This past Monday I attended Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best Restaurants Party with a few friends of mine. We originally heard of the party a few months ago through Groupon and bought tickets right away, taking advantage of the 50% discount in price. On the day of the event, we arrived a little before the doors opened at 6 pm and there was already a line extending almost the length of Heinz Field. The event was held in both the East and West sections of the club level in Heinz Field. There were tables, one for each of the featured restaurants, set up along the scenic glass walls in each of the clubs. Overwhelmed by the number of restaurants and the volume of food available to us we came up with a small strategy. We parted ways to survey a few different tables, sizing up our options, then we made our selections, grabbed a few plates each, and reconnected at an empty table to share what we got. This way we could get to taste most of the offerings without wasting food or getting too full.
By the time we made it to the other club level, many of the restaurants had already run out of food. I had been to a few of those restaurants already though so thankfully it wasn’t the worst that could’ve happened. I tried so many dishes. Some exceeded every expectation (I’m still drooling over them) and some sadly disappointed (like a bland tasting kielbasa). Now I know what to move to the very top of my ‘Pittsburgh restaurants to try’ list… Dinette, Spoon, Paris 66, Cure… and so many more. I think there are about 30 restaurants on my list at the very least. They are all here in Pittsburgh too. Imagine the trouble I would be in if I lived somewhere like Philadelphia or New York where my list of ‘restaurants to try’ would extend off the notepad on my phone and out my front door. Good thing I live in the small but mighty city of Pittsburgh!
Once we were completely satisfied with full bellies, we took the shuttle over to the after party at Rivers Casino. It was my first time in the new casino. What a huge place! In addition to more food and free drinks, we were given $10 to play the slot machines. That will be the first and only time I gamble. How does anyone win on a slot machine? The most I won was $3 and it was all gone three spins later. I had always wanted to experience gambling, I had no idea what to expect. I tried it. It isn’t my thing. Now I know.
I’m sad that this event only comes once a year. I would go once a month if they offered it. It is such a great and easy way to try an incredible number of fabulous restaurants all in one night. Here are a few pictures from my adventures!