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Cure, Lawrenceville, PA
Date April 30, 2012
Author creative

Cure Restaurant

Cure Restaurant

Written by, Rachel Handel

5336 Butler Street

Cure Restaurant is described on its website as a “neighborhood restaurant with a small menu focused on local urban Mediterranean food.” I think it would be safe to expand that to include “while honoring every bit of the humble pig.” This is surprisingly good news for people who like to eat pork products. But perhaps not so great for the aforementioned humble pig.

I was surprised that a vegetarian friend recommended Cure. Pretty much everything on the menu screams “carnivores welcome”—there’s even a disembodied pig’s head on the restaurant’s wall. My veggie dining buddy likely believed that dishes such as gnocchi or linguine could be made meat-free. Unfortunately, substitutions are not permitted and she ended up with a salad that was attractive, but not particularly filling.

The meat eaters in the group had a much better experience. The salumi platter was an attractive display of lamb pepperoni, lardo, blackstrap ham, pork ciccioli, lomo, duck rillettes, chicken rillettes, finocchiona, mustards, pickles, and crostini.

When dinner arrived, the consensus was that the meals were nicely presented and flavorful, but very small for the somewhat large price. My Heritage Farms Chicken (now you’re wondering why I’d go to Cure and eat chicken, right? I actually seldom eat pork and never eat red meat) was cooked perfectly and served with a wonderfully complementary mustard sauce.

Others at the table had Gnocchi, Porchetta, and the appropriately named “That’s Why I’m Here,” which featured pretty much every part of a pig that you can imagine. I watched in interested horror as pigs’ ears and feet were consumed just inches away from a vegetarian salad. The porchetta was flavorful but a bit rare in spots.

The winner of the meal (for me, at least) was the chocolate soufflé cake. Served with a pistachio butter, the cake was a creamy, velvety, chocolate heaven—with a pinch of sea salt. Again, the consensus was that the portion size was rather small, but by that time we’d all partaken in the joy that is B.Y.O.B.—so any minor complaints were soon forgotten.

Cure is a small restaurant, and reservations are strongly recommended. Call to confirm because our reservation was somehow lost—but the staff worked quickly to accommodate our group. And because of the size and the number of people fit into the space, it can become rather loud and difficult to have a conversation.

When our meal was completed, we were politely advised that the next reservation for six had arrived—the implication being that we needed to wrap it up, ASAP. While this seemed somewhat reasonable given the extreme busy-ness of the restaurant, what wasn’t unreasonable is that the waitstaff had just opened a bottle of wine for our table, minutes before the request to skedaddle was made. We were left with the choice of chugging our (very nice) wine or leaving it behind. While Cure is B.Y.O.B, this seemed like reckless disregard for our Pinot Noir.

For meat lovers, Cure is a welcome addition to Pittsburgh’s dining scene. For chocolate lovers, its signature dessert may just become an obsession.

photo: Pittsburgh Pot Gazette


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3 Responses to Cure, Lawrenceville, PA

  1. Hutch says:

    We visited the restaurant with a party of six. I would describe the service as curt and the atmosphere as loud. The food was good, but not great. In discussion with the other members of our party, four of the six would not make a return visit. For the money, there are better options.

  2. Janet says:

    My husband and I and a few out of town friends have all enjoyed Cure on multiple occasions! Never have we had a waiter not 100% attentive. But then, we are engaging people. I have not found the restaurant to be overly noisy either and we have been there for guest chef nights when the place is completely sold out. As for Hutch’s comment above about the opened bottle of wine….he certainly could have corked it up and taken it along with him. I am sure he brought it in a wine sack or a cooler…it could just as easily be taken home that way!
    All in all, Cure is our favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh so far. We are new to Pittsburgh having come from Charleston, SC…a real foodie town!
    Give Cure another try!

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