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Poros, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Poros (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Pittsburgh’s largest outdoor restaurant patio was pretty full when I arrived at Poros, so the hostess led me inside to a comfortable booth in a decidedly Mediterranean environment.

Poros, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaWhen I think of the Mediterranean, blue is the first adjective that comes to mind, and Poros splashes it about liberally. I found different shades of the cool color in the ceiling and the fabric of chair backs, the shirts of the wait staff, the water glasses, the tiles by the open kitchen, and the illuminated screen around the bottom of the bar, a popular happy-hour destination for anyone wanting to sample some mezze, small plates from the Mediterranean.

Fish nets wrap around light globes and candleholders, and a larger one separates the bar from the restaurant. The generous square footage of Poros keeps that maritime theme all on a human scale, and you won’t feel like you’re enclosed in an aquarium. Rather, it induces a desire to partake in the bounty of the Mediterranean, and Poros completely satisfies that craving.

Fork and KnifeTry This: Start things off with a selection from the long list of wines and cocktails from Greece, Spain, Turkey, Macedonia, and half a dozen other Mediterranean lands, from powerful Greek ouzo to a sweeter freskó (Chartreuse, honeydew, lime, and tsipouro, a Greek pomace brandy). I enjoyed a salad of field greens and arugula, strawberries, goat cheese, honey-roasted walnuts, and red-wine citrus vinaigrette, but the roasted beet salad with dill, mint, Galotyri cheese, pistachio, and lemon agave vinaigrette sounded just as good. For an entrée, you can choose how you would like one of a dozen different fish prepared; I opted for seared lavraki with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and a shallot garlic citronette, accompanied by perfectly grilled asparagus and a cold orzo salad with red onion and bell peppers. A short dessert menu will still tempt you with the likes of a filo cup with whipped Greek yogurt, dates, pistachio, and Greek honey, or the Sokolatina flourless chocolate torte with orange yogurt sauce.