Best Restaurants 2013

Presenting 34 of the finest, freshest and most forward-thinking restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bon appetit!



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Downtown: Fairmont Pittsburgh, 510 Market St., second floor
412/773-8848, habitatrestaurant.com
AMERICAN  |  $$-$$$  |  EXECUTIVE CHEF JASON DALLING

 

Situated on the second floor of the Fairmont Pittsburgh, Habitat boasts an open kitchen and a community table. The restaurant isn’t just a hotel amenity — it’s a destination on its own. Downtown business folks flock to Habitat for lunch, and theater patrons stop in before shows. The menu is fresh with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, grass-fed beef and pastured poultry. The food is far from typical hotel fare, including such options as Amish-raised chicken and vegan rice noodles with a tofu emulsion. The sophisticated desserts are definitely worth a try. Breakfast and holiday brunches are also offered.

 

Moon Township: 1516 Coraopolis Heights Road
412/264-3116, hyeholde.com
AMERICAN  |  $$$  |  EXECUTIVE CHEF JIM BRINKMAN

 

Hyeholde’s image has evolved from special-occasion restaurant to a peaceful spot offering fine fare. In business for 75 years, Hyeholde is truly an oasis, with its main “castle” built in the 1930s on 4 acres with gardens and winding stone paths. The dinner menu includes classics such as bisque and wild mushroom tart, as well as such rustic dishes as trout. The newly constructed patio provides outdoor dining and reasonably priced high-end grilled fare, including grilled salmon sandwiches with caper aïoli. Hyeholde offers a chef’s table, afternoon tea and picnic menu, in addition to wedding and events packages.

 

Highland Park: 5701 Bryant St.
412/665-9000, josephtambellini.com
ITALIAN  |  $$$  |  CHEF/CO-OWNER JOSEPH TAMBELLINI

 

Joseph Tambellini Restaurant is where Italians and non-Italians go when they want an excellent meal in a peaceful setting. Despite his restaurant’s white tablecloths and elegant décor, chef Joseph Tambellini has a warm personality that’s infectious, giving the place a homey feel. The food is straightforward and features simple ingredients — garlic, olive oil, lemon and tomato. Highlights include the seafood, meatballs (arguably the city’s best) and housemade pasta. The pound cake with butterscotch sauce and ice cream is drool-worthy and definitely worth the calories.

 

Strip District: 2000 Smallman St.
412/261-6565, bigburrito.com/kaya
LATIN/CARIBBEAN  |  $$$  |  EXECUTIVE CHEF BENJAMIN SLOAN

 

Kaya’s cuisine is inspired by “the sea and sun, melding fresh, high-quality ingredients with bold flavor and alluring preparations.” The jerked mahi mahi with coconut grits and tropical paella are two examples of Kaya’s fusion of Caribbean and South American influences. The restaurant’s interior adds to the fun, with its bright palette, colorful lighting and large pieces of ethnic art. The bar scene is always hopping, and Sunday brunch and fried-chicken night (with a tofu option) — which takes place every third Thursday — bring in crowds every time.

 

Farmington: 1001 Lafayette Drive
724/329-8555, nemacolin.com
EUROPEAN  |  $$$$  |  CHEF DE CUISINE EARL MORSE

 

Lautrec, located in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, is one of the most decorated restaurants in the region. As a winner of both the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award (2012 and 2013) and the AAA Five Diamond Award (2012), it offers superb food and exceptional service in a rich environment. The red-and-gold interior sets the tone for the experience. You may choose your own multiple-course meal or the chef’s eight-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings. Multiple-course vegan and vegetarian tasting menus were added this year. The sommelier is extremely knowledgeable and will help you select the right wine to pair with your meal.

 

Oakland: 214 N. Craig St.
412/621-2700, legumebistro.com
AMERICAN | $$-$$$  |  CHEF/CO-OWNER TREVETT HOOPER

 

Legume has established itself as one of Pittsburgh’s top farm-to-table restaurants under chef/co-owner Trevett Hooper, a 2013 James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef – Mid-Atlantic. Legume reinvented its connected bar in 2012, officially naming it Butterjoint, a masonry term that refers to precision. The bar’s casual menu features burgers made of local beef and the ever-popular housemade pierogies. In the main dining room, the daily menu focuses on high-quality, carefully selected ingredients prepared with a light touch. The pâtés, salads, risottos and meat dishes remain appealing. Newly appointed pastry chef Amanda Barbano still makes the house favorite chocolate truffle cake while also branching out with her own creations. The wine list continues to grow, and the cocktails remain spot-on.

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