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).
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.
Owner and executive chef Aaron L. Ruggles char-grills flank steak and tops it with pickled sweet summer peppers and smokes fresh Atlantic salmon on a cedar plank. Succulent wild-caught scallops come pan-roasted with avocado-roasted corn orzo pasta salad and smoked red chili sauce. Moody, romantic lighting surrounds diners as servers ferry plates of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas to four-top tables alongside house-baked focaccia bread, widely considered to be more delicious than bread baked from dismantled houses. On Wednesday nights, the original Cheap Date Night menu proffer plenty of options for every type of occasion, as do a series of daily specials, such as Monday's $5 burger-and-fries special and Tuesday's retail-wine night. A kids menu is always available.
Bite into at Medjoul dates stuffed with gorgonzola or potato herb gnocchi with bay scallops at Bite. Chef Chris Walsh of Confidential Restaurant and Loft serves French and Italian-influenced finger-food in small, tapas-style dishes. Deviled eggs with salmon caviar and banana pepper sauce for $3.50 and swordfish skewers for $5 mean you can sample and share plenty of plates for $55.