Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at MCG; Braddock’s Brasserie Featuring Special Valentine’s Menu (Fri., 2/12/16)

1) For those in the know, ALJO is an acronym that stirs up flashes of hot rhythm layered upon a mellow mood, and it isn’t a chemical stimulant. It’s the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, a New York-based big band led by Arturo O’Farrill. ALJO headlines regularly at that city’s famed Birdland club and the band is visiting Pittsburgh for a concert in the MCG Jazz series. O’Farrill is son of the late composer and bandleader Chico O’Farrill, an emigrant from Cuba who was instrumental (pun intended!) in introducing Afro-Cuban sounds to the U.S. jazz scene. The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra keeps his spirit alive with a repertoire that runs from spicy to haunting, as in this rendition of Luis Demetrio’s “La Puerta.” ALJO has won two Grammy Awards and its latest album, last year’s Cuba: The Conversation Continues, was recorded in part to commemorate re-opening of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. The band is here for two shows, at 7 (Sold Out) and 9:30 p.m. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St., Manchester. (MV)


Braddock's Pittsburgh Brasserie featured February Pierogie is filled with red velvet cheesecake and topped with an Oreo cookie crumble and cream cheese drizzle.

Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie featured February Pierogie is filled with red velvet cheesecake and topped with an Oreo cookie crumble and cream cheese drizzle.

2) Looking for a first class restaurant in a beautifully designed historic setting? Than Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie is one to consider. Situated off the lobby of the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel in the historic Fulton building one can view the lobby action while comfortably nestled in the restaurant or enjoy a meal with a special someone in an intimate nook. The menu features many tasty starters to activate the palate including jumbo lump crab cake, bacon wrapped shrimp and cheddar grits, and braised short rib pierogies. Entree highlights are sautéed walleye, bourbon candied pork chop, pot-au-feu, “tasty” duck a l’orange, and mussels & frites. Fresh soups and salads are also featured.  Don’t forget to leave a little room for dessert. The menu features: s’mores, crème brule, and 21st amendment cobbler. For February the Brasserie, known for its creative pieogies, is offering a pierogie stuffed with red velvet cheesecake topped with Oreo cookie crumble and a cream cheese drizzle.  All dishes utilize fresh locally sourced ingredients whenever available.

Braddock’s ties in to Pittsburgh’s rich whiskey heritage with one of the regions largest offerings of whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. For those less inclined to imbibe in the region’s history of fine spirits there’s also wine, beer, and handcrafted cocktails. Braddock’s will be offering a special valentine’s menu created by executive chef Jason Shaffer which is a three course pre fix dinner and served with a complimentary glass of champagne. A la carte options are also available. The special menu is being offered February 12-14. Reservations are suggested. 107 6th St., Downtown.

3) Dancing Queen will put people on the dance floor at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. The disco/funk band takes the stage at 9 p.m. 285 Northgate Dr., Warrendale.

4) The Pittsburgh International Auto Show begins today at the David Lawrence Convention Center. Whether you’re looking for a hot rod, family sedan, or green machine, this is an opportunity to try your “fave” on for size. Experience vehicles from all the major auto companies. Also enjoy classic, custom, and concept car displays. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Continues through Monday. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown.

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Rick Handler

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