By: Steven Fernald
If you are looking for a higher end but still causal restaurant with a great atmosphere, vibrant bar area, elegant dining room, knowledgeable staff, Great food and wine selection, and a Whiskey forward Cigar lounge all in one, Than look no further than Cioppino Restaurant and Cigar Bar in the Strip District.
Amanda and I have dined there before and both enjoyed it to its fullest. This time we enjoyed sitting in the large dining area. While awaiting my arrival, Amanda had a seat at the main bar in the spacious lounge and ordered a glass of wine. On this particular evening there was a live jazz band. Upon my arrival we moved to the table that we reserved through Open Table. Our water glasses were filled quickly and our server was prompt to go over the evenings chef specials.
After deliberation Amanda and I decided this time not to do a bottle of wine, but to each enjoy a glass with our meal and we both decided to start with the calamari that was perfectly lightly battered and flash fried with banana peppers and served a wonderful aoli. As for the main course Amanda had chosen the sea scallops served over a ridiculously awesome lobster risotto, and I chose the Chilean Sea Bass Oscar that was perfectly cooked with colossal lump crab and perfect hollandaise sauce. Despite being full we still chose to have dessert. We split The s’mores cronut that is served with marshmallow icing, hazelnut pudding, honeycomb crunch and house made graham cracker ice cream was out of this world.
As I mentioned, on this night there was live music in the lounge area. On the Wednesday that we were there the band wasplaying all sorts of music from 80’s to Bruno Mars with some jazz and funk tossed in for good measure. The band could be herd in the dining room area but was not over powering to where we couldn't have a conversation and be able to hear one another. The lounge area was vibrant throughout the whole evening with people singing, dancing, enjoying food and cocktails till the end of the evening, But we decided to head back to the Cigar and Whiskey lounge that is a completely closed off no windows room that reminds of the private club that Louis Winthorpe, and Mortimer and Randolph Duke were members of in Trading Places. There are 4 large Tv’s, a 10 seat bar, and several of the big comfy leather chairs and a few leather couches in the space with cocktail tables fit to height of said seating you chose to sit. The Cigar Bar had a large selection of Cigars and a even larger selection of what goes with them best: Whiskey, Scotch, Bourbon, Irish, American, Canandaian, Port, and Congac. There is also a cocktail menu that is mainly whiskey based as well to sit and watch a game or just bull shit with your date or buddies.
The next time that you are looking for a wonderful night out with the guys or your honey, whether it be a special occasion or just a Wednesday, check out Cioppino Restaurant and Cigar Bar in the Strip. Cioppino is located at 2350 Railroad St in the city’s Strip District area. For more information check out Cioppino on Facebook or at cioppinoofpittsburgh.com. Cheers!