LTH Home

Pittsburgh Index

Pittsburgh Index
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 3
  • Post #31 - October 26th, 2010, 6:15 am
    Post #31 - October 26th, 2010, 6:15 am Post #31 - October 26th, 2010, 6:15 am
    While in the Pittsburgh area on business, I had occasion to meet a client at Sharp Edge Brasserie in McMurray, PA, a small town south of Pittsburgh. Probably 50 handles on the bar offering an extensive array of Belgian draft brews, craft brews from around the US and a huge bottle-filled cooler behind the bar. Add a full menu of excellent pub grub and you have a winning combination in my book. Apparently, this is one of several Sharp Edge establishments in the area:

    http://www.sharpedgebeer.com/

    They have a namesake Belgian on tap for a very reasonable price. And God love 'em - Happy Hour from 4:30 - 6:30 with half-price drinks. Why can't Illinois be so enlightened :wink:

    Cheers,
    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #32 - February 16th, 2011, 2:23 pm
    Post #32 - February 16th, 2011, 2:23 pm Post #32 - February 16th, 2011, 2:23 pm
    I found something new (to me) during a recent trip to Pittsburgh. An old friend of mine moved to a close-in suburb called Verona. I was planning to visit him and suggested that I could bring over a pizza. So, I did a little digging on the Web and found that not only was Della Sala's Pizza only a few block from my friend's new home, but that many rank it up there with my long time favorites Vincent's and Mineo's as one of the best pizzas in Pittsburgh. So, I decided to give it a shot.

    I placed my order over the phone and drove by the place twice before I found it.
    Here's why:
    Image

    Della Sala's pizza with sausage, onion, and hot peppers
    Image
    In terms of both toppings and crust, this is a very unique pizza.

    The crust is more like a crusty Italian bread than a typical pizza crust. Thick, crunchy crust covering light, airy bread. The sauce soaks into the bread, leading to very interesting textural contrast. It kinda reminded me of those old frozen French bread pizzas that I used to eat as a kid, only much, much better. The lightness of the crust made it easy to eat way too many slices of this stuff.

    The sausage topping, a housemade, very spicy and delicious Italian sausage, is precooked and thinly sliced before being added to the pizza and baked. This double cooking leads to a deep flavor and crispy texture on the sausage that I really enjoyed. Though I did not expect pickled hot banana peppers when I ordered, they worked terrifically on this pie. Finally, they use a whole milk mozzarella that picks up an almost Burt's like caramelization on the edges of the square slices.

    Image

    Della Sala's isn't conveniently located for someone visiting Pittsburgh proper, but it a quintessential hole-in-the-wall with so much local character that I strongly recommend it if you find yourself nearby.

    --Rich


    Della Sala's Pizza
    5527 Verona Road
    Verona, PA 15147
    (412) 793-5656 ‎
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #33 - February 17th, 2011, 10:08 am
    Post #33 - February 17th, 2011, 10:08 am Post #33 - February 17th, 2011, 10:08 am
    RAB wrote:Della Sala's isn't conveniently located for someone visiting Pittsburgh proper, but it a quintessential hole-in-the-wall with so much local character that I strongly recommend it if you find yourself nearby.
    Love the look of the place, slap a couple of rusting oil drum smokers in front of Della Sala's and you have a BBQ joint. :) Pizza sounds tasty, I liked the frozen French bread pizzas as a kid, love to try Della Sala's upgraded version.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #34 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:40 am
    Post #34 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:40 am Post #34 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:40 am
    Just saw this thread, and, since I spent most of my life in Pittsburgh, wanted to let any pastry fan fortunate enough to visit, to make sure that you go to Chatellier's French Bakery in Millvale. He is from Brittany, France, and makes the best croissants and brioche that I have ever had ( better than any I've had in Paris or the rest of France, for that matter - I kid you not ). Honestly - the brioche is simply to die for. You should also try his homemade truffles. And if you are able to, order a Lemon-Raspberry cake - that thing is so rich that you can only eat a tiny sliver of it.

    When I lived in Pittsburgh, I used to go there all the time. Millvale is just across the river from the city, off of Route 28. I'll be going back home in June, and will probably make several stops at Chatellier's!

    Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery
    213 North Avenue
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    15209
  • Post #35 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:07 am
    Post #35 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:07 am Post #35 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:07 am
    Good call jpa! The Other Dr. Gale has drug me there a zillion times. She used to live just up 28, in Aspinwall, so it was just a quick ride.

    But here's the surprising thing: his baguette was lousy. Go figger. But the croissants more than made up for that lack.

    Geo
    PS. Just sayin', but the lack of good bread in Pgh back in the day always surprised me. I know things are better now, but I don't know how *much* better...
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #36 - May 22nd, 2011, 10:17 am
    Post #36 - May 22nd, 2011, 10:17 am Post #36 - May 22nd, 2011, 10:17 am
    Geo wrote:Good call jpa! The Other Dr. Gale has drug me there a zillion times. She used to live just up 28, in Aspinwall, so it was just a quick ride.

    But here's the surprising thing: his baguette was lousy. Go figger. But the croissants more than made up for that lack.

    Geo
    PS. Just sayin', but the lack of good bread in Pgh back in the day always surprised me. I know things are better now, but I don't know how *much* better...


    Geo,

    I agree with you on the baguettes. I 'm not a big fan of his bread, but I agree - the other things make up for it. In France they say that bakers can't be good at both pastries and bread, and I guess it holds true in this case.

    On the topic of bread in Pittsburgh, I've always found the quality of it lacking, as well. Breadworks is decent ( their ciabatta used to be great waaaay back in the day ) and Enrico's Biscotti in the Strip makes a decent loaf of bread, also, but I never really found a place that had outstanding bread, like say, Amy's in New York. On the other hand, I've yet to find a place in Chicago with outstanding ( or even really good ) bread, either...
  • Post #37 - May 22nd, 2011, 11:09 am
    Post #37 - May 22nd, 2011, 11:09 am Post #37 - May 22nd, 2011, 11:09 am
    TODG just reminded me: does he still do his little Pittsburgh Penguins? Those were impossibly good.
    And his Breton....

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #38 - July 13th, 2011, 9:48 pm
    Post #38 - July 13th, 2011, 9:48 pm Post #38 - July 13th, 2011, 9:48 pm
    Just returned from a Pittsburgh trip. Made it several times to Chatellier's :) I didn't see any Pgh Penguins there, but didn't ask about them, either. I managed to indulge in numerous croissonts, brioche ( only on the second trip, as they were all sold out by 10:30am the first time ), a mini chocolate tart, and his heavenly macaroons. The salted caramel and rose ( a light type of raspberry flavor ) were incredible. Brought back a pack of his dark chocolate truffles, as well.

    Always love going there. Man, I really miss that place...
  • Post #39 - July 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm
    Post #39 - July 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm Post #39 - July 13th, 2011, 9:52 pm
    I forgot to mention that I also brought home a bunch of awesome cheese from Penn-Mac, including a unique northern Italian cheese that is more like the Swiss cheeses than the Italians. If you're into cheese at all, you absolutely HAVE to stop there. The best cheesemonger I've ever been to ( including Murray's in NYC, but I'm biased, being from Pittsburgh ).

    PS. Wholey's fish sandwich is still tops, too!
  • Post #40 - July 13th, 2011, 10:01 pm
    Post #40 - July 13th, 2011, 10:01 pm Post #40 - July 13th, 2011, 10:01 pm
    Ahhhh, man, you're *killin'* me jpa! The very smell in the cheese room at Penn Mac is enough to put one into ecstasy. Really. Jeez.

    OK, here's my 'woolie' fish story. One warmish May day, my fave pal and I each got the fish sand and wandered out into the parking lot to enjoy. We found a couple of upturned milk crates, upon which we settled our two glutei maximuses. Whilst enjoying the wonderfulness of the sandwiches, a middle-aged gentleman approached us, halted, and asked "What are you doing?". "Eating fish sandwiches" we responded. "And how are they?" he asked. "WONDERFUL, as ever" we answered, basically in unison. "Good", he said, "I'm Robert Wholey and this is my store."

    Wow!! What's the chances on that?? Eh?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #41 - July 14th, 2011, 7:52 pm
    Post #41 - July 14th, 2011, 7:52 pm Post #41 - July 14th, 2011, 7:52 pm
    Geo,

    I know what you mean! Every time I walk into Penn-Mac the smell just makes me feel so content - like I'm in some small town in Italy and all my friends and relatives are there and there's a great big party going on. I easily brought back 50 bucks worth of cheese, and it's a TON ( no Whole Foods or Pastoral prices there ). I got so much with the intention of having a small get together with like-minded cheese-loving friends in Chicago to enjoy ( next Friday, as a matter of fact ). Penn-Mac never gets old, and it's always great. I've been going there since I was in high school back in the early '80's, and used to go every week for about 12 years until I moved away a few years ago. Definitely a gem!

    Your Wholey's story is awesome! Something that you'll never forget. The old man used to be around a lot back in the day, but it's been awhile since he passed. I remember when the place was tiny and they had saw dust all over the floor ( early to mid '70's ) and you had to eat your fish sandwich standing up at the small counter they had or in the parking lot next door. We used to go there before Steeler and Pirate games. Another Pittsburgh gem!
  • Post #42 - October 19th, 2011, 11:54 pm
    Post #42 - October 19th, 2011, 11:54 pm Post #42 - October 19th, 2011, 11:54 pm
    Going to Pittsburgh 2 weekends in a row in November, SO happy I found this thread. Thanks.
  • Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 12:28 pm
    Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 12:28 pm Post #43 - January 21st, 2012, 12:28 pm
    Any recommendations on a steak house in P-burgh?
  • Post #44 - January 21st, 2012, 12:43 pm
    Post #44 - January 21st, 2012, 12:43 pm Post #44 - January 21st, 2012, 12:43 pm
    Da 'Burgh's not really a steak kind of town, at least that's been my experience over the last 25 yrs. You'd be better off going to one of the dependable chains--Morton's, Ruth's Chris--than look for a local place. On the other hand, some of the better Pgh restos do a good steak, even if that's not what they're all about. Some folks say Mantini's does a good steak.

    But me, if I had only one night in Pgh, I'd go to Casbah and get some of the best grilled lamb I've ever had. But then, that's just me...

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #45 - May 18th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    Post #45 - May 18th, 2012, 4:42 pm Post #45 - May 18th, 2012, 4:42 pm
    RAB wrote:We also made a stop at Vincent's Pizza Park. This Pittsburgh institution and its unique "Vinnie Pies" are well described in this piece on Slice. The summary is of a doughy, insanely over-topped, delicious pizza.


    Sadly, a great Pittsburgh tradition has come to an end. Vincent's is out of business.

    Edited to add: There's hope it could reopen.
  • Post #46 - May 26th, 2012, 8:20 am
    Post #46 - May 26th, 2012, 8:20 am Post #46 - May 26th, 2012, 8:20 am
    Last week I took an out of towner (from NYC) to the Strip on Saturday morning. Ended up at Deluca's for breakfast as when we drove up to Jojo's it was boarded up :( :shock:
  • Post #47 - August 27th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    Post #47 - August 27th, 2012, 2:59 pm Post #47 - August 27th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    Last week I took my client and her new husband out to celebrate their recent wedding. After asking around, we wound up at Salt of the Earth for their tasting menu. They offer a tasting Mon-Wed. There are two options; the first is a five course tasting at $75/person and the other is an 8 course tasting at $100/person. You may add a wine and beverage pairing as well, our standard package is $35/person and the premium is $55/person. The menu is chef's choice and the entire party must participate in the tasting. The restaurant was ~20 minutes from downtown, in an area that my client described as "transitional".

    We arrived for our 6pm reservation a few minutes late and we were immediately seated at the kitchen bar.
    Our menu, 8 course tasting with pairing:
    Amuse: scallop, radish, chie, olive oil, lemon
    Image

    Soup: canteloupe broth, melon, mint, oregano, jalapeno
    Before the pour:
    Image

    After the pour:
    Image
    nectarine, lardo, cress, correl, cucumber
    Image
    Image
    foie gras, fig, fried garlic, pink peppercorn, balsamic vinegar
    Image

    Fish: black bass, uni, potato, carrot, basil
    Image

    meat: lamb, beet, musroom, beets, black garlic
    Image

    cheese: blue cheese, plum, honey, cocoa, celery
    Image
    dessert: peach, chocolate, hazelnut, pound cake
    Image

    My favorites:
    1) the lamb, by far. simply amazing, especially with the wine pairing
    2) sea bass. I like fish, but this was sublime.
    3) foie gras. I can't believe that foie only made it to number 3, but numbers 1 and 2 were that good

    Overall summary: I'd go back in a heartbeat. The tasting menu was pricey, but I thought delivered value as well. I wouldn't recommend this for a serious business discussion due to the 4-across seating (picture sitting next to each other at a bar), but with some flexibility in how you position your chairs you can manage.

    Full pictures, including the menu, some shots of the kitchen, etc, can be found on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25025207@N04/tags/salt/
  • Post #48 - October 24th, 2012, 11:18 pm
    Post #48 - October 24th, 2012, 11:18 pm Post #48 - October 24th, 2012, 11:18 pm
    My second trip to Da 'Burgh, the first was a 6 day business trip 18 years ago, which I really enjoyed. This time, another visit for work and arrived yesteday morning and leave tomorrow. Consider me a fan. Love the forrested hills. While I stayed in the 'burbs, as soon as work was over I was in the city. Easy to get in the city after work.

    Last night's dinner was at Dinette, which I'm told is near the East Liberty/Shadyside border. The appetizer was simple, but killer. Grilled shishito peppers (which I am told were grown up on the roof top garden), with chevre, fried almonds, drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with fleur de sel. I could eat this every day. Hard to choose a pizza, so many nice options, but I went with the local dry-cured chorizo, romesco, thinly sliced sweet potatoes, sweet onion, and fresh mozzarella. Nice Neapolitan style crust. Decent wine choices.

    Tonight was even better at Piccolo Forno in the hip LoLa (Lower Lawrenceville) 'hood. Would love to wander the neighborhood when the galleries are open.

    As a wine lover with a fairly deep cellar, I seek restaurants who allow me to BYO. In the present, uncivilized era of air travel, my days of bringing wine with me are over. Even without my cellar handy, a BYO beckons. How do oenophiles survive in this backwater called Pennsylvania? Illinois is at the pinnacle of corruption, but this fiasco called the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is ridiculous. I grabbed what was the 'best' option in the Italian section, but unbelievably may have been the best wine in this wine lovers nightmare, a 2007 Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro! Not a wine I would purchase unless it was the 'best' option available.

    Piccolo Forno provided the opposite with options. Roasted red pepper and parmigiano sfomato was wonderful. An enjoyable salad was very similar to one that we make, mandoline cut fennel, red onion, and oranges with kalamata olives dressed with a viniagarette. The best was last, braised rabbit and vegetables in the au jus over al dente pappardelle. Soul soothing. I wish I could claim to cooking that dish... Food and wine are meant to be shared with friends and loved ones, but I was engrossed in this solo meal.

    I'm not sure all of the many Pittsburgh ex-pats value what they had back home.

    Dinette
    5996 Penn Circle South #5
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    412.362.0202
    http://www.dinette-pgh.com

    Piccolo Forno
    3801 Butler St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15201
    412.622.0111
    http://www.piccolo-forno.com
  • Post #49 - February 11th, 2013, 7:46 pm
    Post #49 - February 11th, 2013, 7:46 pm Post #49 - February 11th, 2013, 7:46 pm
    Here is one Pittsburgh ex-pat who values a hell of a lot of what the 'burgh has to offer.

    I never made it to either place when I lived there, but they might not have been there at the time ( been gone awhile now ). However, I'm glad for the info on both of them - I'm definitely going to try one of them the next time I go back home.

    And about the wine - PA is a backwater for booze, especially wine. If you want to get any kind of decent wine there, you have to go to a "specialty" State Store. They carry more ( and better ) wine. The nearest one to both of those restaurants is probably the one in East Liberty, by the Whole Foods. It's actually a decent place to get wine, with some good buys ( look for the Chairman's selections, especially ). I've been there many times before, as it is located relatively close to where I used to live.

    JP
  • Post #50 - September 15th, 2013, 4:16 am
    Post #50 - September 15th, 2013, 4:16 am Post #50 - September 15th, 2013, 4:16 am
    A few years ago I had a very good Hot lobster roll there. I go back to Pittsburgh in a couple of months and was starting to plan meals.
  • Post #51 - May 2nd, 2014, 7:31 pm
    Post #51 - May 2nd, 2014, 7:31 pm Post #51 - May 2nd, 2014, 7:31 pm
    It has been several years since this thread started, and a couple of years since the last recommendation. Any updates? Places on the list that are closed or new places not mentioned? I don't know how many meals I'll be on my own (going for a convention), but I'll be there for at least a couple of dinners and a lunch that aren't included in the event, so I'd love to know what's good. I'm driving, so I'll have a car. (And what's the scoop on parking in Pittsburgh -- any warnings?)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #52 - May 4th, 2014, 11:43 pm
    Post #52 - May 4th, 2014, 11:43 pm Post #52 - May 4th, 2014, 11:43 pm
    Going to a show at Soldier's and Sailor's Hall, staying downtown at Renaissance, won't have a car, could use recommendations near either!
  • Post #53 - May 6th, 2014, 3:43 pm
    Post #53 - May 6th, 2014, 3:43 pm Post #53 - May 6th, 2014, 3:43 pm
    Cynthia--

    No new food recces, haven't been to Da Burgh in several years. However, do NOT trust the parking police in Pgh:basically, they don't follow the rules. And the signs delibrately confuse. Beware!

    Das would know about new places-- why don't you PM him?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #54 - May 6th, 2014, 6:33 pm
    Post #54 - May 6th, 2014, 6:33 pm Post #54 - May 6th, 2014, 6:33 pm
    Geo wrote:Cynthia--

    No new food recces, haven't been to Da Burgh in several years. However, do NOT trust the parking police in Pgh:basically, they don't follow the rules. And the signs delibrately confuse. Beware!

    Das would know about new places-- why don't you PM him?

    Geo


    Wow-- thanks for the warning, Geo (and the suggestion). But how scary about the parking situation. Maybe I'll just leave my car at the conference site and take taxis around town.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #55 - May 7th, 2014, 3:03 pm
    Post #55 - May 7th, 2014, 3:03 pm Post #55 - May 7th, 2014, 3:03 pm
    I grew up in Pittsburgh and my parents still live there. Some places I like are:

    'Dish' on the South Side
    'Eleven' in the Strip (this one's fancy)
    'Il Pizzaiolo' in Mount Lebanon
    'Monterey Bay' on Mt. Washington (great view)
    A fish sandwich at 'Wholeys' in the Strip
    'Pennsylvania Macaroni Company' Italian market
    Caffe Davios - South Side as well

    I also heard the Point Bruges is supposed to be good for Mussels/Fries
  • Post #56 - May 20th, 2014, 4:46 pm
    Post #56 - May 20th, 2014, 4:46 pm Post #56 - May 20th, 2014, 4:46 pm
    How about Spoon? An NYC friend was told it's great so we are heading there Thursday for dinner before a concert. Anyone?

    Update: enjoyed Spoon a lot. The cab situation in Pittsburgh is a nightmare, so we ran extremely late and ended up ordering apps from the cab, kinda rushed through dinner to make our show, but what we tasted was good. The apps included a blue cheese soufflé and steak tartar, both great! Thee was a crab and shrimp thing our friends liked, sorry I was so frazzled I didn't take real great notice of what was going on. Entrees were good as well, duck breast not cook as requested but very tasty duck sausage was delish. No time for dessert, thankfully they called a car service to get us back to the show.
    I would recommend for anyone looking for something g new, just know the transportation sitch is awful.
  • Post #57 - July 28th, 2014, 4:16 pm
    Post #57 - July 28th, 2014, 4:16 pm Post #57 - July 28th, 2014, 4:16 pm
    Stopped in Pittsburgh during a recent road trip, and visited two places mentioned earlier upthread:

    Tessaro's: very good burger, as advertised. However, maybe the last five years in Chicago have spoiled me, as places like Owen & Engine and Au Cheval set the local standard, which apparently are tough to match on a national level. On a related note, I had the Spotted Pig burger in NYC a few days earlier. That one was more comparable to O&E in terms of simplicity of toppings and quality of ingredients, but the excellent Roquefort bleu cheese was almost too much for the burger.

    Prantl's: maybe I made a clear blunder, but after Tessaro's I headed to nearby Prantl's for an almond torte. After being informed that the tortes were only sold whole, I ordered two almond cups, which I was told were the small-cupcake sized version of the dessert. After one bite, I knew I made a mistake: everything was too cold and hard, and the frosting had a strong supermarket shortening taste (actually the whole thing could have come straight from Jewel). I hate to waste food, so I finished both, but either this item is not the same as the whole tortes, or its popularity is based primarily on nostalgia from childhood a la Chef Boyardee, and not its unbiased merits.
  • Post #58 - August 25th, 2014, 6:41 pm
    Post #58 - August 25th, 2014, 6:41 pm Post #58 - August 25th, 2014, 6:41 pm
    Was the burger at Tessaro's at lunch? My experience is a few years old now - but the lunch burger was not in the same league as dinner (possibly due to crew on grill?)

    As for the almond torte - yes - the cupcake or individual serving is a totally different (and inferior) beast. Hardly enough cake.
  • Post #59 - August 29th, 2014, 11:07 am
    Post #59 - August 29th, 2014, 11:07 am Post #59 - August 29th, 2014, 11:07 am
    sazerac wrote:Was the burger at Tessaro's at lunch? My experience is a few years old now - but the lunch burger was not in the same league as dinner (possibly due to crew on grill?)


    It was around 4-5pm. Very few customers inside and right around a shift change. I was only driving through Pittsburgh, hence the odd timing.
  • Post #60 - October 6th, 2014, 12:17 am
    Post #60 - October 6th, 2014, 12:17 am Post #60 - October 6th, 2014, 12:17 am
    I count myself a lucky man to have had some time with The Pittsburgh Index in late September:

    Image

    sazerac is a remarkable ambassador for the City of Bridges and for kitchen chemistry (and science in general) as well. This particular table was at Everyday Noodles (http://www.everydaynoodles.net/) in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, where I was rehearsing medieval music while 5775 was being sung in on every corner. The housemade noodles and wrappers (you can see them being made through a glass portal to the kitchen) were top notch, including wrapped around some homestyle pork xiao long bao tasting richly of pig and onion with little sesame or ginger to mask. Along with some melting allspiced tendon, this was great stuff, and Phase II of a progressive lunch starting at Sun Penang (http://www.sunpenang.com/index.html), a Chinese-Malaysian restaurant with some handcrafted dim sum items. There, pork ribs with black beans and light curry seasoning were a step up from Phoenix (where I most commonly order this), crispy squid was excellent, and the chicken feet were dancing with an intense marinade.

    Gaby et Jules (http://www.gabyetjules.com/) was dessert, and like much eating on this few-block stretch, is relatively new. It looked like a museum and smelled like perfectly browned butter, and a splurge on macarons was well-rewarded, especially the white chocolate basil, dark chocolate passionfruit, and Earl Grey. I significantly impressed some Pittsburgh natives sharing these later in the day.

    I ate several other meals near this Forbes-Murray corner, and a common theme here and throughout the city is strong local (and extended, skewing more Midwestern than Eastern in my sampling) beer lists, from international cuisine to fine dining and chains. Church Brew Works, East End, and Yuengling are around in corresponding bottles or drafts along with many Belgians, national uberhops, and collaborations even at your blandish American bistro like Murray Avenue Grill (great fries also abound in Pittsburgh as here; skip the gazpacho) or Thai place like Silk Elephant. At the latter, I do have to tout the crispy duck salad, very spicy with green apple slices, bits of lime, and shallots. This seems like a place with talent in the kitchen restrained by a Thai tapas concept and musty space.

    Image

    Apart from Squirrel Hill I was mostly near Point Breeze in the east and Saint Paul's / Carnegie Mellon in the west. Downhill from Mellon Park was a lovely spot called Point Brugge with a cafe terrace on which some peak moules frites were served, requisite excellent fries and beer. I had a slow-cooked lamb stew with crispy polenta and a ton of fresh herbs, mushrooms, and tomatoes that was soul-stoking.

    Image

    Near CMU, a hit was Ali Baba for Syrian. Fattoush with homemade bread, strong sour yogurt strained in the kitchen with cucumber and mint mixed in, Khan-charred kebabs, and quite a deal (money saved can be reinvested at a great board game shop upstairs). Tying everything together was the aforementioned Sharp Edge (http://sharpedgebeer.com/), which we ran into in a few iterations, collecting some remarkable lists of locals, Belgians, and Canadians, and solid cooking together. It's hard not to like Pittsburgh dining at the moment (at least to and fro the Fifth Avenue axis), with an appreciable earnestness everywhere. The inestimable sazerac sounding board enhances the fact that stumble-upon scratch cooking and thoughtful beverages are all around in a place with youthful and immigrant energy. Local fish, barbecue, Japanese, and Croatian are high on my list for a return visit.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more