The readers of Pittsburgh Magazine have heaped mounds of praise on Alchemy N' Ale, a rustic pub known for its savory entrees and crisp libations. In a 2012 readers' poll, Alchemy received the second-place spot for Best Burger and took home first-place honors as Best Pub. To see what the fuss is about, all you need to do is sit down and look around. Faux ivy clings to exposed-brick walls, which surround diners as they sink their teeth into mouthwatering burgers or quintessential pub eats such as fish 'n' chips and shepherd’s pie. The recently expanded menu also showcases entrees for vegans and vegetarians as well as dishes forged from local, organic, and Fulbright scholarship–winning ingredients.
Lot 17's extensive menu offers a wide variety of decadent bar fare to fill grumbling stomachs. Leap into an order of crunchy chicken nachos ($7), or dive into a seaworthy Mediterranean salad of tomatoes, red peppers, and Kalamata olives, topped with feta, fried calamari, and lump crabmeat ($10). Lot 17 also offers enticing wraps, sandwiches, and entrees, including the salmon BLT, a hoagie-roll-shaped horn of plenty stuffed with grilled salmon, dill mayo, bacon, lettuce, and tomato ($9). As for land-meat eats, the black and blue Cajun-seasoned burger arrives blackened and topped with bacon and bleu cheese ($8.50), while tender baby back ribs make like a surrealist comment on the fluidity of time and melt off the bone into a bed of fries and slaw ($13 for a half rack, $17 for a full rack).
AVA is an upscale lounge that dishes out nutritious, Mexican-inspired meals in a softly lit atmosphere. To start, dig into a tortilla chips basket, furnished with cups of green salsa and fried beans ($4, $5 with guacamole). Beer-thirst can be slaked with one of five brews on tap, such as the Franziskaner weissbier ($5.75) and Woodchuck amber cider ($4.50), while myriad bottles, specialty drinks, and wine round out the portal to potable potations. For a main course, fill up on health-conscious eats such as the veggie burrito, a mixture of tofu, rice, spinach, and mozzarella encased in a multigrain tortilla ($7). Satisfy a jones for poultry with a nontraditional torta, which piles breaded chicken, mozzarella, a bean spread, avocados, and chipotle sauce on top of toasted bread or a multigrain wrap ($7). To correct the false belief that avocados are vegetables, order a side of guacamole ($3), proving once and for all that they're actually concentrated happiness.
The cooks at Harris Grill populate their menu with American classics. They've got a bacon cheeseburger by the name of The Burghermeister Meister Burgher, a dish of marinated chicken skewers dubbed Britney Spears, and a grilled pork dish called Prime Pork Flatiron. To complement seasonal entrees and keep patrons on their toes, the selection of draft beer rotates often.
Krista’s Cantina’s menu turns hunger upside down with sauce-slathered wings and amply stuffed hoagies, all whipped up amid a jovial bar vibe. Mirrors vaunting beer insignias steam up as golden fried provolone sticks ($3) and zucchini sticks ($3.75) roll up to tables with zesty sidecars filled with marinara, and a dozen crispy wings ($7.75) can paint a diner's plate in one of more than 20 flavors, ranging from hot barbecue to buttery garlic. The meatball hoagie ($4.50) coats palates with bubbling provolone and marinara and comes with chips and a pickle to help patrons to meet their daily crunch requirements. Burgers range from basic ($2.75) to fancy varieties such as the all-American ($4.50), which, like a pop star about to sing the national anthem, is spoon-fed bacon, fried onions & american cheese.
Colors & Bottles' founder Jessica Burley and her band of talented local artists are dedicated to supporting local emerging talent and businesses through art instruction held at nearby venues. Their resident artists travel to local eateries and art galleries, where they teach students of all skill levels to fashion dimensional masterpieces through step-by-step instruction. They also kindle creativity during private parties held at the location of your choice, asking only that the destination be outfitted with enough tables, chairs, and paint-by-numbers templates of the Sistine Chapel ceiling for all invitees. Colors & Bottles has received a nod for their engagingly creative events on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and within the pages of the Columbus Dispatch.