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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

A View from Altius by Terry Kish

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Love is meant to be celebrated, and the longer I’ve been married, the more I believe this to be true.

This May, my husband and I marked our 36th wedding anniversary. To celebrate this special day, Dave surprised me and made reservations at Altius restaurant on Mt. Washington. When you walk through the doors, you realize this is going to be a special experience. The smiling hostesses greet you like a long-awaited guest as they lead you to your table, each of which has a great view of downtown Pittsburgh.

As soon as you’re seated, a staff member brings you freshly popped, flavored popcorn. The featured flavor during our visit was salt and vinegar, a tangy treat while we decided on a beverage. After placing our drink order, a staff member brought us a “small bite” from the chef, which was a blini (pancake) topped with a creamy sauce, strawberry slice, and mint leaf – delicious!

Another friendly staff member brought a bread basket with a variety of tempting baked goods. I opted for a dinner roll made with cinnamon, while Dave chose a slice of lavender bread. Both of our choices were unique and delicately flavored.

Terry and Dave Kish making the whole marriage thing look easy.

Terry and Dave Kish making the whole marriage thing look easy.

Once we had our drinks, our knowledgeable server told us about the specials that evening and answered our questions about various dishes. We started our meal with an imported burrata topped with macerated strawberries, honey poached apricots, toasted hazelnuts, smoked olive oil, French baguette, lavender honey, muscatel vinegar, and Calabrian chili. It was a wonderful blend of flavors and textures – the creamy, salty burrata, the sweet fruit, a hint of the vinegar and chili, and the crunch of hazelnuts. The portion was perfect for sharing, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

For dinner, Dave chose one of the daily specials – a large ribeye steak, juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked. He ordered it topped with a grilled scallop, which was also perfectly cooked and as delicious as the steak. The steak was served with spring vegetable and outstanding pureed purple potatoes.

I love salmon, so my choice for dinner was the ora king salmon. Delicate and flavorful, it was served with English pea risotto, spring vegetables, hibiscus nage – a chicken broth with hibiscus tea steeped in it – and tangerine butter. Every bite was delicious, from first to last!

While Altius has a number of interesting desserts, including vanilla Thai Chai rice pudding, panna cotta, and strawberry rhubarb tart, we opted for ice cream, served with fresh blueberries and raspberries. Dave’s choice was coffee-toffee, which had a wonderful coffee flavor and chunks of crunchy toffee. I went with fresh blackberry, which was like eating a creamy dish of blackberries. And since we were celebrating a special occasion, dessert was served with a special, edible “Happy Anniversary” message! Paired with rich, dark coffee, it was the perfect ending to our meal.

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When you’re ready to celebrate one of life’s special moments – be it a graduation, promotion, engagement, anniversary, or other event – Altius can provide the setting for an evening to remember!

Altius is located at 1230 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, phone 412-904-4442. Reservations are recommended

Terry Kish is a freelance writer in the Pittsburgh area. She has been an integral part of  the writing team for This Awful-Awesome Life since September 2017.

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