Don’t overeat before getting physical with these small plates | Love and Sex | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Don’t overeat before getting physical with these small plates

click to enlarge Don’t overeat before getting physical with these small plates
CP Photo: Pam Smith
A charcuterie board at the Allegheny Wine Mixer
Romantic dinners always seem like a given for dates. Couples jockey to get reservations to the best restaurants, then go all out on steak, lobster, oysters, and cocktails. But going all out also means that the night ends after the last bite of the molten lava cake, with sex getting sidelined by the bloating and discomfort that comes from eating rich, indulgent foods.

Here at Pittsburgh City Paper, we are thoroughly invested in ensuring you have the best dates imaginable, including for those who plan on getting physical. We compiled a list of local bars and restaurants where you can enjoy some light eats that will leave you feeling satisfied before getting satisfied. Keep this list on hand the next time you match with that potential special someone, or want to take your current love for a night on the town.

Allegheny Wine Mixer

5326 Butler St., Lawrenceville.
For a bar decorated in wall-to-wall kitsch, Allegheny Wine Mixer makes for a surprisingly inviting space for dates. The expertly curated wine list, along with select beer and cocktails, helps too. They also have small plates to enjoy, with everything from charcuterie boards featuring meat, cheeses, and nuts, to tasty toasted sandwiches that will tame your appetite without leaving you overly full. Share an order of buttery, briny Castelvetrano olives, chicken liver pate, or hummus. There are also a few sweet options.

Con Alma

5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside and 613 Penn Ave., Downtown.
There’s a reason why Con Alma was voted one of the best bars in America by Esquire. The concept, located in both Downtown and Shadyside, pairs a chic, intimate setting with regular jazz performances, all enhanced with a long list of house cocktails and wine (beer and non-alcoholic options are also available). Also expect to find tasty food, much of which comes in small or shareable portions. Omnivores can enjoy Latin-inspired shrimp and fish, guacamole, chicken, and more at the Downtown location. The newer, all-vegetarian menu at the Shadyside location also entices with bright, plant-based tartares and salsas, empanadas, and other fare.


124 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty.
This Austrian beer hall-inspired space may specialize in heavy brews, but the food won’t weigh you down. The menu boasts more personal-sized wood-fired pizzas, including a vegan one with cashew cheese. There are also bean or pepper dips, charcuterie plates, olives, and other goodies to enjoy over drinks and conversation in a laid-back atmosphere. If you’re worried about drinking too much delicious, high ABV beer, you can also opt to try some of the bar’s lighter wine or cocktails.


202 38th St., Lawrenceville.
Located on the third floor above Round Corner Cantina, Umami offers great views, sexy, neon-lit, Japanese pub-style ambiance, and, most importantly, food worthy of multiple dates. Choose from a long list of bite-sized sushi made in a variety of styles and ingredients. Pair one of Umami’s sweet, refreshing cocktails with salty edamame, vegetable or pork gyozas, seared tuna tataki, or other selections.

40 North

40 W. North Ave., North Side.
Opened in summer 2021, this culinary addition to the City of Asylum and Alphabet City headquarters serves brunch, lunch, and dinner options. It also offers a distinct selection of starters that can easily become the main course of any outing. The current menu has some appealing choices inspired by cuisine from around the world, including Khachapuri, a type of Georgian cheese bread, chevre spiced with Za'atar, fried olives, and more. The selection reflects the mission of City of Asylum and Alphabet City to house and showcase writers and artists from around the globe, mainly those escaping persecution in their home countries.