The Carlton Restaurant

Archives: March 2011

Frank Family Vineyards Wine Dinner – Tonight

Posted on

We hope to see you tonight for a special Wine Dinner with my oldest son Lee and his company – Vintage Imports – to sample the wonderful selections of the Frank Family Winery!   Frank Family Winery was founded by Richard Frank – a hugely successful Paramount and Disney President who was responsible for many of the hit TV shows and movies that you watched in the 80′s and 90′s. He fell in love with life in the Napa Valley.  Today, he produces some of the most interesting wines that you are likely to taste while traveling through Napa!  Hope to see you here!


With Vintage Import’s Lee Kuehn
Culinary offerings by Mark Swomley
Friday, March 4, 2011 – 6:30 PM
$109 per person – excluding Taxes & Gratuity


With Cauliflower Bisque, crispy Bacon Lardons, Asparagus in Pasatry


With Butternut Squash-poached Pear Griddle Cakes, Cippolinni Onion &  crumbled Blue Cheese


Lamb Stew, grilled Lamb Sausage & Rack of Lamb with Smoked Gouda-Sourdough Toast


With Grilled Cream Corn, Fingerlings with Chorizo, braised Fennel and Roast Tomato Demi-Glaze


With Chocolate Mousse

Restaurant Industry Outlook Brightens in 2011

Posted on

Check out the recent article from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review “Restaurant industry outlook brightens in 2011” where The Carlton Restaurant is mentioned:

Restaurant industry outlook brightens in 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

“After three tough years, owners of eating and drinking establishments in the Pittsburgh region say customers are returning to their restaurants, but a full recovery is taking time.

News of improvement came from the National Restaurant Association, which said sales improved in the second half of 2010, hitting a record high of $40.2 billion in December.

“Industry sales are expected to rebound in 2011,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the association.

Annual sales are projected to top $600 billion for the first time, and restaurant job growth will continue to outpace the overall economy, he said. “Pent-up consumer demand for restaurant services that was built up when many consumers cut back on spending will translate into better times ahead.”

Kevin Joyce, owner of the Carlton Restaurant in BNY Mellon Center, Downtown, said a recovery is slow.

The Carlton’s month-to-month sales for 2010 improved slightly over 2009, but fuel and commodities costs have increased, and he can’t pass those on to customers.

“This has been one of the slowest recoveries in our history,” he said.

The Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts, Downtown, announced that it will close after graduating its Class of 2012, which means restaurants must look for another source of trained employees, Joyce said.

A bright spot at the end of last year was an increase in business bookings for the holiday season after two lackluster years, said John Graf, owner of the Priory and the Grand Hall in the North Shore. “Organizations with cash felt comfortable spending,” he said.

Another was the election of Gov. Tom Corbett, who promised to break the state’s monopoly on liquor sales. That could mean restaurants will pay less for wine and spirits, said Joyce. More than 50 percent of the price of a $100 bottle of wine in a state store — $55 — is accounted for by taxes.

“The taxes and fees in Pennsylvania are the highest in the country,” Joyce said. “Every bottle of wine and spirts goes through seven different markups. … We’re in an industry where we’ve got to buy that raw material and resell it.”

Economic pressures prompted Glenn and Lisa Hawley own the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, with locations on Mt. Washington and in Monroeville, to closed a third location, in Tyson’s Corner, Va.

Located in Fairfax County, Tysons Corner is a major corporate and government hub. But despite a concentration of corporate money, Glenn Hawley said he couldn’t make the restaurant work. For him, it illustrates that corporate spending hasn’t rebounded since the credit crisis of 2008 — and may never do so. He said 60 percent of revenue came from corporate clients.

“I think a lot of the companies are realizing they don’t have to go back to the ways of the late 1990s, when it was a matter of who can spend more on dinner and taking clients out,” he said.”

Women & Wine

Posted on

March is National Women’s History Month – and though you should celebrate women every day – this month especially I’m celebrating the women who have really had an impact on our society…and the world of wine of course! More and more women are in the wine business and are becoming leaders in the industry in every different facet – winemakers, educators, owners – you name it! So in honor of National Women’s History Month, here are just a few of the fantastic women who have made an impact on the world of wine (information from Cal Wineries):

Dr. Ann Noble has been one of the wine industry’s most important researchers and educators over the past few decades. During her tenure as a professor at UC Davis, she mentored the likes of Heidi Peterson Barrett, Carol Shelton, and Mia Klein. Dr. Noble is noted for her extensive work in sensory evaluation, culminating in the development of the UC Davis Wine Aroma Wheel.

Heidi Peterson Barrett was instrumental in developing the rich, fruit-forward, yet balanced style of winemaking that most of the world associates with California. She has consulted and made wine for some of California’s most well-known labels including Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Vineyard 29, Grace Family, Paradigm Winery, Showket Vineyards, and Amuse Bouche.

Carol Shelton has developed into one of California’s best known Zinfandel producers, but this is just the latest accomplishment in her career. Shelton has commercially vinified over 40 grapes in her lifetime, and also a consulting company named Vincare. A graduate of UC Davis, Shelton helped Dr. Ann Noble research the Wine Aroma Wheel during the late 1970s.

Helen Turley consults for several of California’s cult wineries and also owns Marcassin; a Sonoma Coast label specializing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Until 1995, she was the winemaker for Turley Wine Cellars which is owned by her brother, Larry. Few California winemakers command the respect or can sell wine like Helen Turley.

Click here to read more from Cal Wineries.