Or, the Whale

4.4
542 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
or, The Whale is located in the former gymnasium of the Salvation Army building giving the space its distinct look and feel. The track above the gym floor was transformed into catwalk seating and upstairs bar. As you travel down to the lower level you will enter the main dining area with the open kitchen, a window into the butcher room and a small wine cellar that doubles as a private dining space. We use the freshest and sustainable seafood, humanly raised beef, poultry, pork and lamb. Dry aged steaks, pork chops, and whole fish and lobster will be wood fired on a 6 foot wood burning grill. Reminiscent of the classic East Coast seafood houses and steak houses recreated to fit modern times. A fun relaxed atmosphere with a touch of sophistication. A strong cocktail program, well rounded craft beer list, well curated wine program with all the big reds for your steak and complex whites to compliment all the seafood you can handle.
What 542 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BF
Pittsburgh
25 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Took girlfriend for Mother's Day brunch (it was my second time eating at Or The Whale). We had Maryland frittata and Salmon salad with farro grain. Both dishes were tasty, nice presentation. Coctails deserve a praise too (we opted for refreshing gin and mint cocktail). The dessert, however, was a total disappointment. What was described on the menu as "lemon tart" was some type of pastry shell filled with blueberry jam/compote and topped with slice of lemon pudding? We told the waitress - whatever it was, it most certainly is NOT a classic lemon tart. Besides that, food & drinks were delicious paired with great ambiance of swanky "The Distrikt" hotel.

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L
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was very creative and fresh. We had the trout, scallops and steak tartare. I would just suggest less salt in everything. Let us taste the integrity of the great food. The service was friendly and helpful. The ambiance is cool but too bright. Turn up the tunes and turn down the lights. Enjoyed our evening.

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VF
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was very pricey for the quantity. I probably wouldn't return unless it was outstanding.

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LW
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We took our son for a college graduation celebration. Food and service were fantastic. Memorable evening!

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DB
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience overall. My wife had the scallops, which were excellent, especially the beet reduction. I Had the NY Strip steak, which was very well-seasoned. I was pleasantly surprised, found it better than a double-the-price comparable steak at Eddie Merlot's. Portions were good, we felt just full enough that we didn't even need dessert. Would highly recommend.

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PD
Pittsburgh
21 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food and service. Great choices on the menu.

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JH
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time at Or, the Whale. The waitstaff, food and décor were excellent and my husband said it was one of the best birthday meals that he has had. Looking forward to coming back.

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KO
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The brunch menu for Easter was a bit small, but the food was excellent - as was the service. I would definitely eat here again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Unique menu, enjoyed trying something different. Everything was very good. I was a little disappointed with our seating in front of the kitchen given our early reservation and nearly empty house.

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OT
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Comfortable

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was very good. Small portions, big prices, but expected in this type of restaurant.

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ET
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best shrimp and grits in Pittsburgh.

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MM
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great quirky place with excellent food. Highly recommend.

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JH
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

The crab Mac n cheese was dry, not cheesy, and the noodles were burnt. You couldn’t even get it out of the dish to eat. The veggies were uncooked and so over seasoned you couldn’t eat them. The $45 steaks were cooked well but so rubbery it took forever to just get one piece down. My fish was good. It was red snapper and it was cooked well and tasted good. Lastly, the service was bad. It took forever to get drinks, and it took and hour and half to get our food then it was luke warm. We had 8 pm reservations so you can imagine how hungry and late we ate. This place truly was awful. The worst part was the manager was initially unapologetic and defensive. However, my husband was pretty irate. When I spoke to him he was more understanding and apologetic, but still tried to defend things. I asked to have the crab Mac n cheese and the steaks removed from the bill for obvious reasons (I rarely complain at restaurants or ask to have food removed but I wasn’t paying $45 for a steak that was frankly a really poor cut of meat). To my surprise the manager took care of the whole food bill and we just paid for drinks. That was unexpected but very nice of him to try to make up for things. Lastly, we were so upset about this because this was an anniversary dinner for us with friends. I did say it was our anniversary on the initial reservation. You would think the restaurant would’ve tried a little more, but everything about it was terrible. It felt like we were second rate customers to them and the cooks put absolutely no effort into our food, possibly even gave us left over food. I will NEVER go back here again and suggest skipping this place entirely if you are a foodie. What a shame.

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BA
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Service was great! The decor is very unique as well. Only negative feedback is both our entrees were LOADED with salt! So, that was disappointing for the price

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PC
Washington DC
66 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zac was a great waiter and we had a long leisurely dinner for 4. The cod chowder is killer! Bread plate (biscuits!) outstanding. Never been disappointed!

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D
Pittsburgh
20 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Forget about it for lunch. Dinner is great, but they should either close the restaurant for lunch or make it something worthwhile.

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MC
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Highly disappointed in the food.

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G
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

We had a great meal here, the scallops, octopus appetizer and fish stew were all incredible and came out quickly with good service. We found the ambiance to be very trendy and loud, not really a place we wanted to linger and enjoy.

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S
Pittsburgh
14 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere. Had octopus for an app. It was great. And the salmon for my entree. Very good. Neat design. 2 levels.. would return.

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BB
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an incredibly delightful find!

Or, the Whale has a crazy love affair with food and their menu shows that. Our group of four had an excellent dinner and will certainly be back.

I highly recommend the Baby Octopus appetizer.

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KO
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing and we had excellent service. We’ve had problems with service at nice restaurants in Pittsburgh but or, The Whale was fast and nothing sat for more than a minute. Highly recommend!

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D
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

The meal could have been so much nicer than it actually was. The place is trendy, with an open kitchen and the menu is attractive although quite on the high level for entree prices.
My steak was not cooked as I had requested and we ended up eating at different times without any compensation but apologies. We will not return.

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TS
Pittsburgh
6 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An excellent experience. We will be back. It’s expensive, but certainly a great treat. I had the scallops. I savored every bite.

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S
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Experience hampered by noise level. Also the tables for two downstairs are too long.

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CG
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Cool atmosphere. Delicious food. A little noisy, excellent staff!

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BD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great place for a date. My wife and I enjoyed the food and the service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was wonderful. Cool vibe. But ridiculously overpriced. Hard to justify going back at $90 a head including tip.

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RP
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Entrée was good but the sides were charred to the max! Restaurant is way over priced.

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PK
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We dined on a Sunday evening and only 2 tables were occupied...??.. The service, appetizer - mussels, and sides were okay; however the bone-in ribeye left much to be desired. It was very fatty!! Considering all the wonderful restaurants in the Pittsburgh area; we feel we made a mistake.

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DB
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely loved Or, the Whale. The food and the service were fabulous. Only issue is they sat us in front of the open kitchen, and one of the cooks yelled a lot. We didn't really care but he may want to decrease the volume a bit. Otherwise, we had a lovely time and would recommend it to anyone!!

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JB
Pittsburgh
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my third time at this restaurant and it has been excellent each time.

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m
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A totally delightful experience for all 3 of us. No issues. No problems.

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RK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An absolutely wonderful dining experience. I highly recommend the Chicken and Waffles as well as the Herb Baked Eggs.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was incredibly quick and wait staff were exceptionally attentive. Came here to celebrate our engagement for brunch. Brunch menu used to have more selections -but overall a wonderful experience

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MD
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

Hits and misses on the food. Service was tremendous.

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MW
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Plenty of options, friendly waitstaff, amazing food! Oh - and the cocktails!!! Yes to it all. (Be prepared to spend money, but it is worth it)

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JZ
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best seafood I've had in Pittsburgh. The mussels were phenomenal, as was the rainbow trout special. I will definitely be coming back!

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OT
Detroit
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Great steak tartare! Cocktails also delicious. Was a little overpriced but a definitely fun to try

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CM
Pittsburgh
5 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We eat early in the day, we were the first in this evening, our server had to excuse himself for an emergency before we could place our order. The manager, I believe his name was Ryan, took over and was fantastic. The banter between him, the expeditor and us was lighthearted and made the whole experience fun and enjoyable. Even though it was our first time here, they made us feel like regulars. We will definitely return.

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