After watching an episode of The Chef’s Table on Netflix, I liked the idea of sustainable restaurants. The episode gave an example of a restaurant in the suburb of New York, the restaurant gets most of the ingredients from the farm right next to it. By doing so, the restaurant managed to apply the concepts of eating locally, and from farm to table. Not only that, they also succeeded in reducing the transportation emissions, and creating more jobs to their community. That was the perfect example of the sustainable restaurant. The result, was an outstanding review for the food and staff.
I wanted to see what Pittsburgh has to offer in this field, so I searched for sustainable restaurants in the city, I found a program with stringent standards called Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, this program is one of the programs of Sustainable Pittsburgh, the local agency that cares about the sustainable practices of sustainability in Pittsburgh. This program gives the option to restaurants in Pittsburgh to get designated as a sustainable restaurant after being evaluated based on 408 points. These points are divided into 7 designation categories: General, Waste Reduction, Water Conservation, Energy Efficiency, People, Responsible Sourcing, and Nutrition. The designation is broken down into 5 levels: Starter Plate: 60-85 points, Bronze Plate: 86-165 points, Silver Plate: 166-260 points, Gold Plate: 261-340 points, and Platinum Plate: 341-408 points. The more points a restaurant gets, the higher plate it gets.
Here are few examples of some sustainable restaurants in Pittsburgh:
The Porch at Schenley:
Despite the fact that this restaurant has one of the most beautiful locations in Pittsburgh, The Porch has a great variety of dishes from all over the place, and the food tastes really good, the secret is their philosophy:
“What’s your culinary philosophy?
We believe that the best meals start with the best ingredients – and that means fresh and local. On our rooftop, we nurture an annual garden so that we can use fresh-picked herbs and produce in our kitchen every day. In addition, our roof is also the home to several bee hives, which help to give us a great supply of honey. We’re also proud to partner with local producers & distributors…”
This vegan café/bakery/espresso bar is a good place to have a brunch. All their milk drinks are made with a homemade almond milk. When you take a look at their menu, at first you would think that this is a Mediterranean café, but they also have dishes from other cuisines.
Another Mediterranean option, but this one is fancier with a wine bar. This restaurant goes with a rather unusual way of practicing sustainability. As a part of their role in the community, they hold a monthly benefit dinners.
About Casbah’s Benefit Dinners:
One Thursday each month, Casbah hosts an elegant dinner benefiting a deserving organization. We provide the food, wine and service. Guests are asked to write their checks directly to the beneficiary. Our guests enjoy a great meal, and we have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new diners.
These were some examples of the sustainable restaurants in Pittsburgh, there are a lot more, you only need to go to their website below and check out the list. As a costumer, you also could help by eating in these restaurants and spreading the word.
These kind of initiatives play a great role in boosting the competition, and increasing the quality of the final product. By eating locally, we can create more jobs, cut costs and act responsibly. It is true that sustainable restaurants might be a more expensive option when compared with other restaurants, but eating healthy has its price, but the good news is that competition in most encourages business owners to lower their prices to kill the competition, they see it as a competitive advantage.