As Steelers fans cheer and jeer the Hofbrau's flickering TVs, frothy mugs of Miller Lite gush from foam-flecked taps and glide across a burnished wood bar. These sudsy drafts chase chews on a trim menu of traditional bar fare, from half-pound burgers to slices of square pizza, and cool palates scorched from signature hot wings drenched in lemon pepper, Cajun, or teriyaki sauces. Clacking pool balls and clinking glasses add makeshift percussion to the occasional live band, who can underscore meals with original tunes and recollections of that one time they smashed their guitars.
Bado's Cucina understands that food is not merely sustenance, but an important part of community and family tradition. That's why his rustic restaurant is warmed by a traditional wood-fired stone hearth, and his pizzas and flatbreads are made with the same recipe for dough that he kneaded as a child in his Italian grandmother's kitchen. Visitors to Bado's Cucina gather amid wrought-iron accents and goldenrod-hued walls, watching chefs in the open kitchen bake toasty flatbreads, whip up homemade bread puddings, or stuff eggplants with a series of increasingly smaller eggplants. These sights and smells send patrons on a culinary tour of the Italian peninsula, featuring a carefully selected lineup of pastas, roasted seasonal veggies, and tender cutlets of pork, wood-fired salmon, and lamb chops.
At Bistro @ Bella Sera, located in Bella Sera Event Venue, diners converse across white-linen-covered tables tucked below painted Tuscan archways after adorning plates with an infinite supply of gourmet fare. The trattoria—first in Pittsburgh to nab a certification from the Green Restaurant Association—surprises palates with a daily rotating menu of Italian antipasti, salads, soups, entrees, and desserts. Past delights include Tuscan minestrone soup, breaded chicken milanese with lemon pepper confit, and chicken romano with roasted redskin potatoes. For a quick preview of what’s in store, diners can check out today’s all-you-can-eat menu on the Bella Sera Facebook page or sneak into chef Josh’s dreams.
Shouf’s Cafe recently earned a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Reader’s Choice award for the Best Ethnic Restaurant of 2012. That’s thanks to the mouthwatering, accessible Lebanese cuisine that Tony Moses and his team of chefs have created here since 2006. They cook up lamb kebabs, moussaka, and slow-cooked pork shank, as well as entrees with influences from across the Mediterranean, such as filet mignon and spinach pie. The cross-cultural menu is augmented by hearty breakfast selections such as buttermilk pancakes and omelets. You can pair up your Mediterranean feast with a glass of wine or a coffee drink and cap off the meal with housemade baklava, the Death by Chocolate cake, or a eulogy for a misplaced napkin.
For almost 30 years, brothers Bill and Mike Peters have strived to make their restaurant an elegant spot for everything from date nights to family dinners. The white-draped tables and ambient lighting set the mood for italian chicken, pasta, and veal dishes as well as steak and seafood offerings, such as Maryland crab cakes and prime rib. After dinner has been cleared, the servers replenish tables with desserts, such as housemade mousse pie and fresh strawberry shortcake. With enough seating to comfortably accommodate a few hundred guests, the dining room also transforms into a gathering space for bridal showers, wedding receptions, and championship spaghetti-staring contests.
Red umbrellas cover the patio area of Frenchy's Bistro & Wine Cellar, where you can settle into dine on traditional Italian dishes and bistro fare as you take in the sunset. In the kitchen, a crew of skilled chefs whip up entrees from wholesome ingredients, including homemade marinara, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. If you want to share your meal with local birds, servers can whisk your dishes outside to the patio. Or instead sit in the indoor dining room, which evokes the feel of a quaint country house; it has wooden booths and glass-lamp lighting.