique Argentinian wines paired with light hors d'oeuvres from Priory Executive Chefs Michael Henney and Peter Phillipy.

Tickets are $45. Our Winter Winter Wine Tasting features Wine Host Milko Miladinov of Winebow Inc. who will present Argentinian wines from the Catena Winery and their satellite - the Esmeralda Winery, allowing us to enjoy the Mendoza region at its best! Enjoy samplings of the following wines: Chardonnay, Cabernet, Malbec and Tilia Torrontes.

For tickets call 412.323.9394, email Gene Lucente, or visit the Priory Hotel Front Desk: 614 Pressley Street, Deutschtown, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Click below to hear a special message about this wine tasting!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grand Hall Hosts Mayor Ravenstahl's Inauguration

From the left, Mayor Ravenstahl, John Graf, City Councilman Patrick Dowd, County Council President Rich Fitzgerald

Our Grand Hall had the privilege of hosting City of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Inauguration Party on January 4. With about 350 people flowing in and out throughout the three hour time frame, it was a good but steady crowd. Chefs Pete Phillipy and Michael Henney served their "Pittsburgh Platter" buffet, with ham barbeques, kiebassa sandwiches, and pierogies, among other treats. We also had the honor of serving the new "Allegheny Pale Ale," fresh from the Penn Brewery, just a couple of blocks away.

We had a wide variety of elected officials throughout the evening, including new City Council President Darlene Harris and County Council President Rich Fitzgerald.

It was a real celebration of Pittsburgh and a tribute to a young mayor looking to take Pittsburgh to the next level. Good luck to Luke Ravenstahl in all his endeavors!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The nearby Carnegie Science Center has an exciting new exhibit, in addition to its wonderful train show (which is especially neat to tour around Christmas). The new exhibit is Roboworld, and it shows how robots think, teach and act in real world situations. It's a lot of fun, and well worth checking out.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Johnny Angel - Swing Style - March 19!!!

The Joe Lagnese Orchestra

Jack "Johnny Angel" Hunt

Pittsburgh icon Jack "Johnny Angel" Hunt will be trading in his doo wop credentials (but not his DA) for those of the Swing and Big Band era for a very special dinner dance at our Grand Hall. Set for March 19, Jack will be performing songs of the '40's and '50's with the fabulous Joe Lagnese Orchestra. Dinner will be served courtesy of the Grand Hall's talented chefs, Pete Phillipy and Michael Henney, with dancing into the night afterward. It adds up to be a fun and unique night out, taking you back to the era when the nightclub was the entertainment king!

Ticket sales and pricing have not yet been finalized, so check in with us frequently for updates. For more about Jack and his usual band The Halos, click here; to see Jack performing in his 50's doo wop persona (with the Halos) as shown on YouTube, click here.