Located in the Fairmont, the restaurant fl.2 (Floor 2) is seeking to elevate hotel cuisine in downtown Pittsburgh. We recently went for Sunday brunch and while the space itself is beautifully designed and the food decent, the service left us wanting much more.
fl.2 is an Elegant and Modern Dining Space
The space is certainly stunning with lots of brass and gold elements and an overall mid-century modern feel. The bar is particularly impressive with its huge oval shape suspended from the ceiling and tons of mirrors that make the space feel even larger and grander. We both commented that we didn't feel like we were even in Pittsburgh.
We went for a special brunch event hosted by Table Magazine that included a mimosa and pastry plate before enjoying brunch.
The entree options on the menu were broken down into eggs and omelettes, sweet (like French toast and pastries), and savory (like avocado toast, a burger, and mussels).
We started off with our mimosas made with fresh grapefruit and a tarragon simple syrup. They were tart and refreshing, a great way to wake up and start the day.
The Service Made the Rest Hard to Enjoy
The pastry plate soon arrived with muffins, a bacon scone, and a lemon poppyseed scone. This is where trouble began to set in. I asked if there were nuts in anything and the server wouldn't give me a straight answer. He just kept saying that cross contamination could be a problem and left it at that.
Ok, that's fine, but can you at least tell me if these items actually have nuts in them or not? It was almost like he couldn't be bothered to find out (and the restaurant was not busy at all as far as we could tell). Consequently I had to abstain from the pastries but Jeremy said I wasn't missing too much as they were a bit bland.
Our entrees arrived after quite some time: the cinnamon roll with duck confit for Jeremy, while I chose the chicken and mushroom crepes. The cinnamon roll was stuffed to the brim with the chicken confit and topped with a liberal amount of creme anglaise and a few fresh raspberries. The flavor combination sounds weird but it worked pretty well. Our only complaint would be the rather small portion for the price ($11 for one small cinnamon roll).
My crepes were pretty good and were stuffed with three or four different kinds of mushrooms, creating an earthy goodness that meshed well with the chicken. The crepes were resting on a poblano cream sauce that in theory sounded good but really lacked any sort of dominant flavor other than richness. It could have really used some smokiness or spiciness or even garlic or onion to counterbalance all the richness.
The service throughout the meal was just generally awkward with weird pacing and things like the server not giving us small plates on which to eat the pastries. Likewise, he said he would check if any nuts were in the crepes, never said a word, and then brought the dish out without saying a word. It ended up being okay, but having to chase your waiter down to answer a fairly simple question is never a good thing.
To top it all off, we were dining with friends and the server swapped our leftovers meaning we were stuck with a bunch of pastries that I couldn't eat (instead of my crepes). Lovely.
Overall, we're hoping that these kind of service kinks get worked out as downtown truly does need better hotel dining options. With brilliant design and a creative fine dining menu, fl.2 is poised to fill this niche.
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