I'm sorry, Mount Washington.
I started writing this weekly column in September 2011, and I've never once mentioned your neighborhood. No excuses. However, over the last few months, quite a few bartenders and chefs who live in Mount Washington told me that I needed to visit The Summit. The year-old bar at the corner of Shiloh and West Sycamore, they said, was a must-go.
It's a good idea to listen to the professionals.
The Summit is a welcoming place to hang out, so much so that on a brilliant spring afternoon , co-owners Shane Witt and Logan Persun (fellow co-owners Daniel Peach and Daniel Gralish had the afternoon off) even unlocked the doors a little before opening time to let a couple of neighborhood revelers in for an early drink.
Speaking of drinks, the bar is stocked with a terrific selection of fine spirits ... and a refreshing lack of horrifically flavored vodkas. The beer list is one of the best I've seen in Pittsburgh: The 12 taps tip heavily toward local brews, and there's a really deep American craft list of cans and bottles.
Many of the cocktails feature house-made infusions, including the Cucumber Press (cucumber-infused vodka, lemon, soda) and the Peach Manhattan (peach-infused bourbon, sweet vermouth). "We try to rotate our cocktails every month or two, but a few hits always stay on the menu," says Witt.
The owners say that the bar straddles the line between a neighborhood watering hole and a party destination. "Sundays through Thursdays. we always know at least half of the people who are in here," says Witt. But, according to Persun, "On Fridays and Saturdays, we never know what's going to happen."
Persun concedes that, "Mount Washington needs more stuff up here. It needs a younger vibe." But it's also a neighborhood that we non-residents should visit more often. Especially when we aspire to reach all the way to The Summit.