Brasserie 33 maintains a distinguished reputation as a mainstay for classic French cuisine. Now under new management, the dining bastion is reclaiming the culinary identity that earned it foodie fanfare for years. Executive chef Omar Mediouni and the staff dot pristine white tablecloths with rich, meat-centric dishes that encapsulate a menu of classic French cuisine. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review lauded Brasserie 33 for its authenticity, citing a French-speaking wait staff and palate-popular selection of classic dishes, such as escargot brushed with garlic and parsley butter sauce and seafood bouillabaisse brimming with salmon, shrimp, and calamari. A stone-topped bar runs parallel to the neatly kempt tables that line the narrow brasserie. During daylight hours, diners are awash in natural light pouring through the front windows, and during the evening, gourmand moonbeams filter through the glass to get tastes of dessert.
Gene's Last Chance is an all-American grill that serves up meaty sandwiches, barbecue fare, pastas, and veggie-centric dishes. The menu offers an eclectic selection to make any picnic-basket-intoxicated bear salivate tears of joy. Dig into shareable starters such as the beer-cheese dip, a bread-friendly cauldron of cheesy flavors ($6.95) or a effigy mound of wings slathered in your choice of sauces including buffalo, Cajun, barbecue, and hot-honey glaze ($6.95+ for 1/4 bucket). Gene's Last Chance's grilling gurus man the restaurant's hardwood grill with strong burger-flipping forearms and flame-retardant mustaches, serving up honey-pepper-glazed pork chops ($17.99), colorful grilled-veggie sandwiches ($5.95), and white-shirt-thwarting baby-back ribs ($19.99 for a full rack). Brave souls test their gastronomic elasticity with the restaurant's special Monster Reuben sandwich, an ode to all-around good guy Reuben as well as deliciously seasoned deli meat that's piled extra high and smothered with sauce, cheese, and sauerkraut ($9.95 whole, $5.95 half).
At Frescos, the kitchen staff specializes in adding local flair to traditional-inspired cuisine. The aromas of chicken stuffed with goat cheese and artichokes, sirloin filet with petite crab cakes, and pasta tossed with veggies and feta fill the dining space. A semiprivate, earth-toned dining room, which includes glass tile, wood floors, high booths, and local artwork, adds to the warm atmosphere. Meanwhile, a seasonal deck?open May through September?features an outdoor lounge and seating for dining under the sun or stars.
When guests walk into the bright blue confines of Square Caf?, they find owner Sherree Goldstein and her friendly crew serving up smiles and steaming cups of custom-blended Kiva Han coffee. Preparing eclectic breakfast and lunch dishes, chefs crack shells for three-egg omelets, green eggs and ham with homemade pesto, and form their own housemade veggie burgers. Attentive servers endlessly refill freshly brewed ice tea and help health-savvy diners find the best menu options. Inside, colorful local artwork fuels discussions about which colors deserve to be primary, and on the sidewalk patio, diners can scan the street for signs of Square Caf?'s vegetable-oil-powered Mercedes.
Gayot proclaimed Square Caf? a "vibrant eatery," describing the "generously portioned, cooked-to-order breakfast and lunch items on huge square plates." In addition to the well-crafted eats, the staff's energy and enthusiasm keep the caf?'s sizeable crowd of regulars coming back?the manager, Kevin, even sports a Square Caf? tattoo as evidence.
Under the leadership of owner Nicholas Mineo and executive chef Michael Simpson, the experienced culinary team at Sausalido concocts an ever-changing array of New American? and European-style dishes from a wealth of local produce. Though Chef Simpson's menu changes seasonally, he always pairs seafood, pasta, and meat entrees with salad, locally baked rustic bread, and a white bean and fresh rosemary dipping sauce whipped up in-house.
Sausalido?s main dining room evokes the aesthetics of the Napa Valley with soothing jazz music and acrobatic sommeliers dangling from grapevines, while still incorporating work from Pittsburgh artists to remind the walls where they come from. The expanse hosts up to 40 diners who can BYOB, while upstairs, a private party room fits up to 30 guests. Along with hosting in-house celebrations, Sausalido feeds guests at offsite soirees with catered cuisine from its 12-page catering menu.