Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Jeremy
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The Tryp Hotel opened in Lawrenceville in 2019 and had a few unique features about it. First, it is found in a former school. Second, it is the first hotel to open in Lawrenceville (something that was much needed). Finally, it is home to not one, but two on-site restaurants and bars with one having an incredible rooftop patio looking out over the city!
We were fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Tryp Hotel as guests of the property, and during the course of our stay got a chance to try out the rooftop bar (Over Eden) as well as the first-floor restaurant (Brick Shop).
In this one, we wanted to share a bit about what you could expect with these as they can truly be paired up for a one-two punch.
Drink in the View at Over Eden
We firmly believe that Pittsburgh needs more rooftop bars, and Over Eden checks a lot of boxes in this regard.
When we first walked into this one, my jaw dropped. Not only does Over Eden have a stunning bar in its own right, but you'll quickly notice that the space is split in half with one part being indoors (with the bar) and one part being outdoors. The indoor setup goes the extra step in that virtually every wall is comprised of windows, and they are built garage door-style to slide up and open the view on nice days even more.
So while as pretty as the bar may be, the focal point is the city skyline just about 2.5 miles down the road and you can't help but want to look out no matter where you sit- inside or out, rain or shine.
The menu at Over Eden, however, is fairly small. On the food side of things, they offer just a few appetizers and shareable plates as well as a somewhat limited draft beer selection. The focus here, in our opinion at least, is tilted towards sustainable wines and craft cocktails- naturally, we had to go with the latter to enjoy the house creations (even though we have to admit that the wine list is stellar).
Many of the cocktails here use spirits from local producers Kingfly and Wigle, so we had to get some of those. I went with the Emerald City (featuring Kingfly's white rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, house-infused Saffron white vermouth, blue curacao, and bitters) and Angie went for the Kings Jubilee (featuring Kingfly's Morphos Amber rum, Luxardo, grapefruit juice, lime, and bitters).
I have to admit, these cocktails left me wanting something a bit more fortified as it seemed like the mixers were the predominant feature over the spirits. Cool and refreshing for a nice day? Certainly. Worth the $14 price tag? I may pause there. Although, giving credit where credit is due, the flavor combination of rum, Luxardo, and grapefruit juice in the Kings Jubilee was lovely despite wanting a bit more oomph from the base spirit.
So while we can't recommend the view of this bar enough for the rooftop views, it is truly one of our favorites in the city, we have to admit that when we return we'll be sticking to the wine list almost exclusively before heading down to Brick Shop for a meal (and another glass of wine).
International Fare at Brick Shop
The lobby restaurant, Brick Shop, is where things got more exciting for us. This restaurant features a robust cocktail menu and even more sustainable wines (a different selection from Over Eden), and a fairly robust food menu featuring dishes from all over the world.
As avid travelers, you know this one spoke to us.
First off, we do have to admit that menus that cover the globe like this one can be tricky to navigate. Does Georgian khachapuri pair with Sicilian arancini or does it pair with French confit chicken legs? How do you pick a wine pairing to go with that as well? The answer is, of course, to dive in headfirst and simply order what you think sounds tasty even if they don't necessarily complement each other by conventional standards.
Our order ended up being a collection of all of the dishes mentioned above plus the house burger (an All-American burger with dry-aged beef) added on for good measure. I stuck with cocktails and went with When in Rome (featuring Kingfly's spiced rum, bitters, and shaken with cognac, Averna, and lemon juice) and Angie jumped on a glass of a Chilean red blend with Carignan and Pais (a grape we're coming to adore).
I'm happy to report that when I say I want a fortified cocktail, the When in Rome checked that box (and came in $2 cheaper, too!). It was strong and had a nice sweet and savory balance from the cognac and Averna that was only just cut by the acidity of the lemon juice. Later on, a smoked Old Fashioned showed up courtesy of the bartender to try the house special. At $17 it certainly comes at a pretty price but is about as booze forward and smokey as they come (get your photos fast because you want this one poured quickly to get the right smoke balance).
On the food side of the spectrum, we can say nothing but positive things about the khachapuri and arancini. Khachapuri is a Georgian staple that consists of bread topped with a slightly funky cheese (almost like mild feta or cotija), an egg, herbs, and has an exterior dough ring that is almost pretzel-like in texture. It is one of those dishes that doesn't really have anything comparable elsewhere and is worth seeking out for those who want something new. Arancini, on the other hand, is a Sicilian staple that is a risotto and cheese ball that is fried and covered in tomato sauce and is the kind of dish that always pleases no matter how it is prepared.
We walked away thinking the burger and confit wings were decent representations of each dish, but it was one of those meals where we said those were good, but the khachapuri and arancini were great. It really was all we could talk about as we were walking out although we can certainly see how the flavor profiles, especially in the khachapuri, may not be for everyone.
Although this is a small cross-section of the menu, we could certainly see this being the kind of place where we would stick to the small plates, order a large spread, and eat our way around the world as opposed to mixing in a plate or two with the mains. Add in a glass of wine and the live music features on Thursdays and Saturdays (cover charge may apply), and we can be quite happy with that combination.
Overall, despite some misses here or there, we have to admit that we quite enjoyed the experience at these two spots. Over Eden has a view that is truly one of the best in the city and is worth soaking it all in with a glass of wine or beer, and Brick Shop rounds it out with your ability to taste your way around the world with a few gems thrown into the mix (and even more solid wine choices as well). This may speak to a select set of foodies, but fortunately for us, we are those foodies.
Brick Shop and Over Eden are both located inside the Tryp Hotel at 177 40th Street in Lawrenceville. We were guests of the hotel for this review. As always, all opinions are our own.
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