Best Restaurants 2013
Presenting 34 of the finest, freshest and most forward-thinking restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bon appetit!
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Downtown: 308 Forbes Ave., 412/562-1710
Strip District: 2208 Penn Ave., 412/434-7200
SEAFOOD | $-$$$ | CO-OWNERS ANGELA EARLEY & HENRY DEWEY
Owners Angela Earley and Henry Dewey operate two distinctly different Penn Avenue Fish Co. locations: The Strip District spot is a fish retailer, as well as a casual counter-service restaurant. It serves soups, fresh sandwiches and the ever-popular fish tacos (all-you-can-eat on Tuesdays), along with beautifully prepared sushi. The other site, nestled in the heart of downtown, offers fish in a number of preparations — grilled, on pasta, in sandwiches. Abundant trays of seafood and non-seafood delicacies are also available for those in need of a caterer.
Lawrenceville: 3801 Butler St.
ITALIAN | $-$$ | CHEF/OWNER DOMENIC BRANDUZZI
Piccolo Forno does things old-school: Pastas and pizza dough are made fresh daily, pizzas are cooked hot in a wood-fired oven, and braised rabbit is often offered. Chef/owner Domenic Branduzzi and his family hail from Tuscany, and their roots are evident in the cuisine. Salads are fresh and light with ingredients such as arugula, white beans and tuna. Pizzas are perfect; the best-seller stars mascarpone, fresh Mozzarella and speck. Here you’ll find the city’s best lasagna with housemade noodles, ragu and béchamel. Reservations are accepted for parties of five or more. With a smaller group, you may need to wait a while for a table, but it’ll be worth it.
Point Breeze: 401 Hastings St.
EUROPEAN | $-$$$ | EXECUTIVE CHEF JAMES McCASLIN
Point Brugge Cafe is a favorite neighborhood bistro that’s been luring locals since 2005. You’ll always receive a warm welcome and feel right at home. Executive chef James McCaslin prepares fare with a Belgian twist. The staples are the Prince Edward Island mussels with your broth of choice, including classic white wine with shallots; the dish is served with a hunk of crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth. The Brugge frites are cooked twice and served with basil mayonnaise in true Belgian style; they pair nicely with any of the Belgian brews. The Sunday brunch service has a loyal following.
Regent Square: 1113 S. Braddock Ave.
AMERICAN | $$-$$$ | CHEF/CO-OWNER KEITH FULLER
Root 174’s amazing Brussels sprouts with a bacon black-pepper glaze have many locals hooked. In this small Regent Square restaurant with unusually sophisticated food, other standouts include bone-marrow crème brulee, and slow-roasted salmon with kale and olive salad. Root promises to provide “cultivated comfort food,” and it really delivers. Vegan and vegetarian dishes go above and beyond the usual, specifically the desserts, which are as good as conventional treats. Earlier this year, chef/co-owner Keith Fuller acquired a liquor license, so you can now try a creative cocktail or wine. Lunch is served Wednesday through Saturday.