Why? Neil Diamond in Pittsburgh!

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For Christmas, Matthew bought my Mom and me tickets to see Neil Diamond in Pittsburgh. Having grown up listening to Neil Diamond and going to his concerts with my Mom, this was a perfect gift. But not only was it perfect because of the concert, it was a great chance for Mom and I to take a little girls-only road trip and talk uninterrupted. That was probably the best gift of all!

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Anyway, we hit the road for the short drive to Pittsburgh and checked in at our home for the night: Cambria Suites Pittsburgh. If you’re going to see a show at the Consol Energy Center, this is the perfect place to stay. It’s literally steps away from the arena, with a free shuttle that can get you to dinner or wherever else you might need to go.

Our first stop was dinner. Eleven Contemporary Kitchen had come highly recommended and, after checking out the menu online, I was excited to try it. I started out with a berry mojito, because I desperately want it to be summer, and some yellowtail sashimi that was so fresh it melted in my mouth. Mom started with the scallop appetizer with grits and Surryano ham.

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I also couldn’t pass up the mushroom soup, which would rival AMP 150’s in taste and texture (read: it was fabulous). For my entree, I had the pork chop, topped with pork belly confit and served with Brussels sprouts, carrots, and marbled potatoes. Pork on top of pork? Yes, please!

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Mom had the ribeye and insists it’s one of the best steaks she’s had in ages!

Unable to pass up dessert, I had the “candy bar,” which featured chocolate olive oil cake, peanut butter cream, and chocolate malted ice cream. Mom had the Meyer lemon ricotta fritters. I will dream about both these desserts.

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After a completely wonderful dinner, we made our way to the concert.

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As I said, I grew up with Neil Diamond’s music. And by the age range of people at the concert, so many other people did too. And I can’t help but wonder what current pop artist will still be performing to packed, multi-generation audiences at age 74, the way Neil Diamond does?

It was a great show, filled with all his old hits, with a couple new songs sprinkled in. We sang, danced, laughed, and generally had a perfect evening. Thanks to Matthew for the great Christmas gift and to Pittsburgh for being a great venue for a quick road trip!

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