The Parlor Dim Sum Review – A Feast to Share With Friends

The Parlor Dim Sum, the latest concept by Chef Roger Li of Umami and Nanban fame, is a dim sum and Cantonese restaurant in Lawrenceville in the former Ki Ramen space. With a wide-ranging menu of dim sum, Cantonese barbecue, wok dishes, and more, this is the type of restaurant where it's best to bring a ton of friends and order family style to try some of everything.

We recently visited with friends and the meal hit so many high points for us with excellent cocktails, dishes with a mix of familiar and new flavors, and great service, all at a moderate price point.

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Lawrenceville Distilling is a Hidden Gem in the Neighborhood

Lawrenceville Distilling started making craft spirits in their namesake neighborhood in 2018. Since then, their popularity increased quite a bit to the point that they were awarded the title of Pennsylvania's Gin Distillery in 2019 and Absinthe Distillery in 2020 by the New York International Spirits Competition.

Unfortunately for us, we only made it into this gem of a distillery (tucked away off of the booming Butler Street) in late 2021. While we would still say that this one only has a few spirits available to purchase, their cocktail program and resident food pop-up make for a delightful night out all around.

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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.

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Thunderbird Cafe is a Hidden Gem for Music in Lawrenceville

One of the things we love about Pittsburgh's music scene is that there are venues for just about every style of performance. Mega shows at Acrisure Stadium and PNC Park, dedicated pavilions like Star Lake, and intimate music venues like Mr. Small's Theater, and more.

But only a few venues can be described as unassuming hidden gems, and for Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall in Lawrenceville, it really hits both of those terms perfectly! 

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Nanban Review – Asian Soul Food Merging Ki Pollo & Ki Ramen

Ki Pollo and Ki Ramen were two staple restaurants in Lawrenceville for many years with the former serving up an interesting mix of fried chicken and empanadas and the latter serving Japanese and east Asian fare like ramen, gyoza, and more. 

But in 2021, Ki Ramen closed for construction due to apparent water damage in the building, and it was announced that the menus of the two restaurants would be merging into one Asian soul food concept known as Nanban in the Ki Pollo space.

In a way, this one takes all of the best elements of the two restaurants in one combined space, but also comes with some of the same drawbacks- specifically when it comes to deciding what to order outright as the menu here can only be described as varied!

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Pusadee’s Garden Review – A Dining Experience Worth the Wait

When Pusadee's Garden closed in 2017 for renovations, we thought they'd be open the following year. 2018 came and went, so did 2019, and so did 2020 all without hearing a single update about the project. After enough time passed, we really thought this one was closed for good and were rather sad at the prospect of losing such a great restaurant in Lawrenceville.

Cut to early 2021 and the restaurant announced that they would finally be opening again, and we knew we had to visit as quickly as possible.

It only took about two steps after walking into the door for us to realize we should forget everything we remember about this one. To call the upgrade extensive would be an understatement- it was a complete transformation that was executed flawlessly. The restaurant went from being a good Thai spot to becoming one of the finest restaurants in Pittsburgh– Thai or otherwise.

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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.

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TRYP Hotel Review – Affordable Rooms in the Heart of Lawrenceville

When you think of popular Pittsburgh neighborhoods, you may instantly assume that any given one is home to several hotels for visitors. For a few, you'd be right. But there are many neighborhoods in the city that do not have hotels at all, and up until mid-2019 Lawrenceville was one that sorely needed a property.

It wasn't until the TRYP Hotel opened that Lawrenceville got its first proper hotel, and this one fits right into the trendy neighborhood perfectly thanks to its beautiful restoration of a former school building right on 40th Street.

Throw in a rooftop bar with a stellar city view, a nice restaurant on the first floor, and some modern amenities and you have enough to make us happy.

We got the chance to check this one out as guests of the hotel and share more in this full review!

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Oishii Donburi Review – Japanese & Korean Staples in Lawrenceville

If you've spent any amount of time on our site, you may have seen our review for Oishii Bento in Oakland. This small restaurant in the heart of the neighborhood serves up an array of bento box creations as well as other Japanese staples with decent portion sizes at an amazing price point.

So when the team behind that restaurant announced a new concept, Oishii Donburi in Lawrenceville, we were in.

While this one serves up an array of traditional Japanese menu items, we also found some of our favorites from Korea on the menu as well- all for the same great price point we love from Oishii Bento!

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