Restaurants & Bars 2

Pittsburgh visit report

David W | May 22, 200807:07 AM

A review of our all-too-brief visit...

The café at the Warhol-I had asked for a spot to stop on the way into Pittsburgh from Ohio, and the café was recommended by several local chows—this turned out to work quite well. We had a soup and salad, both above average. The potato-leek soup was especially good. It was understaffed (just one person) but he managed to handle it. I liked the space, considering it's in a basement.

We had dinner at Six Penn Kitchen. When we arrived, the hostess told us our “nice table upstairs” wasn’t quite ready. We told her fine, we’d take a short walk and return. When we did, they led us to a table…downstairs. I mentioned this, and she said, “Oh, that was a mistake.” Um, OK. But the table was in view of the kitchen, and I always like to watch anyway, so no problem.
We started with the cornbread skillet, which was very good, if a little too much for us to share before the rest of the food. Then we had the risotto balls/lamb meatballs. I liked the lamb, but not so much the risotto-the combination didn’t work so well for me. My wife had the beet salad, which had a nice touch of fennel.
I had a special of venison. It was properly prepared and tasty. My wife had the lamb Bolognese, which was a bit heavy, considering it was served with feta cheese. We finished with coffee, but were too full for dessert. Overall, not a bad experience, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here again. A downside of the downstairs tables-there are two large tables by the kitchen, and they were both occupied by folks who’s volume increased as their drink consumption continued…don’t expect a quiet evening.

Because we were trying to fit in a lot in a little time, we ended up having lunch the next day at the café at the Frick. This is a charming spot. We each had a soup and half a sandwich (the pea soup was very nice) and I enjoyed my crab bruschetta. But the star of the show was the strawberry/rhubarb shortcake with ice-cream. I would think tea here would be terrific.

We had dinner that night at Eleven. We had a near-perfect evening here. It was fairly quiet on a Sunday night, so I can’t say how the room is when crowded, but I liked the space, and the open kitchen. We decided to go with the two tasting menus-one vegetarian and the other regular. I’m sorry to say that I can’t really detail this meal. We had had a somewhat stressful week before, and this was a real wind-down meal for us. And we got the wine pairings.
One very nice touch-at one point, the waiter asked if my wife was a “true” vegetarian…when she answered no, she was just interested in the menu, he came back a few moments later with an extra course, which was a delicious crab cake.
All aspects of this meal were good-the service, pacing, wine pairings, food (and the bread.)
I'm sorry the details escape me.

We had breakfast twice at Pamela’s on 21st street. My wife is a big fan of 50’s music, so needless to say she loved the place. I appreciated the pot of coffee they leave at the table. I liked the thin-style pancakes here, though I’d probably rather have the regular type. But the usual diner items were all good (especially the sausage) and the room was especially nice in the early-morning sunshine.

We took a quick look at the Grand Concourse restaurant in the RR terminal, but didn’t have time to eat there…however, the space is magnificent. The rest of the area does indeed appear to be a culinary wasteland (in the Station Square area.)

Thanks again to all the Pittsburgh chows whose posts helped guide me-I’m sorry I didn’t have time to explore some of your other neighborhoods.

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