Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
The perfect Pittsburgh Saturday continues…. 8:00pm-10:00pm Late Dinner
It’s our turn up to bat, we knew just the spot we wanted to feature when we first heard about this collaborative Pittsburgh Blog.
First let us say that there are numerous places to go for the perfect dinner in the Burgh, anywhere on Butler St. in Lawrenceville, maybe one of the new restaurants in Market Square, a quiet spot in Shadyside, or maybe down to South Side. We decided to head to an area many people may not be familiar with yet, Highland Park (behind the zoo). Our restaurant of choice? Park Bruges. Bryant St. in Highland Park is home to a few heavy hitters in the food scene, E2, Joseph Tambellini’s, and the brand new Teppanyaki Kyoto; so all your bases are covered. We have dined at Park Bruges before, I think this will be our 6th time here and it’s amazing every time! More people are probably familiar with Pointe Brugge Café in Point Breeze, this is basically the lil sister restaurant. Both serve Belgian fare. Park Bruges has a similar menu to Pointe Brugges but has a small French influence.
The feel of this restaurant is lively and has a strong neighborhood vibe, with many patrons able to walk right to the restaurant. We love it here because once you are in your seat you immediately become comfortable and relaxed. It’s an ideal spot on a rainy or snowy night, just tuck in a table or booth and enjoy. Now this place can get busy and they don’t take reservations, so either grab a seat at the bar (if you are lucky) or be patient; trust us, it’s worth the wait. The décor here is simple but still a bit elegant, a lot of wood, not a lot of color, a wall of windows looking out on the street, and a wooden bar right at the entrance. You can dine here with a group of friends, or like us, just spend a nice dinner out with a loved one.
If you are of legal age be sure to browse the drink menu. The beer list is really great; Belgian brews are heavily featured (duh). We decided to order off the cocktail menu instead. Any one who knows us knows that we are HUGE fans of Wigle Whiskey in the strip and Park Bruges features a few specialty cocktails made with Wigle products. Any time I see a restaurant or bar that features Wigle, I pretty much have to order them. Of course, they were all delicious, and they went great with the food.
We decided to just order a bunch of different small plates to share for dinner. The entrees here are great, but nothing caught our eyes quite like the apps. One thing you have to order when you come to Park Bruges is the Moules Frites, or mussels and fries. Now, we have yet to have mussels anywhere else that can hang on the same level as the ones at Park Bruges. They are served 3 ways; Classic- white wine, shallots, and herbed beurre blanc, Spice Creole- Andouille sausage, peppers, onions, celery and crumble bleu cheese, & Curry- green curry, fresh cilantro and basil. Our favorite and usual choice is the classic, there is a reason it’s the classic preparation.
The fries here aren’t just the normal boring kind, these are twice cooked the way they are supposed to be, creamy on the inside and crisp golden-brown on the outside, accompanied by there amazing garlic Dijon mayonnaise. Be sure to dip the bread they serve in to the broth at the bottom of the bowl of mussels, it can be a meal in itself.
The Mediterranean Platter is also an app that could double as a meal; Muhammara red pepper & walnut dip, Baba Ghanoush, a greek salad with feta cheese served with multi-grain crostini and warm pita bread. It was delicious and really fresh with a bunch of different flavors blended together.
We couldn’t skip the Southern Style Crabcakes either; they were served with collard greens and lemon pepper garlic aioli. The crabcakes were fried crunchy and the greens had just the right amount of bacon in them and where super tender, it almost didn’t even need the aioli.
Another specialty of Park Bruges is their Tarte Flambee’; a thin crispy flatbread with a few different of options of toppings. We ordered the creamed leeks, Maytag Bleu cheese, bacon and mushrooms. The flavors are strong; the crust is thin and has the texture of a cracker more than a pizza. Don’t miss out on trying one.
Desserts here are ok, not nearly as good as the apps and entrees. We ordered the flourless chocolate cake with strawberry whipped cream, and the profiteroles with hazelnut ice cream. Both desserts are acceptable and tasty, but they don’t really stand out. If you happen to skip dessert here it won’t be a terrible thing.
So, if you haven’t been to Park Bruges yet, or the other restaurants on Bryant St. you are really missing out on some great dining. Give all of the restaurants a try, you will be happy you did.
We hope you are enjoying this group blog. We were very happy to be included in this, and hope to do it again in the future. Now, on to the next post.
5801 Bryant St (Highland Park)
Pgh, Pa 15206
Hours: Closed Mondays
Tues-Thurs – 11:00am-10:00pm
Fri-Sat – 11:00am-11:00pm
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