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The Hartwood Restaurant Boasts Unique Menu

Hartwood Restaurant Potstickers

The Hartwood Restaurant is tucked away on Harts Run Road in Glenshaw. This restaurant, which has been open since 2009, crafts delectable farm-to-table homestyle meals. I had never heard of it until recently, but after taking a look at their impressive menu, I knew I had to make the trek to try it.

The building that Hartwood Restaurant inhabits was many things before it was a restaurant. Most notably, it was a bookstore and cafe. A unique aspect of Hartwood is the many rooms that make up the restaurant. There’s the Whispers Pub, which resembles an old English pub with it’s wooden interior, intimate booths, and gorgeous stained glass windows. Then, the first dining room has high ceilings, copious amounts of natural light, and trees growing out of walls. The second dining room is painted a cozy dark green and lined from floor to ceiling with books hinting at the restaurant’s history. The bonus is that all of these books are available for purchase and the proceeds are donated to a local nonprofit. Both main dining rooms have tables in every nook and cranny, and the antiques scattered throughout make you feel right at home. Hartwood has ample outdoor space, so you can dine al fresco.

Hartwood Restaurant focuses on seasonality, as well as highlighting local products. Their menu features cage-free duck from Dr. Joe Jurgielewicz & Son (Shartlesville), goat cheese from Goat Rodeo Farm and Dairy (Allison Park), beef from Jubilee Hilltop Farms (Bedford), and more. Their menu is extensive with appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, meat and vegetarian entrée options and desserts. It is filled with international and traditional American dishes alike. A few notable items are the shrimp wontons, Greek salmon couscous salad, the Hartwood cottage pie, and wild mushroom and asparagus risotto.

Shishito peppers
Shishito peppers

Hartwood has nightly specials, so my table and I decided to start with the shishito peppers. The peppers were grilled and drizzled with a lime crema, sprinkled with cotija cheese, and topped with crispy bacon lardons. I’ve never had shishito peppers served this way before. The combination of the cotija and bacon added both salty and savory flavors, while the crema cut through the fattiness in the dish. Hopefully, these are served again soon, as they were one of my favorite dishes of the evening. I’d advocate for it to be on the menu full time.

Another starter we ordered was the pork potstickers. Whenever there are dumplings on a menu, I have to order them. The pork in this potstickers was tender and flavorful. The wrapper was tender with a crunchy bottom, which added great texture. The sesame-soy dipping sauce complemented the potstickers and enhanced the savory flavors present.

Goat cheese salad
Goat cheese salad

A menu item I was excited to try was the goat cheese salad. I’m typically not a salad person, but the fried goat cheese medallions on top of this salad sounded so enticing. The crispy goat cheese medallions made with Goat Rodeo chèvre were definitely the star of this salad, but the greens, seasonal berries, and granny smith apples worked well with the tangy goat cheese. The wildflower honey vinaigrette added a subtle sweetness that complemented the goat cheese and fruits. This is a must-order when you visit Hartwood.

Hartwood Restaurant Fried chicken
Fried chicken

I decided to go for the crispy fried chicken for my entrée. Hartwood starts with fresh chicken from Gerber Natural Chicken in Kidron, OH. The chicken is fried using the confit method, which means it was fried low and slow while fully submerged in oil. The result is the crackliest chicken skin I have ever tasted and juicy meat. The lavender salt adds a subtle flavor to the chicken skin that I really enjoyed. Creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes and tender asparagus were the perfect accompaniments to this crispy masterpiece.

Pittsburgh Pecan Ball
Pittsburgh Pecan Ball

Compared to the rest of the menu, dessert is pared back with only three options. We opted for the iconic Pittsburgh Pecan Ball. I had never tasted one before, and my dinner companions were horrified. Apparently, it’s a Pittsburgh classic. Hartwood’s version didn’t disappoint. They rolled vanilla ice cream in crunchy pecans and then topped it with a gooey hot fudge and a decadent caramel sauce. The dish’s simplicity is what made it delicious.

The Hartwood Restaurant was an absolute delight from the eclectic decor and homey atmosphere to the incredibly well-curated, seasonal menu. This hidden gem is definitely worth a visit.

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