Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
Sometimes, you just have to get away from it all, disconnect even. Some meals have to be enjoyed in the middle of nowhere, as far away from the city/busy neighborhoods as you can get. Clifford’s is an excellent example of “off the beaten path” and “middle of nowhere”. We would like to add another name to the list of “get away” restaurants, The Pines Tavern. The Pines has been doing Farm-To-Table before most restaurants in the city were even opened, 31 years to be exact!
For us there are 2 optimal times to experience dining at The Pines (although any time of year is very enjoyable), the summer and December. In the summer, you can dine al fresco and truly enjoy the bounty of their garden, in December the decorations are outstanding and they have one of the greatest Winter Beer lists I have ever seen.
Now, a few things one needs to know before dining at the pines. First, the place is not hard to find but it is easy to pass by. Second, the restaurant is charming and pretty, but the décor and design is in no way modern (imagine the kind of restaurant your Grandparents would call beautiful). Finally, if you don’t like choices this place may not be for you, they have their standard menu, a seasonal specials menu, a daily specials menu, a bar menu, and of course the wine/spirits/beer menu. I timed us, from when we sat down and received our menus to when we ordered, 25mins(and it was not due to poor service, it was purely us being indecisive).
Tonight, we are joined by our “Besties” Chris and Tarrah; we have dined here with them twice before. Before we can even think about looking at the dinner menus we started with drinks, D and Tarrah split a bottle of wine, while Chris and I stuck to the Christmas Beer List.
Now for the food, we started with the Tavern Chips served atop a white wine sauce and topped with a pungent bleu cheese. Sorry for the lack of a picture, we immediately dived in and by the time we remembered a photo the plate was wiped clean.
Then D and I ordered the classic Wedge Salad, hunk of iceberg, chunky bleu cheese dressing, bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes, avocado. I suggest adding the red onion on the salad, it’s simple but still a classic. Now if you are having trouble deciding what to order for dinner, stick with the Specials Menus, the standard dinner menu doesn’t change often.
D went with the brico pasta with braised short ribs, very delicious. Tarrah ordered the grilled jumbo shrimp with risotto, spicy pepper sauce and grilled broccoli rabe, nothing fancy but very satisfying. We all knew what Chris was going to get, the flat iron steak, served with cabernet demi, loaded mashed potatoes (bacon? Yes please) and fresh steamed green beans, a perfectly cooked steak is never a bad thing….EVER! I took the longest to order (D said I was not allowed to order all 7 entrees I was debating over), I finally decided on the artichoke ravioli with spicy sausage, roasted banana peppers, spinach and tomato vodka sauce. Sadly they were out of spicy sausage (son of a bitch!) so I had to settle for grilled chicken. It was still a delicious plate of pasta. This was one of the few times we were too hungry to order dessert, but they do have a great dessert menu, so be sure to check it out.
There really is never a bad time to visit the Pines Tavern, but if you have a chance, remember, Christmas time and the summer are the ideal seasons. The food here is simple and delicious. Everything that they can grow themselves, they do. Because they are growing their own food they naturally cook the food with more thought and care. So if you feel like getting “lost” and stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the real world, go for a drive on Bakerstown Rd and keep an eye out for The Pines Tavern. Trust us, it will be worth the drive.
The Pines Tavern
(not on Facebook)
5018 Bakerstown Rd
Gibsonia, PA 15044
Closed Sunday and Monday
Lunch: Tues-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Tues-Thurs 5pm-9pm
Bar/Casual Dining: Tues-Thurs 11:30am-10pm