The Original Fish Market Restaurant
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Okay, here is our first attempt at a restaurant review. Stay with us, it may get rough. We are talking about a favorite restaurant of ours; our first date restaurant that took a turn for the worse. “The Original Fish Market” in Pittsburgh, PA is a well-known restaurant in the area. It has a modest blend of fresh from the sea dishes, sushi, and tasty steaks. Located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, it’s convenient to any guests of the Westin and the Omni William Penn. We have frequented the restaurant during our stays in the friendly city.
The scene is New Years Eve 2012. Upon entering the restaurant at our 9:00pm reservation time, T & M were shuffled off to a section of the restaurant that felt out of the way. We were placed in a section with two couples sitting at opposite tables. You know, one of those awkward who gets the booth, who gets the uncomfy chair routines? Well, both couples shared the booth side of the table, which meant T & M dressed in Holiday glamour, were the featured entertainment. Yeah, you get it, RIGHT? Snickers and whispers soon began to fly. We didn’t care. Let’s get NEW Years OFF to a great beginning. T & M are both uber femme, lipstick lesbians and do not meet the stereotype that is placed on our community but people are often confronted with trying to figure us out. There is a strong heat and friction between us and we often find that people don’t know what to make of us. That is what we were experiencing.
As expected, there were delays. Our waitress was perky, fun, and eager to please; however, the dinner was soon to be anything but that. After much contemplation, T & M decided to order the Chef’s tasting menu. Even though the Chef’s menu provided 2 glasses of complimentary champagne, T & M ordered their own bottle of the bubbly libation! We loves us some alcohol!! We ordered a modest $60.00 bottle, the brand escapes memory, but that is not the point of our story (it also may be because we finished the bottle).
First course arrived about 20 minutes later. It was supposed to be an amuse bouche, which literally translates to “amuse the mouth” and is supposed to be one bite to awaken the palate. Scratch that! It was 3 bites of crostini, smoked salmon, artichoke, and crème fraiche. It was the best part of dinner, don’t get us wrong, but the portion was a bit off. Normally people do not complain about portion, but, shit! We are girls!!!! We have to work out hard to keep this shit tight!!!! — and we know what an amuse bouche is supposed to look like!
I digress, sorry.
At about this time, happy couple number one left. Whew, glad to see them go. Happy New Years! Now for another 25 minute wait and our mmmm yummy first course. T ordered the crab, and M ordered the lobster mac and cheese minus the cheese. Both dishes were sadly under-seasoned (Everything was under-seasoned. They need to learn what the word “salt” means). The crab had a fishy odor and had no flavor, which is amazing since they proudly display that they have fresh seafood flown in twice a day. It was not eaten by T. Despite the over-cooked noodles and nowhere there cheese, and much to T’s chagrin, M gobbled up some eats because she was starving!! About half way through; the indulging stopped.
When unhappy with food, ADD ALCOHOL!!! We began to focus on our bottle of champagne. Happy couple #2 left. Happy freaking New Years to you too!!!
Another 25 minute wait for………….SALAD! The happy couples tables were cleared, the tables were reset and pushed together. Something big was to come! Maybe a friendly family, perhaps tourists from China, hmmm, possibly a barrage of Lebanese belly dancers ready to ring in the New Year! NOPE….it was the management team & employees from “The Original Fish Market” gathering for their Holiday gift swap and meeting. YES my friends, we were that couple, stuck in the corner with the hugely unappreciative General Manager of the restaurant and his team. It seemed to us that our $250.00 dinner bill was not worth a simple hello from one single manager from the table. Our poor waitress was ordered around and a very hard working bus boy (adult male) who was so hard working, he should be awarded the company’s employee of 2012 award! He was the nicest guy…truly.
Let’s talk about the great salad. Okay, done! Another 25 minute wait, NO SHIT!!!! More drinking please. About that time, our bottle of champagne was tapped, and we were searching for anyone that could provide something, anything that could break up the monotony of over hearing the GM’s conversation with his unfriendly wife, manager, and staff that seemed to give 2 shits that we were sitting right there trying to enjoy our meal. UGH, ADD ALCOHOL HERE.
After the awkward forced moment when the female manager began to shout to her employees from her table, right next to ours, our very dry, under-seasoned filet arrived. YUM. Who likes wilted over-cooked asparagus? Me either!!!! BUT on a good note, the truffle sauce was not too bad. Keep in mind how much I LOVE ME SOME TRUFFLES. I could not taste, smell, squeeze, or fantasize enough to taste any residue of that la-licious ingredient. So sad……
The waitress was not to be seen or heard from for our needs. BUT the loud holiday employee party to our right was shifting, shouting, demanding, and directing that poor woman (who spoke lovingly of her husband and how she wanted to share the night with him) who was being summoned to honor every and all requests of the GM and his not-so-friendly wife. By the way, many, many, many things were out of stock at that point.
Finally, we got our desserts, can’t remember what they even were. Our waitress had to be frazzled by the employee party, that she obviously wasn’t even invited to? WTF???? She then remembered the complimentary glasses of champagne!!! It’s now 11:00!!! I know it’s not lady like, nor was half of my reporting, but we downed that champagne and waited anther 15 minutes for our check! REALLY? GOD love that bus boy (man) who busted his ass and asked why we didn’t eat our desserts. I jokingly offered them to him to eat and he said he was starving and hadn’t eaten all shift. I then said loudly enough for the GM and his not-so-friendly wife to hear in my jovial tone, “You are such a hard worker, you deserve to eat. They really should feed you more”. A mean glare was given to me by the GM and his NOT-SO-FRIENDLY WIFE. By the way, the employee of the month bus boy (man) was not invited to the Holiday party either!! WTF?? Who does that? Who has an employee dinner during prime dining hours and not make sure all employees are well-appreciated for busting their asses??? The Original Fish Market, that’s who.
After our credit card was provided to our waitress, another 15 minutes went by before we saw her or it again. At this point, we wanted to be so far removed from the Original Fish Market, it wasn’t funny. We wanted a romantic, loving evening to turn out exactly that way. We hurried to our cab, made it back to the Omni, made it in time for Ryan Seacrest to help us bring in the NEW YEAR and opened our own bottle of Champagne to finish off the night. Winks!
We have such fond memories of the fish market because of it being the scene of our first date but every subsequent visit has been a disappointment. Maybe, it was the company that made it so wonderful on our first visit there, it definitely is not the food, atmosphere, or friendliness of the management! We told you our reviews would never be sugar coated…
Let us know in the comments, if you have had a similar experience or if there is a restaurant that you would like us to review. You can also email us at email@example.com
~ M & T