Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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 Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Perspectives: Mourning Without a Road Map

A 30-year-old woman “who had lost her father too soon” learns the importance of following a plan when saying goodbye.

On Fitness: Peace and Posture Instead of No Pain, No Gain

Client by client, personal trainer Ian Riggins is dismantling the aggressive side of the fitness industry.

Angling for Tranquility: The Lure of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is growing in popularity as anglers discover the peaceful joys of casting a line from the water's surface.

MultiStories: Pittsburgh's Art Deco Obelisk – The Gulf Building

As the Gulf Building rose into Pittsburgh skyline in the early 1930s, the prospects of its owner were headed in the opposite direction.

“First Man” Author to Appear at Heinz History Center

James R. Hansen, author of the authorized Neil Armstrong biography, will speak about the astronaut’s life on Nov. 1.

Results Are In: Jobs are Plentiful in Pittsburgh

Glassdoor’s newly released city shortlist for hot jobs ranks Pittsburgh #1.

The 400-Word Review: The Old Man and the Gun

Robert Redford's alleged final performance is a quiet, fitting farewell.

Sandwich, Helmet, Teammates Await Bell’s Return to Steelers

Le’Veon Bell reportedly intends to return to the Steelers before the second Browns game on Oct. 28, but hasn’t yet. But that didn’t stop some of his teammates from trying to have some fun with Bell at the media’s expense.

A New Day for Craft Beer in Pittsburgh

Day Bracey, along with Ed Bailey and Mike Potter, forges a more inclusive approach to craft brewing.

Southern Cuisine Served with a Big Side of Hospitality

Sugar and Smoke owner Andrea Robinson not only wants to feed customers of her new eatery in Bloomfield –– she wants to know their names.

Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018

For two decades, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP have presented the annual 40 Under 40 list. And every year, 40 people who have been alive for less than four decades are chosen because of their career accomplishments, dogged volunteer work and commitment to the Pittsburgh region. This year is no different. Read on to learn more about some of our very best neighbors.

Restaurant Review: Pie for Breakfast

Pittsburgh gets an updated, all-day diner with a sense of place from the owners of Legume Bistro and Butterjoint.

This is Not a Drill: Can Pittsburgh Survive a Disaster?

Location and geography make Pittsburgh one of the safer places to be in a disaster, but just how well would we do in the face of a cataclysmic event?

Finding Her Voice: An Acid Attack Victim Fights Back

Hanifa Nakiryowa's life changed forever after becoming a victim of a disfiguring acid attack.

Joey's P.A.W. Provides Prosthetics and Wheels for Dogs

Finding a dog on the side of the road in South Carolina changed the lives of this Pittsburgh couple.