Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

25 Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh: 2011

It is a pleasure to present the 25 Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh and celebrate a year that vaulted the region’s dining scene to a whole new level of sophistication.



(page 4 of 5)

Spoon - shrimp

Photo by Laura Petrilla   

Spoon: Day boat scallops and grilled prawns with spring risotto, local ramps, fava beans, asparagus and lemon buerre blanc.

Salt of the Earth

Two years in the making and the winner of several of this year’s awards, including Best New Restaurant, Salt of the Earth has largely influenced the local dining scene since it opened nine months ago. Kevin Sousa’s unapologetic approach and chalkboard wall menu are full of surprises and veer away from the traditional dishes that predominate in Pittsburgh.

Top-notch dishes include a venison tartare with crunchy pumpernickel crumbles and roasted cashews; scallops with spicy kim chi, Brussels sprouts and rice cakes; and striped bass with enoki mushrooms, crunchy black rice and fragrant pine needle-infused dashi broth.

To finish, choose the cheese plate or the only dessert offered: White Chocolate. Drinks include wine (selection is limited but appealing), draft beer and a handful of craft cocktails.

The restaurant’s unique space includes communal tables, banquette seating and an open kitchen with a bar for dining. Reservations are only accepted for mezzanine seating, and accordingly, weekend waits at peak times run long.

Chef/Owner Kevin Sousa. 5523 Penn Ave., Garfield. Info: 412/441-7258, saltpgh.com.
 

Seviche

This longtime tapas-and-mojitos destination has expanded with new seating and mid-sized plates that should be suitable whether you’re in the mood for something light or for a sit-down dinner.

The seviche, served with homemade tortilla chips, is a specialty, and you can select your seafood and preparation style from a long list of choices—the “traditional” with fresh lime, jalapeño pepper, scallion, red onion and cilantro is a classic.
From the rest of the menu, our go-to order is the small bites, including the ahi-tuna sliders with wasabi mayo on plump little rolls or the spicy Cuban sushi roll. If a larger meal is desired, offerings include filet mignon a la plancha with roasted-corn croqueta and chipotle demi-glace or banana-stuffed pork tenderloin with dark rum glaze.

Seviche is a fun spot for late-night dining (the kitchen stays open until midnight on weeknights and until 1 a.m. on weekends) or happy hour, with its casual and colorful interior, big windows overlooking Penn Avenue and lively bar scene.

Executive Chef Max Scribner. 930 Penn Ave., downtown. Info: 412/697-3120, seviche.com.
 

Soba

In a place where not many ethnic restaurants successfully go upscale, Soba breaks the mold with its urban-Zen vibe, modern first-floor lounge, dining area with two-story water-wall and cozy upstairs deck for warm weather dining.

Chill out in the lounge’s leather seating with custom-blended cocktails (try the Bangkok Tea made with green-tea-infused vodka, fresh sours and honey-ginger syrup) and a few small plates. The menu includes just about everything you’d expect from upscale Pan-Asian: yellow-tail sashimi drizzled with wasabi oil, tuna tartare wrapped in crispy rice paper and pork dumplings with sweet vinegar sauce for dipping.

For a more formal evening, opt for a white-tablecloth dinner and choose among such spicy entrées as seared rare tuna with a crunchy sesame crust or the chili-miso black cod with barbecued pork over rice-cake noodles. Finish up with Asian-inspired desserts like cardamom beignets with coconut custard. —Kaitlyn Johnston

Executive Chef Danielle Cain. 5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Info: 412/362-5656, bigburrito.com/soba.
 

Spoon

For dinner and drinks, this handsome new restaurant that opened in the former Red Room space has sophisticated appeal. The wine list from sommelier Tobin Finegold is a winner whether you order by the glass or by the bottle.
The menu, from our “Rising Star Chef” award-winner Brian Pekarcik, offers about 10 appetizers and 10 mains, with each seasonally inspired dish available for a few weeks.

We loved dishes like the sinful bacon-and-eggs starter, with pork belly, five-minute poached egg, asparagus and hollandaise; lobster cakes with pickled-beet salad; miso-glazed butterfish with tempura prawns and braised daikon and orange-chili dressing.

The appealing dessert menu offers choices like chocolate-ganache cake for two or brioche French toast with poached pears along with inspired wine pairing suggestions. Accommodating service completes the experience.

Executive Chef Brian Pekarcik, 134 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. Info: 412/362-6001, spoonpgh.com.
 

Stagioni

Terrific handmade Italian food comes out of the kitchen at this small, modest restaurant that’s the collaboration of chef Stephen Felder and Cara DelSignore, his girlfriend and partner whose Sicilian family hails from Pittsburgh.

Local, seasonal and sustainable aren’t just buzzwords to Felder, who works with nearby purveyors, makes his own sausage and pickles, brines and preserves galore. He also makes his own pasta, and it truly shines in dishes like fettuccine with fresh Jamison Farm lamb meatballs with arugula-horseradish pesto and roasted-red peppers or pear-and-mascarpone ravioli with seared duck breast alongside red-currant preserves.

Lunch is also memorable with such dishes as an open-face, crispy soft-shell-crab sandwich with cherry tomato and aïoli served on fresh Italian bread.

To finish, there are house-made sweets including (predictably for this neighborhood) tiramisù.

Visit for dinner—the menu changes daily and is posted online by 4 p.m.—or check out events like the monthly wine dinner, family-style Sunday Supper or Sunday brunch.

Chef/Owner Stephen Felder. 4770 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Info: 412/687-5775, stagionipgh.com.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

A Bitter Pennsylvania Rivalry Is the Focus of a New Movie

Few questions spark such intense debate as “Wawa or Sheetz?” A local filmmaker hopes to answer which regional chain reigns supreme.

Kraft Heinz Squeezes Out New Ketchup with Vintage Taste

Can a recipe from 1896 still taste as good?

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

The 18-year-old singer from Munhall wowed the “American Idol” judges once again.

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

Take a trip back to a very different Pittsburgh.

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

PIT Turns to CMU to Make Airport Smartest in the World

The airport authority will use minds at CMU to discover ways to make it easier for passengers to get from the terminal’s parking lots to their seat on the plane.

Celebrate August Wilson's Birthday With a King and a Block Party

The ninth play in the 10-part Pittsburgh Cycle will open outside at the August Wilson House.

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Get Your Clark Bars While You Can – They May Soon Be Gone

Production of Pittsburgh native candy bar may halt if the current producer cannot find a new buyer.

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


A Bitter Pennsylvania Rivalry Is the Focus of a New Movie

A Bitter Pennsylvania Rivalry Is the Focus of a New Movie

Few questions spark such intense debate as “Wawa or Sheetz?” A local filmmaker hopes to answer which regional chain reigns supreme.

Comments

Kraft Heinz Squeezes Out New Ketchup with Vintage Taste

Kraft Heinz Squeezes Out New Ketchup with Vintage Taste

Can a recipe from 1896 still taste as good?

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Soju in Garfield

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

Comments

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley will rotate its third class of chef/owners this June … but this time there’s a twist.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Comments

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments


Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

Comments

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

The bar team at the Strip District restaurant incubator continues its flights of fancy with Flashback Flavors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.

Comments

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

The power play, star power and goaltending are among the primary weapons the Penguins have at their disposal in their quest for another championship. But so, too, is an unshakable belief they can hoist Lord Stanley's Cup three times in a row.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Comments

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

A review of "Rampage," plus an update on the former Friends of the Hollywood Theater and other local movie news.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

Comments

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

From new decor in the home to donations to charity, check out these ways to repurpose leftover wedding decor.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Comments

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Comments