One new restaurant in the Cultural District of Downtown Pittsburgh wants to be “the solution” for any occasion – coffee with food to go at the cafe in the morning, a variety of food for lunch to dinner, a selection of serve yourself beer/cocktails for later, and a whole game room to hang out with your friends any time of the day.
When you first walk to the host’s station, take a look to your left. You’ll see the cafe area that opens at 6:00 AM EST so you can grab coffee and food to go if you’re in a rush. At 11 AM the lunch menu begins!
You have the option of sitting in the main area or the mezzanine upstairs. The main seating room on the first floor feels really open. It has gorgeous tall ceilings, wooden tables, and a rock wall that gives a cozy cabin vibe and has plenty of seating. Right before the full-service bar, you’ll notice the self-serve area with local and craft brews, wines, and cocktails on tap.
Upstairs, the area seats up to 55 next to tall windows that bring in tons of light if you’re into food photography. In the summertime, the large windows will open up making this almost a rooftop experience for downtown!
What makes this atmosphere fun, is that it seems to have every type of person in mind. There’s ivy detail along the walls, green backdrops with neon lights for photo ops, and all kinds of games for everyone. There’s a private room that has a pool table, karaoke, and lounge chairs that people can reserve for a party, but anyone can snag if it’s open. Whether the pool room is taken or not, there’s also plenty to do in the backroom — darts, Pac Man, pin-ball, and bowling.
Oh my gosh the food. Even though the Standard doesn’t technically have a brunch menu, they have plenty of options. For shareable apps, I tried the crushed avocado that’s similar to guacamole but adds goat cheese. Next time, I’d love to try their “Disheveled Sweet Potato – Sweet potatoes dressed with herbed Irish butter, cranberries, hazelnuts and lime crema.”
For the main course, it was impossible for me to make a decision. Everything on the menu sounded delicious… even the salads! Everything on their menu is fresh and full of flavor. I was torn between the Seared Tuna Poke Bowl (black quinoa, kimchi, cucumber, edamame, carrot, toasted sesame seeds, tossed in burnt ginger vinaigrette with a yum yum drizzle), Chicken Pesto (grilled chicken with farro, kale, currants, pickled pepper, cucumber, feta cheese and mint pesto), and the Shrimp “Scampi” (zucchini noodles, San Marzano tomato, garlic confit, parsley and feta cheese.) Out of the three choices, the server recommended the Shrimp “Scampi.”
Oh my WORD. As a lover of all things garlic, this was the best choice. Every bite was had delicious garlic flavor, the shrimp was crispy, the feta added the right amount of salt, and the noodles kept the dish light so I was able to finish every bite.
My boyfriend tried “The Standard Cheeseburger” which features two grass-fed beef patties, fontina cheese, bacon, ketchup braised onion, and Standard sauce on a Brioche bun. It looked so good, but he finished before I could even ask for a bite! My mom ordered the Coconut Curry which I did get to try. The yellow curry and coconut flavor was delicious and I even liked the crispy tofu which I usually pass on.
As a pint house, there is obviously plenty of beer on tap. As mentioned, there’s self-serve on tap where you can get beers, wines, or cocktails. Dan bought a card to try a few and settled on their CBD cocktail. I thought the drink tasted a little bit like beet juice, so I loved it. (Also, CBD is great for calming the nerves!)
The Bloody Mary was not part of the Standard’s cocktail menu, but they had the fixins and tomato juice, so the bartender whipped up a delicious semi-spicy Bloody for me. There’s a full bar, so, like any bar, there’s plenty.
Drinks from the cafe are made to order with lattes, cortados, mochas, and more. You can also add spinach and/or CBD oil to any of the Standard’s smoothies!
947 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA