The Fifth Season Restaurant's chefs prep robust steakhouse classics with upscale panache. Situated in an old tavern, the restaurant's muted, earth-toned dining room complements its woodsy surroundings. Warmer seasons bring outdoor seating, where eyes feast upon the surrounding game reserve and mouths dine on selections from the rich menu. Oil rusty jaw-hinges with appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms broiled with crabmeat and swaddled in a melted swiss-cheese blanket ($8). Entrees include the seafood puff pastry ($25), which allows diners to taste a variety of underwater delicacies without the hassle of stealing a shark's lunchbox, as well as the center-cut USDA-choice filet mignon ($26 for 6 oz.) and top sirloin ($12 for 6 oz.). The wine list offers a cornucopia of more than 700 domestic and imported Dionysian delights.
First-time visitors to Chowder House Cafe often fixate on the dining room’s walls—or lack thereof, as every square inch has been painted over with electric flowers, guitar players, crowned kings, and other artistic testaments to the café’s funky and unconventional outlook. This same outlook makes its way onto the menu, which features the namesake clam chowder alongside salads, sandwiches, and dinner entrees similarly inspired by the sea. Aside from the Sunday brunch’s traditional omelets and buttermilk pancakes drenched in fresh Ohio maple syrup, a crab cake benedict celebrates the weekend atop a toasted ciabatta roll. Regardless of the time of day, a considerate BYOB policy accommodates the sailors who often stumble into the café with unlabeled bottles of clam juice.
Cool breezes caress the faces of diners seated at the brick-walled outdoor patio at Marbella Restaurant, recalling the Mediterranean climate of the Spanish seaside resort for which the eatery is named. Indoors, tuxedoed waiters deliver fresh seafood such as twin lobster tails, grilled scallops, and jumbo shrimp to tables lit by flickering candlelight. Spanish wines, from sparkling cavas to rich, red riojas, pour into glasses from a full bar.
Executive chef Greg Alauzen has designed every dish on Cioppino's sumptuous dinner menu. Whet your appetite with his selection of oysters on the half-shell ($12) before moving onto his signature dish, Cioppino—a heaping platter of branzino, mahi-mahi, little-neck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels, Dungeness crab, scallops, whole prawn, onion, and fennel, all served with grilled crostini ($29). The only thing missing is the lobster, which you can get in risotto form ($12). Those with more landlubbing tastes will prefer an Elysian Fields Farm lamb with potato croquette and basil-mint oil ($38), New York strip steak ($34), or the veggie-friendly potato gnocchi ($16). Since seafood tends to make for poor desserts, top your feast with vanilla-bean crème brûlée ($6) and gelato ($5), or warm beignets tossed in cinnamon and sugar with a caramel, chocolate, or raspberry dipping sauce ($6).
Plucked from a watery upbringing and cast into market, seafood circulates throughout Benkovitz Seafood daily to uphold the fresh, homemade promise of every fishy feast. Start from the top of the high-seas menu with a signature fried-fish sandwich ($6.95). Clumped and lumped jumbo crab cakes ($8.95 each) or salmon cakes ($6.95 each) provide seaworthy portions properly composed to uphold most birthday candles. Fragile fingers can improve baiting dexterity with heartily shrimpy portions of shrimp in a basket ($4.95), coconut shrimp with mango sauce ($4.95), or shrimp off the deli ($12.95–$20 per pound).
Although ten finalists made it to Pittsburgh's Best Ribs competition, Roxanne's Take-Out & Catering drew top praise for its "Honey-A-Must" sauce, according to event sponsor WPXI.com. When the judges tore into Roxanne's honey-mustard ribs, the room went silent—save for the sound of vigorous chewing and one pronouncement that "this sauce is great." The highly celebrated sauce represents just one of Roxanne Easley's mouthwatering dishes, which she prepares daily.
Easley's accomplishments are not limited to her cooking, however. In February 2012, she named Pittsburgh Courier's list of "Fab 40" honorees for being an elite member of the African-American business community in Pittsburgh. Roxanne also showed Pittsburgh her cooking skills as she performed a live cooking-demonstration of her famous balsamic lamb chops and peach cake on TV program Pittsburgh's Today Live. As a chef and business owner, Easley has catered events with up to 500 people, preparing an array of dishes such as mexican lasagna and parmesan crusted tilapia, as well as customized dishes tailored to the event.