Spirited food and drink in an atmosphere designed for the senses.
Ritual House was inspired by the world travels of friends who also have a passion for Pittsburgh. Inspired art, devilish details, and comfortable, luxurious surroundings are just the start of the experience. Located in the iconic Union Trust Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Ritual House features innovative modern American food with global flavors and artfully crafted cocktails imagined by Michelle & Ricky Kirsop and Lisa & Herky Pollock.
Inspired by the travels of its owners, Ritual House is full of high impact design as well as small personal details. This unique concept was brought to life through the work of local artist Mia Tarducci the design team of Tracy Delisio and Taylor Schaffron from Next Architecture, in conjunction with Bill Krowinski of Bootstrap Design (among others). Guests are welcomed with a custom art installation by Tarducci, walking through a lush garden of wisteria dripping from the walls and ceilings around the next corner. Eighteen chandeliers are suspended over the central bar, which feature hand-carved wood detail inspired by the Italian coast. The restaurant’s unexpected orange and purple color palette speaks to the juxtaposition of the vibrant energy the restaurant exudes paired with the relaxed luxury of the Ritual House experience.
Chef Ricky Kirsop has created dishes are familiar yet unique, rooted in timeless favorites, sprinkled with Pittsburgh-nostalgia, and modernized with ingredients and techniques from around the globe. Executive Chef Jeff Maag helms the Ritual House kitchen, delighting lunch guests with twists on Pittsburgh favorites like Turkey Devonshire on sourdough, roast turkey breast, beefsteak tomatoes, mornay sauce, and candied pepper bacon; or Chip Chopped Ham with BBQ-pineapple juice, Myers dark rum, brown sugar, and fried shallots. On the lighter side, guests enjoy a wide selection of salads like the Waldorf Chicken Salad Salad with bib lettuce, honey candied walnuts, plumped cranberries, honey lime crème fraiche, and candied frozen champagne grapes; and Shrimp Louis with romaine heart, shaved cured egg, pickled red onion, topped with Old Bay Thousand Island.
Those hungry for more can enjoy entrees like Yellowfin Tuna with seared poblano street corn, charred pepper cream, and avocado; or a C.A.B. Prime 30-Day Dry Aged Ribeye.
The dinner menu begins with small plates and shareables like Crispy Fried Chicken Wings with Korean BBQ glaze, Shrimp Corn Dogs, and the Chef’s Daily Selection of Crudo served with a yuzu & coconut vinaigrette, Thai chilis, and citrus. Entrees from the land, sea, and garden abound in the form of Grilled Lamb Chops served with rosemary thyme honey & mint chimichurri; a Double Cut Pork Chop with cherry bacon relish; the Chilean Sea Bass with smoky bacon miso, stir fry vegetables, pickled cucumber; and the Kung Pao Tuna, a salad served in a rice paper bowl with bibb lettuce, spicy peanuts, tamari dressing, and shaved white chocolate.
Those seeking more casual comforts for dinner will enjoy dishes like the All-American Burger, a double stacked burger with white American cheese, shredded lettuce, and house made Thousand Island dressing; and the Chicken Pot Pie with homemade pastry dough. Pasta lovers will also feel right at home with dishes like Linguini & Clams with white wine, lemon thyme butter; and the Gnocchi with peas and roasted garlic cream.
The dessert menu follows suit with twists on beloved Pittsburgh classics like the Pecan Ball and Strawberry Pretzel Salad as well as Ritual House originals like the shareable Daily 7-Layer Cake— which comes with its own show for the table.
Restaurant veterans and creative duo Michelle and Chef Ricky Kirsop have also brought an abundant and playful cocktail and mocktail program into the mix. Two cocktail menus will be offered to diners in the form of craft “Eclectic” cocktails and a selection of “Classics”. The Eclectic offerings include cocktails like the Casa Ginger Mint Paloma with Casamigos Reposado Tequila, fresh grapefruit, lime juice, ginger syrup, muddled mint, and orange bitters; and The Velvet Rope with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germaine, fresh squeezed lemon, and ruby red grapefruit juice, topped with gold dusted rose petals.
The Classics include offerings like the Smoke Rosemary Negroni Sour with Aviation Gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, rosemary syrup, orange juice, and smoked rosemary; and the Espresso Martini with Ketel One Vodka, Café Borghetti, and espresso.
Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 9am-2pm. Kicking off the meal, guests will enjoy a wide selection of shareables and small plates. The unique presentation of the Candied Peppered Bacon is a must for the table along with Sweet Potato Grits with shaved white cheddar; as well as the Deviled Eggs with pimento, chives, and bacon brittle. Sweet offerings come in the form of a variety of whimsical pancake dishes as well as the Fruity Pebble French Toast topped with vanilla bean ice cream, Lemon Meringue Pancakes and the decadent Crème Brûlée Waffles. A savory selection of eggs follows, with a selection of benedicts and omelets. Unique entrees and handhelds include items like the Croque Madame and the Fried Chicken Sliders with blueberry jalapeño jam. Brunch cocktails take center stage with a selection of craft cocktails and sparkling varieties. Sparkling cocktails include creative offerings like the Blushing Bellini with Stoli Peach, white peach puree, peach bitters, and topped with prosecco; and The Vault with belvedere vodka, Giffard’s Peche de Vigne, and fresh muddled raspberries topped with sparkling brut rose and gold sugar. Guests can also mix and match a Bucket of Bubbles for the table. The wide selection of brunch craft cocktails include options like a Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, made with Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon, orange bitters, brown sugar simple syrup, brûléed orange, and candied peppered bacon; and the Spa Day made with Effen Cucumber Vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, agave, and coconut water.
“When we started collaborating on the menus, we gave a lot of thought to what people really want in their dining experience at this unique moment in time,” says Michelle Kirsop. “Having owned and operated restaurants for over two decades, Ricky and I kept seeing this shift toward nostalgia and, at the exact same time, a craving for more sophisticated and worldly preparations and flavors. It’s a delicate balance, satisfying both at the same time, and this culinary team has found it. There is magic here.”
“It’s a feast for the senses in every way,” says Lisa Pollock. “Through our travels we kept being drawn to these lush, gorgeous, and delicious places and knew we wanted to add something similar and special like this to our hometown, that offered the same experiences. It’s important to us to have a concept of this caliber in Pittsburgh that is locally owned and operated. Ritual House is a sophisticated funhouse.”
“At the same time Ritual House is playful, it’s also luxurious and comfortable— a place to enjoy for all occasions,” adds Herky Pollock. “It’s a perfect setting to break up the workday for lunch and also transforms in the evening to a lounge vibe. Ritual House is providing a place to connect and a place to indulge. It’s truly innovative- and will mean something different to everyone. We’ve been calling this our ‘love letter to Pittsburgh’.”
Ritual House is located at Union Trust Building, 524 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh and is open Tuesday – Friday for lunch, Tuesday – Sunday for dinner, and brunch is served on Saturday & Sunday.