Once upon a time, outdoor dining was a fun novelty — a treat after a long Pittsburgh winter.
You could make a case that it was starting to catch on pre-Covid — not quite at European levels, but a part of Pittsburgh dining culture that was here to stay.
Now, it’s a matter of life-or-death for restaurants still struggling to adapt to a second pandemic spring. Eating outside is simply safer, and now that the weather has allowed restaurants to regain that precious outdoor space, you can bet that quite a few of your preferred spots have tables and chairs outside, or are getting them ready. Here are some of our favorites:
Mediterra Cafe, Mt. Lebanon
Long one of Pittsburgh’s best bakeries, Mediterra Bakehouse experimented with a cafe in Sewickley, building meals out of its 20 varieties of handmade bread. Recently, they opened a new spot in an old auto mechanic shop (former home to the departed Fairlane). It has a large patio out front, with heaters and big garage doors that open to let the air in. Specialties include sandwiches, salads, charcuterie plates, coffee, pastries such as scones and croissants and desserts. The spot also features cocktails and an extensive list of wines — some that come with recommended cheese pairings, such as Martha’s 10 Year Port with Stilton cheese and walnuts.
The name Bakersfield conjures oil well roughnecks rowdily getting down…