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Nov 20, 2009 07:39 AM

Seeking Good Seafood and BYOB in Pittsburgh

I'm looking for restaurant suggestions for a nice, somewhat romantic birthday dinner with most entrées comfortably under $30:
-seafood-focused or usually offers a few good seafood entrées (perhaps with a Mediterranean focus?)
-BYOB, OR has a quality affordable wine list (such as a list of '$35 bottles' like Lidia's has).
-East end is preferable but not a requirement.
To give a sense of our taste/price range for a nice dinner out, our go-to places are usually Point Brugge and Kaya.

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  1. Fairly tough set of requirements you've set down there for Pittsburgh, but two places that came to mind are Legume and Toast (both East End). At the moment, there isn't a ton of seafood on either menu, but I seem to remember seeing more in the past, so you may want to check their changing menus close to when you're going. They definitely fit the bill for small/intimate and reasonable wine prices and/or BYOB.

    I almost hate to say it, as it's a little cheesy, but the view is superb (romantic) and the seafood fresh and cooked reasonably ok - Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on Mt Wash? May be pushing the budget a bit, but I think any really fresh seafood probably would be.

    Hopefully someone else has some better suggestions than mine, I just figured I'd start the ball rolling with some possibilities. Your requirements sound like a place I'd want to go to as well.

    1. Monterey Bay's going to really push the budget, but it might be worth it for that setting.

      The other fish-oriented places that come to mind are actually upscale chains: McCormick and Schmick's, and Mitchell's. These probably meet the entree price requirement but not necessarily anything else. The fish is good though. I prefer Mitchell's, generally, but it's at the Waterfront whereas there are two choices in the city for McCormick's: one downtown and one at the South Side Works. I can't think of another local restaurant that really focuses significantly on seafood. (I mean in a good way, instead of a more Red Lobster sort of way. ;-)

      What about Plum (in the former Richard Chen space)? I don't know if this would really fit since it's Asian, which is a far cry from Mediterranean. But I just read this review and here's the web site The menu has plenty of seafood on it. Trouble is that whole issue with the car crashing in; that doesn't create a particularly romantic atmosphere starting with entering through the side door, etc. ;-) (Read the article; a car crashed into the front about 6 weeks ago. Maybe it's fixed now though.)

      1. I think Cafe Davio on SS would meet your price and BYOB requirements. It is italian but has a nice selection of seafod dishes - a shrimp and scallop dish, crabcakes, sole and sea bass last time I was there. Environment is not particularly luxurious - but food and ingredients are top notch. It was opened by prior chef at davio's in beechview (i think).

        Pittsburgh Fish Market at the Westin might do the trick with a seafood theme but is not BYOB or particularly cheap.

        I am consitently disappointed with McCormick & Schmick's.

        Davio Cafe
        2516 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

        1 Reply
        1. re: meatmaster

          Thanks for all these suggestions--I wouldn't have thought of these places. I actually live around the corner from Plum, CrazyOne, so we go there fairly often:) I think Monterey Bay is a great idea--I've actually never been there even though several trustworthy folks have recommended it to me.

        2. The fish/shellfish entrees at Dish are very reliable. They typically have a salmon preparation and a frutti del mar linguine on the menu plus one or two seafood specials. Generally done up in a Sicilian style, so that fits the Mediterranean requirement and in the $18-$25 price range. Would also look at Mallorca for shellfish - usually a lot of offerings and well under $30 if you're not doing lobster.

          1. You can't go wrong with Dish, but for a romantic dinner I'd have to go to Monterey Bay. I live up there and still never get tired of the view!