By Liz Petoniak
Gazing around Altius’ airy and sleek interior, not a trace of the former Georgetown Inn lies in sight, with the exception of the spectacular view. Mt. Washington’s newest hot spot has foodies abuzz — weekends are “crazy busy” according to Partner/Executive Chef Jessica Bauer. Already successful with Bistro 19 in Mt. Lebanon, this is the second restaurant venture for Bauer and her partner B. DeFrancis. Like its sister space, Altius features a seasonal, ever-evolving menu focused on sustainable and local food, delivered on the next level. “The location lends itself to fine dining,” says Bauer. “Obviously, the view is amazing and that’s what gets people up here, but we try to go above and beyond to give people an experience.” Each dining adventure begins with flavored, house-made popcorn, so as to say “enjoy the show,” followed by an assortment of breads made by the in-house pastry chef and an amuse-bouche. Bauer describes the menu items as whimsical, though not unapproachable or pretentious. A few dishes even put a twist on familiar menu items with elevated ingredients and witty names. One of Altius’ most popular plates, “Tongue n’ Cheek,” for example, is a pierogi stuffed with crispy beef tongue and braised beef cheek, topped with leeks, mushrooms, veal demi, and horseradish crème. And, seated at the bar, diners seeking a more relaxed experience can now savor casual, yet classy, fare, like lobster corn dogs and a ground grass-fed strip steak burger, which Bauer dubs as “the best burger in the city.” From 9 p.m. to close, guests will find an array of appetizers for $7 at the bar as well. On the beverage front, Altius recently launched a new “wine hour,” every day from 5-6 p.m., which boasts a $7 featured glass of wine, a half-off selected cocktail, and a $7 charcuterie plate. We can’t make our way up to Mt. Washington fast enough!