In the past two months, we've hit up some great staples, great places to go, not our first time to any of them. My challenge: I lost some motivation to blog them - either because we've been permanent fixtures at Consol (Let's go Pens!), that I was too tired to remember the experience clearly, I forgot to take pictures and then felt boring, or simply drank waaaay too much wine during dinner. Mostly that last option. Oops.
The Original Fish Market - We went twice during the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show. Nothing is better after spending 8 hours on your feet, answering the same 6 questions for 3 million people, than a giant sushi boat! Ha, don't get me wrong, I actually LOVE working the home show - it just requires wine and sushi at the end of the day. And the Fish Market never disappoints in food, as long as you like seafood. I wish they would freshen up the decor a bit, it just reminds me of, I dunno, 15 years ago. They have great appetizers, great wine list, good sushi, and great fish. Bring a flashlight, its dark in there.
Monterey Bay - More seafood!! I love Chilean Sea Bass. Again, a great staple, the food is always fab. And not all Monterey Bays are created equal. The one in Monroeville apparently is running the C-team, in service, in food, in ambiance. Skip it and head to Mt. Washington. Oh and just a reminder to those who forgot: Don't order pasta at the seafood place. You'll end up coveting your neighbors meal.
Tamari - This is a great tapas place - all small plates. I just love eating this way because instead of ordering a meal for each person, you just order a bunch of plates and share. Wine is good. Food is excellent. Concept is cool. I can't wait for it to be warm enough to sit outside and watch Lawrenceville go by.
Now that we got that out of the way, I would like to take this opportunity to air my grievance. And it has to do with going to dinner. And I will disclaim before I even start, this is not directed at anyone specifically. I don't even know if I should do this... please don't be afraid to go out to dinner with me, I'm not judging, I'm just observing and raising awareness. I'm sure I'm not the only one who shares this experience.
I love going to dinner. I love going with a big group of people. I love going with old friends, new friends, other peoples' friends - whatever. I do recognize that not everyone wants to share their food with me or try mine. No worries - I totally get it. At the same, when the establishment is not willing to split the check, I prefer not to share in the paying of your bill, nor do I expect you, new acquaintance, to share in mine. This isn't an issue between friends. With many of the friends we go out with, we split the bill evenly, regardless of who ordered what. It just saves aggravation. Either that or we trade off - "I got this one, you get the next one." Its all good. Appetizers are a conundrum anyway.
For some reason though, when I find myself in a group of people where I don't know everyone, that damn check goes around, and somehow, someway, after everyone pulled out their cell phone calculators and tallied up their damage, the cash is short. I'm not sure what the challenge is. Can someone not add? Did someone forget the tip or tax? Did you think you only drank 2 glasses of wine, cause you definitely had 7? Does someone feel no responsibility towards the shared food on the table simply because they didn't order it, because somebody opted to finish it "if no one wants the last piece..."? Did I screw up and everyone is feeling this way about me? Can I add? How many martinis did I have? And its a big fat wad of cash, so there is no way to figure out whodunit. And it all reality, to be fair, its probably unintentional, just miscalculating tax & tip.
And it doesn't really matter. If I'm bellyaching about the extra 10 bucks I threw in, then I probably shouldn't be going out to dinner at cool restaurants in the first place. And for those of you who treated lately - thanks! It's my turn next.
Alma's up next.