Friends who love good food are the best. Especially ones who are always up for trying new spots around town.
The restaurant is less than a year old, but the Wholey’s are no strangers to Pittsburgh. The Wholey’s also own a fish market in the Strip that’s been around since 1912. Basically, it is the place to go for great seafood in this landlocked town.
Being that seafood is my favorite kind of cuisine (hello, beach girl over here!) I was excited that Gabby suggested Luke’s restaurant. I’ve had take-out salmon from there once before, and it did not disappoint. I was looking forward to seeing the full menu.
My IPhone pictures are never great quality, but above is a snapshot of the bar area. The restaurant is nice and spacious, but just a tiny bit too dark for my liking. Gabby and I were given a huge table that could’ve easily seated seven people. We were fine with that, though. For me, the best part of the restaurant’s ambience was the smell. It just smelled like a seafood restaurant should smell. Does that make sense? I felt like I was in a seafood restaurant in Florida or New Jersey when I walked in. Obviously, I was loving that. I tried my best to forget about the light snow and freezing temperatures outside.
For my meal, I went with the shrimp and scallops. This was a big deal for me…because I never order scallops unless I’m at the beach. I’ve always had this thought in my head that they wouldn’t be good anywhere else.
Well, this meal proved me wrong. Everything tasted very fresh, especially for being nowhere near an ocean. Were they as fresh as my beloved beach sea scallops? No…but I wasn’t expecting them to be. When I get scallops at the beach, sometimes I get a taste of sand in them as if they were just caught that morning. I know that I’m in Pittsburgh (ho hum…) and can’t expect the same. So, for Pittsburgh, they were very good. And I loved the gulf shrimp.
The five shrimp and two scallops were topped with a soy and sesame glaze and served on top of jasmine rice. I opted for roasted red potatoes and grilled asparagus on the side. I only left behind a few potatoes and some rice. Seafood craving satisfied.
Oh, and a glass of Moscato on the side. Seafood and white wine = perfection.
I’m not sure whether to attribute this to the newness of the restaurant or the way the Wholey’s are as people, but our service was notably wonderful. I was impressed that Luke walked around the restaurant in his chef attire, chatted with guests, and even served food himself. He came up to Gabby and me, introduced himself and made sure we were pleased with everything. Major points for that! The co-owner also came up to us and did the same, and offered to take us on a tour of the place. By the time we were ready to leave, he seemed busy and we didn’t want to disturb him. We did get his business card, though. Next time!
This was definitely a pricier night out, but in my opinion: you pay for quality. I’ll be keeping the Wild Alaskan Grille on my short list for special occasions!
In other seafood news, I have finally perfected the art of cooking salmon at home.
It only took me about a year. I know…ridiculous. Salmon always gave me a tough time; I would constantly overcook it and dry it out. I finally learned that the broiler is your friend. And now it couldn’t be easier!
What’s your favorite kind of seafood? Or are you not a fan?
Is there a certain food that gives you a tough time in the kitchen?