The Hyeholde – Moon Township
The Hyeholde in Moon Township is a really great restaurant for your parents. My wife and I went there to celebrate out 1st anniversary recently and we were very pleased with everything however the ambience did feel a little stiff. Our original list of options included Hyeholde, Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris, Capital Grille, and Monterey Bay. Our criteria were that the restaurant had to be classy and it had to make a great steak because my wife loves meat*.
The last time we went out for a fancy dinner we opted to go to Monterey Bay. It was a first-class experience but we decided we wanted to try something different this time. Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris seemed too old fashioned, so it came down to The Capital Grille and Hyeholde. I was already scheduled to spend all day downtown on Saturday**, so a leisurely trip to Moon sounded more desirable and Hyeholde won out. I called Friday morning and had no problem making reservations for Saturday evening.
After not eating much all day because of a Penn Brewery Oktoberfest-caused hangover, I was really hungry by the time we arrived at 8:00. It was dark out so I didn’t get a good look at the grounds though I’ve heard that they’re quite picturesque. The interior of the restaurant is very elegant despite the fact that it reminded me of the haunted house in Scooby-Do cartoons where when you walk past a painting, the eyeballs of the person in the picture follow you as you move. The nearby clientele all appeared to be on the other side of sixty. The attire was formal with the men in sport-coats and the women in dresses and pearls. The combination of our relative youth and my middle-lower class upbringing definitely left me feeling a tad out of place. Fortunately I have learned to feign pretentiousness with the best of them and was able to pretend like I belonged.
My wife began her meal with the sherry bisque and I went with the crab cakes appetizer. The bisque was as advertised with the sherry taste being prominent which made it much too sweet for my taste buds but my wife liked it. Although the crab cakes could have used a little more roasted red pepper coulis on the plate they were almost all lump crabmeat earning them an exemplary 9/10 rating. They were the equivalent of getting 128 rushing yards and a touchdown out of your starting fantasy running back and feeling like you could have used another touchdown knowing you really have no room to complain.
For my entree I went with the house-made pasta with vegetables and shaved Parmesan. The pasta was perfectly al-dente and the sauce reminded me of alfredo albeit not as heavy. The veggies were a little rawer than I would have liked but I guess that’s better than them being over-cooked and rendered tasteless. My pasta was a solid dish however my wife was nice enough to share some of her excellent steak and Boursin potatoes. The filet was cooked to a textbook medium and the Boursin potatoes were a wonderfully layered cheesy delight. Since I had starved myself all day and putting on weight after you get married is not just permissible but mandatory, we decided to split the hazelnut chocolate napoleon and creme brulee for dessert. Both were delicious and the perfect end to a wholly enjoyable yet somewhat stuffy dinner.
Final Call: The food and service were top notch as expected from such a highly regarded establishment and the prices were surprisingly much more reasonable than other upscale restaurants. Hyeholde doesn’t deliver an overtly fun experience, but then again neither does watching “The Shawshank Redemption”. Both are exceptional from beginning to end and a quality way to spend two hours.
* I tried to come up with a better sentence that would communicate my wife’s fondness for steak but I just couldn’t do much better than “my wife loves meat”. This admittedly sounds like an adult movie series but I think it gets the point across.
** I went to PodCamp Pittsburgh 6 which was held in the Point Park University Center. I can’t say I had a great time but I did learn a few things. I went by myself and didn’t (and still don’t) know any of the other Pittsburgh social media Illuminati so it was sort of a lonely experience. The majority of the other attendees weren’t particularly friendly, but I’ll take some of the blame since my normal ebullient personality was tempered by a Level 6 hangover. Maybe next year it will be funner***.
*** Writing “funner” is more fun than writing “more fun”.