Visit Monroeville

Much anticipated Coast & Main restaurant opens in Monroeville Mall

Coast & Main will serve surf, turf, elegance and an arsenal of fresh flavors when it opens Tuesday in the Monroeville Mall.

The bi-level seafood and chophouse is owned by Ricky and Michelle Kirsop and sits in the spot (705 Mall Circle Drive) that was previously occupied by Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.

Mr. Kirsop also is the executive chef and presents a Pacific-Northwest inspired menu having grown up in Portland, Ore. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, he worked in a couple of the city’s restaurants before moving to Seattle to continue in the culinary path. He became an executive chef by the time he turned 24 and later was named the regional chef for the casual chain, Cucina! Cucina! In 2002, he came East and joined McCormick & Schmick’s in Reston, Va. He was transferred to Philadelphia a year later and moved to Pittsburgh in 2005 to continue working for the upscale steak and seafood chain.

“I am a huge Steelers fan and that’s what prompted me to move here,” he says.

He has not looked back since, especially since he also met his wife, Michelle, a Pittsburgh native, while he was the executive chef and she the general manager at McCormick. The couple also are the co-founders of Savor Pittsburgh, where the city’s finest chefs have gathered for the past 12 years to share their culinary creations and compete for the best dish of the year. The fundraiser benefits Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation and the 13th edition will be held on Sept. 27 at Petersen Events Center.

The Kirsops live in Plum and wanted to open a restaurant close to home. “Moreover, there are nine or 10 steakhouses in Downtown Pittsburgh but there is no fine-dining restaurant in Monroeville,” Mr. Kirsop says, on opening the dining spot in the mall.

He initially wanted to open just a steakhouse with a small section devoted to seafood but when he thought about the fish, crab and mussels he grew up on in the Pacific Northwest, he decided to divide the menu of small plates, entrees and happy hour items, into Coast and Main equally.

If you go:

Where: Coast & Main, 705 Mall Circle Drive, Monroeville Mall.

When: Open for lunch and dinner daily. Happy Hour: 4-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Lounge only.

Contact:. 412-380-6022; www.coastandmain.com

The surf part of the small-plate menu features East and West Coast oysters (half dozen, $14 and $16), small and tender steamed Manila clams ($14), Penn Cove mussels in a smoked tomato and saffron broth ($12), jumbo shrimp in a piquant tropical pineapple-mango cocktail sauce with a underlying bite of horseradish ($15). Entree choices include yellowfin tuna that comes with a togarashi sesame crust or a pistachio pesto crust for $38 and pillowy soft scallops that are seared and served with a Thai chili sauce or spinach Boursin cream ($36).

A creamy bisque is made with Dungeness crab ($12) that brings back fond memories for Mr. Kirsop. “I used to go Dungeness crab fishing and place traps in the water [off the coast of Washington state]. And then I would cook them right then and there,” he says.

Prime grade certified Angus beef is the star when it comes to “Main” items on the menu. Wagu ($64), bone-in filet ($56), porterhouse ($54) and a 38-day dry aged ribeye ($70) are served with sauces such as Cajun mushroom cream and red wine demi glace and toppings like roasted fig and shallots and a five-ounce lobster.

Other signature meats include pork chop with cherry bacon relish ($28), roasted chicken with lemon-artichoke butter ($26) and lamb chops with mint chimichurri ($42).

All desserts such as kailua cheesecake, triple-layered chocolate cake and Key Lime pie are made in-house.

A full-fledged bar is by the entrance on the lower level near the lounge and pours red and white wines and beer from the Pacific Northwest and California in addition to international ones. The happy hour menu is extensive, just like the main one, and includes choices of bruschetta, tacos, tostadas, sliders and chips and dips.

Even as the evening sun shines brightly through the big glass windows in the front, the blue hues at Coast & Main from the walls to the chairs and booths to the carpet set a cool and elegant tone. Spacing is generous in the 8,200-square-feet restaurant that seats 263. There also are two private dining areas where wine dinners, meetings and private events can be held.

The restaurant is open every day of the week for lunch and dinner and Happy Hour is from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

So Mr. Kirsop has a hectic workload ahead but he is unfazed.

“I am used to working 17 to 18 hours a day and that’s the decision I made because I love what I do,” he says. “I am going to work until I drop.”

Arthi Subramaniam: asubramaniam@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1494.

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