Pittsburgh 'hounds advice sought
I'm from SF Bay Area considering visiting your fair city before heading to see Fall Colors via NYC & Boston. Wanting to compare your hill city to ours! As I'm in the early planning stages, would love your input regarding must dine spots! We'll be there possibly 3 days and interested in bistro and fine dining, gastro pubs and unique to your region suggestions.
I would recommend Eleven and Salt of the Earth for finer dining. Meat and Potatos is a great gastropub and if you have a beautiful day, I would highly recommend dining on Mt. Washington which overlooks the city. While the dining up there may not be top notch, it's passable and really worth it for the view. I recall eating in the Carnelian Room in your fair city. While it's of course different, it's just as dramatic!
If you can I would also highly recommend getting to an area referred to as The Strip District to wander among the vendors. Make sure to go in the morning. It's very unique to the city.
Burghfeeder gave good suggestions. I would also add Legume and Cure.
Something unique to Pittsburgh would be Pamela's crepe-style hotcakes for breakfast. They're amazing!
There will likely be a few new restaurants opening between now and then, so be sure to check back.
Remember that during foliage season, our farm-to-table places start featuring a lot of fall/winter veggies, which IMO, aren't as interesting as spring/summer.
For fine dining, I'd also suggest a nice backroads hour trip to Nemacolin to Lautrec. Beautiful area close to the MD border. You can stop by Fallingwater and Ohiopyle State Park on the way. Should be very colorful.
FWIW, Sharp Edge is the largest importer of Belgian beers in the US. Their kitchen is touch-and-go, but if you're looking for beer, hard to do better than that. We have local breweries as well, but nothing that interesting you couldn't find in the Bay Area.
I'll second the vote for Cure and add Notion to the list of find dining places you shouldn't miss. Justin Severino (Cure) will likely still be doing Sunday farm dinners at White Oak Farms at that time of year, and one of these would be well worth your while.
I've not been to the Independent Brewing Co. — not a brewery, but a tap room with an all-local draft list — in Squirrel Hill yet, but the buzz so far has been very positive. The menu, I believe, is standard pub fare.
You'd do well to familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania's fakakta alcohol laws before your trip, and double check whether restaurants you're interested in have a liquor license or are BYOB. Some very good spots fall into the latter category (including Notion, recommended above, though they might have gotten licensure by then), which may require some preparation (read: a trip to the dreaded state store) on your part.
Scene here is rapidly evolving. Between now and next autumn I would expect a lot of changes. Though Cure would likely have to be a must try.