Most chefs get stage fright when customers are watching, but the fearless artisans at Ichiban Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi Bar concoct intricate Japanese dishes in plain view—either at tableside grills or just behind the sushi bar proper. Their collection of specialty maki exudes creativity and playfulness, from the deep-fried Godzilla roll with tuna, salmon, white fish, and crab meat to the Rainbow roll with fresh fish, avocado, and two wishes. Complete hibachi dinners satisfy hearty appetites and short attention spans with a choice of protein alongside soup, salad, vegetable, rice, and noodles—all prepared amusingly right at the table. Each location sports sleek and modern décor with accents such as bamboo walls or a back-lit bar glowing in chic blue or red tones.
Though Green Forest Churrascaria serves a wide variety of meats, every cut has to go through the same trial by fire. Cooked in the traditional churrasco style, the meats sit above an open fire pit fueled by natural wooden charcoal. They roast on impressively sized skewers, which servers then carry into the dining room. There, they slice tender pieces directly onto dinner plates, a showmanship-heavy serving method known as "rodízio."
The resulting dinners star meats such as lamb chops, pork ribs, and filet mignon that, much like the best Christmas presents, comes wrapped in bacon. Some arrive seasoned with parmesan cheese or garlic, while others rely solely on the smoky flavor imparted by their time in the flames. A hot buffet and salad bar balance out meals with a sprawling number of side dishes, including sushi and seafood. There's also a list of wines and beers that emphasizes worldly reds.
Beginning with traditional American flavors, Toast! kitchen & wine bar's chefs elevate those dishes to new heights and create refined versions of familiar favorites. Habanero-spiced cheddar adds a piquant kick to servings of shrimp and organic corn grits, and flatbreads feature hearty toppings such as roasted mushrooms, brie, and white truffle oil. True to its name, Toast! also curates a selection of international wines available in tasting portions, glasses, or full bottles so the whole table can enjoy reading the label aloud.
Crimson walls, dark wooden rafters, and suede banquettes contribute to the space's calming and lounge-like ambiance. That quiet, cozy atmosphere inspired CBS Pittsburgh to place the wine bar on its 2013 list of the Best Bars For A Blind Date In Pittsburgh. As if to encourage refined conversation, framed artwork surrounds the dining room, lit by sconces and pendant lamps dangling above the bar.
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.
The sound system at Exit Nightclub gives people 60,000 reasons to dance. The reinforced, bass-driven system pulses the dance floor with 60,000 watts of up-tempo, frenzied beats. It syncs with computerized, intelligent-light technology, which sends beams fluttering and popping throughout the three tiers of the 20,000 square feet club. On Fridays and Saturdays, DJs primarily drive Top-40 anthems and jams from their decks, and on weeknights, live entertainment occasionally takes over. Four bars keep heads bobbing and limbs flailing, serving cocktails for of-age guests, soft drinks for the 18–20 crowd, and cups of ice to those who burnt their mouths on soup at dinner.
The original McFadden's, founded in New York City, was known for throwing the wildest parties in the area, and the franchise's myriad locations now carry on the tradition throughout the United States. Resident DJs blast dance beats throughout the night, and, more often than not, both staff and patrons confuse the bar and the dance floor. Guests can steady themselves with burgers or pub fare and watch a Pittsburgh team on one of the 30 high-definition TVs around the bar. The bar also hosts bachelor, bachelorette, and birthday parties, as well as corporate events or fortnightly gatherings to howl at passing satellites.