Browsing Tag

downtown Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Restaurants

Butcher and the Rye

Butcher and the Rye is located on 6th Street in downtown Pittsburgh in the cultural district.

 

The Food

Butcher and the Rye is a trendy restaurant serving new and creative American fare.  Many of the menu options feature locally grown vegetables.  There is an extensive and inventive drink menu.  In addition to wines, beers, and ciders, there are some creative cocktails,  The Salinger’s Sling with Bulleit bourbon, grand marniers, and coffee bitters is my go to cocktail.  There is a broad list of small plates from which to start.  The Brussels, grilled with dill, and covered in parmigiano reggiano, is my favorite starter.  The Dry Aged Tartare, Cheese Board, and Mac and Cheese are other good options for appetizers.  The large plate menu offers a variety of choices.  My two favorite are the Scallops with crab risotto, asparagus, and capers, and the Roasted Chicken, with mushrooms, creamed Brussel sprouts, and grapes.  Other menu items include duck, lamb, steak, salads, pates.  The chef has concocted a menu that provides a delicious mixture of savory and sweet and no matter the course or item, all of it has been consistently very good.  There are three desert options and all three are worth leaving room for.  The carrot cake and flourless chocolate cake, are both delicious.  However, my recommendation is the Peaches and Cream Doughnuts with cinnamon, oatmeal, and peach ice cream.  It is heavenly!

          

The Service

Butcher and the Rye is a very popular restaurant here in Pittsburgh.  Make reservations beforehand.  During my visits, the service has been consistently quite good.  The staff is friendly.  My last visit to Butcher was with a group of friends from out of town who were experiencing Butcher and the Rye for the first time.  The server provided informed descriptions and honest feedback on any of the questions the patrons had.  At one experience though, there was an evening where there were three greeters.  They were consumed with their own conversation and they were not saying goodbye as guests left the restaurant.  I was not upset by it, but I found it rather odd.

The Ambiance

Butcher and the Rye has a beautiful rustic, nostalgic, American decor.  The lighting was warm, but a little dark, and sometimes makes it difficult to read the menu.  Acoustically, the front of the restaurant is a little loud and can make it a strain to hear people seated at the table.  It is better elsewhere in the restaurant.  The atmosphere can best be described as lively and is an enjoyable environment to visit.

         

Overall

Butcher and the Rye is a terrific Pittsburgh venue, relatively new to the restaurant scene.  I give it an overall rating and recommendation of:

“Go For It!”

Visit

212 6th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 391-2752
Visit Butcher and the Rye

Pittsburgh Restaurants

Talia Cucina & Roticceria

Talia is located in downtown Pittsburgh on Sixth Avenue in the renovated old Alcoa Building.  Recently opened, it specializes in modern upscale Italian cuisine.

The Food

Being fairly new, this restaurant is one that I have only visited once.  There is a terrific, trendy drink menu to order before dinner cocktails which consisted of drinks not often appearing in Pittsburgh restaurants.  I enjoyed the black martini.  Please keep in mind though that this is unique, contemporary Italian food with much influence from northern and southern Italy.  Less pastas and more meats.  There is a great selection of appetizer and entree items.  For appetizers, the Margharita flatbread was a nice compliment to the Roman salad with its arugula, padano, leeks, and mint with a white balsamic.  For a main course, I had the ricotta gnocchi with tomato, Calabrian chili, beef brisket and could not have been more pleased with my decision.  For a side, I got the braised baby carrots.  Both were delicious and the meal filled me up.  No room for desert.  I’ll have to go back.  It is definitely worth another visit.

The Service

Talia provided terrific service.  The greeters were very polite and accommodating, as some of our party was late having been caught up in Penguins traffic.  Our waiter was outstanding.  He was able to eagerly explain in great detail drink and food items and answered all of our questions with great enthusiasm.  The table service was brisk and well organized.  Water glasses were filled, drinks were replenished and dishes removed and replaced, all with great efficiency.

The Ambiance

Talia is a bright and open venue.  The windows surrounding provides amble natural lighting.  As it turns to dusk, the lighting provides a warm glow that is very welcoming.  The decor is beautiful.  I particularly enjoyed the homage to Jack Legh’s photograph of the Bad Girl statue originally located in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia and later used for the cover of the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. As visually appealing as the Talia is, aurally, there are some issues.  The acoustics are too alive.  The music and ambient sound is simply too loud and makes it very difficult to hear guests at the same table even though the seating is quite intimate.

Overall

Talia is a hip new arrival to the Pittsburgh downtown restaurant scene  and quite worthy of a visit.  My overall recommendation and rating is:

“Go For It!”

Contact

425 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412-456-8214
Visit Talia