Bar Botanico is the Cocktail Bar that Lawrenceville Needs

I know what you're thinking- another bar in Lawrenceville?!

For the longest time, we thought this neighborhood was already at its max of bars. But it wasn't until we were able to get in and experience Bar Botanico that we realized Lawrenceville was missing one specific kind of bar that we thoroughly enjoy- a higher-end cocktail bar. And if there is anything you know about us, we love good cocktail bars in Pittsburgh.

From the drinks to the vibe and the food (presently provided by Troy Hill-based Scratch & Co), Bar Botanico really knocked things out of the park- not just on drinks, but the entire package.

Read more

9 Great Pittsburgh Distilleries to Check Out for Libations

We can think back to a time in the not-so-distance past when there were no distilleries in Pittsburgh at all (distilleries in the form we know and love, at least).

Yes, it seems unusual to think that the region known for the historic Whiskey Rebellion from 1791-1794 would somehow ever be devoid of distilleries outright. This all came about thanks to an arcane law that prevented distilleries from having on-site sales and as such only a few operated in the state- mostly for commercial sales direct to bars, the state store, and other indirect consumers.

It wasn't until the founders of Wigle Whiskey lobbied to get the law change that our distillery scene really started to take off with the on-site bar programs we know and love. For reference of time scale, this was only in 2012, and with the change in laws, Wigle became the first distillery to open in the city limits and only the third to open in the state at all!

As such, Pittsburgh's distillery scene can only be defined as young but growing rapidly. Distilleries, like Wigle, that were founded around the start of the rule change are only recently starting to get aged products that rival other regions that have been producing for decades, and not a year goes by that several new distilleries pop onto the scene as well.

In this one, we want to briefly share a bit about all of the distilleries we've been to so far!

Read more

Lorelei Review – Bringing Alpine Cocktails and Beer to East Liberty

Lorelei is another stellar bar concept operated by the team behind Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor in Squirrel Hill.

But rather than adding into their collection of bars at the corner of Forbes and Shady Avenue, this one is located in the heart of East Liberty– bringing a much welcomed addition to the neighborhood's drinking scene.

We were recently invited out by the team at Lorelei to check out the new space, and share our thoughts in this full review! (Note that this review has been updated to reflect additional visits that we made on our own as well.)

Read more

The Summit Review – Mount Washington’s Neighborhood Cocktail Bar

Cocktail bars have a weird way of chasing us whenever we move to a new Pittsburgh neighborhood. When we left Squirrel Hill to move to Mount Washington, Hidden Harbor opened up one block away from our former apartment. When we left Mount Washington, the same happened with an old bar there turning into The Summit.

While we lament the fact that we could've lived just one block away from either of these wonderful cocktail bars, we have returned time and time again to enjoy their stellar creations all the same.

In this one, we wanted to share a bit more about what you can expect from The Summit as it is truly the premier cocktail bar on top of Mount Washington!

Read more

The Roundabout Popup is a Relaxing Beer Garden on the Ohio River

We regularly lament the lack of riverfront drinking options in Pittsburgh, and whenever a new space comes out onto the scene we try and get as much of it as we possibly can.

One of the longest-running riverfront beer gardens comes from the Lawrenceville-based brewery, Roundabout, and is the kind of urban oasis we absolutely adore. But to enjoy this one, you're not going to be heading to the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville, but rather the Ohio River in Chateau (just steps from Bicycle Heaven)!

It really is hard to beat this one on a hot summer night. 

Read more

Quantum Spirits Review – Delicious Libations and Food in Carnegie

With the liquor laws easing in Pennyslvania, many brewers, distillers, and alcohol aficionados have been looking at getting into the business of helping appease a thirsty population.

In Carnegie, Quantum Spirits has been improving the libations game one spirit and cocktail at a time.

While this one is still young by distillery standards, with each passing year they are getting better and better with their spirits, bar program, and now even a full kitchen with a stellar food menu as well!

Read more

Wigle Whiskey Review – A Pittsburgh Staple You Must Try

Wigle Spirits

I remember when Wigle Whiskey opened their doors in Pittsburgh.  I was so excited that the craft spirits scene was taking off, and eager to get my hands on any of the (limited) concoctions that the distillery was producing.

It is unfortunate to have to admit this, but at the time their namesake whiskeys were not to my liking. I have never been fond of white rye and wheat whiskeys and usually prefer my grain spirits to be aged for several years to get the flavors from the large oak barrels.  In being a new distillery, their aging program simply did not exist at the time, so I knew I would have to wait longer for the styles I enjoy.

Although I wasn't fond of the whiskey when Wigle launched, I found myself oddly attached to the Ginever Gin they also produced- another spirit I never really got into the habit of drinking. Soon after I was consuming every cocktail in the city with this delicious spirit and couldn't get enough.

That was in 2012 when Wigle was founded. Fast-forward to the present day, and all that has changed.

Read more

Over Eden and Brick Shop Review – A Multi-Stop at the Tryp Hotel

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.

Read more

Go For a Wine Flight at 23rd & Vine in South Side

We're suckers for a good wine bar, and it didn't take long after 23rd & Vine opened in Pittsburgh's South Side for us to make it in for a couple of flights of wine.

While this one is heavily tilted to a few regional producers in Italy and California, we have to admit we loved the variety in the wine list here and can see returning many, many times in the future.

Read more

Levity Brewing Review – Beer, Food, & Trail Access in Indiana, PA

There are a number of reasons to love Levity Brewing in Indiana, PA.

First off, they make stellar beer (really all that matters for a brewery). Second, you can round out your visit with food to make a meal out of it. Finally, and perhaps most interesting to us beyond the brews, is that they are located just steps off of the 10-mile Hoodlebug Trail and a short drive from the trailhead for the Ghost Town Trail in Black Lick.

So if you need reasons to make a day out of it when making the hour drive to the brewery, well, you've got some great options to consider!

Read more