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Pittsburgh Top Dining

I'm coming into Pittsburgh for the weekend and not leaving until Wednesday. I'm looking for a top place in Pittsburgh to go out with my parents. Serious food and a serious wine list. Where should I be dining?

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  1. Bring your own wine. Dine at Legume

    1 Reply
    1. re: Bigley9

      Consider your own stems as well. We love legume but would place it in the informal/caaual camp. For a locally sourced more formal meal there is Bona Terra in Sharpsburg across the river.

    2. Nine on Nine
      This place is downtown.

      Sonoma Grille
      Featuring California wines.

      Bistro 19
      In Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

      Bado Cucina
      About 20 minutes to a half hour out of downtown Pittsburgh. This is BYOB with a $5 corkage, so obviously they specialize in their food. If you head out of the city on rt. 19 south, you can stop at the Village Square state liquor store for a good selection of wine.

      All wine in Pa. is sold through the State Stores. Or you can bring your own, just to be sure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: yayadave

        i agree with yayadave. Bado Cucina is worth the drive. Nightly specials are always fabulous! The atmosphere is great.

        1. Hands down Vivo in Bellevue if you want a dining experience-plan on 2 1/2 hrs if not 3. Bout 10 tables open wed-sat make a reservation.Not I Italian but served 5 course Italian style. Husband and wife team Sam as chef Lori desserts. Once again byob and bring an extra bottle.



          1. "Serous wine list" would have to include the Carlton. Food is very good as well. Not the most inventive cuisine, but solid renditions of classics with some twists and what I'd say is the most professional service in the city. They use a wine pricing policy that adds a fixed amount to each bottle, not the 3x cost that's found in many places. Owner Kevin Joyce believes that wine should be enjoyed at every meal and really tries to make an very comprehensive list of interesting wines affordable.

            The Carlton

            1. I would suggest Mio Kitchen and Wine Bar in Aspinwall. Very good food with an emphasis on wine as well. Staff was especially attentive also.

              1. I've really enjoyed Isabella on Grandview the few times I could afford to eat there. Good wine list, excellent food, breathtaking view.

                That's my top.

                1 Reply
                1. re: klindeman

                  This past weekend I had two great dinners with friends:

                  1. Soba - Shadyside - I had the Ahi tuna in a peanut sauce, really good, nice cut of tuna.

                  2. Dish - Southside - I had the Rigatoni with Ox Tail Ragu and it was fabulous. My girlfriend had Scallops with leeks and truffle oil and it was really great as well. The grilled mushroom bruschetta is always our favorite.

                2. Bona Terra. One of the best in Pittsburgh, hands down. It's byo, I think a $3 corkage fee. Plus they're committed to supporting local farmerrs. It's like dining at Chez Panisse--everyone is looking around at one another knowingly.

                  908 Main St
                  Pittsburgh, PA 15215
                  (412) 781-8210

                  I also really love Kaya in the strip district. Tasty, inventive, and excellent cocktails.

                  2000 Smallman St
                  Pittsburgh, PA 15222
                  (412) 261-6565

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: scarletcerise

                    Sorry for the delay in responding. Thank you to everyone for their help. I am ashamed to to say my parents made reservations on my behalf and we went to Lidia's. The Brunello was amazing. My dad ordered so I can't share what it was. The food was sludge, the service was shocking. As someone in the industry, I shudder to think they are my peers. The only salvation was my parents have vowed never to return so next time I can take advantage of your recommendations.

                    1. re: Cam D

                      I've eaten at Lidia's several times and have yet to receive the legendarily bad food and service that many posters here report. That said, it's hardly among the top tier of Pittsburgh restaurants — Bona Terra, Legume (both BYOB), Nine on Nine, Mio and Alla Famiglia are.

                      1. re: hassenpfeffer

                        I have to agree with you, hassenpfeffer. I've been to Lidia's many times, and always find friendly service and good food. The service is a little more friendly than people from larger cities might be used to, which could seem unprofessional, but they're catering to people who want chummy.

                        Hearing the food referred to as 'sludge' I almost find incomprehensible. Are we eating at the same restaurant as Cam D?

                        1. re: klindeman

                          I've been to Lidia's for brunch 6 or 7 times and I've always thought it was very good to excellent. Sometimes we've had spotty service but we've had a very good meal each and every time. Maybe they do brunch better than dinner.

                  2. Please consider on your next visit Red Room in East Liberty with its new chef. It's a nouveau cuisine, but not too wild. Best restaurant I've been to in Pittsburgh.