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, November 8, 2015

The Commoner

October 2015
458 Strawberry Way
Pittsburgh PA 15219

The Commoner is in Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh.  The menu includes some unique dishes that were very good.  We started out by sharing a couple orders of mussels and devils on horseback (which were bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese - delicious!).  The kale salad had pork belly croutons and apple cider vinaigrette which was a tasty combination.  Out of the 7 of us that were there, I think half of us ordered the scallops.  They were served with greens, apple-chardonnay reduction and a beet risotto cake.  Once I got over the thought that the beet risotto cake resembled a slab of raw beef, it was delicious!  The price point is high, but the portion sizes were large.  If you are looking to go to dinner to celebrate something, I definitely would recommend The Commoner.

Gaucho Parilla

September 2015
1601 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15222


 Gaucho Parilla has got it figured out.  By minimalizing the responsibilities of the waiters, they are able to serve upscale meals at a low price.  It is a BYOB restaurant without a corkage fee!  Upon arrival, you stand in line to order your meal and then grab a seat (if you can find one).  The place was packed the entire time we were there with a steady line out the door.  You have to grab your own wine glasses, plates, silverware and any dipping sauces you choose.  It was a little awkward at first when we asked for glasses and the waiter told us to help ourselves! It feels like you are at a friend's house for dinner!  The dining area is a little on the loud side but it just added to the unique atmosphere.  We ordered a few dishes to share as a group including flank steak, ribeye, empanadas, grilled veggies and salads.  Everything was served family style and was delicious!  I will definitely be making a trip back to Gaucho.  

Michael A's

August 2015
804 Allegheny River Boulevard

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gran Canal

July 2015
1021 N Canal St., Sharpsburg PA 15215
Gran Canal Caffè Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

"Gran Canal is a family favorite so I have been here at least 30 times.  The owners Michael and Antoinette are very welcoming and the food is always solid.  We shared the artichokes romano and the mussels and both were great.  The mussels were not the puny ones that you sometimes get when eating out.  They were celebrating their 20 year anniversary the night we were there so there was a special—soup, salad. Pasta and dessert for $20.  The soup was a cold cantaloupe soup which was a perfect summer starter.   The limoncello dressing on the salad was refreshing.  I ordered the carbonara and the portion size was HUGE.  I got 3 meals out of this entrée.  Dessert was shred with the table and was a flourless chocolate torte.   The wine by the carafe was $29 which is a bargain.  Those who ordered by the glass got treated to a Pittsburgh pour—filled to the rim. "
"This was my first time at Gran Canal.  It is a small town family restaurant where it was clear that customers come here regularly.  The owners made a point to come out and greet every customer and knew a majority of them by name.  The portions were healthy and the price point was low.  The artichoke appetizer was a big hit to everyone in our party."

Monday, July 27, 2015


June 2015
1100 Galveston Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15233

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"I Loved LOLA - it is a small foodie restaurant with an open kitchen that let you see everything being made fresh.  We shared a cheese plate appetizer and a sashimi appetizer and both were excellent.  I had the Carbonara with pancetta.  It was excellent.  For dessert we each got a chocolate truffle which was the perfect end to our dinner."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sienna Mercato

May 2015
942 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA

"If you are looking for a great place to grab a drink with friends and enjoy the sites of Pittsburgh - check out Sienna Mercato!  The rooftop bar is great...it has a retractable roof that they are able to close quickly if it starts to rain.  Even with the roof closed, you can still enjoy the city line of the city.  Their drinks were appropriately priced and the top floor has typical bar food.  The 2nd floor is the main restaurant part which is where we grabbed dinner.  The food ranged from pizza to charcuterie boards to seafood.  We did not get a chance to try out the first floor, but I will definitely going back to try it out.  The first floor specializes in gourmet meatballs!"


Luke Wholey's

April 2015
2106 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh PA

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"I really enjoyed my meal at Luke Wholey’s. The atmosphere was great, loved the large round tables for our big group. The bloody Mary’s were awesome, they were a meal in itself.  We got the oysters and the cat fish bites – both were great and you can’t beat the happy hour prices. I had the lobster bisque which was good with lumps of lobster claw meat. I had the swordfish special with lump crab meat. It was delicious. The grilled asparagus was good but I thought the potatoes were a bit heavy considering the rest of the dish.  I enjoyed the cheesecake so much I took a piece home to go for my family. Overall a great experience, the only downside was our service. Our waiter was extremely slow in taking our order, refilling our drinks and even bringing our check. The food made up for the lack of service."
"The Bloody Mary's from Luke Wholeys were a meal in themselves!  Loved them!  THe service was a bit slow but we loved the tal round tables and the food was great"