If You’re Going
National Aviary, 700 Arch Street, on Pittsburgh's North Side. (412) 323-7235 or www.Aviary.org.
For a place to stay: Parador Inn, 939 Western Ave., is a unique hostelry with a Caribbean-Victorian flair. Walking distance to the aviary, the Parador takes its name from the Spanish words for "to stop" or "an inn" and occupies the former 1870 Rhode mansion. Owner Ed Menzer claims the main house holds more than 50 stained and leaded glass windows. Along with its Caribbean ambiance, the inn features a full American-style breakfast each morning. (412) 231-4800 or www.theparadorinn.com.
For a place to dine: Willow Restaurant, 634 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, was voted "Best New Restaurant" in 2005 by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. With attractive decor and sophisticated lighting, Willow changes its menu seasonally. Chef Anthony Pupo, trained at Johnson and Wales, serves exemplary contemporary American cuisine.
Popular dishes include prime sirloin, crab cakes and Branzino Seabass, seared and filled with prosciutto and asiago. I particularly enjoyed my rabbit stew appetizer and duck entree. Desserts made in house, and the wine list is eclectic and well put together. (412) 847-1007 or www.willowpittsburgh.com