Best Restaurants 2013
Presenting 34 of the finest, freshest and most forward-thinking restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bon appetit!
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Photography by Laura Petrilla
This year, instead of limiting ourselves to listing the city’s 25 finest restaurants, we present every spot that our independent Restaurant Review Panel recommends (a total of 34!).
That makes sense, given the influx of new chefs and more open-minded diners bringing energy to Pittsburgh’s restaurants. Local chefs share ideas, support one another and get involved in the community through various projects — which aids the growth of our culinary scene.
Small neighborhood spots such as Cure, Point Brugge and SMOKE thrive because the chefs at the helm care deeply about the food. Diners notice and appreciate that, so they make plans to return.
For those of you who enjoy eating your way through our list, you’ll have more dining to do than ever before — so go hungry and get ready to dig in and enjoy fresh finds. Bon appetit!
Shadyside: 5501 Centre Ave.
AMERICAN | $$-$$$ | CHEF/OWNER CHRIS BONFILI
Stop by Avenue B for a refined gourmet experience in a quiet, relaxed Shadyside atmosphere. Chef/owner Chris Bonfili’s seasonal menus with daily chalkboard specials include staples such as aged-cheddar grilled cheese and roasted garlic-tomato bisque, a lunchtime favorite. In 2012, Avenue B expanded its reach by hosting private events. Drop-off catering service is still available, too, for those looking to serve Avenue B’s American fare in their venue of choice.
Mt. Lebanon: 300A Beverly Road
AMERICAN | $-$$ | CHEF/OWNER JEFF IOVINO
In the heart of Mt. Lebanon’s diminutive Beverly Road commercial strip, Café Io is known for artfully simple dishes, an informal family-friendly environment and down-to-earth servers. Fans rave about the tomato-basil soup, and the hot ham and cheese pretzelwich served at lunchtime. For dinner, order the turkey and mashed potatoes or the catch of the day. Io’s children’s menu goes outside the box a bit, listing chicken-finger tacos and roasted turkey, among other options. Despite its small size, the restaurant has a full-service bar, plus spiked shakes (yum, banana!). Fully engaged in the community, Jeff Iovino and his crew donate a portion of proceeds to local charities.
Shadyside: 229 S. Highland Ave.
MEDITERRANEAN | $$-$$$$ | EXECUTIVE CHEF ELI WAHL
Casbah is truly one of the most consistent restaurants in Pittsburgh, a place where locals have taken out-of-town guests with confidence during its 17 years in business. The offerings range from light (think fresh salads and scallops) to more decadent, such as the double-cut pork chop. Housemade pastas and desserts are always solid options. Sit indoors in the amber-lit space with artful finishes or inside the enclosed front patio. The bar is a great meeting spot, with comfy chairs, an impressive wine selection and weekday happy-hour specials.
Lawrenceville: 5336 Butler St.
AMERICAN | $$-$$$ | CHEF/OWNER JUSTIN SEVERINO
During its short time in existence, Cure has commanded local and national attention, having received a nomination from Bon Appetit for one of the magazine’s 50 Best lists. Rightfully so — this small eatery, operated by our 2013 Star Chef, Justin Severino, offers superb food in a casual but polished setting. Bringing together his cooking and butchering knowledge, Severino’s menu lists cured meats, in-season produce, expertly cooked meat dishes and much more. Try the salumi platter, a special selection of such housemade delights as lardo, duck speck and duck rillettes. Severino’s restaurant is truly farm-to-table, as he takes great pride in his relationships with local farmers, food suppliers and fellow chefs. Cure has a newly added bar and liquor license, providing it with a chance to offer cocktails and a wine list on par with those at other Pittsburgh spots.