Upscale in Pittsburgh for Parental Visit
My dad is coming to town for one night, and I want to go somewhere my girlfriend and can't afford on our student budget. Here are the catches:
-It's going to be a Monday night, which rules out a lot of places (including Laforet which had been my first choice).
-No Big Burrito. I went to Eleven with my mom and it really turned me off. It had a trying-too-hard pseudo-semi-hipness and mediocre execution in the kitchen and the front of the house. Food wasn't terrible, but I don't want to go through that again.
So what I'm really looking for is a place that doesn't pretend it's in New York, but has excellent, thoughtful cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere with professional service. Is this too much to ask from Pittsburgh?
Monterrey Bay on Mt Washington for seafood. Perhaps it won't exactly fit your definition of upscale but consider Girasole.
It's not too much to ask. Monday nights are hard as that is the traditional night-off for restaurant employees from NYC to San Francisco. If you are more interested in really good food served and prepared by people who actually care, more than flashy location or "hip" vibe, Pittsburgh can be a great place to eat. Nothing here is going to compare to Babbo, but you can have a delicious meal for a quarter of the price of Babbo, even if it doesn't come with the bells and whistles. (BTW, skip Monterey Bay. It's a "grandma restaurant, as my DH says, meaning it provides the least interesting and most inoffensive food possible, although the view kicks ass). I don't know that these places are open on Mondays, but it is worth it to call and find out-- I would suggest, in order of preference (all of these places are privately owned and managed):
1. Vivo in Bellevue.
2. Hyeholde in Moon Twp.
3. Bona Terra in Sharpsburg.
4. Cafe Zao Downtown.
5. Ma Provence in Sq Hill
6. La Cucina Flagrea in Sq Hill.
I thought of a few more--
Le Pommier on the South Side
Dish Osteria on the South Side
Sonoma Grille downtown (it's horribly loud on weekends but should be nice on a Monday night)