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!

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."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Butcher and the Rye

May 2014
212 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh
http://www.butcherandtherye.com/#

Butcher and the Rye on Urbanspoon



I really enjoyed Butcher and the Rye.  The atmosphere was very unique and added to the feel of the restaurant.  We sat down in the bar area, which was a little loud but it was perfect for our group.  We really enjoyed the songs that they played...it was a great mixture of oldies and songs from the 80’s.  The food was excellent and the price was even better.  We had a party of eight people who each had a drink, an entrée and we shared 3 appetizers and a dessert.  The price came to $45/each which included the tip.  This is not bad at all for a place with as good as food as this and is not BYOB.  The brussels sprouts were delicious!  I had the trout which came with a cauliflower steak.  I have to say...our group has been going out once a month for the past five years and this was one of the only restaurants where everyone left a clean plate.  I would definitely recommend Butcher and the Rye.


Butcher and the Rye was a solid Grub Club pick.  I ordered one of the specials, a gourmet burger made with wagyu beef and it was excellent.  I really enjoyed the edamame appetizer and the mussels. Nice atmosphere especially for a larger group.

Eleven

April 2014
http://www.elevenck.com/
1150 Smallman St, Pittsburgh PA 15222
Eleven on Urbanspoon












Eleven is still one of my favorite restaurants in the city. We were are a large table that was oval shaped which made conversation easier than a long straight table.  We started with the oysters and steak tartare for appetizers.  The tartare was great and the portion size was surprisingly generous.   I was a bit disappointed by my salad, which was 3 greens and a vinaigrette dressing, as it was very bland.  My entrée was halibut which was perfectly done and served with polenta and brussel sprouts.  We split 4 desserts—I am a huge fan of crème brulee and this one was top notch.  The hazelnut candy bar and the warm chocolate cake were also hits.  The white chocolate panna cotta was my least favorite.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Johnny's

March 2014
112 Westinghouse Ave, Wilmerding, PA 15148
http://www.johnnysfineitaliandining.com/pages/index.html
Johnny's on Urbanspoon












"If you are looking for solid Italian food, Johnny’s is the place to be. I opted to go with my staple choice – salmon. Johnny’s served their salmon with a tasty apricot glaze and sautéed spinach."

"I liked the atmosphere at Johnny’s.  I had the penne Arrabiatta with chicken and it was delicious.  It’s disappointing to order a spicy dish and it doesn’t have a kick, but this dish had just the right amount of heat.  I wasn’t a fan of the greens and beans.  Some of it was still a bit crunchy, I like it wilted together a little more. "

"Johnny’s was good. I had the scallops over risotto with a side of greens and beans. The scallops were tender, although a couple were a tad gritty.  Good flavor and I enjoyed the risotto. I also had the Johnny’s salad, which was good but heavy on the bleu cheese. Overall a good place to grab a bite in a family friendly atmosphere."

"I had the chicken piccata, another Italian basic.  It was good and the serving size was HUGE.  I got 3 meals out of my dinner.  The Johnny’s salad was fresh but a little heavy on the blue cheese.  Our waitress seemed a bit overwhelmed by the size of our table (9 people) when it came to the bar service but the food orders went very smoothly.  Overall, I found it to be a solid Pittsburgh Italian restaurant."

"I had the scallops and risotto and I enjoyed them both.  Nice atmosphere and the $5 martinis on Thursdays were a bonus!"