I purchased a Groupon for Pete's a few months ago and since it is a little off my regular flight plan I had put off using the coupon until a couple of Sunday nights ago. When I finally located the place I discovered that they are closed on Sundays.
A few weeks later I had another opportunity and although it was a Saturday night I thought Michelle and I would take a chance without a reservation. That might not have been the best decision.
When we walked in the place was bustling with patrons. Some being escorted into the dining room and others sitting or mingling in the bar area. The hostess checked her chart and assured us that a table would be available in about 15 minutes.
We luckily caught a pair of seats at the bar and ordered some wine. Pete's is kind of an enigma. Most patrons were dressed smartly for a special Saturday night out. Yet there were women in shorts and men wearing tee shirts. TV's adorned several walls showing football games that were in progress as some of the patrons in the bar area cheered them on. A lot of the customers seemed like "regulars," the bartender greeted them warmly and offered to have a drink with them "later." I asked the gentleman next to me about the place and he said it was terrific!
"The steaks are off the chart," he said, "so is the Chicken Milanese." He was shortly whisked away to his awaiting table and replaced with a super nice couple, Stu and Colleen, from Boca. They were "virgins" to Pete's also but unlike us, they had made reservations.
We waited patiently as fifteen minutes turned into thirty and then forty-five. Michelle was getting a little anxious and prodded the hostess who said our table would be ready in a few minutes. Finally we were led into the dining area.
An open kitchen ran the length of the south end of the restaurant. The black tablecloths gave a quasi upscale feel only neutralized by the four televisions atop the kitchen area. Is this a fine dining place or a sports bar? Waiters, dressed in all black, jutted around the tables taking orders and delivering food. Roberto, our waiter, took our order and brought a few slices of delicious hard crusted bread with a kidney shaped bowl of garlic infused olive oil for dipping. Michelle opted for the appetizer meatballs as her main dish. I chose a large filet mignon with loaded baked potato. We placed our orders and waited. And waited. And waited.
After a long while our items were delivered. Michelle's meatballs were amazingly large. Bigger than baseballs and topped with red sauce and a dollop of ricotta cheese. I cut into my large filet mignon and it was cooked perfectly! Exactly as I like it: Pittsburgh medium.
Michelle raved about the meatballs and how delicious they were. My steak was exquisite. We even swapped a couple of bites to confirm our tastes. There is no doubt that the food was excellent and there was plenty of it. Michelle couldn't even finish one meatball and I only ate half the steak and potato. We asked Roberto to box up the rest and after seeing a few immense slices of carrot cake making their way to other tables, I asked him to put one in a box to go, also.
Michelle and I really liked the food. We were a little annoyed at the long wait to get a table but we didn't have a reservation; our bad. Had the hostess told us it would be 45 minutes to an hour wait we would have gone elsewhere. The place is loud and it is very difficult to have a conversation. People yelling at the televisions only increases the noise level. The live entertainment in the bar area was nice but also way too loud. The service was good but not as good as the prices reflect. The people at the table next to us were upset about something with the waiter and I thought they were going to have a confrontation when the customer jumped up at of his chair. The manager seemed to soothe things over but the patron still seemed to be upset.
We declined coffee and applied our Groupon to the check which made the dinner somewhat affordable. I made sure to tip based on the full amount. We would love to come back. Maybe on a slower night and ONLY with a coupon and a reservation.
If you have been to Pete's, let me know about your experience by leaving a comment.