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Pittsburgh - Help First Time Visiting Chows from Boston & Chicago!

humble May 14, 2013 02:08 PM

I'm headed to Pittsburgh for the first time and want to get a good feeling for the city. I'm meeting an old friend there for two nights and we are traveling from Boston & Chicago. We like a range of dining options from Michelin-starred fine dining to food trucks - it just needs to be good. We're both into beer and cocktails, and I'm into wine, too.

For one of our nights, we're thinking of hitting up Tamari for happy hour before a tour of the Trundle Manor. Do we need a fall back plan?

We've got Conflict Kitchen, Sharp Edge (which one?) and Church Brew Works on our list for beers and/or mid-day snacks. Anyplace else? is the food worthwhile at Church Brew Works, or just the beers?

I've been tasked with finding something for the second night. Price is not an issue, but I would like to get to a place that is doing something special in Pittsburgh! After reading Chowhound and the Best of Pittsburgh I've narrowed it down to:

Legume
Meat & Potatoes
Salt of the Earth
Spoon
Root 174

Thoughts? Suggestions otherwise?

Thank you!

  1. Jay F May 15, 2013 08:07 PM

    Do you have the new location for Conflict Kitchen?

    http://www.conflictkitchen.org/?p=891

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jay F
      humble May 16, 2013 04:53 AM

      Thank you - great info!

      1. re: humble
        Jay F May 16, 2013 07:19 AM

        You're welcome. Also, I would choose Spoon and Legume from your list. I believe others would put Salt at the top of the list, but I've never been there.

    2. sal_acid May 18, 2013 04:41 PM

      Best of Pittsburgh hasn't been trustworthy for me. CH is better.

      I'm fond of Soba and spoon.

      1. m
        mb luvs SBH May 18, 2013 06:06 PM

        We are relatively new to Pittsburgh but have happened to try all on you list. I would say that Spoon, Legume and Salt are similar in terms of decor, ambiance and food. Of the three, we liked Spoon the best. Meat and Potatoes is great, we've been there a few times for fun cocktails and tapas. It has a much more casual vibe than the other three. Maybe a better place for drinks and snacks.

        I saved Root 174 for last because we liked it best, mainly for the vibe and more chef-centric feel. Food was unique and very good. Compared to the others, it is so much less "corporate.". Everyone who worked there was interested in making sure we had a great experience. We also liked Toast! and the wine list is very good. It doesn't come up much on CH.
        Regarding your other questions....we don't care for the food or beer at Churchworks much. It's a cool site but everything else is "meh." We've been to three of the Sharp Edge locations and liked them equally for food and beers. Besides Belgiums, they have a good craft beer list.
        The William Penn Hotel downtown has a new speakeasy (in an original location) that's pretty cool and doing some decent craft cocktails. Only open around the weekend.

        1. g
          gmcurology May 20, 2013 07:37 PM

          The only restaurant that comes close to a Michelin-starred place like those in Chicago is notion. It is unequivocally the best fine-dining experience in the city, despite being so new and a little rough around the edges.

          1. cowboyardee May 20, 2013 09:23 PM

            You should also look into Cure.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee
              g
              gmcurology May 21, 2013 10:14 AM

              That's a good recommendation. Cure is fantastic.

              1. re: cowboyardee
                humble May 21, 2013 10:38 AM

                We removed Cure from our list, because it appears to be BYOB. Since we're traveling, we don't want to spend time B'ing our own B. Is it BYOB?

                1. re: humble
                  Jay F May 21, 2013 01:52 PM

                  The state store (where you must buy wine) is not far from Cure. I don't know if it's BYO or not, BTW.

                  Lawrenceville PA State Store
                  4104 Butler St Pittsburgh, PA 15201
                  (412) 688-1946

                  Cure
                  5336 Butler St Pittsburgh, PA 15201
                  (412) 252-2595

                  1. re: humble
                    g
                    gmcurology May 21, 2013 02:38 PM

                    Cure now has a liquor license:
                    http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburg...

                2. Rodzilla May 23, 2013 09:56 PM

                  You could do drinks at Tamari and dinner at Cure..they're walking distance.

                  Definitely stop by Notion for your fine dining - inventive, intimate

                  Salt - casual contemporary..more unique with the ingredients and combinations.

                  Spoon is upper casual, consistently good food, intimate

                  Root 174 is great and you can stop by Ds 6pack and Dogs beforehand for a huge craft beer selection.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Rodzilla
                    Jay F May 24, 2013 12:14 AM

                    <You could do drinks at Tamari and dinner at Cure..they're walking distance.>

                    They're a mile-and-a-half apart.

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