As patrons ascend to the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, the Roman numerals that comprise XIX Restaurant's name suddenly make sense. The elevator doors open and present guests with a bird's-eye view of the cityscape through floor-to-ceiling arched picture windows—an impressive prelude to what Gayot hails as "one of the city’s most sophisticated dining experiences." The design firm of Marguerite Rodgers transformed the hotel's historical apex into a space that fuses classic architecture with contemporary accents, dividing the area into three distinct sections. A 19-foot Italian chandelier dangles from the restaurant's massive central dome, and handcrafted strands of pearls form an intricate web around the chandelier and above diners' heads. The café adopts a similar stately feel with its decorative alcoves and long, unbroken booths trailing along the curving walls. The bar area adheres to an entirely different aesthetic altogether, immersing guests in a cozy environment of mahogany and dark leather furnishings while a fireplace crackles in the corner. Each section promises its own dining experience, but the chefs demonstrate a singular focus on subtly refined, bistro-style New American cuisine. Seafood from across the Eastern seaboard takes a starring role, especially in the ivory-tiled raw bar that fills the center of the restaurant area. Servings of oysters and littleneck clams help prime palates before diners settle on a heartier entree from the menu. Wild-mushroom hash and thyme jus complement the savory flavors of a pan-roasted organic chicken breast, and the Black Angus rib-eye steak arrives with a silken purée of vidalia onions and creamy potatoes with a hint of gruyère cheese.
When guests walk into the bright blue confines of Square Caf?, they find owner Sherree Goldstein and her friendly crew serving up smiles and steaming cups of custom-blended Kiva Han coffee. Preparing eclectic breakfast and lunch dishes, chefs crack shells for three-egg omelets, green eggs and ham with homemade pesto, and form their own housemade veggie burgers. Attentive servers endlessly refill freshly brewed ice tea and help health-savvy diners find the best menu options. Inside, colorful local artwork fuels discussions about which colors deserve to be primary, and on the sidewalk patio, diners can scan the street for signs of Square Caf?'s vegetable-oil-powered Mercedes.
Gayot proclaimed Square Caf? a "vibrant eatery," describing the "generously portioned, cooked-to-order breakfast and lunch items on huge square plates." In addition to the well-crafted eats, the staff's energy and enthusiasm keep the caf?'s sizeable crowd of regulars coming back?the manager, Kevin, even sports a Square Caf? tattoo as evidence.
The culinary sovereigns at the King George Inn sate the hunger pangs of all those who enter their domain with toothsome American fare depicted on the lunch and dinner menus, served in a historic building constructed in 1756. Midday munchers can delve into the seafood layers of lobster-and-shrimp crepes interlaced with mascarpone cheese ($13.95), or brandish forks to gleefully capture the chicken dijon with fettuccini in pasta-loving prongs ($10.95). For dinner, reward valorous stomachs for their emotional and abdominal support with tender veal-picatta medallions, flash sautéed in lemon-caper butter ($21.95), or sharpen mouth bones on the Dorneyville Sizzler, a 12-ounce, premium-gold, Angus NY strip steak gilded with maître d’butter and served on a blazing-hot pewter plate to discourage entrée burglars and hungry snowmen from snatching the precious dish off of tables ($31.95). Top off tuck-ins with a treat from the dessert menu, which bursts with renderings of homemade cheesecake ($6.95) and chocolate mousse ($5.95).
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.
Good Eatz Green Café stocks its kitchen with local, sustainable, and organic ingredients to fill its menu with gluten-, dairy-, or animal product-free meals. Wholesome recipes include maple buckwheat pancakes and Mexican-style frittatas, as well as ahi tuna sashimi, gluten-free cheese ravioli, seitan meatloaf, and Black Angus cheeseburgers.
In addition to its devotion to sustainable ingredients, Good Eatz boasts other green qualifications such as membership in Oxfam and Green America, formerly Co-op America, a box and paper reuse program, and Energy Star appliances, which can be plugged directly into the sun.