Sorry to dog lovers, ramp lovers and Highland Park residents. La Plaisanterie is a made-up restaurant. Vernon Stouffer owned a number of restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, but he is now, sadly, deceased. Chef Sloof Lirpa is April Fools spelled backwards. Roasting coffee tableside would be extremely silly, and no Steelers players that I know of have recently invested in a new restaurant.
The list of new food spots in Highland Park just keeps getting longer. Vernon Stouffer announced that he plans to open a French restaurant, La Plaisanterie, later this summer in the Bryant Street Business District. While Stouffer would not confirm it, he also did not deny the rumour that an active Steelers player has invested in the restaurant.
The menu will focus on seasonally-inspired bistro fare, influenced by ingredients found in Western Pennsylvania. A spring menu might include ramps in vinaigrette, locally foraged morels and authentic coq au vin made with roosters from local farms, said Chef Sloof Lirpa.
Lirpa was born in Hungary, but his family moved to Pittsburgh when he was five. His mother is French, and her love of food and wine inspired him from a young age. When he was 18, he traveled to France to train as an apprentice. In 2005, he moved back to the United States and settled in Chicago, but he has always dreamed of returning home to open a restaurant.
La Plaisanterie will have outdoor seating, and on weekends they will be open for brunch. During Sunday brunch, the patio will be dog-friendly and a menu of freshly baked doggie treats will be available.
Stouffer emphasizes the importance of good service, and in order to ensure that he can hire the best Pittsburgh talent, he plans to include a mandatory 20 percent service charge.
They also plan to roast their own coffee to order, tableside, a first for local restaurants.