Located in an Erie landmark eatery, la bella entices appetites with an extensive menu of homemade dishes served in a casual setting. Wanting to look perfect for its big dinner plate, the curly-leaf spinach takes a quick dip into the deep fryer ($6), while the sweet italian sausage prefers a long, hot bath in a sweet-and-sour poached-fig-and-date sauce ($8). Patrons looking for traditional Italian specialties find the ragu bolognese ($15) leading a roster of palate-pleasing pastas, as the lobster mac 'n' cheese ($25) and honey-jalapeño ahi tuna ($18) flaunt their flavors elsewhere on the menu. A nearby plant hatchery supplies the key component for vegetarian classics such as the eggplant parmesan ($18) and the eggplant veracruz ($17). Gluten-free guidelines help diners discern diet-friendly dishes such as the bittersweet chocolate-apricot cake ($8).
Back in business after a fire in 2009, the Boston Hotel boasts a menu of USDA Choice steaks and prime rib, as well as sea scallops and lobster. The restaurant’s many fresh fish offerings get added attention on Fridays with specials that include a fresh haddock fish fry and linguini with fresh clam sauce. A selection of draft beers helps wash down entrees or enliven open-bar parties. Lunch hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Red Mill Inn’s rustic, two-story exterior engenders idyllic visions of a bygone era. Black clapboard shutters pop against the old farmhouse's bright red walls, which were built in 1858, and a giant wooden water mill nestles beside carefully trimmed hedges. Inside, dark wood floors and paneling surround wood tables, a roaring brick fireplace, and antique light fixtures. But this bucolic atmosphere belies a hectic kitchen staff who bustle to conjure flames beneath tender cuts of prime rib and filet mignon. Famous for their char-grilled steaks, fresh seafood, and Sunday brunch specials, Red Mill Inn also specializes in down-home country classics such as pan-fried calf's liver and Yankee pot roast. After dinner, house-made desserts arrive courtesy of an onsite pastry chef, whose creations shock sweet teeth more than a retainer lined with Pop Rocks.
Executive Chef Chaz Bulera and his team fashion dinner and lunch menus out of selectively sizzled meats, fish, and pasta. Lunch fare, such as a pulled-pork sandwich ($8) and a buffalo-chicken wrap with its coif of blue cheese ($9) effortlessly shame standard sandwich-shop selections. The dinner menu kick-starts appetite engines with sesame-seared ahi tuna ($9) and subtly seasoned calamari ($7) before revving them lightly with a portobello-pesto sandwich ($8) or heavily with a bacon-wrapped filet mignon ($21).
Founded in 1924, the Pittsburgh Inn appeases rapacious appetites with a menu consisting of hearty, home-cooked American comfort fare. Seafood-savorers can coronate a romantic meal across from a spouse or a seventeenth-century skipper by ordering a crab-cake appetizer, where homemade crab cakes come paired with creamy dill sauce ($4.99). For entrees, diners can order up a house favorite such as the almond fried-chicken breast, where boneless chicken is drizzled in homemade maple-honey mustard ($9.99), or engorge on a meatless meal such as the eggplant parmesan, topped with provolone cheese ($9.49). The Pittsburgh Inn's walls commemorate Pittsburgh-area legends with framed pictures, including its Honor Roll for soldiers on duty in Iraq.