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Shiloh Grill puts the emphasis on neighborhood

| Thursday, March 1, 2012

For the longest time, dining on Mt. Washington was reserved mostly for special occasions, like when family and friends are in from out of town. It's one of America's few truly great views, and you can take the Incline.

But for just as long, the rest of the neighborhood -- apart from Grandview Avenue and its string of older, pricey, formal restaurants -- might as well not have existed.

This has begun to change, though, as the sleepy, local business district on Shiloh Street has emerged as a dining and nightlife destination on its own. Shiloh Grill, in particular, is at the heart of it. Just be aware that the famous view can't be seen from here.

"The upside is that we're not charging you for that view," says Gene Mangrum, co-owner of Shiloh Grill.

"We're about a hundred feet from Grandview," he says. "If you're on the (front) deck, you can see the top of the K&L Gates building -- a little framed shot of that. We did have one (online) Yelp reviewer take points off for that -- 'Everything was great, but there wasn't a view' -- but what are you gong to do?"

In lieu of the view, Shiloh Grill offers a cozy, comfortable, neighborhood-bar type atmosphere. There's also a nice dining room and a banquet hall. Oh, and you can't miss the massive deck out front, which is pretty much a full-time party in warmer weather.

"We're all about the neighborhood, and use the term 'neighborhood gastropub' to describe the place," Mangrum says.

So, it's a pub with an emphasis on better food than the usual bar.

"We have 16 taps, all local craft beers, when possible," Mangrum says. "We do try to shop locally whenever possible. Arsenal Cheese Curds come from Lawrenceville. Our cheesecakes come from Carnegie. We buy our pierogies from S&D Polish Deli in the Strip."

The menu, labeled "Fun Things to Put in Your Mouth," is riddled with in-jokes, odd prices and witty asides, but it has standout selections.

"Our best-sellers are our Mac & Cheese ($12.31), made here in-house," Mangrum says. "One of our servers renamed it 'crack and cheese,' it's so addicting. We also have our Pork Shank Redemption ($18.71). We also sell a lot of fish tacos, and Jerk Tacos ($14.99) -- we have a jerk-chicken recipe we've been cultivating for a while."

To take the macaroni and cheese a bit further, there's the elegantly named Macaronis et Fromage de Langoustine ($18.13), prepared with lump crab meat and Atlantic lobster. Another favorite is the Fresh Fried Cheesy Balls ($7.87), an appetizer that uses the aforementioned Arsenal Cheese curds, gently fried, with a spicy mustard sauce on the side.

Shiloh Grill's appearance has changed quite a bit from its former life as Shiloh Inn.

"The long and short of it is that we kind of tied the room to the concept -- keeping it kind of cool and relaxed, and still a little bit funky and weird," Mangrum says.

Additional Information:

Shiloh Grill

Location: 123 Shiloh Street., Mt. Washington

Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. All major credit cards accepted.

Details: 412-431-4000 or www.theshilohgrill.com

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