The Fifth Season Restaurant's chefs prep robust steakhouse classics with upscale panache. Situated in an old tavern, the restaurant's muted, earth-toned dining room complements its woodsy surroundings. Warmer seasons bring outdoor seating, where eyes feast upon the surrounding game reserve and mouths dine on selections from the rich menu. Oil rusty jaw-hinges with appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms broiled with crabmeat and swaddled in a melted swiss-cheese blanket ($8). Entrees include the seafood puff pastry ($25), which allows diners to taste a variety of underwater delicacies without the hassle of stealing a shark's lunchbox, as well as the center-cut USDA-choice filet mignon ($26 for 6 oz.) and top sirloin ($12 for 6 oz.). The wine list offers a cornucopia of more than 700 domestic and imported Dionysian delights.
Although ten finalists made it to Pittsburgh's Best Ribs competition, Roxanne's Take-Out & Catering drew top praise for its "Honey-A-Must" sauce, according to event sponsor WPXI.com. When the judges tore into Roxanne's honey-mustard ribs, the room went silent—save for the sound of vigorous chewing and one pronouncement that "this sauce is great." The highly celebrated sauce represents just one of Roxanne Easley's mouthwatering dishes, which she prepares daily.
Easley's accomplishments are not limited to her cooking, however. In February 2012, she named Pittsburgh Courier's list of "Fab 40" honorees for being an elite member of the African-American business community in Pittsburgh. Roxanne also showed Pittsburgh her cooking skills as she performed a live cooking-demonstration of her famous balsamic lamb chops and peach cake on TV program Pittsburgh's Today Live. As a chef and business owner, Easley has catered events with up to 500 people, preparing an array of dishes such as mexican lasagna and parmesan crusted tilapia, as well as customized dishes tailored to the event.
Executive chef Greg Alauzen has designed every dish on Cioppino's sumptuous dinner menu. Whet your appetite with his selection of oysters on the half-shell ($12) before moving onto his signature dish, Cioppino—a heaping platter of branzino, mahi-mahi, little-neck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, Dungeness crab, scallops, whole prawn, onion, and fennel, all served with grilled crostini ($29). The only thing missing is the lobster, which you can get in risotto form ($12). Those with more landlubbing tastes will prefer an Elysian Fields Farm lamb with potato croquette and basil-mint oil ($38), New York strip steak ($34), or the veggie-friendly potato gnocchi ($16). Since seafood tends to make for poor desserts, top your feast with vanilla-bean crème brûlée ($6) and gelato ($5), or warm beignets tossed in cinnamon and sugar with a caramel, chocolate, or raspberry dipping sauce ($6).
Plucked from a watery upbringing and cast into market, seafood circulates throughout Benkovitz Seafood daily to uphold the fresh, homemade promise of every fishy feast. Start from the top of the high-seas menu with a signature fried-fish sandwich ($6.95). Clumped and lumped jumbo crab cakes ($8.95 each) or salmon cakes ($6.95 each) provide seaworthy portions properly composed to uphold most birthday candles. Fragile fingers can improve baiting dexterity with heartily shrimpy portions of shrimp in a basket ($4.95), coconut shrimp with mango sauce ($4.95), or shrimp off the deli ($12.95–$20 per pound).
The Brick House's skillful chefs plate a variable menu of pizza, sandwiches, and other casual fare whose roots stretch across national borders. On a plate of Will's pepper steak Madagascar ($16), a burgundy wine sauce coos sweet nothings to two fillet medallions, who blush shyly behind their peppercorn freckles as guests to wonder whether they should order a crab cake ($5) to chaperone. On the pizza menu, the perplexingly vegetarian Great White tucks italian cheese and herb-infused olive oil into a bed of homemade dough ($7). Alternately, warlike burgers, wraps, and sandwiches arrive at tables armed with an arsenal of french fries or crisp veggie sticks ($6–$10).
The epicurean engineers at Hardwood Cafe harness the unfettered flames of a wood-fired oven to craft mouthwatering steak and seafood dishes, which beckon hungry stomachs with robust lunch and dinner menus. Dinner-farers sink incisors into center-cut 8-ounce filet mignons ($22.99), which gallantly traverse the coals of the wood grill and prove their chivalry by meeting waiting mouths in evenly tempered bites. Homemade crab cakes ($18.99) arrive tableside lightly sautéed and eager for rides via forks or Rube Goldberg fork machines, and pork dijonaise ($14.99), a rally of sautéed pork medallions smothered in a delectable cream sauce, halts hunger in its tracks. Afternoon munchers scarf lunch sandwiches, including open-face rib eyes ($10.99) and Fat Tony burgers ($7.49) slathered in house barbecue sauce.
The made-from-scratch fare of Iris & Ivory plays partner to the mélange of more than 40 loose-leaf and bagged tea options that define this quaint British–style tearoom. The 16-ounce teapot ($2) houses the drinker's choice of loose-leaf teas, with the option of adding two crumpets, served toasted with a side of jam, butter, and a pardon for poor fake British accents ($4.25).