Located in the lobby of the Distrikt Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh, or, The Whale is an upscale restaurant and bar featuring a fresh French-inspired food menu and a wine and cocktail list curated to match. Since 2017, or, The Whale has been a Gold designated Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant, demonstrating its commitment to the health and resiliency of the Pittsburgh region.
Located in the repurposed gymnasium of the former Salvation Army building-turned modern hotel, or, The Whale boasts a wood-fire hearth, a butcher room, a caviar program, and a worldly wine program with an on-staff sommelier, all of which contribute to the elegant atmosphere and inventive menu.
As the name indicates, (it’s the alternate title of Moby Dick), seafood is a heavy focus of the restaurant, with oysters, scallops, mussels, escargot, octopus, shrimp, salmon, lobster, seafood chowders, and market fresh fish regularly rotate throughout the menu. But steak, porkchops, and chicken, as well as gourmet salads and sides give options for all tastes.
The atmosphere of or, The Whale is an experience all its own. The subterranean dining area and open kitchen give a cozy, intimate experience, while ropes and tile walls give a wink to the former purpose of the space, and a nod to the nautical theme. Meanwhile, the gigantic mural of the white whale and Captain Ahab’s ship give a literal, striking reference to the restaurant’s literary namesake. Overlooking the main dining area is an equally charming wraparound bar for those in search of drinks and quick bites.
Sustainability is as much a part of the mission of or, The Whale as the seafood is. They work hard toward becoming plastic free and make efforts to reduce waste by composting and working with the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Among other sustainable practice highlights, or, The Whale practices root-to-stem and nose-to-tail cooking, makes use of LED lighting, and sources products from local farms such as Clarion River Organics, and local start-up gardens throughout the year. To read more about their sustainable practices, check out their Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant profile.
Curious to give or, The Whale a try? Stop by 463 Boulevard of the Allies in Downtown Pittsburgh. The restaurant is open 7 days a week: Sunday through Thursday from 7am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 7am until 11pm. Reservations may be helpful, depending on the day of the week.