Originally published April 3rd, 2017.
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Way back in January (it is already April, so I can say that) I visited a restaurant called Ember & Vine, located inside of the Double Tree Hotel in Cranberry. I was with mom, and we went because we noticed the place had a pretty good Pittsburgh Restaurant Week deal.
We walked in with absolutely no expectations... actually, we walked in really confused, because neither of us knew that it was located in the Double Tree, and we didn't understand why the GPS had taken us there.
However, both of us have been pretty much raving about the place ever since. So why haven't I blogged about it? Good question.
Today, I was asked by someone if I had a favorite cocktail in the city of Pittsburgh.
This question really stumped me... and that annoyed me. I have spent so much money on cocktails in Pittsburgh. I'm talking hundreds of dollars. However, in that moment, I didn't have an answer. (All that money, all those Instagrams...)
Finally, something emerged in my head: a drink I had tried at Ember & Vine. I felt weird about calling it my favorite cocktail because it hadn't even been my drink (my mom ordered it).
Still, it stuck.
This sealed the deal for me. If this this place was beating Hidden Harbor, the Livermore, Smallman Galley, and tons of other trendy places when someone asked me about my favorite cocktail in Pittsburgh... it was time to talk about Ember & Vine.
Ember & Vine is a upscale American restuarant located in the recently renovated Double Tree Hotel in Cranberry. I had never been inside the hotel before visiting Ember & Vine - I mean, why would I be hanging out in a hotel in Cranberry? - so I have no idea what the space looked like before the renovation. However, the space is now stunning. I mean, just look at these pictures.
^Those are the "chef's tables"... you know, the type of chef's choice tables that they have at places like the Twisted Frenchman.
So here I was, thinking the best part of a Double Tree Hotel is the cookies they give you for checking in, having no clue there was a high-end restaurant located in the lobby.
The menu is fabulous - woodfired pizzas, salads and sandwiches - the portions are huge, and everything is really tasty. My favorites include:
- Potato Pizza: thinly sliced roasted yukon gold potatoes, fresh rosemary, provolone, pecorino, arugula, champagne vinaigrette, garlic oil
- Ceasar Salad: romaine hearts, house-made caesar dressing, garlic-thyme croutons, aged parmesan reggiano, white anchovy
- Fried Cauliflower: beer-battered golden brown cauliflower, pickled jalapeno aioli or cilantro-ranch
- Sticky Cake: I think this is the name, but just TRUST ME - you have to get it
Take a look at the menu. Everything sounds great.
We haven't even discussed on the topic that got us here - the drinks. Take a look at this real quick:
The "Tequila Mockingbird" (tequila, watermelon, basil, lime, agave, jalapeno) is the drink I have been dreaming of. I also tried the Woodpecker and the French Rose (it was one of those days, okay?) - both were awesome.
The decor, the service, and (obviously) the cocktails were divine.... and it was inside of the Cranberry Double Tree?? What an unexpected gem! This is a restaurant that would survive Downtown - in fact, I think it would thrive.
What I am trying to say, is if you are looking for a place to have a meal in Cranberry, there is no better spot than Ember & Vine. Don't believe me? Go see for yourself.