Shiloh is the New Grandview

With fun (if cramped) bar The Summit added to the mix, Mount Washington's Shiloh Street is the new center of attention above the city.




PHOTO BY JOHN ALTDORFER

If you want to get the essence of a bar, stay away from it on weekends. Go mid-week for a signature event — such as a trivia night — instead. You might battle undergrads over famous quotes at Hemingway’s in Oakland, share laughs with locals at The Park House on the North Side or spar with suburbanites at Shenanigan’s in the North Hills. You’ll hang with the regulars, the curious and the buzzed post-happy-hour group — a solid representation of the clientele and service, without the crowds.

For Mount Washington’s The Summit — a cocktail bar specializing in crafty drinks and food ranging from small bites to medium-sized portions — the Wednesday-night Name That Tune Trivia doesn’t disappoint. “The Dancing Queens” were among four teams at a recent event, and they forged their way through cheesy 1980s dance hits, 1990s hip-hop jams (back when Diddy was Puff Daddy) and 2000s pop-punk songs.

Everyone seemed to have had a blast — the occasion was all about fun and millennial-friendly tunes. Oh, and there are board games scattered throughout the place just in case you prefer Jenga to trivia. Seems like a low-key place, right?

Not exactly. Lit by flickering mason jars and Christmas lights, the rustic-looking spot is upscale with exposed brick walls and large, street-facing windows. But the juxtaposition of humble and high-brow is exactly why The Summit works; in a Pittsburgh nightlife scene that can be dominated by either classy bars or niche-specific spots, it’s the best of both.

According to my companion — a Mount Washington native — 200 Shiloh St. has been a “bunch of different things,” including a pizza joint called Bellissimo’s and Havana, a tapas and wine spot. Since 2013, it’s been The Summit, which also has a daily happy hour from 5-7 with discounted cocktails and craft beer.

We ordered the Cucumber Press (on our dry-humored bartender’s recommendation, after he informed us that The Summit didn't have the necessary ingredients for the customer-favorite Moscow Mule that day) and a Manhattan — something creative, something classic.

Served in a tall, narrow glass, the Cucumber Press looked and tasted like the free, self-serve flavored water found in hotel lobbies. The Manhattan was much better — strong and smooth. Later, I asked a different bartender for a beer suggestion. Likely sensing my underdeveloped, hoppy-equals-icky palate, he immediately offered an Otter Creek Fresh Slice, one of the lightest brews on the diverse craft-beer list. The light-yellow drink was citrus-y and sweet  — the perfect follow-up to the Manhattan.

The food was just as good. My friend and I split the goat-cheese fritters, which the first bartender offered with a “secret sauce.” He later said the brown, tangy mixture was a grilled peach and jalapeno marmalade. It complemented the fritters well, which were creamy and thick on the inside and crunchy on the outside.   

The only problem is the space. On that Wednesday, the perfect amount of people occupied The Summit — just enough so that the dining and bar areas were full with patrons but not any bystanders. On weekends it’s possible that you could be (a) shoulder-to-shoulder in a bar that inspires mellow conversation rather than fist-pumping or (b) stuck in the purgatory between the bar and tables. The place could use a second floor.

Regardless, the best part about The Summit is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously — it feels like your friendly neighborhood joint mixed with a bar you’d normally reserve for special occasions. Yes, it has exposed brick walls decorated with fancy art — plus high-end cocktails and appetizers made with spices you might not have heard of. But there’s the light-hearted trivia night, the board games and bartenders who — some have discovered — will shoot you a faux-judgmental grin if you know the words to Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract.” Doesn’t get more neighborly than that.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Pusadee's Garden Will Close at End of Year (But Not Forever)

Look for some big changes at the Upper Lawrenceville restaurant, which is expected to shutter for at least a year.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

High-Wire Acts at Carnegie Science Center

The North Shore landmark's new ropes course is a draw for adults and youths alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

History Can Wait Until Penguins Are Done Making It

The desire for more a year ago helped fuel the Penguins’ quest to repeat this season. Should their thirst for yet another Cup prove as unquenchable next season, there’s no limit to what they might yet achieve. Even a Three-peat.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Buckle Up ... Again, as Cars 3 Hits Theaters

Reviews of "Cars 3" and "47 Meters Down," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

Enchanting Summery Trends to Illuminate Your Wedding Palette

You’ll definitely want to pin these new summer wedding trends to your Pinterest board.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

Blooming: Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Hosts Town & Country Tour

From a forest of Japanese maples to a rocky urban sanctuary, the annual tour covers 14 very different gardens across the East End.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

Visit Thiel College for a Summer BBQ

On three days this summer, the college will host visit days for prospective students.

Comments

Edit Module