Written by Carson Paul
The East and West Coast both hold several culinary traditions that define their very nature. It’s usually just as difficult for anyone to order Pacific Shellfish here as it would be for someone to order a fresh Primanti’s sandwich in California. Thankfully, a restaurant focused on the fusion of these coasts has been created right here in the Pittsburgh area. Coast & Main is a Pacific Northwest-inspired seafood and chop house located in Monroeville.
Coast and Main is located in the Monroeville Mall area, exactly where the old Monterey Bay used to be. Although the 376 traffic is absolutely horrid 95% of the time, having an authentic taste of the West Coast curated by a chef who reflects his life in his menu undoubtedly makes the trip worth it. It also beats driving 37 hours to Portland, where Head Chef Ricky Kirsop spent most of his time studying the coastal culinary culture.
When Chef Ricky first came to Pittsburgh, his passion for the culinary arts never changed. Alongside his wife Michelle Kirsop, a Pittsburgh-native who has spent most of her management career in some of the area’s most prestigious restaurants such as Monterey Bay Fish Grottoand McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks, the two quickly saw the need for a culinary competition in the ‘Burgh. The two created Savor Pittsburgh, a culinary competition stacked with Pittsburgh’s finest chefs that has taken place every year for the past 13 years.
“Creating my own style has been an interesting journey”, said Chef Ricky as he sat at a table in the dining room teeming with paperwork in his nearly complete restaurant. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Ricky pays homage to his roots through his creations. During culinary school, he worked as in intern for the legendary Charlie Trotter, a chef and restaurateur who pioneered the new age of chef-owned restaurants. Throughout his career, he created several dishes by implementing ingredients of the Pacific such as huckleberries and hazelnuts into his signature dishes. He has never written these dishes down in recipe form; he simply remembers the ones that are delivered to his expectation and continues to put out new creations.
Coast and Main is designed to be the perfect balance between the coasts, ensuring the satisfaction of any customer by providing an innovative dining experience with both seafood and chopped meats on the menu. Chef Ricky has a passion for the culinary arts, and it’s evidently reflected in the menu of Coast & Main. For example, the Chilean Sea Bass is prepared with either a bacon miso or a hazelnut-encrusted option. Ricky believes that people will “seriously enjoy the authenticity of what we have here”.
Coast and Main opens later this month. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to sample a dish from the Pacific Northwest or if you’re searching for a dining experience in which you’ve never experienced before, be sure to visit Coast and Main!