Inside Mike’s Place, a relaxed setting dotted with sports paraphernalia and a pool table, classic Italian-American recipes meet standard bar eats. As guests alternate bites of homemade lasagna and jumbo wings doused in 1 of 10 sauces, bartenders keep glasses brimming and campaign-finance-reform discussions to a minimum. On Friday nights, live musicians and DJs take center stage.
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.
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.
Situated inside a 120-year-old building, The Park House's dining room exudes turn-of-the-century grandeur. Stamped-tin ceilings soar overhead, and the walls are ornamented in handcrafted woodwork and exposed brass. Today, these formal furnishings contrast with the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant. Floors fill with the peanut shells patrons are encouraged to toss on the ground, and live bluegrass bands and DJs take to the stage each week.
In the kitchen, chef Zamir Zahavi—a self-proclaimed “falafel master”—creates a menu of casual Mediterranean-inspired dishes. He plates the classic triad of pita bread, hummus, and falafel, and enhances burgers with international flourishes such as challah rolls and ajvar, a spicy serbian sauce. Diners can wash down their meals with more than 80 microbrews and craft beers, such as lambic framboise, Chimay, and Yuengling, clinking glasses over the din of an Internet jukebox and big-screen TVs.
If Finnigan's menu were a flag, it would be a mixture of red, white, blue, and green, and would be proudly twirled in all Independence of St. Patrick's Day parades. The fare is mainly influenced by traditional Irish staples, but retains a touch of American pub grub. Start out with a plate of Irish wings slathered in your choice of 12 sauces ($8.95) before moving on to a Kitchen Sink Pizza overloaded with pepperoni, sausage, peppers onions, mushroom, and black olives baked in a mozzarella-provolone blend ($11.95). Sandwich selections range from the hot sausage with onions and peppers on a baguette to the crab-cake sandwich served on a Kaiser roll with homemade tartar sauce (both $9.95). You can also keep it traditional with a Squirrel Hill Reuben ($8.95). Entrees include the popular corned beef and cabbage ($10.95), fish and chips ($12.95), and Finnigan's version of country-fried steak—a breaded and deep-fried open-face Philly steak on Texas toast with Swiss cheese and gravy ($10.95). Finish off your feast with a slice of peanut-butter cream pie ($5.95).