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.
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."
Traditional Japanese culture dictates that the hearth of the house is the heart of the house?a common space where family and friends broke bread together. The robata restaurant takes that concept further, typically by making a fiery grill the centerpiece of the dining room. Mr. and Mrs. Shindo, the owners of Robata of Tokyo, aim to capture a familial, welcoming atmosphere, where you can sample a wide range of Japanese cuisine spanning sushi, tempura, and hibachi grilling.
Cooking is theatre at Robata: take a seat at the sushi bar to watch the chef prepare both traditional and unique sushi rolls. The Halloween roll features salmon, avocado, and masago. You can also watch as chefs at the hibachi grill slice and dice meat and veggies and serve it directly to patrons. A full bar is on hand, too, serving sake and beer.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.
In 1989, Dan Gallagher and Dan Smith joined their respective names and began pursuing one common goal: to bring a contemporary alternative to Berks County's dining scene. The 40-seat eatery was successful in the Dans' hands until 2005, when Bill Woolworth and MD. Monir stopped in for dinner, fell in love with the place, and decided to buy it.
Though much of the space's original charm remains intact, the new owners gussied up the decor with white tablecloths and floral arrangements, and they solicited the help of executive chef Jason Hook to lighten the rotating menu. Jason draws on his experience studying in France and working at The Four Seasons in New York to craft healthful, contemporary French- and Californian-inspired dishes. In every preparation, he highlights the ingredients' natural tastes, often pairing local cuts of meat and poultry with fresh, seasonal ingredients and luxurious flourishes such as truffles or Lamborghini-scented foam.
Hook, Woolworth, and Monir also frequently evaluate their wine selections to ensure that they pair well with the evolving menu, which changes every week. While sipping glasses of red or white, diners can question servers about the building's rich history in the Penn's Common Historic District. Before the restaurant settled into the space, it was inhabited by an old-style soda dive, a prison doctor's home, and a grassland populated with roaming dinosaurs.
Inspired by her Jewish family heritage, Susan Herlands opened My Mother's Delicacies Inc. in 1988 to share her grandmother's respected rugelach recipe and other traditional treats that are certified kosher dairy. Shoppers can peruse an assortment of the coveted, hand-rolled rugelach ($14.99/lb.), a crescent- or square-shaped pastry crafted using a buttery, flaky, cream-cheese-infused crust and speckled with cinnamon, sugar, or nuts. A pound of Hungarian hand-rolled kipfel cookies ($14.99) bubbles over with raspberry, walnut, or apricot fillings, and a small tin of black and white cookies ($21.95) dazzles dessert lovers with a duochromatic treat as decadent as snacking on a 1920s film star. The shop sells pastries individually and by the pound as well as platters and gift towers sizeable enough for parties or a high tea with longtime frenemy Betty Crocker.