Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waxing Nostalgic

Every now and then, you find a restaurant that you really love to visit. Maybe they serve the best pancakes you've ever had. Maybe they have a beer selection that's second to none. Maybe it's the fantastic sushi. Whatever the reason, there are certain restaurants that you don't just like...you love them. The very thought of eating there fills you with excitement, and you always leave with a smile on your face. I'm fortunate enough to have quite a few such restaurants in my life.
Today I discovered that one of these, the Market Street Ale House, is no longer with us. I didn't visit the Ale House often, but each trip was memorable.
My first visit to the Market Street Ale House was back in 2004. The Wife and I were looking for a nice Valentine's day dinner, and we found an ad for a four course meal for two at the Ale House. For a reasonably low price (that I don't remember anymore), we'd each get an appetizer, a salad, a main course, and a dessert, each with a matching beer. We went, along with my brother and his wife.
The food was fantastic - Filet mignon and lobster tails, with beer that was just as delicious. We raved about it afterwards, and we returned the next year, bringing my parents along.
We returned again in 2006 with yet another couple in our party (due to our raving about how wonderful it was). This time, when I made the reservation, I even had the opportunity to talk to the chef, who welcomed any input I cared to give regarding the menu. Talk about service!
They discontinued the Valentine's day special after that - probably because we were the only people who showed up. The rest of Pittsburgh has no idea what they missed.
The Wife and I visited the Ale House two more times after that, both times when we were in town to see a show. The food was always delicious (seared ahi tuna, anyone?), and the beer...well they had Belgian beers on draft. Need I say more?
Where the Market Street Ale House once was, there is now a Mexican restaurant. It made me sad to see the Ale House's muted brown sign gone, replaced with a bright yellow one. A personal favorite has gone, leaving only memories. But what memories they are...

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