Let Them Eat Meat
Pittsburgh is truly a steak lover’s city
While Pittsburgh has embraced eclectic, seasonal cuisine as evidenced with restaurants like Bar Marco (Mediterranean), Chengdu Gourmet (Sichuan Chinese) and Superior Motors (new American), it holds onto its love of meat-and-potato spots with an array of steakhouses. While you can visit any number of big chains, including Eddie Merlot’s, Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s and Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, you’d be remiss to miss these local joints.
It doesn’t get much better than the name suggests, does it? In 2011, chef/owner Richard DeShantz opened Pittsburgh’s first gastropub downtown. Here, you get stick-to-your-bones fare like buttermilk fried chicken livers; silky bone marrow; dry-aged strip tartare; indulgent pot roast with mashed potatoes and horseradish gremolata; and the not-to-miss $75 45-ounce rib-eye steak for two where you can add a variety of a la carte sauces (béarnaise, black truffle butter), potatoes (confit, au gratin) and sides (collard greens, roasted cauliflower).
This place is a standout for a casual approach to its meat-heavy menu. Designed after popular Argentine steakhouses, a.k.a. parillas, Gaucho is a no-reservation, counter-service, no-fee BYOB steakhouse that prepares different cuts of beef (i.e. flank, rib-eye, New York strip) over an open-flame, wood-fired grill and serves each with chimichurri. And this being an Argentinean spot, you can, of course, indulge in various empanadas, chorizo, paella and other delicacies.
A newcomer to the dining scene, or, The Whale inside the Distrikt Hotel may have an odd name, but its offerings have caught people’s attention. In addition to various steaks (can we discuss the $125 35-ounce, bone-in, dry-aged rib-eye?), it offers three seafood towers, a variety of other fish options, and, of course, a wedge salad.
What’s better than a cigar after your steak? At this place, you can choose from 50-plus cigars, sip on more than 300 whiskies or 450 wines while indulging in robust steaks and chops, which are often procured locally like the Elysian Fields Farm lamb chops. Of course, someone at the table has to get the namesake cioppino, overflowing with lobster, halibut, clams, mussels, jumbo lump crab and more wonderful seafood.
Leave it to the folks behind the uber-hip Ace Hotel brand to bring an equally cool steakhouse to its Pittsburgh property. At Whitfield, you can start with rich French onion soup, a proper wedge with blue cheese dressing or jumbo shrimp cocktail before diving into one of four locally sourced, grass-fed and finished Jubilee Hilltop Ranch steaks, all served family style. And this being an Ace property, you can, of course, get a $28 vegetarian tasting menu in case part of your crew doesn’t indulge in meat.
Or, The Whale