When dining in the ‘Burg, don’t just order a burger. Pittsburghers are known for their love of food. But why sink your teeth into that same old meat-and-potatoes menu when you can crunch, munch, nibble and relish the most exciting flavors found along the Three Rivers? For a sumptuous, gastronomic adventure that won’t break the bank, treat your taste buds to one of these Pittsburgh restaurants.
Andrew’s Steak & Seafood
777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Price: $46 for four-course tasting menu (offered Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
Andrew’s Steak & Seafood…the name is as famous as the food. This high-end steakhouse is named after several important Pittsburgh Andrews such as Carnegie, Mellon and Warhol. The flagship of Rivers Casino’s nine distinct bars and dining options, Andrew’s is a contemporary steak and fresh seafood restaurant that also offers an exclusive wine list. In fact, it is a winner of the Award of Unique Distinction from Wine Enthusiast magazine. Guests can dine indoors or on the patio (weather permitting) as Andrew’s offers sprawling views of the Ohio River and the casino’s outdoor amphitheater, which features concerts all summer. Andrew’s summer tasting menu is coming in July. Enjoy potential dishes like wild king salmon, crab salad, jumbo lump crabcakes and pineapple upside-down carrot cake. Guests must be must be 21 years old to enter.
Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh
1400 Smallman St
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Price: $35 for five-course Monday Tuscan Grill Menu
Sample the freshest ingredients and the aromas of Italy at Chef Lidia Basianich’s bistro. The Monday night Tuscan Grill Menu changes weekly and always includes Lidia’s signature dish, The Pasta Tasting Trio, which is served tableside. The five-course meal also includes an antipasto, your choice of secondi (hearty entrée), contomi (vegetable) and dolce (dessert). A sample menu could look like this: the pasta tasting trio, bruschetta, grilled salmon fillet, barley risotto and tiramisu. Two glasses of Italian wine and a glass of limoncello are included. Perhaps you’ve seen Lidia’s newest PBS series, “Lidia’s Italy in America,” a road trip cross country. This cuisine is all about celebrating Italian-American culture in every mouthful.
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Elements Contemporary Cuisine
Four Gateway Center
444 Liberty Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Price: $30 for three-course tasting menu; $12 for Truffle Tasting
The Forks of the Ohio takes on new meaning when dining at Elements Contemporary Cuisine, located just blocks from Point State Park. Owner David Greenberg’s concept is locally inspired cuisine infused with flavors from around the globe. Appreciate the fresh farm-to-table fare in an elegant setting. Have a great meal with the three-course offering of your choice of soup or salad, an entree (possibly Gerber’s Amish Farm chicken or flat iron steak) and a dessert. The extensive wine list and the specialty drinks menu are awesome and the irresistible pièce de résistance will tempt every chocoholic. If chocolate is the only meal you’re looking for, choose from Elements’ great options. Taste your choice of dark chocolate raspberry truffle, dark chocolate truffled truffle, milk chocolate chili lime truffle and milk chocolate salted caramel crunch, among others.
Tamari Asian Latin Fusion
3519 Butler St
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Price: $75 for chef’s tasting menu
Adventurous eaters will enjoy dinner and a show when they sit in front of the open kitchen and watch their food being prepared at Tamari Restaurant. Tasting at Tamari is an interactive experience with your chef from the time you book your custom menu all the way through to the end of your meal. Executive Chef Roger Li or Chef de Cuisine Micah Maughan will ask you about your guests. Are there any dietary restrictions or special needs? How spicy and adventurous do you want the menu to be? Specializing in Latin-Asian fusion dishes, the restaurant is known for accommodating exciting and bold culinary requests such as live lobster sashimi. This gastronomic adventure often lasts several hours as the chefs discuss food preparation and explain what they are doing while you work your way through the constant flow of dishes.
Nine On Nine
900 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Price: $89 for chef’s tasting menu
As you settle into your window table on a sunny corner in the theater district, prepare for the fun that is to come. The clean lines of mid-century modern decor set the stage for a leisurely, eight- to nine-course meal. Sous Chef Garry Borrow is passionate about the chef tasting menu at Nine On Nine. He said, “I get to play around a lot more than on the regular menu.” If done right, the typically three-hour meal will include popular foods such as lobster mac and cheese, trendy foods such as veal marrow served on toast and creative presentations like the table-side soup service. Speaking of the soup, this is one of the standout dishes in the lineup. The tortilla soup is served in a miniature Mexican hat with a rich porcini mushroom broth. No stuffy establishment, this friendly family-owned restaurant is sure to be a favorite of foodies for years to come.
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A freelance writer and marketing guru, Dev loves all things Pittsburgh. She is also an avid collector of mid century modern copper jewelry and a Pittsburgh history buff. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.