Favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh

It's time. Time for a food post!

I have been putting off writing this since I don't want others to discover what a delight Whitfield at Ace Hotel is, but since I love my city and because I want others to experience this gem, I decided to share my thoughts on this special restaurant.

Located in the former YMCA in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Whitfield is unassuming, making its home in a 100-year old building.

It is directly across the street from my favorite Gothic cathedral in Pittsburgh, East Liberty Presbyterian Church (also called the Cathedral of Hope), which was built in the early 1930s. I take multiple pictures of it each time I am in the area.

The above picture shows the Ace Hotel on the left and the cathedral across the street. There is valet parking available at certain times, but I always try my luck at on-street parking (free in the evenings) or park in the lot behind the restaurant and use my credit card at the parking kiosk (cheap). Plus, the parking lot is nestled between some really cool buildings.

Make sure you arrive early for your reservation so you can check out the vintage gymnasium, complete with lead paint (I'm sure) and a two-level walking track. Rarely is the space empty, due to the many events held there, so I was thrilled to snag these pictures on a recent visit.

Here is a picture of an event in the old gym. Not my favorite of events to see there (those would be the wedding receptions), but I love that the door is usually open so that curious onlookers like me can peek in:

Whitfield is the perfect place for a night out with friends, family, or a special date night. However, I would not recommend it if you are with small children.

Okay - on to the cocktails and food. I strongly recommend that if you love craft cocktails, arrive early and spend some time in the bar area with their unique cocktail menu.

My favorite is their house Old Fashioned, followed closely by the Fairweather. My husband's favorite is the Smoking Gun. All of their cocktails are handcrafted and delicious. They also have a very interesting wine list and a small selection of beers, many of which are local.

Their appetizer menu is eclectic and two of my recent favorites are from the bar menu (which you can order in the dining room) - the onion dip with salt and vinegar chips and the deviled eggs (normally 3 pickled and 3 deviled but they indulge my hatred of all things beet-flavored).

For dinner, I firmly believe that the steaks do not get better anywhere in Pittsburgh. Whitfield focuses on whole-animal butchery, sourcing humanely raised animals from local family farms. The steaks are simply and deliciously seasoned and are cooked perfectly.  I often order the Butcher's Steak ($21), which is one of the cuts that the butcher has available that evening; your server will tell you what cuts are available and explain them to you. The Butcher's Steak is always served with handcut fries and a side of bearnaise. Their burgers will spoil you for life. Whitfield does love their meats and in addition to beef, they also offer chicken, pork, rabbit, duck, and lamb. Vegetarians will be equally happy here, with many options to choose from.

They offer family sides, changing seasonally, and I'm always sad when May hits and the brussels sprouts move off the menu to make room for warmer-weather offerings.

Seriously, this is my ONLY complaint with Whitfield. I want to eat their brussels sprouts Every. Day. Of. The. Year.

I don't have a sweet tooth, so I typically do not order dessert. However, I do appreciate a small sweet something after dinner. Whitfield's pastry chef is quite gifted. and I love the size of the portions, which offer something delicious without making you hate yourself after dinner. My favorite are the 4 mint chocolate truffles ($4). They're just perfect to share at the table, along with an after-dinner drink or coffee. Most desserts are about $8.

Warm caramel pie a la mode, with chai spice, pomegranate and maple butter frozen yogurt.

Vegan bruleed banana fudgesicle, with peanut butter sauce and chocolate-covered puffed rice.

Lemon buttermilk frozen yogurt, shortbread, and meringue.

Service is impeccable and the atmosphere is shabby-chic. You can make reservations on Open Table, which I recommend. Prices are reasonable, and they are more than accommodating to food allergies and sensitivities.

I'd love to know if you have ever tried Whitfield. I already have my next visit scheduled, and this time, it's for brunch! Blood Orange Glazed Donut holes, bruleed grapefruit and bacon mac and cheese??? Yes, please!


Popular Posts