Situated inside a 120-year-old building, The Park House's dining room exudes turn-of-the-century grandeur. Stamped-tin ceilings soar overhead, and the walls are ornamented in handcrafted woodwork and exposed brass. Today, these formal furnishings contrast with the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant. Floors fill with the peanut shells patrons are encouraged to toss on the ground, and live bluegrass bands and DJs take to the stage each week.
In the kitchen, chef Zamir Zahavi—a self-proclaimed “falafel master”—creates a menu of casual Mediterranean-inspired dishes. He plates the classic triad of pita bread, hummus, and falafel, and enhances burgers with international flourishes such as challah rolls and ajvar, a spicy serbian sauce. Diners can wash down their meals with more than 80 microbrews and craft beers, such as lambic framboise, Chimay, and Yuengling, clinking glasses over the din of an Internet jukebox and big-screen TVs.
You can top off Pizza Parma's pies with any of more than 30 uncommon gourmet toppings. That includes cheeses such as gouda and greek mountain cheese, meats such as crabmeat, gyros, and steak, and veggies such as artichoke hearts, eggplant, and broccoli. The pizzeria’s chefs can put the same rich ingredients in a steaming calzone or string them on a necklace for a loved one. Alternatively, there’s a wide selection of wraps and hoagies, which, depending on what part of the country you're in, are also known as "grinders", "heroes", or "denver omelets".
At Elements Contemporary Cuisine, executive chef Robert Courser champions the Japanese concept of kappo, which emphasizes capturing fare at its freshest, purest state. In this spirit, Courser forged partnerships with local farms to save fresh produce from dull careers as still-life models.
He tweaks his menu of upscale international cuisine to showcase seasonal ingredients, earning the restaurant a nod from the New York Times. At the Spanish marble bar, chefs arrange trays of cheese hailing from Lancaster and the Delaware River Valley, as well as morsels of cured venison and pork. The rest of the dining room proves as elegant, with chocolate-brown tablecloths and steel-gray chairs.
90 seconds. That’s how long Stone Neapolitan Pizzeria’s wood-burning oven takes to cook each pie. Imported directly from Italy, the heating chamber serves as the centerpiece of the open kitchen. Here, diners can watch chefs craft every Neapolitan-style pizza from dough made fresh daily, house-made mozzarella, and toppings such as speck, roasted red peppers, and arugula. The culinary team also tosses salads made to order and piles meats such as prosciutto and turkey onto Italian deli sandwiches. Meals unfold on the fast casual pizzeria’s outdoor patio or within an indoor dining room adorned with pop art, floor-to-ceiling window views of Point Stake Park, and environmentally friendly furnishings. These include reclaimed wood tables, 100% recycled chairs, and lighting fixtures powered by fireflies.
Where's the best place to enjoy more than 101 European beers? Beneath a 6,000 square-foot tent in the great outdoors, of course. That's where the Great European Beer Festival brings some of the best brews from across the pond—with special attention paid to the hops-filled land of Belgium. Names like Piraat, Lindeman’s, Chimay, and Duvel greet festival attendees as they work their way through the tent, which also shelters Belgian cuisine, live musicians, and the tinier musicians that live inside their tubas.
Hosted by the Sharp Edge Beer Emporium, The Great European Beer Festival has been a tradition for nearly two decades. The festivities kick off with an "Ultimate Bier Dinner," during which chefs pair Belgian ales with equally Belgian cuisine, such as duck sausage and imported cheese. The festival then hosts multiple beer-drinking sessions over the course of two days.
Serving up some of Pittsburgh's best brick-oven pizza, Fat Tommy's Pizzeria fills tummies with a menu of toothsome fare. Pizzas range in size from individual slices ($2.29+) to extra-large 18-inch pies ($11.99+), with more than a dozen toppings available to add much needed topographical landmarks to vast expanses of cheese. Nine-inch baked subs such as the ultimate cheesesteak fulfill meaty cravings with rib-eye steak topped with a blend of Italian cheeses, all snuggly nestled in an Italian roll ($6.49). Vegetarian-minded diners can choose from a selection of salads, including the tossed salad, with romaine lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives, onions, and cheese blended together in euphonious harmony ($4.49). Soft drinks offer chilly salve to mouths stung by hot pizza or intemperate rhetoric about Harold and the Purple Crayon's proper place in the canon ($1.69/16 oz., $1.99/22 oz.).