Looking for fun but GOOD food in downtown Pittsburgh
Hey Everyone! I'm looking for a fun, but slightly upscale, but not stuffy restaurant for my friend's 40th bday. It will be on a Sunday night in October-post-Steelers home game, so the city will be busy. But we're all (6 of us total) traveling to Pgh to celebrate her big day. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. BTW, some of us are staying in Station Square, some closer to Mt. Washington, but location within the city isn't a big deal. Just good food! Thanks!
Considering 'fun', 'slightly upscale' and '40th birthday', here are some recommendations:
Seviche - fun, casual, lots of flavored mojitos, good food, tapas style - I don't think they take reservations
Lidia's - Italian - more upscale, located in the Strip District - good food, handmade pastas, relaxed environment - seems like it would be a nice choice for a 40th bday event
Dish- tiny, cozy Sicilian joint off Carson Street - great food
17th Street Cafe - leaning toward Italian - relaxed, quality establishment - my family has celebrated a few events here!
Nakama - OK, so not the most foodie worthy place ever, but I am looking at your 'fun' criteria! this is hibachi style dining, everyone around a big grill and an enthusiastic (most of the time) cook...they also have sushi and a great bar - this place gets packed but you should be able to get a res in advance
Mallorca-Traditional Spanish/European joint - big portions, interesting menu options, jovial environment - also a 'special' event type place, but not stuffy - there is a tapas bar affiliated wtih Mallorca right next door - Ibiza - this might also be a good choice - upscale, fun atmosphere, decent small plates, wine flights
Also: The new casino in the North Shore area should be open by that time - they are promising some new upscale dining options there...no idea whats its going to be like, but its something to look out for!
My website has some other Pittsburgh restaurant reviews:
I second the suggestion for the Strip, esp. for the banh mi sandwich from Lucy. It really is the best sandwich in the world!!! I'd only go during the afternoon though. Better nightlife will be found down in the South Side. A South Side place that's been getting some write up's here is called Yo Rita, which is just an informal bar and Mexican joint, but it has reciently been revamped by a great local chef, Kevin Sousa, and sounds great. A great trip from Station Square is to take the Mon Incline (right across the street from Station Square) up to Mount Washington for one of the greatest view's in the country. Walk half a block down Shiloh St and have a drink at the Shiloh Inn on there outdoor deck. Very fun and relaxing.
Go to the Strip District. It's an easy walk (I usually stay at the Hilton). Yummy banh mi on the sidewalk. Interesting food stores Nothing fancy, just tasty. If you are looking for a more sit down place, there is always Max and Irma's or Palomino. I don't live there, I live in DC but I LOVE the PIT scene. It's fun and unprentious. Have a good time!