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Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Food and Drink

From a goat rodeo farm and dairy to a Spanish revival to a secret lunch –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in food and drink.

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photo by laura petrilla

During a January deep-freeze, a busted water pipe in the apartment above Morcilla led to catastrophic flood damage and a three-month shuttering of Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino’s second Lawrenceville restaurant. Rather than letting it rain on their parade of accolades, the Severinos took the opportunity to rejigger the restaurant and solve a couple of long-standing issues. Justin Severino stepped beyond his role as executive chef to become lead contractor — overseeing the build-out of a freshened-up dining room complete with layers of soundproofing. He and chef de cuisine Nate Hobart updated the restaurant’s menu, too, adding large-format dishes such as lamb tagine with roasted pears, golden raisin, labneh, pistachio and mint served with saffron paella and arroz con pitu de caleya — cider-braised chicken with calasparra rice and herbs. (3519 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/652-9924, morcillapittsburgh.com) —HBK

photo by hal B. Klein

Legume in Oakland has a long history of pushing beyond generic seasonal menus with quick rotations of dishes made with ingredients that actually are in season in Pittsburgh. Nowhere on the menu is that more evident than Executive Chef/Co-Owner Trevett Hooper’s seasonal soups, which are a delicious journey through the year. Peak-summer means corn soup with chili oil, cilantro and corn fritters, and pumpkin-mussel soup signals that the weather is about to turn cold. Winter brings beef and kimchi soup and shchi, a Russian-style soup with a sauerkraut base. Threadbare cupboards in late winter and early spring call for zurek, a fermented rye soup with a delicate tang that will warm both bones and souls. The cycle begins again as spring awakens the fields and forests, and wild stinging nettles are mellowed into a soup with chive creme fraiche and croutons. (214 N. Craig St., Oakland; 412/621-2700, legumebistro.com) —HBK

photo by hal b. klein​

Steps from Butler Street in Lawrenceville is the courtyard of Poulet Bleu, a quick and pleasing transition from Pittsburgh to Provence. The French restaurant is the most food-forward establishment in the growing Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (tako, Butcher and the Rye, Meat & Potatoes, Pork & Beans) restaurant empire. DeShantz, as he always does, designed the interior, in this case an elegant, soft mix of blue and white, popped with pewter, zinc, marble and wood. The menu is equally transportive, with best-in-class French onion soup, Burgundy escargot with garlic butter and parsley, trout almondine and steak frites. Don’t miss the chocolate soufflé, crisp on the outside and buttery chocolate within. The wine list, very heavily tilted toward France, is one of the best in town. (3519 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/325-3435, pouletbleupgh.com) —HBK

photo by hal b. klein

Earlier this year, esteemed bartenders Carrie Clayton and Spencer Warren combined forces with Penn Avenue Fish Co. owners Henry B. Dewey and Angela Earley to open Penn Cove Eatery (and its adjoining bar and gastropub, The Warren Bar and Burrow). Inside the storefront is a wine bodega where, using the establishment’s restaurant license, the owners can sell bottles of wine — as well as beer and wine-based aperitifs and digestifs such as vermouth and certain types of amaro — for takeaway. Clayton and Warren curate a collection of more than 400 bottles, most of which are not available at the PLCB stores, with a selection that ranges from high-end to best-on-a-budget. (245 Seventh St., Downtown; 412/201-5888, penncoveeatery.com) —HBK

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2018 Best of the 'Burgh

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Readers' Choice Poll Results

Diners, food trucks, dive bars and more. Here's the most popular stuff in town.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Food and Drink

From a goat rodeo farm and dairy to a Spanish revival to a secret lunch –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in food and drink.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Fitness and Outdoor

From a way to be shady to a (literal) tailgate to letting the moon be your guide –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in fitness and the outdoors.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Arts & Entertainment

From waking the dead to a jazz conspiracy to an act of grand larceny –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in arts and entertainment.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Cultural Attractions

From a tiny history lesson to a secret garden to a hidden shrine –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in cultural attractions.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Business and Education

From a pierogi you can't eat to a hidden toy chest to the rehab of a dying mall –– discover what our editors chose for the Best of the 'Burgh in business and education.
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