At Bossa Nova, it’s okay to begin a meal with cupcakes. In the baked chicken cupcakes—one of many tapas plates on the menu—mashed potatoes are substituted for frosting, and there’s a garnish of sautéed zucchini. Such innovative recipes are mixed in with a number of classic ones; you can also try fried calamari, spicy tuna tartar wrapped in cucumber, and a bacon, brie, and potato sandwich. These dishes are centered on a communal dining experience, which encourages you to try whatever tapas plate your friend is eating without first pretending to have somehow misplaced your own. In addition to tapas, the kitchen serves up larger entrees such as Spanish chorizo and beef filet.
The restaurant's space is just as eclectic as the cuisine, with a circular bar covered in mosaic tiles acting as the centerpiece. Stop here to order wine and cocktails, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, guests head to the dance floor during DJ sets. Chandeliers and vibrant artwork surround the tables spread throughout the dining room, and there are nooks embedded into the walls if you want a more intimate setting.
The dessert-inspired martini list at Olive or Twist hosts a range of sweet digestifs including the cake-batter cocktail, the tiramisu martini, the chocolate-covered-pretzel martini with a salted rim, and the key-lime-pie martini. In addition to inventive mixes, Olive or Twist hosts a wide selection of craft beers, ensuring guests find the ideal beverage to compliment upscale American fare from the full kitchen. Its range of appetizers and entrees sate any size of appetite, with options such as truffle fries, housemade crab cakes, and filet mignon with peppercorn sauce. While they dine, patrons can feast eyes on the dark-mocha wood accents that lace the bar and lounge areas at Olive or Twist, offsetting the cream-hued plush seats.
Dominic’s Famous Deli and Bottle Shop stuffs its menu with paninis, hot dogs, soups, and hoagies ranked by WPXI among Pittsburgh’s Best Hoagies. The Cannonball hoagie ($8) slings midday meatballs against the tyranny of cubicles, cubed cheese, and ice cubes, and the Mount Washington cushions portobello mushrooms, olives, and pesto mayo with an italian baguette ($7). Boar’s Head hot dogs extend to a full 12 inches ($4.50), showered with premium toppings of nacho cheese, chili, and sauerkraut ($0.50 each). Eight high-definition televisions and a 220” HD projector broadcast sports games to cheering fans and dumplings bobbing excitedly in pittsburgh pierogi soup ($4).
Buckhead Saloon's mounted buckhead keeps a watchful eye over bar-goers as they ingest American cuisine favorites and share pitchers of Yuengling. The ample, lively establishment houses a variety of seating areas, from its ski-lodge-style lounge area to its spacious, stool-lined bar. Let the congenial staff shake you up a martini as you shake tailfeathers with friends and fellow avian strangers on the dance floor, or grab a table on one of Buckhead’s local entertainment nights and scan the menu for the hand-breaded and deep-fried potato and cheddar perogies ($7.95). Indecisive eaters can sample the Jekyll and Hyde sandwich, an edible novella bound with one half buffalo chicken, one half barbecue roast beef, and one half misanthrope ($8.95). Buckhead Saloon rests just across the river from Heinz Field and PNC Park, allowing quick bites before or after the game.
Whim Nightclub pumps up patrons with intricate lighting and a pulsing sound system that keeps the mammoth dance floor packed. Guests mingle indoors on padded lounge seating or relax outdoors on the seasonal deck, where barbecue is served during happy hour and on the seventh Wednesday of each leap year. Though this Groupon is not good for alcohol, club-goers may want to grab a drink at one of the venue's six bars, or order bottle service before taking tail feathers to the dance floor. The club cultivates a constant stream of events and musical acts, and provides VIP areas to facilitate high-stakes business meetings and Hannah Montana–themed birthday parties. Before slipping into camouflage jerseys and stovepipe hats, customers should calibrate outfits to suit the dress code.