Snacks N’At: The Kitchen on Main, Ligonier
How to face a bowl of cereal once you’ve indulged in the rich and chunky smoked-salmon hash from The Kitchen on Main in Ligonier? It’s a fair question, given that co-owner Terri Johnson says the blend of house hickory-smoked salmon, roasted fingerling potatoes and fresh herbs is The Kitchen’s breakfast-time best-seller.
The salmon also stars in one of the restaurant’s signature “Benedicts” (also available with country ham, lump crab cakes or a fresh vegetable blend) and in one of the farm-fresh three-egg omelets.
Served weekends only, breakfast options include plain old eggs and toast, buttermilk or candied walnut and banana pancakes, pizza, tacos and huevos rancheros, with prices from $7 for eggs to $13 for the Joz E omelet with spicy grilled shrimp.
The New American cuisine concept carries over from breakfast into the seasonal lunch and dinner menus, says Johnson, whose business partner and husband is chef Josh Fryer, also co-owner with his father of Out of the Fire Cafe in Donegal.
The Kitchen opened in June 2012. Fryer honed his culinary chops in Seattle, and the couple worked in food service on the East Coast.
“We’ve tried to bring both coasts together here in Western Pennsylvania,” Johnson says. “Everything is fresh, and local whenever we can get it.
“We let the flavors speak for themselves. We use minimal seasonings, just a little salt and black pepper. We don’t drown anything in gravy.”
Fresh fish comes in twice weekly from Pittsburgh Seafoods.
A lunch favorite is the grilled chicken sandwich, served on rosemary focaccia with smoked mozzarella and sweet potato fries ($10). Light fare includes roasted red beet ($10) or poached pear with smoked blue cheese ($11) salads.
Burgers from the grill are prime rib ($10) or grilled salmon ($12). Jumbo lump crab cake ($14), country ham and brie ($10), roasted top sirloin ($12) and grilled gouda, mozzarella and parmesan with bacon ($12) round out the sandwich menu. Tomato basil soup accompanies the gourmet grilled cheese; others come with fries.
The sophistication level ramps up even higher for the evening, Johnson says: “It’s almost like two different restaurants whether you’re here for breakfast or for dinner.”
Current dinner entrees range from pan-roasted Chilean sea bass ($34) and pine nut-crusted Scottish salmon ($25) to rack of lamb ($30), osso bucco ($24), filet mignon ($31) and rib eye ($30). Featured meatless dish is roasted mushroom ravioli ($19).
Desserts, at $7 each, are salted caramel cheesecake, peach and sun-dried cherry crisp and flourless Kahlua chocolate cake.
The restaurant’s clean, contemporary vibe of cool-green walls, wood floors and tables and white-painted, pressed-tin ceiling would fit in any trendy city neighborhood.
The cozy dining area includes four booths and two-, four- and six-top tables. Seating also is provided at a counter facing the open kitchen. The restaurant is BYOB, with a $3 cork fee per person.
And, lest your children cry at the mention of sea bass or osso bucco, a 10-and-under menu offers the kid-friendly staples of pizza, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and cheeseburger, served with fries ($6 each).
The Kitchen on Main, 136 E. Main St., Ligonier, is open for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays and dinner 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Dinner reservations are accepted. Details: 724-238-4199 or thekitchenonmain.com
Shirley McMarlin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5750 or [email protected].