Perusing Ristorante La Buca’s menu beforehand doesn’t necessarily give diners the full idea of what to expect. To showcase the day's fresh catches, servers roll a seafood cart through the dining room, giving diners the chance to pick whatever strikes them in the moment. And diners can rest easy knowing that whatever they choose from the seafood cart will be in capable hands. “Chef-owner Giuseppe Giuliani is a minimalist with seafood,” says Philadelphia magazine, “only lemon and olive oil on the whole fish, perhaps adding a bonus of lump crabmeat to a pan-crisped fillet.” Fish, lobsters, and scallops may receive the most attention in the dining room, but the menu also includes a number of familiar Italian dishes from terra firma, such as veal marsala and Tuscan-style chicken breast. Within Ristorante La Buca’s intimately lit dining area , a mural dominates one entire corner of the room. The ocean-side scene mimics the look of a Renaissance-era fresco, depicting small groups of revelers hefting goblets and jugs mid-conversation. This bright and dynamic scene lends a lively spirit to the rest of the dining room’s rustic assortment of brick archways, dark wooden trim, and cellar-like wine racks.
The readers of Pittsburgh Magazine have heaped mounds of praise on Alchemy N' Ale, a rustic pub known for its savory entrees and crisp libations. In a 2012 readers' poll, Alchemy received the second-place spot for Best Burger and took home first-place honors as Best Pub. To see what the fuss is about, all you need to do is sit down and look around. Faux ivy clings to exposed-brick walls, which surround diners as they sink their teeth into mouthwatering burgers or quintessential pub eats such as fish 'n' chips and shepherd’s pie. The recently expanded menu also showcases entrees for vegans and vegetarians as well as dishes forged from local, organic, and Fulbright scholarship–winning ingredients.
White columns frame the red-tiled awning of Bellissimo Ristorante, a slice of Tuscan villa welcoming guests to a restaurant full of Sicilian and Neapolitan art and cuisine. The patio features classic statuary and a burbling stone fountain, while the interiors boasts rich wooden tables and chairs atop a terracotta tile floor. The flavor of authenticity extends beyond the d?cor to the menu, which features filet mignon douses with gorgonzola cheese and topped with lumps of crabmeat and thin curst Italian-style pizzas cooked in real brick ovens.
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.
Hailing from Sicily and Italy’s Reggio Calabria province, the Caricari family relies on time-tested recipes and skilled cooks at its two Feasta Italia restaurants. The eatery is known for its handcrafted pizzas, as chefs create every pie to order. Hand-tossed crust and fresh, never frozen ingredients highlight every pizza. Zesty toppings include black olives, ham, and meatballs. Feasta Italia’s menu rounds out with pasta dishes and other entrees, such as veal parmigiana and seafood marinara.