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Oct 3, 2012 12:03 PM

Pittsburgh recommendation needed

Sorry for the unimaginative title but I would love some opinions on where to eat next Friday night.
My Dad and I are coming in to town for a football game on Saturday. So this is obviously not a romantic dinner or anything but would love some really good food.
I have done a bit of research and have narrowed down a few choices. I am interested in Salt of the Earth, Eleven, Spoon, or Cure. I would need to know a good place to stop and pick up a bottle of wine or 2 on the way to Cure though. We are staying at the Omni William Penn.
Also, can someone recommend a good sports bar to watch college football on Saturdays that is not too far from the hotel. We can take a taxi but the closer the better. I would like a bunch of TVs and good beer choice. The food is secondary in this particular decision, although good chicken wings would be a bonus!
Thank you so much!

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  1. Your best choice for watching games might actually be in the hotel in the Tap Room. Next best might be August Henry's, in walking distance. Best option overall is probably Jerome Bettis Grille, which you can get to from the T - walk 1.5 blocks from your hotel to the Steel Plaza station and take the T to the North Side station. Bettis is a block away towards the river.

    If you're driving in, buy your wine before you come. You'll probably find a better selection and cheaper price where you are than here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Panini Guy

      Thanks for the info!! Now I just need a recommendation for dinner next Friday and I am good!!

      1. re: naughtyb

        I think all your ideas are good. Eleven is walkable from hotel. Others are not. Cure is BYOB so it may not be good if you do not bring your own from home. Meat & Potatoes is in town and very popular, too.
        Taxi's can be an issue when not at the hotel. Sometimes they do not come when called. Check with doorman and get cell phone # of your driver so you can call him or check with restaurants before going to see if they have drivers that will respond.

    2. All of your suggestions for Friday dinner are good. My recommendation in this case is always Salt. I think it is the best restaurant in Pittsburgh at the moment. After that, I'd recommend Eleven. It is very good food and convenient to your location. Spoon is also exceptional. I would shy away from Cure simply because of it being BYOB. As Effort mentions, a good option for dinner within walking distance of your hotel is Meat & Potatoes. Another one in walking distance, which is a little more upscale, is Nine on Nine.

      I really like Panini Guy's suggestion of going to Bettis Grille on the North Shore. They have a ton of TVs and will have all the major games on. They also have a decent beer selection. As PG said, you simply take the T to the North Side, which is free at the moment. Note, however, that next Saturday (10/13) Pitt plays home against Louisville. Bettis Grille is the closest sports bar to Heinz Field and can get a little crowded during games. Rivertowne North Shore, which is just down the road from Bettis Grille, also has a bunch of TVs, will be carrying multiple games, and have a good beer selection.

      Otherwise, within walking distance of your hotel, I would probably suggest Sharp Edge on Penn for a place to watch college football. They only have three TVs, but they are all very large and high quality. They also have the best beer selection nearby.

      1. I haven't visited Eleven, but my Recs would be

        Salt - agree with what Mon said.
        Spoon - have never had bad food there
        Cure- if you're a big fan of charcuterie this is your place.
        Root 174 - contemporary comfort - unique, tasty.

        Meat & potatoes never appealed to me, it just looked like a lot of really heavy hitting dishes. I'm sure they're good, but I prefer a lighter balance.

        1. All of the responses, including your ideas are good. While you are at a beautiful hotel, there is not a lot right there, but Penn Avenue has numerous choices and is only a couple of blocks away and easy to walk to. I'd do what the others recommend and head over to the North Shore where Bettis Grill is and there are several other restaurants and bars there. Not upscale, but nice. The T station which will take you to the North Shore is right across Grant St, which your hotel is on. Also right next to the T station is The Carlton House which is a pretty good restaurant that you might consider.

          If you will be available, you might take a walk or a cab to the Strip District in the morning. It's a very vibrant and fun area full of foodies, cafe's and a few good bars and restaurants. Nice to stroll around if you have a couple of hours in the morning.