Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bar Exam: Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room

The downtown bar and restaurant is the perfect place to unwind after a day under the summer sun.




IMAGE via PROPER BRICK OVEN & TAP ROOM facebook page
 

As is the case every summer, there are many great events that will draw you downtown in the coming months. Of course, a good number of those will take place partially or entirely outdoors — festivals, Pirates games, concerts and more. This is as it should be; after all, we have a good chunk of each year during which it is unwise — nay, masochistic — to be outside for more than a few moments.

And yet, if you’re like me, you may not actually be particularly fond of spending a great deal of time in the open air. Don’t let the more outdoorsy types among us bully you; some of us just prefer, say, couches and air conditioning. It’s a matter of preference and nothing more.

For those of you, you may want to combine a mostly-outdoor trip downtown with an activity that will bring you back within four walls. My recommendation: Hop over to Seventh Avenue and spend some quality time at Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room.

The restaurant, which opened in August 2013 in the former site of Tambellini Seventh Street Ristorante, wouldn’t be out of place in New York or London. A long, narrow room is lined on one side by a row of tables facing comfortable, booth-style seating on the wall and on the other by a bar with ample seating (which curls, at the building’s front, around the titular oven). An effortlessly-groovy, unobtrusive soundtrack mingles with relatively low lighting to invite patrons to linger at any time of day.

The emphasis on beer in Proper’s name should clue you in: The beer list is impressive. Inevitably, IPAs and other ales are dominant on the list but not overwhelming; pilsners and a number of summer selections are present to help those coming out of the sun to cool off, and a respectable quartet of stouts holds fast against seasonal convention. Local breweries are well-represented; during my visit, offerings from Spoonwood Brewing Co., Helltown Brewing, Draai Laag Brewing and more were on tap.

Don’t let that convince you that this simply is a beer joint, however; a robust wine list and several signature cocktails will keep less-hoppy guests happy. (I was tempted to forego the beer and order a Limoncello Collins. Next time.)

As to that oven: This is a place that will make pizza snobs very happy. Toppings, cheese and bread operate in perfect balance to form pies that are filling without being overwhelming, flavorful without being ostentatious. Sandwiches and refined bar-food staples round out the menu; I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the “Bacon Candy” app, the best reason I’ve yet found to keep our nation’s collective baconmania alive.

In short: Proper is a fine and satisfying bar and restaurant. It could be a pre-theater destination, a happy-hour stopping point or an indulgent lunch escape. But if you find yourself on city streets under the summer sun in the coming weeks, don’t be ashamed of your desire for shelter. Lead your friends to Seventh Street, and all will be well.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

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

The Latest

The 400-Word Review: The Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Why These 6 Days in 1969 Were So Important to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we're not the only ones. We take a look at six notable events from 1969.

Women in Power: The Pros Changing Allegheny County

Allegheny County breaks the old boys’ club by placing women in key positions.

Growing Together: Farmers and Chefs Elevate Pittsburgh Dining

These seven farmer/chef pairings are leading the charge toward more vital vegetable dishes.

Afraid to Go to the Dentist? Consider the Sedation Solution

For some patients, dental work wouldn’t be possible if they were fully alert.

Restaurant Review: Spirits & Tales at the Oaklander Hotel

Executive chef Jessica Lewis’ strong voice is undermined by inconsistencies throughout the restaurant.

Perspectives: A Big Life

A former newspaper reporter's assignment leads to a lifelong friendship with a man who battled a food addiction.

Our 50 Years: Why This Movie Landed on Our Cover

Hollywood could be found on the Mon, quite literally, in 1993 — leading to some fawning coverage of the mostly forgotten (but very, very Pittsburgh-centric) action flick “Striking Distance.”

George S. Kaufman’s Sensational Scandal

The Pittsburgh-born playwright made tabloid headlines in the 1930s. (it didn’t slow him down a bit.)

You Can Ride a Roller Coaster Classic

Roller coaster history is hidden nearby — and not where you might think.

Tea, Cake and Death: A Safe Place to Discuss a Scary Subject

“Death Cafes” seek to reduce taboos around the act of dying.

How He Makes the Mundane Sound Magical

Experimental sound artist R. Weis creates otherworldly sonic compositions from everyday materials.

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.