Tables at fine-dining restaurants are known for their fancy white-linen outfits, unlike tables in home kitchens, which are notorious for going nude. Dress up for a nice meal with today’s Groupon: for $17, you get $35 worth of sophisticated American cuisine at The Station Brake Café in Wilmerding.
Open since 1986, The Station Brake Café pays tribute to its railroad-town heritage in both name and the sophisticated American cuisine that comprises its diverse menu, which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2006 characterized as one that “would make [George] Westinghouse proud.” Modern-day magnates can tell scary stories of graduated income taxes around the restaurant’s welcoming fireplace, as they stoke appetites with a fresh, thick-sliced provolone wheel, which is hand breaded, deep-fried and served with garden-fresh basil marinara ($6.99). Skip straight to the main course with a choice of pasta topped with stuffed banana peppers, brimming with a blend of sweet and hot sausage and simmered in marinara ($13.99). A 9-ounce New York strip steak ($15.99) or 6-ounce Black Angus filet mignon ($18.99) leaps off the grill to join a side of sautéed mushrooms or can be cast-iron blackened with Cajun brown-butter sauce for a Bourbon Street–style feast prepared with sustainable, locally sourced Voodoo spells (an additional $2 each). The eatery pushes the limits of surf and turf, adding a double dose of turf in the Chef’s Potpourri, which decorates plates with filet mignon, lamb loin chop, and cold-water lobster tail ($28.99).
Evening diners sup beneath the stars under the main dining room's glass-roofed atrium. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s fine china and white linen tablecloths complement Chef Tony's sophisticated cuisine without resorting to the tiny steak top hats or duck a l'orange monocles used by other upscale bistros.
Station Brake Cafe
When the Station Brake Cafe first opened in 1986, owner Tom Setz made a commitment to gourmet Italian-inspired cuisine. Today, his menu features traditional veal marsala in wine sauce alongside creatively named dishes such as the chicken Neptune, which marries the white meat with lobster and scallops in a sherry cream sauce.
The eatery still boasts its original decor, which weaves exposed brick, stained glass, vintage woodwork, and carpet into a dining room that evokes memories of homey family dinners and belie the gourmet cuisine. Arching solarium windows bathe diners in natural light from the ground up and, in the corner, a stone fireplace crackles with heat to fend off the winter chill or dispose of secret messages scrawled on cocktail napkins.
500 Station St.
Wilmerding, Pennsylvania 15148