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Rebranded Wallace’s Whiskey Bar + Kitchen has new menu, new vibe – Tribune |

Rebranded Wallace’s Whiskey Bar + Kitchen has new menu, new vibe – Tribune

Updated 8 hours ago

In a nod to East Liberty’s glamorous roots, Hotel Indigo is rebranding its restaurant with a new menu, an expanded bar and live music.

Wallace’s TapRoom is now Wallace’s Whiskey Bar + Kitchen and features more than 60 different labels of brown spirits plus New American cuisine that is upscale but approachable, says executive chef Patrick Laird.

“We want this to be a neighborhood gathering spot for a diverse clientele, with food people can relate to,” says Laird, whose resume includes Nevillewood, The Café at the Frick and the Common Plea.

Since joining Wallace’s in April, Laird has introduced dishes like Sweet and Spicy BBQ Calamari and Blackened Fish Tacos made with fresh cod and candied jalapeno aioli to existing menu staples like the Black and Gold Burger with bacon and caramelized onions. The Nabisco factory that once bustled just a few blocks away inspired one of Laird’s featured items — Puttin’ on the Ritz — a Ritz cracker-coated Boston cod fillet made with lobster, sweet corn succotash and lemon beurre blanc.

Named for C.W. Wallace, an architect who designed several buildings in East Liberty during its heyday, Wallace’s plays on a 1920s theme, when the neighborhood abounded with speakeasies. “TapRoom didn’t reflect who we are,” says Laird. “A whiskey bar fits our ambience.”

Wallace’s stocks a variety of brown spirits, including Pennsylvania-made Hewn Dark Hollow and Thistle Finch, Yamazaki 12 year single malt, Wiser’s small batch, Redemption, and New Holland.

Guests have their choice of seating, from communal tables to cozy banquettes, and there is patio dining in nice weather. A lounge off the bar is ideal for the live music Wallace’s sponsors every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Artists range from gospel to opera to reggae and jazz. A Monday through Friday happy hour features specially priced drinks and $5 small plates of pierogis and baby-back ribs.

Wallace’s does a brisk breakfast business with selections that include smoked salmon sandwich, three-egg skillets, egg and mushroom flatbread and steel-cut oatmeal with caramelized apples. The lunch and dinner menus are similar with entrees such as local goat cheese tortellini, jumbo lump crab cakes, asiago chicken and brisket mac ‘n three-cheese. Some veggies are harvested from the hotel’s small rooftop garden.

Deborah Weisberg is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Roasted Norwegian Salmon with Pomegranate Honey Glaze

Serves 4

4 salmon fillets

salt, pepper for seasoning

4 tbsp. canola oil

4 tbsp. butter

8 ounces Swiss chard


½ cup pomegranate seeds*

½ cup honey

zest and juice of ½ an orange

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size bowl, mix honey, pomegranate seeds, orange juice and zest and pinch of salt until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

Dry salmon fillets with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oven-proof saute pan on high heat. Add canola oil to the pan. Gently place salmon fillets in the hot pan and brown for about a minute on the stovetop. Do not turn salmon over. Add the butter to the pan and baste salmon with the melted butter.

Place saute pan in heated oven and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove pan from oven and flip fillets over to rest.

Saute Swiss chard in a hot, oiled pan just enough to soften. Place on serving platter. Place salmon fillets on top of Swiss chard and spoon glaze over salmon. If desired, garnish with fresh microgreens.

*Laird says he freezes pomegranate seeds for recipes such as this, not only to preserve them but because freezing softens up the seeds and releases their juiciness when they thaw.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
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