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Pittsburgh with (and without) a baby

Over July 4 and the following week, my wife and I will be going to Pittsburgh for our very first trip with the baby. We always make restaurants the centerpiece of any vacation, but yeah, we're now parents. He'll turn seven months old during the trip, so no participating in our meals -- he'll be sitting there in his massive, all-terrain stroller.

Here's the good news. The in-laws will be driving in from Michigan to join us for a couple days of the trip, which will free us up to enjoy some baby-free dining. I was thinking Grand Concourse on the 5th -- they'll be with us on the 4th, too, but unfortunately, I don't think our heavy Independence Day schedule will allow us time for an elaborate dinner.

For the other days, can anyone recommend some good places where we'd be comfortable with our kid? I don't want to sacrifice quality for convenience, if possible -- just places where we won't be death-stared out of the dining room and can easily skip out for a couple of laps around the block if he starts crying. Also, places that are good for early dinners, because baby has a strict 8:30 bedtime. I was hoping to use dinner as an excuse to see East Carson Street on the 6th (because we sure won't be going for the bars), and the 7th looks like it's shaping up to be a day to tour East Side neighborhoods -- Shadyside or something would be perfect.

I also heard somewhere that there was an exciting new restaurant opening up from some acclaimed chef, but I can't seem to find anything on that. Does that ring a bell? And would that be too baby-inappropriate?

Thanks for your help, everybody!

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Grand Concourse Restaurant
100 W Station Square Dr Ste 1, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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  1. I was thinking of Salt -- but my question about baby appropriateness still applies.

    1 Reply
    1. re: masterofzen

      Highly unlikely Salt will be open by then. If it were, it would probably be opening week and you'd really be asking for death stares.

    2. Some places we've been with our seven-month-old:

      Kaya in the Strip District for dinner. We were there early, around 5:30, and it was not an issue.

      Abay in East Liberty - pretty great Ethiopian. Totally baby friendly.

      Point Brugge in Point Breeze. One of my favorite restaurants. It's in a pretty family-friendly neighborhood, and if you go early there are always lots of families with young kids. It's a tight space, though, so I'd forgo the stroller for a highchair.

      Salt will probably not be open by your visit, but I too wonder about its eventual baby-friendliness.

      1 Reply
      1. re: addiegirl

        Thanks for the recommendations! We definitely want to see Point Breeze, so Point Brugge in particular might be perfect. I'll see if we can fit in the others, too.

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        Point Brugge Cafe
        401 Hastings St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

      2. Tamari in Lawrencville opens early, 4 on a Sunday I think and 5 usually. Busy but if you go early that should work for you and try to sit outside. I think they take reservations now.

        Pusadee's Garden and Piccolo Forno both open at 5.No resvers. at Piccolo Forno though. Gotta get there on time

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        Piccolo Forno
        3801 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

        3 Replies
        1. re: rugcris

          Any recommendations for Sunday brunch, by the way? I really wanted Zenith but heard it's a bit of a madhouse.

          1. re: masterofzen

            I really like the Sunday brunch at Lidia's in the strip district. I think it's around $22, which gets you a brunch drink, buffet-style antipasti and desserts, and you order your entree off the menu. The antipasti spread is usually pretty great - salads, meats, marinated veggies, soup. It gets crowded but you can make a reservation, and it's loud enough that babies can go unnoticed.

            1. re: addiegirl

              I've had Lidia's antipasti in New York, actually, and if it's anything like that, it'd be well worth it.

        2. Just got back from Pittsburgh -- thanks, everyone, for the help. Traveling with a baby is hard! As a result, we didn't get to do all the dining we wanted, even with the in-laws there to help out. The only restaurant mentioned here we managed to hit was Tamari, which was very very good. We didn't get there until about 6, and it was tight with the baby. Sitting outside wasn't a viable option with the blazing weather. Plus we got a couple of comments about the inappropriateness of taking a baby to such a refined place. Food and cocktails, however, were superb. We ODed on seafood there, all tapas.

          We also tried Yo Rita on East Carson -- very baby-appropriate, especially sitting way in the back. Good overall, loved the salsas, but nothing topped the crispy eggplant tacos (with hot fries!).

          Beyond that, we tried some of the Pittsburgh classics -- Pamela's, DeLuca's, Primanti's -- and were not disappointed. Had some surprisingly good pierogis at the Three Rivers Regatta, too! And then, on the night we were supposed to have our big romantic Grand Concourse dinner, we wound up getting ... takeout from Bob Evans. Oh, well, you roll with the punches.

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          Yo Rita
          1120 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

          Grand Concourse Restaurant
          100 W Station Square Dr Ste 1, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

          1 Reply
          1. re: masterofzen

            Hon there's nothing surprising about good pierogis in Pittsburgh! I kid (or rather, just jaggin' ya). Glad you had a good time. You managed a lot more eating out than we did last time we were up in Pgh with the wee one.