I had the opportunity to make a reservation at Tender Bar + Kitchen for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. After hearing great things from various sources, I was excited to try Tender during their Restaurant Week debut.
Since I was arriving with a rather large group, I called about a week ahead of time. The restaurant was very accommodating to our party of eight! The vibe at Tender is upscale with a very intimate seating arrangement. The bar draws inspiration from the previous tenant – a financial institution in the Arsenal Bank Building that served Lawrenceville for over a century.
Tender’s menu for Pgh Restaurant Week offered a variety of options. The selection included some vegetarian-friendly choices, but I started with the City Chicken herb breaded and fried pork skewers. I originally thought these would be served on actual skewers, but they were delivered on a plate! They were really tasty, and I could’ve definitely eaten more than the two I was given. Friends at the table also ordered the Pickle Plate, which included a melange of picked cauliflower, onions, and broccoli.
The entree choices were tough! I looked at the menu a few times before we even got to the restaurant and still couldn’t help changing my mind a few times during the ordering process. Choices included an 8-ounce cheeseburger with bacon and cheddar, pan-seared trout with barley risotto, and fettuccine with house pasta. I’m a sucker for a cheeseburger, but I can’t help but order fish whenever I’m out, so I went with the pan-seared trout. The trout was served with chanterelle mushrooms, barley risotto, and heirloom tomatoes. The fish was seasoned well, and the risotto was some of the best I’ve had.
Dessert options were key lime pie or a vegan ice cream sandwich. Choosing the sandwich, I was so excited to taste the peaches and cream ice cream between two sugar cookies. The ice cream was just tart enough to compliment the cookies.
I haven’t visited Tender on a night that’s not dedicated to Restaurant Week, but if you do (and I recommend that you do), order from their small plates menu, which features tater tots (they are delicious; perfectly crisp) and one of their carefully curated cocktails. The small plates range from $3-9 and the cocktails are $10-13. They also have Banker’s Hours from 5-7pm, as well as live music on Tuesdays. I can’t wait to go back and try some cocktails and more of that City Chicken!
Where is it?
Tender Bar + Kitchen
4300 Butler St. (map)
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
When are they open?
Monday – Saturday
Dinner: 5pm-12am / Cocktails: 5pm-1am