Two thumbs up: Iris and Ivory Tea House, Cheswick PA

My parents' 50th wedding anniversary was last week, and we threw a luncheon party for them today at Iris and Ivory Tea House in Cheswick (Pittsburgh suburbs). They treated us very well and on that basis I recommend them for parties up to around 70 people (their maximum capacity).

The tea house is closed on Sundays except for private parties like ours, so we were not sharing the place, and the attention of the staff, with anybody else (a concern I had when looking at party rooms in larger places). Michelle, Angela, and Vanessa were extremely attentive, taking care of our every need promptly while never ever being in the way. The room was beautifully set. (We were in the Iris Room, which looks like it could comfortably hold up to around 40 people.)

The food was tasty and well-presented. The tossed salads had plenty of "real" vegetables, not the often-found mound of greens with two cucumber slices and a few cherry tomatoes. The tilapia was flavorful, and I heard good things about the other dishes. There was not as much variety in the roasted vegetables as I'd hoped for, but they were good nonetheless. (The squash-averse might have a different opinion on that.) The portions were filling and not excessive.

They do not have a liquor license but invited us to bring wine (or spirits) if we wanted, on condition that we pour it ourselves. They provided openers and ice buckets for our (white) wine, so that was no trouble at all. They also said we were welcome to bring in our own cake, which we did, though they could have provided desserts.

They are normally open for lunch and tea but not for dinner (except for catering business like ours). So I was in the possibly-unusual position of choosing a party venue without ever having eaten there, but I got a favorable impression from talking with them so I decided to go for it. I'm glad I did; it worked out very well.