This weekend, Aisha and I really went outside of our comfort zone. It was the one night that we were able to get a big group of friends together, and we went all out. Venturing far outside of our usual domains, we found ourselves downtown at Sienna Mercato. This place has three different places rolled into one. The first floor is a meatball restaurant, Emporio, and much more casual, the next floor, Mezzo, is a pizza place that is a bit more upscale, and the final top floor, Il Tetto, is a rooftop beer garden. This was where we found ourselves spending most of our night.
The location: Located on Penn Ave., Sienna Mercato is in the middle of all the action downtown. This makes it a considerable ride away from campus, so it's not the place to just stop by on a night out, it's your destination for the night. Going downtown however, you're far less likely to see Carnegie Mellon students so if you're looking for a break from the campus scene you'll definitely find it here. I won't say that the people you'll find will be better, but they'll certainly be different.
The drinks: The drinks here were very strong because this is a bar where actual adults go and you'll think you're having a great time until you get the bill. Make no mistake, this is a rooftop bar in downtown with an amazing view when the rooftop is open in the summer. You are not going to get away with having a good time with just 20 bucks. But, if you're prepared to splurge, you'll get some nice drinks. Also, if you're an avid beer drinker, this is a beer garden, so you'll find a nice range of drafts. I didn't have any beer, but it certainly was tempting. Perhaps when I go back for a more calm night I'll just relax and have a beer on the roof instead of taking tequila shots.
The vibe: The vibe here is a bit more adult. There's a good mix of people wearing jeans but also suits here. It was a bit strange because the music was very hype and they played a lot of popular music. However, this wasn't really the place to dance. No one was really dancing and the people I was with seemed to be the only people that even recognized the music. The playlist made me feel like I was back in Shadyside buying songs on TouchTunes, but the environment was not like that at all. There could have been a better vibe if more people wanted to dance, but it was still nice.
Lit or nah: This is tricky. I really like the space and the drinks were good and the music was nice, but I don't know if the vibe here can be described as lit. I felt like my group was having a lit time, but everyone else kind of seemed to just be having a casual night out. So this place is kind of what you make it. With the rooftop part actually open, it's hard to not have a good time with the incredible view of downtown that it gives you. I'll definitely be going back to further gauge the situation, but not until I've gotten paid enough money to bounce back from the weekend I just had.