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.
The culinary crew at Calabria's, which is nestled on the crest of Frosty Valley Golf Links's manicured greens, crafts a dinner menu brimming with traditional Italian dishes and meaty entrees. The chicken vesuvius basks in a meadow of mushrooms and artichoke hearts, with a glimmering aura of lemon and oregano ($14.95), while the chicken Romano beckons tempted tongues with Romano cheese battered and sauteed with lemon butter ($14.95). Diners can dive into specialties such as gnocchi ($11.95) or pasta calabria, which showcases penne with spinach and tomato sauce ($12.95). Construct noodles with a choice of five pastas and eight sauces (starting at $9.95) or with mannequin heads and wigs. The newly renovated eatery also boasts a lighter lunch menu, a selection of specialty cocktails, a $20 bottle wine list, and outdoor seating.
The puff pros at Jernigan's, voted one of 2010's top 20 bars in Pittsburgh Magazine, open their walk-in humidor to smokers of all stripes, serving fine spirits and classy cuisine in an intimate atmosphere reminiscent of the collegial camaraderie of an Irish pub. Stogie devotees can chew on a classic Padron Anniversario, aged four years, or parse words with a Hemingway Series cigar filled with earthy flavors, a spicy finish, and terse stories of its youth spent hunting squirrels in rural Illinois.
The culinary craftsmen at Dukes Station II tame appetites with a menu of classic American fare. Populate mouth-caves with a crispy basket of shrimp ($4.95) or a helping of jalapeño poppers ($4.95) for a hotter beginning than a phoenix’s 21st rebirthday. A lineup of more than 30 phalange-fillers includes the cheeseburger ($5.95); a half-rack of ribs ($12.95) meets the Constitution-mandated requirement to pronounce something as “finger-licking good” in order to be able to vote. Landlubbing entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs ($7.25) alternate with seafaring treats such as luscious crab cakes ($9.95), and individually sized pizzas come festooned in traditional cheese toppings ($3.95) or with a zesty taco flair ($4.50). Miniature masticators can indulge in kids’ menu items or steal peppermints from a neighbor’s pocket.
Under the sprawling roof of First Niagara Pavilion, music greats such as Billy Joel, Rush, and Jimmy Buffett have all taken over the stage as fans throughout the amphitheater space watch, transfixed. Whether enjoying the show from the open-air pavilion or the verdant lawn, concertgoers demonstrate their love for the performers by dancing along to the music or holding up lighters engraved with the lead singer’s astrological sign.