Browsing Tag

Squirrel Hill

Pittsburgh Restaurants

Hidden Harbor

Hidden Harbor, billed a modern Tiki spot, is located at the corner of Shady and Forbes Avenues in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.

The Food (and Drinks…)

Hidden Harbor is a really unique find in Pittsburgh with its Caribbean and Polynesian drink items all with the decor of being in the tropics.  The drink menu is seasonal but typically boasts between a dozen to twenty different choices.  Each drink provides a unique concoction of liqueurs, juices, fruits, and other ingredients and seasonings.  It is recommended that one asks the bartender or server to make a recommendation.  I had great experiences with doing that because I was at a loss of what to order.  My first visit, the bartender recommended a concoction of rum, Kona coffee infused Jamaican rum, lime, banana, cinnamon, cardamom, and bitters called an Oka Kope Kooler.  I never would have guessed that the given combination of flavors would be so delicious.  It could be described with one word; heavenly!  At more recent visits, I have had their Planter’s Punch with their house 5 rum blend, lime, grapefruit, orange, marachino, grenadine, vanilla, coffee, absinthe, and bitter as well as their Rum Cannonball with Virgin Islands rum, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, and mint.  Both provided a symphony of electric flavor.  The food menu provides a limited number of selections.  I recommend the Ahi Tuna Poke with the Wasabi-Soy dressing, over greens and topped with avodado, peppers, cucumbers, and sesame seeds.  Another good menu option is the curry steak tacos.  Both entrees have rich flavors that compliment the flavors of the drinks.

The Service

Because of the uniqueness and complexity of the different types of drinks, do not expect fast service.  The bartenders expertly take their time to craft these beautiful and tasty concoctions.  The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the drink and food menus and make informed recommendations to patrons.  At one visit, our service got off to a bumpy start because the host never told a server that we were to be her customers, so we sat for a while before even water to brought to us.  This was the only bump based on the three visits I have made to Hidden Harbor.  Overall, the entire staff has been friendly and efficient.

The Ambiance

Hidden Harbor provides a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing setting for patrons to feel whisked away to an exotic island.  The artwork, sculptures, lighting, music, all reinforces the venues main theme as a Tiki bar.  The venue also features different themed nights:  Tuesday Tiki Time Machines which showcases drinks that are organized by decade and location.  Want a drink that was popular in the 1970s in Fort Lauderdale? Or a 1920s Coney Island concoction?  Or even a 1950s Hollywood specialty, then Tuesdays are the night to visit.  They also boast Weird Science Wednesday, and a Jumpstart Thursday.  These themes enhance the overall ambiance because patrons can visit many times and still have a unique and refreshed experience.

Overall

Hidden Harbor provides a very distinctive and matchless experience that all Pittsburghers and visitors alike should visit.  My recommendation is:

“Absolutely Must Visit!”

Contact

1708 Shady Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-5040
Visit Hidden Harbor

  

Pittsburgh Restaurants

Sakura Teppanyaki & Sushi

Sakura is an Asian restaurant in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh at the corner of Forbes and Shady Avenues with Japanese and Chinese options.

The Food

Sakura’s menu offers a wide variety of items.  There are plenty of appetizers, soups, salads, sushi, and entree options.  The miso soup is delicious!  They get the right balance of tofu, scallions, and seaweed, with a rich flavor.  In my opinion, Sakura has the best sushi in Pittsburgh.  There is a wide variety of some 60 different sushi and maki selections.  A patron can order individual rolls or choose from special options of combos.  No matter what roll I have gotten, it is always fresh with a crisp flavor.  The rice is the perfect consistency where the rolls do not fall apart when dipped in soy sauce.  There is always a healthy dose of wisabi and ginger.  Making choices is always difficult.  My two favorites are the spicy tuna sandwich with spicy tuna, seaweed salad, crab, with tempura flakes, spicy mayo, caviar, and green onion or the spicy salmon delight, with salmon, cilantro, jalapeno, topped with spicy mayo, and a Wisabi sauce.  I got either of those each time I visit.  There sichuan dishes are rich in flavor.  Although, there Hibachi options are not prepared in front of you, they are very good as well.  The Kung Pao chicken is the best I have had in the city.  The food never misses here!

The Service

Whether it is at lunch or dinner, crowded or busy, the service at Sakura has been consistently efficient and friendly.  Water glasses are filled up and dishes are cleared in a timely fashion.  The greeter takes care of processing the bills for the servers, so there is no lingering wait at the end of the meal.

The Ambiance

Sakura is a clean, pleasant, unassuming environment.  The lighting from the front of the restaurant blends nicely with the lighting in the back.  The acoustics are such that one can hear both the server and fellow diners at their own table with ease.  It is a great place to eat in.

Overall

Sakura is my “go to” restaurant for sushi in Pittsburgh.  Other places are good, but Sakura is consistently, the best.  If you or anyone you are with is not in the mood for sushi, then Sakura has a large variety of other options from which to choose.  My overall rating and recommendation is:

“Absolutely Must Visit!”

Contact

5882 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-7188
Vist Sakura!

Other Venues

The Manor Theater

This is the first review to come under the heading “Other Venues.”  More will follow!

The Manor Theater is located on Murray Avenue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh.

The Experience

Over 90 years old, the Manor Theater is one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and well known movie venues.  Very reasonably priced, it is staffed by professional, friendly employees who are very helpful.  Patrons are greeted by tasteful art and decor that is a nostalgic nod to the theater’s past.  Renovated in 2012, the theater has a spacious foyer where customers can choose from an extensive light fare menu that includes the traditional popcorn, candy, and soda, but also items such as chicken fingers and potstickers.  There is also a wet bar that provides a larger than expected number of offerings of cocktails, beers, and wines.  The theater repertoire shows a variety of film genres, that ranges from blockbusters to documentaries.   The Manor Theater has four auditoriums, both with spacious, comfortable arm chair seats.  There is amble space between the rows, so patrons can enjoy stretching out.

Overall

If you want to enjoy a very enjoyable film going experience, the Manor Theater is a must do for your list.  Buy some popcorn, get a glass of wine, and sit back and relax, and enjoy the film.  You will want to yell “Encore” after this visit.  I certainly did!  My overall rating and recommendation is:

“Absolutely Must Visit!”

Contact

1729 Murray Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 422-9851
Visit the Manor Theater