Restaurants & Bars 1

Stonepeppers Grill

Panini Guy | Jun 9, 200810:53 PM

It was getting late last night and Ms. PG and I were looking for a place with an open kitchen at 9:30p on a Monday. Driving toward Mt. Lebo we noticed that the new StonePeppers Grill (border of Mt. Lebo and Upper St. Clair on 19) was open so we figured what the heck, give it a try.

Although there's definitely a chain ambience, there's currently only one of them. (another is in development near Cranberry - it's owned by the folks that own 1902 Tavern and the idea is to create a regional chain).

It's basically upscale burgers and brick oven pizza.. Lots of TVs. Couple of bars. Bad 70s and 80s music blaring (Journey and worse). There are also a handful of familiar apps, pasta and chopped salad choices.

Ms. PG and I looked over the menu then looked at each other, wondering if we should get back in the car. This menu wasn't speaking to either of us. As it was late, we stayed. I ordered a Casablanca pie, she ordered a buffalo chicken chopped salad. The pizza was uninspiring - olives and tomatoes both tasted canned and while it was supposed to have spinach, there wasn't much to be found. The pizza crust, while thin, wasn't charred as would be expected in a brick oven and I suspect may have been a prepared shell. I didn't get a good look into the prep area to see for certain, but it lacked the bite and chewiness of a brick oven pie. The mozzarella was slightly past melted and lie in a few big globs instead of being distributed evenly. It wasn't bad compared to, say, Vocelli, but it won't be giving Il Piz a run for their money either. The 10" pies range from $8.99 (Margherita) to $12.99 (shrimp rosemary).

Wife's dinner salad was huge, also at $9.99 (there's a half salad for $6.99). As these things go, it was fine.

One smart thing the place does is have a three-tiered wine list. There are several bottles for $22 (Bogle was one), several more for $33 and several more for $44, although there's really nothing on the menu worth buying a $44 bottle to go with.

If we were to go a second time, it would be to try the burgers, hoping that that's their real strength. However, we would not want a station with the waitress we had this evening. This woman needs more hospitality raining. No water was ever offered. No check for more drinks. No bread offered with the salad until requested. When I was done with my pizza and it was obvious I was using my plate to share some of my wife's salad, she removed the plate. When my wife asked about a dessert, she removed the salad (about a third was left) without asking if it should be wrapped up for take home (wife wanted the rest, but only after actually putting her hand on my wife's shoulder to talk to her about the dessert. It was extremely uncomfortable for my wife and that, along with the other service omissions, resulted in the worst tip I've given since moving here six years ago.

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