Happy Hour 5-7pm w/ $2 off Casa Verde margaritas
Live music on the patio, 7-10pm
Corona & Corona Light beer specials & giveaways
Pens playoff hockey on the cantina TVs at 7pm
First Friday art crawl on Penn Avenue
Open at 11am for a special Saturday brunch!
Margarita mixology class & tasting at 3pm
Taco grill & Negra Modelo specials on the patio
Avión flights, margaritas, & giveaways all day
Jon Bañuelos on guitar 7-9pm
Open at 11am for Sunday brunch
Free guac for marathon participants!
Pens playoff hockey on the cantina TVs at noon
Jon Bañuelos on guitar 1-4pm
Margarita mixology class & tasting at 3pm
Avión & Negra Modelo specials & giveaways all day
Taco grill on the patio
Musical trio (guitar, vocal, bongos) 8-11pm
Join us for all the fun! Salud!
Okay, so not really. This winter weather is dragging on and on, and we’re sick of it. So you know what? We’re ignoring the hard truth and celebrating our new Spring cocktail menu anyway. Come by Verde and see what’s new at our cantina!
- Mariposa – It’s back! After winning the People’s Choice award for best cocktail at Savor Pittsburgh last fall, we sent Rachael’s Mariposa into a brief hibernation. Now it’s back with its sweet blend of orange & lavender infused honey.
- Blonde Ambition – Bartender Cory mixes a mean margarita. When we asked him to improvise on something a little more “ambitious,” he responded with this bright, fresh concoction. He chose Calle 23 because it’s one of the few Tequilas owned by a woman. Add Patrón Citronge, agave nectar, and lemon juice, and you get the Blonde Ambition.
- Hibiscus – Megan’s offering for Valentine’s Day was such a hit, we just had to put it on the menu. Espolón blanco Tequila with house-made hibiscus syrup, Solerno blood-orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and a spritz of rose water all make for a delightfully “springy” cocktail.
- Immunity – Rachael wanted to tap into the mythical powers of the acai berry for her newest margarita. The deep red color is gorgeous thanks to the acai, house-made grenadine, and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
- Jalapiña – Returning for another seasonal run is Sarah’s spicy, but well-balanced offering: the Jalapiña, with Corralejo reposado, Licor 43, and fresh pineapple and lime juices. A dash of cayenne pepper provides a final, subtle kick.
- El Padrino – Cory makes a bold statement with this spirit-forward Mezcal cocktail. Del Maguey Vida is tamed with Lazzaroni Amaretto and a couple dashes of both Mozart chocolate & Angostora orange bitters. Served with two large rocks, this drink is one for serious back-room dealing.
- St. Basil – We’re a sucker for a good gin cocktail, and gin & basil go together beautifully. Add St. Germaine and you have something magical. Throw in some cinnamon with grapefruit & lime juices, serve on the rocks, and you get (we think) a damn good cocktail.
- Pipeline Punch – Who doesn’t love a cocktail with good rum? Well, this one’s got two: El Dorado 12 year and Mt. Gay, balanced with a house papaya-mango-strawberry syrup and fresh lime juice. One sip will put visions of tiki parties in your head.
- Spring Fling – We love supporting local spirits, so we’re excited to bring back a Boyd & Blair cocktail. This drink by Andrew has vanilla-infused Boyd & Blair vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, and Peychaud’s bitters.
- Returning to the Spring menu are the fan-favorite Tequila Old Fashioned and the Wigle-based Veranda. Those aren’t going anywhere.
We hope you enjoy the spring batch — cheers!
Team Verde just got even better.
With the launch of our second restaurant, Tender Bar + Kitchen, rapidly approaching, we needed to make sure that Verde was in great hands. The following individuals have brought their extraordinary talents to new roles at Verde and are excited to elevate our offerings and levels of service to even greater heights:
Megan Yahner, General Manager
A veteran of the Pittsburgh restaurant scene, Megan now takes Verde’s helm as our General Manager. Business degree in tow, Megan put in serious time at landmark Pittsburgh restaurants, serving at Penn Avenue Fish Company, bartending at Walnut Grove and Ava/Shadow Lounge, and managing at Kaya and Bigelow Grill. She’s spent the past year at Verde bartending and contributing to our cocktail program’s development. We’re excited to now have her holding the reins.
Shawn Carlson, Sous Chef
We’re not afraid to “stack the deck” with talent in our kitchen, and chef Shawn Carlson gives us another ace. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Shawn has over eight years of professional cooking and management experience, he earned a four-star rating and Top Restaurant Award from his time at Baum Vivant and a three-star rating after only two months at Isoldi’s on the Strip, and… well, you get the picture. We love him because he brings a set of new ideas for integrating fresh, local ingredients into Verde’s modern Mexican cuisine. Shawn is also tasked with launching our catering arm this spring, expanding our kitchen in new and exciting ways.
Hannah Morris, Bar Manager
Rock Star. That’s the best way to describe Hannah. (If you’ve been to our bar, you’ll probably agree). With her meteoric rise in the bartending community, Hannah now proudly runs the show behind our glowing amber bar top, shaking craft margaritas and pouring Tequila flights tailored to our guests. You’ll also find her running our brunch service on Sundays. Hannah is a member of the US Bartender’s Guild and proud contributor to our award-winning cocktail program at Verde.
John Nathan Jones, Director of Service
Verde is not your average Mexican joint. We set a high bar for service and want our guests to walk away absolutely satisfied. As our lead server and Director of Service, that’s John Nathan’s focus. He’ll work across both restaurants, Tender and Verde, to make sure our guests have the best experience possible.
On behalf of the new crew, we look forward to serving you again at Verde soon!
We’re so excited about our Valentine’s menu, we couldn’t contain it to just one day.
Join us for dinner on Thursday the 14th or Friday the 15th for a delicious prix fixe menu, wine & Tequila pairings, and live Spanish guitar music:
And after the romantic evening, join us again on Sunday the 17th for a very special Valentine’s Brunch! 11am-2pm, with a $13 prix fixe menu.
Regular menu available throughout
For a restaurant, Year Two is all about going from good to great, and greatness is what we’re striving for at Verde.
By now, we’ve learned the weekly sales patterns, the seasonal swings, and the impact of Pittsburgh sports teams when the play (example: 1pm Steelers game = slow brunch).
We’ve also tightened up our operations, negotiated with purveyors, secured that reduced rate on insurance, and become smarter with staff scheduling. And we’re proud to say our people got better and better at what they do. All of which makes us SO pumped about the year ahead of us.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing some exciting new elements to our menu, our service offerings, and even our team. For example, we’ve often heard from our fans how much y’all love our tangy tomatillo and smoky chipotle salsas. So this Sunday we’re thrilled to launch our line of salsas in convenient glass jars, available for purchase in the restaurant.
Just one example of many great things to come in Year Two. ¡Salud!
Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is upon us once again, and we’re ready to serve.
If you’re planning on visiting us this week (and naturally you should!), allow us to provide a few tips:
- Make a reservation — especially for the weekend. We always set aside tables for walk-ins, and the 19 seats at our bar are always first-come first-serve, but it’s best to book that reso to minimize the chance of a wait.
- Try something new! We have several new featured dishes for RW, including codzitos (miniature “taquito” style tortilla rolls with sweet potatoes and escarole), tamales de pavo (house tamales with citrus-brined turkey and mango-jalapeno BBQ sauce), and torta de ron (Mexican rum cake). And at least one item from each course is vegetarian-friendly.
- Take a sip of Tequila! Don Julio is our featured Tequila this week, and all six expressions are discounted: blanco, reposado, añejo, 70th Anniversary, 1942, and Real. Try a 1/2 ounce of each via a flight, or enjoy sipping a full shot accompanied by our house-made sangrita. We’re also offering a Don Julio “Sugar Plum Margarita” as a featured cocktail all week.
- Try our winter cocktails! Recently added to the menu, we’ve got something for everyone: specialty margaritas, mezcal cocktails, hot drinks, frozen drinks, and Latin favorites.
- Enjoy brunch! Don’t miss our $13 special for Brunch on Sunday, 11-2. (And don’t forget tip #1 above. Yep, we take reservations for brunch.)
We hope you enjoy your visit(s) to Verde this week, and we thank you for supporting Restaurant Week!
We always think fresh at Verde, and this applies to not only our cuisine, but our cocktails as well. Our bartenders strongly believe there is a culinary aspect to good, craft cocktails, and we hope you see that reflected in our new winter cocktail menu. Here’s the lineup:
- Jalapiña – The Copa de Fuego has had a great run, but it’s time for something new. Copa fans will love this entry from Sarah Clarke, which features Corralejo reposado Tequila, Licor 43 (a vanilla liqueur), muddled jalapeño, and pineapple & lime juices. It’s got plenty of kick… but the spice is nicely balanced with the fruit so it’s not too overpowering. ¡Olé!
- Darling Rose – This delicious concoction from Megan Yahner mixes Camerena blanco Tequila, Solerno blood-orange liqueur, house-made rosemary syrup, and fresh clementine & lime juices. It’s a pleasant balance of citrus, herbal, and earthy. We could pretty much drink these all day.
- June Bug – For something a little different, try the June Bug with Scorpion joven Mezcal, Stirrings ginger liqueur, house-made juniper syrup, and fresh grapefruit & lime juices. The smokiness of the Mezcal is more subtle and in nice balance with the ginger and citrus. And we get a kick out of the name.
- Mex in the City – Cosmo fans will love this one from Hannah Morris. Cazadores blanco, orange curaçao, house-made cranberry syrup, fresh lime, and Peychaud’s bitters. Very pink.
- <3 Beet – A beet-flavored margarita? Seriously, Megan? Yes, and in fact, it’s delicious. The “Heartbeet” margarita calls for Pueblo Viejo reposado Tequila, Patron Citronage, house-made beet syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Not too sweet, not too savory, and beautifully red.
- Ipanema Icicle – A frozen cocktail in winter may seem odd, but this one from Sarah was too good not to put on the menu. We blend Mae de Ouro cachaça with just a bit of sweetened condensed milk and plum & lime juices, served frozen. The Icicle is loosely based on the Brazilian “Batida,” which is traditionally made with cachaca, pureed fruit, and sweetened condensed milk.
- St. Lucy’s Sleighride – Rum fans will love the latest Craig Mrusek concoction. Named after the parish from the region which Mount Gay rum is made, the Sleighride has Mt. Gay Gold rum, a house-made ginger-cinnamon syrup, and fresh lime juice.
- Toddy Caliente – Hannah wanted a true belly-warmer on the menu and delivered with this one. Jameson Irish whiskey, house-made apple-maple syrup, lemon juice, and a cinnamon stick to garnish. Just about the perfect winter cocktail.
- Staying on the menu once again are the Tequila Old Fashioned by Nathan and The Veranda, featuring Wigle Whiskey, by Craig.
Finally, we’ve changed up our white sangria recipe this season, eschewing the absinthe for ginger and apple flavors. Don’t forget glasses of both our “roja” and “blanca” sangrias are $2 off every Sunday during brunch and dinner.
We hope you enjoy the new batch!
The ancient Mayans (or more likely, the Olmecs) created a system of measuring the days that we now call the “Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.” Their calendar lasts 13 b’ak’tuns, which translates 5,125 years long. And it happens to end on Saturday.
A vast majority of (or let’s say, all sane) scholars on the subject, however, believe it’s just the end of the “fourth age” according to Mayan literature, and that a fifth age simply starts the next day.
So what will actually happen on December 21st, 2012? Well, there’s one thing we’re certain of: Verde is throwing a party.Chef LBEE has dug deep into the history of Mayan culture to concoct some delicious specials for the evening. Turns out Mayan cuisine is not too dissimilar from Oaxacan, so you can count on a rich, mole negro, for example. We’ll post the menu this week.
We’re also excited to bring back Jon Banuelos and his guitar to provide some live music for the evening.
Finally, there will be a few apocalyptic cocktails on the menu and discounted shots of Apocalypto Tequila (naturally).
We hope to see you on Saturday! And if you can’t make it, please join us on New Year’s Eve for a very special dinner service.
Of course, everything after this Friday is tentative.
You already know we’re fans of technology here at Verde.
We’ve shared in this blog our thoughts on the role of technology in more upscale restaurants like ours. There is a place for tech, but it must be subtle and done in a way that enhances, rather than detracts from, the dining experience that guests expect.
Our iPad-based Tequila menu, brought to us by the smart folks at RhoMania, is a great example. For the past year, guests have enjoyed the additional detail and imagery the menu provides, complementing the first-hand knowledge of our bartenders and servers.
Now we’re excited about the next set of features that RhoMania has (literally) brought to the table. The iPad Tequila menu has gone social.
Ratings & Reviews
From Amazon to Yelp, some people are inherently compelled to rate and review things. Why not tap into that desire for the Tequilas listed on our iPad menu? We’ve added a couple features for guests to give their two cents on the Tequilas they taste. First is a simple rating of between 1 and 4 stars, with the overall average updated in real time, and second is the ability to provide reviews. The latter is what we’re really excited about. Instead of the labels telling you how “ultra-premium” a Tequila is, we get real opinions from real guests. By all means, tell us what you think of that sip of Milagro Unico.
Personal Smartphone Use
Are all of the iPads loaned out to guests? Or do you just want a reason to show off the latest oversized Android smartphone? Either is fine, because you can now access our interactive Tequila Menu on your own device. Look for the QR tag printed on all our drink menus, give it a scan, and you’ll be taken to the menu site and can browse at your leisure.
Social Media Connectivity
If you’re reading this blog, you probably also follow us on Twitter and on our Facebook page. You probably also know we love interacting with our guests via social media. So why not provide another opportunity to connect? Now guests can tweet or post directly from the iPad (or smartphones – see above) about the Tequila or Mezcal you’re reviewing. Share with us and your friends what you think, good or bad.
With nearly 200 Tequilas and Mezcals to offer, we admit it’s hard to keep track of the ones you’ve already had. That’s why we’re working with Rhomania on a new feature called the “Passport.” You’ll soon have the ability to earn Foursquare-like “badges” for rating and reviewing Tequilas. We’ll come up with rewards, as well as do our best with some witty badge names. (Is “El Guapo” pretty much obligatory?)
How to Make it All Work
There is a *relatively* painless registration process involved for activating these new features. First, register with RhoMania to establish a “YourGrail” account and create a username that will accompany your reviews. Next, link up your Facebook and Twitter accounts by following the instructions on the YourGrail site. And that’s it.
We’ll be offering several incentives over the next few weeks to get the reviews starting. For example, we’re giving out gift cards for the most substantive reviews each week.
Sip, review, earn, redeem, repeat. ¡Salud!
Now, we could write a lot about how we’re reflecting on the past year, and about how we’ve grown and gotten better and better each month.
Or we could just throw a week-long party. Yeah, let’s do that.
We’re SUPER excited about Verde Anniversary Week. Here’s the lineup:
- SUNDAY: 10% of sales go to Hurricane Sandy relief via the Red Cross. Sandy made its way to the Pittsburgh area, but for the most part we escaped. Others in its path were not so lucky, so we’re happy to do our part to help. Join us for brunch or dinner to help support the cause.
- MONDAY: Happy Veterans Day! We’re extending a 20% food discount to military personnel, active duty or retired.
- TUESDAY: Industry Appreciation Night! As a way of saying thank you to all our fellow colleagues in the restaurant & bar industry, we’re offering a 30% discount off your tab after 8pm for you and a guest. Thank you for your support! We love being in a city of chefs, owners, and employees who all want to “raise the bar” for cuisine and cocktails. More, please.
- WEDNESDAY: We’ve got a special Agave Wednesday planned, with the Herradura’s very own Tequila Ambassador on hand to provide expert-led tastings and impart some advanced agave knowledge from 6-9pm. Plus our Premiere Clase margarita, made with Herradura Anejo, is discounted $2 all night.
- THURSDAY: Thursdays at Verde have always been about vino, so Marko from Southern Wines & Spirits will be on hand from 6-8pm to offer tastings of the robust Torres line of wines at ridiculously low prices. Both he and staff will provide guidance on pairings with the food specials Chef LBEE has lined up.
- FRIDAY: We love Light-up night… but hate the traffic. If you feel the same way, join us Friday for free tastes of Espolon Tequila from 7-9pm, along with some giveaways with any Espolon purchase.
- SATURDAY: It’s a fiesta! Celebrate our one year anniversary with live music from Jon Banuelos, free cerveza tastings from Rogue brewery, and some fantastic food specials by Chef LBEE.
Finally, ALL WEEK we’re offering a 20% discount on gift cards purchased online! Get a $25 gift card for just $20. A $100 gift card for just $80. And so on. Purchase gift cards online here.
Join us for the festivities!