New Restaurants to Visit Now



It’s freezing. It’s January. The festive part of the holidays is over, and now it’s all about resolutions for self-improvement and deciding what to re-give next year. If such thoughts make you want to cocoon at home, here’s another way to look at it: Happy New Year! Turn over a new leaf and celebrate the arrival of 2010! After all, quite a few new dining destinations opened their doors at the end of 2009, and if they haven’t made your radar yet, it’s time to check them out.
 

Café Culture

Espresso a Mano: Top-notch coffee and tasty pastries served in a narrow industrial-chic space made warmer by charming exposed brick and a friendly owner.  Go for: The espresso made with a proprietary blend of La Prima beans. (3623 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/918-1864)

J’eet: This bright, stylish café opened in October with a menu heavy on crêpes and bistro-inspired sandwiches and salads.  Go for: The turkey fig sandwich made with creamy smoked gouda, Granny Smith apples and fig jam. (4200 Penn Ave., Lawrenceville; 412/682-5338, jeetcafe.com)
 

Night Bites

Round Corner Cantina: A stylish renovation turned this former bar into a hip destination with tasty South American street food and great cocktails made with super-fresh juices.  Go for: La Cantina Margarita and chips and guacamole. (3720 Butler St., Lawrenceville, 412/904-2279)

Las Velas Mexican Restaurant:
This spot opened in October with an emphasis on a friendly vibe, fun bar and menu of hearty Mexican specialties from tortilla soup to mole poblano.  Go for: The Mexican-style chorizo tacos with onions, cilantro and lime. (21 Market Square, downtown; 412/281-8180, lasvelasmex.com)
 

Dinner Out

Plum: A gleaming sushi bar and new menu of pan-Asian offerings is now on offer at this handsomely designed space, formerly occupied by the short-lived Richard Chen restaurant.  Go for: The beef carpaccio with hot oil, garlic and Japanese yuzu. (5996 Penn Circle South, East
Liberty; 412/363-7586, plumpanasiankitchen.com)

Tamari: This swanky restaurant has enjoyed major buzz since it opened in the fall, earning raves for its bold, creative small plates that deliver Asia by way of Latin America—or vice versa, depending on what you order.  Go for: The chipotle tuna tartare with avocado crème, wasabi tobiko and plantain chips. (3519 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/325-3435, tamaripgh.com)
 

Editor’s Pick

There’s something about Lidia Bastianich that makes her seem like one of Pittsburgh’s own. It might be her eponymous restaurant in the Strip District, her cooking shows that air on WQED tv13, her totally unpretentious approach to great food or this town’s deep affinity for all things Italian. But even if she were from another planet, I’d be seeking out her new cookbook, Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes. This beautifully illustrated tome was released in late fall and somehow missed my Christmas wish list. The way it delves into the cooking of Italy’s lesser-known regions from Valle d’Aosta or Sardinia makes it feel like a gastronomy tour as well as a great collection of recipes. My favorite online cookbook retailer, Jessica’s Biscuit (ecookbooks.com), is a great spot to nab it, or check other hot new releases to spice up your winter cookbook shelf.
 

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

The 412

Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Follow these steps to assemble your best Halloween getup yet.
Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

The state-sponsored program looks to add $75 million in traffic-signal upgrades throughout the city.
Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

See a tribute to the late scientist each time you go to look up something today.
TechShop Has Become a Hotbed for Local Businesses

TechShop Has Become a Hotbed for Local Businesses

The availability of key resources and support make this East Liberty shop a great place to launch an innovative independent business.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.