Over 30 different flavors of tobacco waft through the air inside Heavenly Hookah Lounge, ranging from Caramel Apple to Gumball to Tiger's Blood. Friends can relax with single-hose through six-hose hookahs, which can also hold hydro tobacco and nicotine-free flavors.
The dessert-inspired martini list at Olive or Twist hosts a range of sweet digestifs including the cake-batter cocktail, the tiramisu martini, the chocolate-covered-pretzel martini with a salted rim, and the key-lime-pie martini. In addition to inventive mixes, Olive or Twist hosts a wide selection of craft beers, ensuring guests find the ideal beverage to compliment upscale American fare from the full kitchen. Its range of appetizers and entrees sate any size of appetite, with options such as truffle fries, housemade crab cakes, and filet mignon with peppercorn sauce. While they dine, patrons can feast eyes on the dark-mocha wood accents that lace the bar and lounge areas at Olive or Twist, offsetting the cream-hued plush seats.
Though Green Forest Churrascaria serves a wide variety of meats, every cut has to go through the same trial by fire. Cooked in the traditional churrasco style, the meats sit above an open fire pit fueled by natural wooden charcoal. They roast on impressively sized skewers, which servers then carry into the dining room. There, they slice tender pieces directly onto dinner plates, a showmanship-heavy serving method known as "rodízio."
The resulting dinners star meats such as lamb chops, pork ribs, and filet mignon that, much like the best Christmas presents, comes wrapped in bacon. Some arrive seasoned with parmesan cheese or garlic, while others rely solely on the smoky flavor imparted by their time in the flames. A hot buffet and salad bar balance out meals with a sprawling number of side dishes, including sushi and seafood. There's also a list of wines and beers that emphasizes worldly reds.
Kaleidoscopic Egyptian tapestries hang on the stone walls of both Sphinx Cafe locations, while tendrils of jasmine- and mango-scented smoke drift up to high, vaulted ceilings. Though it was once a church, the space now exudes an aura of opulence and leisure that matches the warmth of the coffee houses in Egyptian owner Remy and Syrian Amera's native homes. “Hookah bars are different from the norm [in the U.S.], which is either a restaurant or a bar. It slows you down. You just relax here.”
Plush cushions help patrons relax at both of Sphinx Pittsburgh locations, as do more than 30 imported tobacco flavors that servers can enhance with creative add-ons such as wine, fruit syrups, and talking caterpillars. On some nights, belly dancers, fire eaters, and live musicians wind their way between hookahs. On quieter nights, Ms. Andrawes says you can find people playing card games, chatting, and sampling platters of homemade hummus and kibbeh.
After dinner, Liquid undergoes a transformation. While diners are finishing up hearty pulled-pork sandwiches and fried pickles, a DJ steps into a booth. A switch is flipped, and multicolored lights shimmer across the low-lit interior as house music thunders from the speakers. The crowd goes wild.
Part restaurant, part bar, and part nightclub, Liquid spans three rooms, from a large dance floor to rows of tables and booths. Servers whisk bar-friendly eats to revelers until 1a.m., from spicy chicken wings to summer salads.
Jergel’s Rhythm Grille satisfies cravings. Whether a person is thirsting for a cold beer, hungering for a burger with pineapple on it, or hankering to hear their favorite song without their child providing arrhythmic percussion on an empty pot, they can find it in the two-story venue and eatery. At the head of the 17,000-square-foot space, a stage carries live shows by both national and regional acts, while audiences dance under colored lights or sit off to the side in a private booth with a shareable plate of seared duck breast. And those craving fresh air and quiet can find their goods on the outdoor patio, where they can sip a glass of wine and explore the rest of the menu's gourmet comfort fare.