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“Best wait staff in the burg”
Review of The Carlton

The Carlton
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Ranked #101 of 2,178 Restaurants in Pittsburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: 5th
Transit: T-Stop & bus stop
Description: Conveniently located in downtown Pittsburgh, within walking distance of the Convention Center & four major downtown hotels. A Pittsburgh favorite for over 20 years. Recipient of the Wine Spectator of Excellence 1995-2006 and The Dirona Award 2000 - 2006 (Distinguished Restaurants of North American). The Carlton has a spectacular cuisine, complimented with an extensive wine list served by polished waiters in a beautiful atmosphere. Pittsburghers know the value of the Carlton making it the spot for business meetings to celebrations.
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best wait staff in the burg”
Reviewed July 5, 2012 via mobile

Having dined in a variety of Pittsburgh eateries I' ve always been impressed with the Carlton's service and waiters. They are always well versed on the menu - prompt and professional but not snobbish. I've never had a bad meal and the selection and pricing is outstanding

Thank Mike T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Fine dining with excellent service”
Reviewed June 22, 2012

I had the pleasure of eating here 24 years ago and just now made it back. Then, it was one of my most memorable meals. I happily say the quality remains that way. We had a large group of 11 during graduation time. The food was everything great I remembered and the wait staff was exceptional. It is fine dining but still has a very down to earth atmosphere. Even though it became quite crowded, the food was on time and perfectly prepared. The fish selections were cooked perfectly. The bread pudding was to die for.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank steelerfan5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Not just a special occasion restaurant”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

My husband and I both work near the restaurant and have become frequent diners on those nights where we just don't have the energy to go home to cook. (well, you know who is doing the cooking...). We have always received excellent service and frankly it makes it hard to go to those restaurants where service is so lacking. Talented staff and bartenders. Don't overlook the bus boys. So many restaurants try to skimp but that extra person filling waters or retrieving an extra napkin make a huge difference. Great to just unwind at the bar with either the regulars or the steady crowd of business travelers eating alone.

Yes, the Carlton is known for its grilled fish entrees (swordfish and scallop BLT anyone?) and the beef is always wonderful but if pork is on the menu, try it. The chef does a fabulous job with the chops or short ribs. The only suggestion I would have would be perhaps more vegetables on the side and a little less starch. But the guys at the table would probably disagree with me. Of course the wall of wine is like a candy store for adults but on those week nights when a bottle might be too much, they always have something excellent by the glass. Ask what the boss is drinking and you'll get a good recommendation.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank annette c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Our "Go To" Fine Dining Restaurant in Pittsburgh”
Reviewed May 10, 2012

The restaurant business is one of razor thin margins. If your food is good, and your service is bad, you lose. If your service is good but your physical space is unremarkable, you lose. You have to hit on all cylinders to maintain a successful restaurant. The Carlton in downtown Pittsburgh succeeds at all aspects in spades every time you go. The service is a hallmark. The servers are all immensely professional -- knowledgeable about the menu and even wine pairings, friendly without being too familiar, attentive without being overbearing. The food is routinely excellent and creative. The menu changes daily, but you do see favorites popping up now and again. I am a fan of the braised spare ribs, which are moist and flavorful, and the buffalo pot roast. My wife likes the seafood, and raves about the barramundi, which is frequently on the menu.

One special plus: if you are going to the theater, the Carlton offers a complimentary limo to and from the theater. They will drop you off before the show, and the limo is waiting outside the door when you return. Every other schmuck in the theater now has to wait 45 minutes to get out of their parking garages in the theater district, while you cruise uptown to leave with ease. It's really a remarkable amenity.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank JohnEGraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Disappointing after so many good meals!”
Reviewed April 14, 2012

We have been loyal customers ever since the Carlton opened. However, tonight's dinner was most disappointing. We were a group of three couples and none of us had the meal we expected. One salad and soft drink never did appear and the prime rib was difficult to cut even with the steak knife. The beef was tough! The waiter did not check to see why it was not eaten and did not offer any suggestions or replacement of the meal.
For the price we paid, we expected the food and service to be of a better quality. The fish portions were very small.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 176HeleneP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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