The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust knows how to throw a party. I was invited to attend their event The Chocolate Bar at the Benedum: A Sinful Soirée in November and I had a great time indulging in all the chocolate goodness. I attended The Chocolate Bar back several years ago so I was excited to get this opportunity to go again. As a chocolate lover, I couldn’t wait to the many chocolate creations from local restaurants and chocolatiers.
The Chocolate Bar event is just one of the many types of events the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust will throw over the years. This event returns every few years as they try to change up the themes. They like to keep it fresh and give people different events to attend. This year it came back as the show that week was Hadestown which has a darker tone and themes of love and passion which goes well with chocolate.
Before the main event, there was a VIP hour with dinner, cocktails, and live music. The VIP event was held in the Circles Lounge, which is an exclusive lounge for Pittsburgh Cultural Trust donors at the Circle Levels. I actually didn’t even know this area existed, but it was such a cool space. The dinner was catered by All in Good Taste and featured items made with chocolate like Molé Chili and Dessert Flatbread. The main courses included a pasta bar with cacio e pepe, meatballs, braised short rib, vegetable lasagna, and salad with smoked salmon. They had the jazz band Check Your Bucket playing in the dining room during dinner. The food was fantastic and plentiful. Definitely a great option prior to the event rather than finding a reservation someplace.
Now on to the main event. I ate so much chocolate and items made with chocolate. They set up tables on all the floors of the Benedum Theater for the different vendors. We started at the top floor and worked our way down. The top floor had chocolate drinks like hot chocolate bombs and café au lait with chocolate shavings. The Balcony level featured more savory items made with chocolate. This level had amazing Short Ribs with Dark Chocolate & Blackberries, Chocolate Raviolis with Lemon Ricotta filling, and Chocolate pepper bombs. The short ribs were one of my favorite items of the evening and the ravioli showed just how creative you could be with adding chocolate to a dish. The Orchestra level showcased the different chocolatiers and desserts. This was filled with items like dipped chocolates, ganache and bonbons, and cakes. I went wild on this floor. I had at least one of everything. The sugar rush was starting to hit me. The Lower Gallery had an incredible spread of different chocolate pastries like chocolate croissants and macarons. In all, I think I tried like 20 different chocolate items. It was all so good and seriously a chocolate lover’s dream.
The Chocolate Bar at the Benedum also featured entertainment throughout the building. They had dancers performing on the main level wearing outfits related to the Hadestown show. They also had a drag queen photo booth. I think these things add a little more to the evening, but honestly, I was mostly focused on the food.
I really hope they bring back The Chocolate Bar at the Benedum again, but I’d be happy to attend any big event like this at the Benedum. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust created a great event and I had a fantastic evening filled with plenty of food and entertainment. All events at the Benedum Center and other Pittsburgh Cultural Trust venues are on their website Trustarts.org.