Recommendation for upscale Pittsburgh restaurant
My first choice would be Salt of the Earth, in Garfield.
After that, Bona Terra (BYOB), in Sharpsburg is exceptional. Downtown there is Nine on Nine. Eleven is very good, in the Strip. Vivo (BYOB) in Bellevue is very good. So is Toast, in Shadyside.
They would be my top six picks in the area for fine dining, I think. All put out delicious, beautiful and inventive food in commensurate settings.
Bona Terra Restaurant
908 Main St, Pittsburgh, PA 15215
565 Lincoln Ave, Bellevue, PA 15202
Nine on Nine
900 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Salt is a great suggestion - but only if the folks you're buying the gift for are adventurous and willing the let the chef has his way. It's cutting edge cuisine, no substitutions (not even for cocktails). Nine on Nine and Eleven are both downtown very good. If your giftees are a bit more conservative in their food likes, The Carlton could be a good choice - more traditional service and dining room, great wine list (and good pricing on wine). Isabela's on Grandview is also always a treat for the views and food. Vivo is a good choice. Bona Terra has great local and imaginative food, however the dining room could use a makeover. Haven't been to Toast or Spoon yet so can't say on those.