Looking for somewhere different to dine in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area? Check us out! We get together once a month with a couple of rules...no repeats and no chain restaurants. We started in 2009 and are still going strong!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Buon Cibo

December 2014
4556 William Penn Highway, Murrysville PA 15668
http://www.ilovebuoncibo.com/

Buon Cibo on Urbanspoon
 "I liked this small family run BYOB restaurant.  Everything was made to order and the portions were substantial.  I has the crab cake/scallop platter.  The scallops were nicely caramelized.  I did not know that I could have gotten the crab cake grilled rather than fried.  I would have preferred that from a preparation standpoint.  The crab cake had very little filler and tasted great.  I had the side of pasta which I really did not try as I focused on my seafood.  The house salad was fresh and I liked that they placed the bottle of house dressing on the table so you had control over how much (or little) dressing you used.  We split the antipasti tray and edamame appetizer.  The food is not overly creative but is a notch above regular Italian fare.  The owners were friendly, coming to the table to introduce themselves.  We were there mid week and the place was relatively empty."
 
"The bruschetta appetizer was absolutely delicious.  For my entrée, I had the Chicken Parmesan.  The portion was huge for the price!  I opted for greens and beans for an additional charge rather than a soup or salad and I was a bit disappointed.  I love greens and beans, but this one lacked flavor.  My chicken and pasta were excellent, I wish I would have opted for the vodka sauce on my pasta as it would have made the dish perfect!"
 
"Buon Cibo has the feeling of a small town restaurant where everyone knows each other.  It is a family friendly BYOB establishment where you feel like you are downtown Pittsburgh for an evening out.  I liked that the owner specially made a bruschetta plate for us - it was a nice touch.  I have been back to Buon Cibo since our group went together and I loved it even more the second time around."
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Toast

November 2014
5102 Baum Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15224
http://www.toastkitchen-winebar.com/

Toast Kitchen and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


I really enjoyed Toast.  The evening started off right by our being seated at a round table—so much nicer when there is a bigger group.  We shared 3 appetizers—I remember Mac and Cheese and maybe greens and beans.  My entrée was a seasonal special of acorn squash which was excellent.  We were there on a Wednesday night and the bottles of wine were half price.  We also split 3 desserts—the crème brulee and pot de crème were highlights.   The food quality was excellent and the service solid.  I would go back to Toast anytime.
 
This was my first time at Toast and I really loved it.  The atmosphere at Toast was really unique.  The bottom floor had a full bar and comfortable couches/chairs.  The upstairs had more seating and they had round tables which we love!  The food was very good and the prices were surprisingly reasonable.  Half price bottles of wine is always a bonus!


Elena's

October 2014
191 Hillcrest Shopping Center, Lower Burrell PA 15068

I loved the stuffed banana pepper appetizer, they had just the right amount of heat.  For my entrée I had the Chicken Parmesean.  It was a HUGE portion, enough for lunch the next day.  I had my choice of a soup or a salad, I chose the pasta fagioli which was delicious (I order it every time I go there).  I like that the restaurant is BYOB and there is no corkage fee!

Elena’s is very much a neighborhood red sauce Italian place.  I liked that you could order half portions. It is BYOB with no corkage.  There is nothing adventurous on the menu but is a great place for an inexpensive dinner out.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mediterrano

September 2014
2193 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15209
http://www.mediterranocuisine.com/
Mediterrano on Urbanspoon

I have been to Mediterrano before and have always enjoyed it but I thought that things were a bit off on this visit.  We were there on a Tuesday and were told that there were no specials as the head chef was off.  That was disappointing as in the past there had usually been a good seafood and lamb special.  We had a sampling of appetizers and I thought all were solid.  I liked the grape leaves and the hummus sampler.  I thought the pita serving was a bit skimpy.  My entrée was the stuffed tomatoes and they were excellent.  The cinnamon flavor was not overpowering. The commentary on the food was that everything was flavorful and everyone enjoyed there entrees.  I found it odd that at a Greek restaurant they would be out of lamb but when 2 people from our group ordered the lamb kabobs they only had enough for 1 order.  The portion size on the kabobs and on the sea bass entrées ordered seemed small.  There was not a bit of food left on any of the plates—most likely a combination of great taste and small portions.  The BYOB and limited corkage helped keep the tab in line.  I would go back to Mediterrano but would try to go on the weekend when there is more likely to be daily specials and a full kitchen.

Grit & Grace

August 2014
535 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222
http://gritandgracepgh.com/
Grit & Grace on Urbanspoon
Grit & Grace was such a different dining experience than any other restaurant in the area.  All of the plates are meant for sharing and they are served as soon as they are ready.  Not all of the plates come out at the same time which helped to not have an overwhelming amount of plates on the table and kept the conversation going throughout the night.  There are small and larger plates to choose from and the wait staff also comes around serving small tastings.  All of the food was good and the sharing experience caused people to try things they normally would not.  I am keeping this restaurant on the list to go back!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Off the Hook

July 2014
908 Warrendale Village Drive, Warrendale, PA
http://www.offthehookfish.com/
Off The Hook on Urbanspoon

"Love love love this restaurant. The atmosphere is clean and open and the wait staff was very professional and courteous. Off the Hook is a little on the pricey side but they offer great happy hour specials ($5 absolute drinks/wine/etc). To give you an idea on price: we were a group of 9 who shared two dozen oysters and another app, a couple side salads, three sides (a la carte), and 3 large desserts in addition to our personal entrees and a drink or two each and our bill was approximately $75/person. I didn’t think that was bad for a restaurant in this class. I shared the scallops and the Caribbean style Chilean sea bass. They were both delicious! I would definitely recommend Off the Hook, in fact, I have already been back!"

 "I really loved Off the Hook, it is now my favorite Grub Club restaurant! I had the Parmesan Style Halibut. There was a nice sear on the outside of the fish and the wine/lemon/black pepper cream sauce was outstanding. I also enjoyed the blackened Cajun cauliflower and char grilled asparagus. I was disappointed in the desserts. Everyone’s meal was exceptional and the desserts weren’t up to the same standard. I have heard rave reviews about their cheesecake, but I wasn’t a fan of the funfetti birthday cheesecake. Out of the sampler, I think I liked the chocolate one that was in a small cup the best. The price was great, I thought it would be a lot more for our group. There is something for everyone on the menu, not just fish!! I will definitely be going back!!"

Bohem

June 2014
530 Northpointe Circle, Seven Fields PA 16046
http://www.bohembistro.com/
BOhèm Bistro on Urbanspoon

"I really liked the feel of this restaurant. We sat outside since it was a beautiful day out and you felt like you were somewhere other than Seven Fields, PA. The interior of the restaurant was definitely unique and eclectic. I was a huge fan of the crispy Brussels sprouts. For dinner, I had the blackened catfish which was pretty heavy on the seasoning but still tasty."