Last August, I went to Piper’s Pub on a first date. I was a little nervous. I don’t remember what I wore. I don’t remember eating or drinking anything. I could probably take a good guess about what the floor looked like because I’m sure I was staring at it all evening. For some unfathomable reason, the silly boy I went out with stuck around, and we went there again last week for a laid-back dinner. It’s really a shame I don’t remember that first dinner at Piper’s, because I’m sure it was lovely.
Ryan and I arrived at Piper’s at dinnertime on Friday evening. There was a small crowd, and we were lucky to get one of the pub tables near the bar in the front of the restaurant. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I like it when a restaurant can make you feel like you’re someplace else. The Parisian café. The 1960’s lounge. Piper’s Pub is also one of those transformative places. Piper’s strives to give patrons “a taste of the British Isles,” and it achieves this goal with an interesting, authentic European menu and a profound love for football (you know, soccer). While Piper’s lacks inspiration in decoration and design, it makes up for it with an excellent draft list and scotch selection.
We began our meal with shrimp cocktail, and I was a little nervous. Ever since I was a little kid, shrimp cocktail freaked me out, and I know exactly why.
Anyway, our shrimp cocktail arrived and it looked delicious! Six jumbo shrimp (and I do mean jumbo!) were served cold with cocktail sauce and plenty of lemon. This was the best shrimp cocktail I’ve ever had, hands down, and I would even go so far as to say that this was the best appetizer I’ve ever had. It was light, delicious, and it got me interested in the meal to come.
I enjoyed the Stilton & Rasher Salad, a large salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, cherry peppers, capers, smoky bacon, and creamy crumbled bleu cheese. It was served with a fresh wheat bun, and the dressing of my choice, balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was large, a great portion for dinner. The ingredients were fresh and looked appetizing in their arrangement. As I ate, the ingredients began mingling in interesting ways…a forkful of onion and bleu cheese…the next, full of capers and bacon. All of these different combinations made this a very delicious dish. I love when you take a bite of something and you know that it’s going to be the best bite of your meal. For me and my stilton salad, that bite consisted of tomato, bleu cheese, and bacon. Superb!
Ryan ordered the Banger Sandwich with fries on the side. (Sometimes I wish I was British, just so I could get away with calling sausages “bangers” all the time.) The sandwich was accompanied by a great horseradish mayonnaise. He really enjoyed it, so of course I had to try a bit. It was a hearty sandwich, and the Jameson gravy on the sausages was very flavorful. Brilliant!
I would definitely encourage Pittsburghers to visit Piper’s Pub! Even though it’s located in the Southside (which, for me, is a negative thing), it’s a classy restaurant with less than typical fare. I’d also like to point out that our meal was quite inexpensive; we had beer, an appetizer, and two meals for under $40. Overall, I’d say it was a great second first date! Cheers!