Hotspots: Where We're Eating

These hotspots are worth a taste this month.


NOLA on the Square photo by Laura Petrilla

NOLA ON THE SQUARE
Our love of New Orleans cuisine is refreshed every time we dine at this restaurant. We could eat a double order of the fried oysters with Cajun slaw and spicy papaya ravigote — but have an equal hunger for dishes like the flavorful jambalaya or moist wood-roasted quail with oyster dressing. Fun chandeliers and décor give the redesigned space appeal, and the Southern-style cocktails and friendly, well-informed service are definitely worth the visit.
24 Market Square, Downtown; 412/471-9100, nolaonthesquare.com

JIMMY & NINO SUNSERI CO.
Jimmy & Nino Sunseri Co. dishes out the most fully loaded Italian hoagie ($6, foot; $3.50, half) in the ’Burgh. A freshly baked bun is stuffed with mortadella, capicola, salami, ham, pepperoni and provonello cheese, then topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and a drizzle of the balsamic-based house dressing. The resulting hoagie is served cold—or at its best after a quick bake in the oven. And what better way to eat the sub than by dipping it in a cup of Jimmy & Nino’s soup du jour ($4)?
1906 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/255-1100

VERDE MEXICAN KITCHEN & CANTINA
This new dinner destination opened in November and offers an upscale approach to Mexican dining that’s fresh for Pittsburgh. The menu is authentic — this isn’t a casual place for bland American-style enchiladas smothered in cheese and sauce. The design details are thoughtful down to the hammered silver flatware. And the bright, memorable flavors of true Mexican cuisine shine in dishes like elotes (chargrilled corn with lime aïoli and chili salt) and carnitas (slow-roasted pork) tacos. And with 150-160 tequilas, the Verde team is aiming to have the largest variety in the state.
5491 Penn Ave., Garfield; 412/404-8487, verdepgh.com

VIVO KITCHEN
With three decades of experience in the kitchen, it’s no wonder that chef Sam DiBattista is finding success with his new Sewickley restaurant, which opened in late August. With its seasonal, à la carte menu, the eatery feels like the perfect modern successor to his previous Bellevue restaurant, Vivo, which offered a more traditional Italian prix-fixe menu (his daughters now operate Bite Bistro in its space). Even if you don’t live in the neighborhood, it’s worth the drive for dishes like crispy poussin (young chicken with fresh herbs) served with a hearty side dish of wheat berries and wild rice or grilled figs with spiced ricotta.
432 Beaver St., Sewickley; 412/259-8945, vivokitchen.com

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Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

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Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

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Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

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The 412

See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

See The Tiny House with Room to Grow

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Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

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Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Curling in Pittsburgh: ‘It's Basically Golf and Chess on Ice’

Curling in Pittsburgh: ‘It's Basically Golf and Chess on Ice’

On the eve of its largest annual event, the Pittsburgh Curling Club has plans to increase Pittsburgh’s appreciation for its intricate sport.
Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
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