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Calling all Pittsburgh eGulleteers


Mel Altenderfer
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Spice Island Tea House, a little pan-Asian place, used to be BYOB, but now it seems that they have a liquor license and can serve their own B.

And of course there is La Fiesta. (totally kidding about that one, it's a really scrungy Mexican place...not that I've scarfed nachos at midnight there...no...)

I'd definitely be up for a get together!

Are you guys on the Slow Food Pittsburgh mailing list? They have tons of great events. Unfortunately most of them are too 'spensive for me, but they look super.

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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Any excellent BYOB's or is that primarily a Philly phenomenon?

I've heard that Iovino's in Mt. Lebanon is excellent and it is BYOB. And it's also the location of an upcoming Slow Food event (Phlox, I'm on the mailing list as well so I hear about these events that I also can't afford to go to).

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Any excellent BYOB's or is that primarily a Philly phenomenon?

Bona Terra in Sharpsburg and Vivo in Bellevue are two of the best restaurants in town AND they are BYOB.

There was an article not too long ago in the P-G that listed most of the BYOB restaurants in town.

I would be up for a Pittsburgh eGullet evening.

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Any excellent BYOB's or is that primarily a Philly phenomenon?

Bona Terra in Sharpsburg and Vivo in Bellevue are two of the best restaurants in town AND they are BYOB.

There was an article not too long ago in the P-G that listed most of the BYOB restaurants in town.

I would be up for a Pittsburgh eGullet evening.

I'm from Philly, but will be in Pittsburg in a few weeks. What is the "P-G" so I may look up the BYOB's.

Thanks

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Any excellent BYOB's or is that primarily a Philly phenomenon?

Bona Terra in Sharpsburg and Vivo in Bellevue are two of the best restaurants in town AND they are BYOB.

There was an article not too long ago in the P-G that listed most of the BYOB restaurants in town.

I would be up for a Pittsburgh eGullet evening.

I'm from Philly, but will be in Pittsburg in a few weeks. What is the "P-G" so I may look up the BYOB's.

Thanks

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

www.post-gazette.com

Here's the list:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05195/537323.stm

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  • 4 weeks later...
Any excellent BYOB's or is that primarily a Philly phenomenon?

Bona Terra in Sharpsburg and Vivo in Bellevue are two of the best restaurants in town AND they are BYOB.

There was an article not too long ago in the P-G that listed most of the BYOB restaurants in town.

Gypsy Cafe is also a great little funky BYO place on the Southside. The owner, Melanie, is a truly lovely person who will go out of her way to make sure you enjoy yourself. I should probably disclose that I've known her for a number of years (and even worked there on occasion), but most of my experience has been as a mere mortal customer, and I've never had a less-than-fantastic experience.

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I know why we hear so little from the Pittsburgh crowd, they want us to stay away! I have been in Pittsburgh for the past three weeks and return monday. This place is a dining destination! I love this city. Some of the places I have been to include:

Davio - excellent italian BYO

Dish - on 17th another great restaurant

Le Pommier on Carson - awesome french food with a reasonably priced wine list.

Mallorca - Yummy spanish food. Great service

Fatheads - great beer and food avoid the volcano wings - the name is not kidding. I can hold my own eating Korean food and hot peppers and these wings stopped me in my tracks. Once I put the fire out the rib were great.

Bravo Franco - great italian

I look forward to other yummy adventures next week! Wow what a town

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Ooh, what did you have at Le Pommier? I was there a few weeks ago and had the cornish hen with those gnocchi. To die for. And the chesnut pot de creme is just...wow. So creamy, and so cute in its little demitasse cup!

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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Tonight was Ibiza Tapas & Wine Bar 2224 E. Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA . Glad to be back in Pittsburgh!

We started with Martinis

We had mussels, artichoke fritters, anchovie bruscetta with tomatoes and eggplant, salmon tartare. Outstanding!

With a spanish wine flight. very good

The Argentinian Beef platter with pork cutlet, filet, double lamb chops, blood sausage and chirizo.

Port flight

Creme Brulee

Excellent dinner. enthusiastic service another Pittsburgh hit.

At Le Pommier I had the snails, the duck and creme brulee - stunning!

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Tonight was Ibiza Tapas & Wine Bar 2224 E. Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA . Glad to be back in Pittsburgh!

We started with Martinis

We had mussels, artichoke fritters, anchovie bruscetta with tomatoes and eggplant, salmon tartare. Outstanding!

With a spanish wine flight. very good

The Argentinian Beef platter with pork cutlet, filet, double lamb chops, blood sausage and chirizo.

Port flight

Creme Brulee

Excellent dinner. enthusiastic service another Pittsburgh hit.

At Le Pommier I had the snails, the duck and creme brulee - stunning!

Excellent choices! If you are here for only a short while I recommend that you voyage out to Bellevue for a meal at Vivo on Lincoln Ave. (be forewarned, however, that Bellevue is a dry township so BYOB) and Bona Terra in Sharpsburg (also BYOB). You will not be disappointed.

Pittsburgh gets such a bad rap here it is nice to hear about someone having a positive experience in the 'Burgh.

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Loooong Day. Ended up at Mallorca. Has the mussels, garlic soup and the steak and blue cheese. Flan for dessert. A couple of martinis and some nice wine, they gave us some Portugese Almond liquior for dessert on the house.

Another fine dinner, particularly welcome since it was a long day.

Did I mention I love this city!

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Sadly last night was my last night in Pittsburgh. The jury came back a victory! Yeah me!

Dinner, was at alla familia. Wow what a send off. The chef, and man does he have mad skills, created a special menu with fish, prime rib, veal chops and steak. Also served was pasta, salad, some of the best creme brulee I have ever had and a tiramisu made with Chambourd instead of coffee. This was superb. Service was awesome.

I am seriously going to miss Pittsburgh.

alla famiglia

804 east warrington avenue

pittsburgh, pennsylvania 15210

412.488.1440

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Sadly last night was my last night in Pittsburgh. The jury came back a victory! Yeah me!

Dinner, was at alla familia. Wow what a send off. The chef, and man does he have mad skills, created a special menu with fish, prime rib, veal chops and steak. Also served was pasta, salad, some of the best creme brulee I have ever had and a tiramisu made with Chambourd instead of coffee. This was superb. Service was awesome.

I am seriously going to miss Pittsburgh.

alla famiglia

804 east warrington avenue

pittsburgh, pennsylvania  15210

412.488.1440

handmc, I wonder if you were presented with a menu there or just read the "specials?"

I ate there with a few friends recently while in town and found the food, service, and atmosphere to be fabulous. We enjoyed the warm, cozy, informal environment and felt very welcomed. We weren't given menus, just told what they were serving that evening. Portions were more than ample and that made me a little worried, should we have split them? Just how much would they be?

We were shocked when the bill arrived and the entrees were $45-65 each. Apps were reasonably priced at $10-12. We didn't expect it to be inexpensive, but I really thought it would max out at $30/entree.... given the non-descript location, and the fact that it's Pittsburgh, and the fact that no prices are posted. Anywhere. Thankfully it's a BYO, otherwise, I can't imagine what the bill might have totalled!

As we had less than nothing to complain about regarding food and service, we picked up our jaws off the floor, paid the bill, and left. Chalking it up to not being "in the know" about the place. My friend and hostess for the weekend felt horribly that she didn't know beforehand what we were getting ourselves into.

Looking back, it definitely seemed as though other tables had dishes that weren't on the "list". And, in the research we've done before and since visiting, it seems as thought at one point in time there was a menu with pastas and entrees starting around $15 and in addition they offered a chalk board with a list of the daily specials. This did not seem to be the case.

I'm curious about other people's experience there... are there some unwritten rules? Should we not have gone there without knowing the secret handshake to get the menu? I dine out frequently in Philadelphia, and think that I would have been shocked has this happened here too.

Thoughts?

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Let me weigh in on Sushi Kim: it's not even close to a good Korean restaurant. As far as I know, Korean food in the 'burgh just isn't that good. And I love Korean food.

If I go out to eat (which is seldom, I admit), I like Dish. Price performance ratio is excellent.

In Sq. Hill, I recommend both the Malaysian place and Rose Tea Cafe for down home Taiwanese cooking. Good prices, efficient service, and the waitstaff is pretty good.

I've heard that 9 on 9 is excellent, but I can't vouch for it myself.

(And yes, I'm on the Slow Food list but I haven't done anything with them except the dinner at Lidia's)

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Sadly last night was my last night in Pittsburgh. The jury came back a victory! Yeah me!

Dinner, was at alla familia. Wow what a send off. The chef, and man does he have mad skills, created a special menu with fish, prime rib, veal chops and steak. Also served was pasta, salad, some of the best creme brulee I have ever had and a tiramisu made with Chambourd instead of coffee. This was superb. Service was awesome.

I am seriously going to miss Pittsburgh.

alla famiglia

804 east warrington avenue

pittsburgh, pennsylvania  15210

412.488.1440

handmc, I wonder if you were presented with a menu there or just read the "specials?"

I ate there with a few friends recently while in town and found the food, service, and atmosphere to be fabulous. We enjoyed the warm, cozy, informal environment and felt very welcomed. We weren't given menus, just told what they were serving that evening. Portions were more than ample and that made me a little worried, should we have split them? Just how much would they be?

We were shocked when the bill arrived and the entrees were $45-65 each. Apps were reasonably priced at $10-12. We didn't expect it to be inexpensive, but I really thought it would max out at $30/entree.... given the non-descript location, and the fact that it's Pittsburgh, and the fact that no prices are posted. Anywhere. Thankfully it's a BYO, otherwise, I can't imagine what the bill might have totalled!

As we had less than nothing to complain about regarding food and service, we picked up our jaws off the floor, paid the bill, and left. Chalking it up to not being "in the know" about the place. My friend and hostess for the weekend felt horribly that she didn't know beforehand what we were getting ourselves into.

Looking back, it definitely seemed as though other tables had dishes that weren't on the "list". And, in the research we've done before and since visiting, it seems as thought at one point in time there was a menu with pastas and entrees starting around $15 and in addition they offered a chalk board with a list of the daily specials. This did not seem to be the case.

I'm curious about other people's experience there... are there some unwritten rules? Should we not have gone there without knowing the secret handshake to get the menu? I dine out frequently in Philadelphia, and think that I would have been shocked has this happened here too.

Thoughts?

I never saw a menu or a chalk board for that matter. I also had no idea of the price tag. While it was a celebration the price tag for 16 people 1,060 was hefty.

We tried to get into Davio, better food and it has menus, it was booked. Davio also has this fried bread you have to try. Its a bit pricy so be prepared but it is a nice night out.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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  • 1 month later...

I haven't tried Nine on 9 either, but I've heard it's really good. I can vouch for Cafe Richard, the bakery run by the same people. It's right next door to the chocolate store where I work (Mon Aimee Chocolat), and I go there for lunch pretty much every weekend. The best thing about it is that there are always different things depending on what they feel like doing in the bakery. Actually, this is also the worst thing, because a couple of weeks ago they did this pizza piled high with fresh mozz, prosciutto and olives, and I haven't seen it since.

We should really plan a Pittsburgh get together this year! PM me, people - eating out is pretty much my biggest hobby!

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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We should really plan a Pittsburgh get together this year!  PM me, people - eating out is pretty much my biggest hobby!

Absolutely - propose a place and time and let's see how many we can get for the first (?) Pittsburgh eGullet get-together. I'm comfortable with anything from ethnic to fine dining - others?

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, I had a chance to come back to Pittsburgh!

Monterey Bay Fish Grotto

1411 Grandview Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Mon-Thu 11:00am-10:00pm

Fri 11:00am-12:00am

Sat 4:00pm-10:00pm

Tel: (412) 481-4414

Fax: (412) 481-4448

Email: ghawleymbfg@aol.com

Amazing food, a fantastic view and great service!

We had for Appetizers Ahi Tempura $12.95 - Ahi tuna wrapped in nori, tempura-coated, wok-fried rare; served over a soy-mustard sauce with a ginger-tomato relish and Ahi sashimi. Both were buttery delicious.

For dinner is was grilled Chilean Sea Bass with a mushroom sauce perfectly cooked, rich and satisfying.

I had Yellow Fin Tuna seared with a stilton cheese and green peppercorn sauce. It was cooked rare per my request and the fish was excellent. I took a chance on this dish thinking the sauce might mute that flavor of the fish and to be honest it did. But the fish itself was great. The sauce was tasty but probably better suited for a steak

A fine meal and a destination if you ever going to visit this fine city.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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My personal listing of good Pittsburgh Restaurants:

1. Dish - great place - always have rotating specials - I'm probably too close to be objective.. but my favorite for a number of reasons.

2. La Foret - Highland park - the best French we have.

3. Alla Famiglia - Great experience - BYOB - but can be pricy - that said, you'll not leave hungry, and it's fantastic.

4. Cafe Du Jour - Bohemian French bistro - great for lunch too - BYOB. Nice patio in the summer.

5. Sarafino's - Family Italian place in Crafton (BYOB) - great pizzas for lunch - good pasta dishes - try the greens and beans for lunch - pretty tasty. (old school - family run place - I think there's a pretty serious liars poker game daily)

6. Nine on Nine - been once recently and was impressed - they are doing pretty good work.

7. Six Penn - who would have guessed from the people who brought you the smiley face cookie?? (you're probably not supposed to know that) (aka - eat-n-park for people out of the area) Overall, not bad - and they have nice chef's seating right at the kitchen counter.

8. Chaya - Sushi in Squirrel Hill - you may have to wait but it's worth it. The popular notion is that Umi is the best of Pittsburgh for Sushi - I'd say Chaya..

9. Eleven - Pretty solid but expensive.

10. Soba - Pan Asian - several of thier 'bowls' are exceptional. I've not had a bad meal here.

11. Vivo - also very good italian - (if you are a southsider and need a break from Dish and Alla Famiglia) BYOB

12. Sunnyledge - normally known as a bed and breakfast - but it's a restaurant as well and a pretty good one at that.

13. Lidia's - took me a while to take a liking to, but pretty consistantly good, and one of the best brunches in town.

14. Ibiza - Spanish tapas place - good place for tapa's - haven't heard good reviews on entree's, but haven't ordered them either - always just go for a tapas selection and a wine flight or sangria.

15 Tusca - New Spanish Tapas place in the Southside works - what we had was good but new and getting the kinks out.

16. Enricos biscotti- in the strip on a Saturday check out the little restaurant in the back of the place - good eats - and they make my favorite sicilian pastry the "sfagliatelli". (Although - show up late and they run out)

17. Kaya - Good Carribean style food

18. Casbah - How can I forget - with a name like Casbah and mediterranean food moniker - don't be fooled - a lot of traditional French technique and more of a European influence than anywhere else.. (in other wors -its not grape leaves and cous-cous - more like Braised short ribs, and risotto)

19. Mad Mex - might as well throw in the entire 'Big Burrito' restaurant group portfolio - good tex-mex style food - good burrito's - try the Carnitas - a little different with the pork and cornbread..

20. Fat Heads - haute cuisine it is not - but for the best sandwiches in the city, and a great beer selection, it can't be beat - also, the wings are (imho) the best in Pittsburgh - and specifically - the spicy parmesean.

21. Tram's Kitchen - hole in the wall place that does a pretty good bowl of Pho.

22. Bruschetta's - contemporary Italian place in Southside - but go there for lunch and get the lunch pasta special - it's a build you're own pasta with the best lunch value in the city.

I could go on -

I'm not enamoured with anything on Mount Washington - Monterey Bay is good, but not great - and about everything else up there is an overpriced disappointment - although - Isabellas has hope. The worst up there has to be the Tin Angel. They make a big to do about Bill Clinton taking John Major there for dinner - makes me embarrassed to have had that restaurant represent Pittsburgh. There's a collection of dusty oscillating fans up on a ledge above the tables, and while the view is good - it's a collosal disappointment from a food sense.

Mallorca - the first time you go - you are blown away - especially if you get the $50 Stuffed Lobster Tail, or the Delmonico (that should be free if you finish it in under an hour). The service is always superb and it is great for a group of people. That said, if you go there a few times, some of the luster wears off..

Le Pommier - I found the food to be pretty good, but I was not impressed with the attitudes of the servers.. seemed a little aloof and not terribly friendly - I'd go back for the food, but my wife was sufficiently miffed by the servers.

I better just post this - I eat out way too much..and could go on.

Oh before I forget - the dining at Nemacolin was surprisingly good - Lautrec hold's its own pretty well..

It gets forgotton about but between Pittsburgh and Buffalo (as the crow flies) is a place called Glendorn (Bradford, PA) - mighty good eats there - but I'm not sure you wouldn't have to stay there. (not sure where you would drive from just for dinner - pretty remote)

I didn't mention it, but Bonna Terra in Sharpsburg is on my list -just haven't gotten there yet..

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  • 4 weeks later...

Was at Bravo Franco tonight. 613 Penn Ave. While I have written about this place with place tonight with praise tonight it was a trainwreck.

The apps were good. Salad OK.

But after 4 tries you think they could find a wine on thier own wine list.

The barmaid, we were eating at the bar, kept bringing back bottles not on the list then getting more pissed off because we did not want a bottle that was not on the list and $40.00 more than what the bottle we aqsked for cost.

She got pissier as the night wore on. we pulled the plug before dinner and went elsewere after a 45 minute wait for a cab . The story we were told is they restaurant changed hands, and they did not have the bottles on the wine list.

We ended up at the hotel restuarant, Pittsburgh Rare for a dissapointing meal. We ended up at the Bar for a nightcap which is when the day(everything sucked about it) took a turn . I asked for a VSOP for an afterdinner drink. OMG easily an 8+ Oz pour. It wasn't a fluke, we had two of them.

Deeply Saddened I hope I have better to report in the next few weeks.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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We ended up at the hotel restuarant, Pittsburgh Rare for a dissapointing meal. We ended up at the Bar for a nightcap which is when the day(everything sucked about it) took a turn . I asked for a VSOP for an afterdinner drink. OMG easily an 8+ Oz pour. It wasn't a fluke, we had two of them.

ok this may be a dumb question, but is the double pour a pittsburgh thing? i noticed it at several places when we were out there summer before last: signs saying "all our shots are double pours!" and even when we were in a bar that wasn't the type of place that would put a sign like that out, we'd get poured doubles whenever we'd order a shot. i mean, maybe it's all just coincidence and i'm making connections in my head where they don't exist, but it was remarkable enough that i noticed it at the time.

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We ended up at the hotel restuarant, Pittsburgh Rare for a dissapointing meal. We ended up at the Bar for a nightcap which is when the day(everything sucked about it) took a turn . I asked for a VSOP for an afterdinner drink. OMG easily an 8+ Oz pour. It wasn't a fluke, we had two of them.

ok this may be a dumb question, but is the double pour a pittsburgh thing? i noticed it at several places when we were out there summer before last: signs saying "all our shots are double pours!" and even when we were in a bar that wasn't the type of place that would put a sign like that out, we'd get poured doubles whenever we'd order a shot. i mean, maybe it's all just coincidence and i'm making connections in my head where they don't exist, but it was remarkable enough that i noticed it at the time.

We were out there for a month this and had dinner out almost every night. This is the only time I encountered the huge pour. I guess if you were ever to be inclined to order Loius XIII that would be the bar to do it at.

Seems I am destined to be headed out every week for the next few months so I will try a few other places.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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So glad to see this topic is still active. I'm in the Johnstown area and need to make more time to come into Pittsburgh to eat. Working all the time makes it difficult.

I've only hit Eleven, UUBU6 and Bigalow Grille(Kevin is doing a great thing at Bigalow Grille with his Chefs tasting menu, very creative)

Looking forward to hitting the Burgh this coming week. What's the best?

Oh, and Sushi Kim? I ate there years ago and was most impressed by the sushi quality and selection.

One more thing, is there a "Bread Company" or "Bread House" (not sure of the actual name) that distributes to restaurants?

Edited by sdm_614 (log)
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  One more thing, is there a "Bread Company" or "Bread House" (not sure of the actual name) that distributes to restaurants?

I think many get their bread from Mediterra. Their sourdough is very good. The Ciabatta and Focaccia needs improvements.

Also I liked the desserts at Dish and I like the bar in general, but the rest of the dishes seamed to miss something.

Davio was ok, but with too much seasoning and oil.

Il pizzaiolo (which I was somehow involved with), great pizza and authentic pasta dishes. He uses one of the best dry artisanal pasta available anywhere.

I had a great Chicago Cut, Bone in Ribeye steak at a downtown Steak House. Not sure of the name, I guess it was a Chicago based chain.

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