When Sharon and John Klay discovered winemaking while living in New York City, they also discovered their passion. The only thing was, they didn't have the space to bring it to fruition. Their solution: relocate to western Pennsylvania and purchase the 215-acre Fayette Springs Farm. From there, they cultivated 14,000 vines, transforming them into award-winning wines that range from dry white to robust red.
Now, Christian W. Klay Winery, which bears the name of the Klays' son, welcomes guests to its picturesque spot for wine tastings, summer concert series, and seasonal shindigs. It also rents out its attractive confines for private events, such as weddings or birthday parties for grapes who just turned 21.
Founded in 1902, when everyone walked uphill both ways, the Bulls have evolved into one of the country's best-known minor-league teams. Boasting a rich history and talented prospects making their way to the majors, the Bulls play in the 15-year-old Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Featuring a 10,000-seat capacity, comfy extra-wide seating, a new video board, and a sublime view of the bull perched atop the 32-foot Blue Monster in left field, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a superb place to witness the 2009 AAA National Champions run, hit, and skillfully communicate with a flurry of dexterous semaphore. Stocked with young talent, the Bulls will showcase several players in 2010 that are sure to soon end up on a major-league roster. Inspired by 23-year-old Desmond Jennings—who posted a .325 batting average and .419 on-base percentage last year—and 22-year-old, hard-throwing Jeremy Hellickson—who fanned 70 batters and walked only 15 in 57.1 innings—the Bulls are primed for another title run through an action-packed schedule this year.
Not many people get the chance to dine in a restaurant's wine cellar, but at Vallozzi's, diners can book the underground space for a private dinner or dine in one of four other elegant areas. While enjoying award-winning wines, guests can feast on upscale Italian cuisine in Vallozzi's Classic dining room, which awards the eyes with hand-painted murals and romantic lighting. Alfresco dining options include Casa Elena and the patio, where guests can bask in the breeze without picnicking on an airport runway. Rounding out the quintet of rooms and boasting a handmade maple and olive wood bar, Rosso Bianco blends casual and chic with light-strewn tables, wine racks, and flat-screen TVs.
Executive chef Bryan Hutson and his skilled culinary crew craft a seasonal dinner menu of fresh seafood and eclectic entrees at One Eleven within a cozy eatery nestled within historic downtown Greensburg. Taste buds can hobnob with the baked crab cakes ($26) or revel in the aquatic flavors of colossal shrimp with squid-ink pasta ($23). Muffle the moans of tempestuous stomach elves with one of the steak-centric spreads, such as a coffee-encrusted new york strip steak ($25), or plunge tongues into a succulent serving of fresh salmon ($23) paired with premium spinach from Popeye's temperature-controlled locker.
Savoy's executive chef, Kevin Watson, a 2013 Pittsburgh magazine?s "Best Restaurants Party" winner and Savor Pittsburgh multiple-award winner, draws from 25 years of culinary experience to put a modern spin on American dishes, from barbecue ribs and burgers to seafood. Chef Watson?s eclectic m?lange of upscale entrees and comfort fare has been featured on Pittsburgh Today, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and in the recurring dreams of the restaurant?s regulars.
Meanwhile, the space's ritzy d?cor has enticed celebrities that include Boris Kodjoe, Joe Manganiello, Tyson Beckford, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mya. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review marveled: "Pittsburgh designer Luca Paganico transformed an old, three-story building?in the Strip District into a posh, swanky, 74-seat establishment with imported Italian leather couches and chairs, fiber-optic bar tops, walls with lighting that changes color as customers dine, and different music playing in each room and hallway."
Owner and chef Omar Mediouni imbues La Casa Tapas and Wine Bar's menu of traditional Spanish and Moroccan small plates and entrees with local ingredients and an appetite for culinary fusion that, according to Pittsburgh City Paper, "combines sophistication and comfort, authenticity and simplicity." Flagpole-addicted tongues warm up with a choice of 16 hot tapas, including the chorizo catalan's spicy sautéed sausage and spinach in a red-wine reduction ($10), and tomatoes, sweet pepper, and eggplant form the base of a duo of Moroccan dips ($8 each). Larger entrees ($16–$28) sneak garbanzo beans, chicken, lamb, and eggplant into piles of couscous or saffron paella rice like parents tucking Easter eggs into an egg carton.
Nestled within a brick house along a neighborhood street in Shadyside, La Casa Tapas and Wine Bar greets springtime by opening its patio to warm breezes and showers of cupid arrows. Inside, a hanging Spanish guitar, lanterns lit by candles, and the wide grin of a bright red hearth contribute to a cozy, eclectic spirit.