Best Restaurants 2014

Presenting 33 top-notch eateries that are revolutionizing Pittsburgh's food scene.



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SOUTH SIDE: 2104 E. Carson St.
  |  412/586-4738, STAGIONIPGH.COM
ITALIAN  |  $$$  |  Executive Chef/Co-owner STEPHEN FELDER

 

Stagioni is a small, relaxed South Side restaurant that is much different from most of the neighboring businesses. Executive Chef/Co-owner Stephen Felder, our 2012 Rising Star Chef, makes simple Italian food that would impress friends visiting from Italy. A killer appetizer is the white anchovies with preserved lemons. There are a number of interesting polenta options, including one with grilled shrimp and salsa verde. Handmade pastas are very delicate, and entrées incorporate such proteins as fish, duck and steak. Affordable Italian wines also are featured. The focus here is on simplicity and quality ingredients. Felder brought back brunch, which he’d offered when the restaurant was in Bloomfield.



 

SHADYSIDE: 5849 Ellsworth Ave.
  |  412/362-6198, BIGBURRITO.com/UMI
JAPANESE  |  $-$$$$  |  
Executive Chef MR. SHU

 

Umi’s emphasis is on sushi. At the helm of the kitchen is the revered “Mr.” Shu, who is such an integral part of the restaurant that it closes when he is on vacation. The restaurant is known for its fresh ingredients; Mr. Shu spends hours each day sourcing seafood that’s flown in daily from around the world. There are no bad dishes, but to get the full experience, splurge and order the omakase — Mr. Shu’s daily multicourse option of seven courses plus dessert or 11 courses plus dessert. Grab one of the few sushi bar seats to watch him in action.



 

UPPER ST. CLAIR: 1469 Bower Hill Road  |  412/221-1232, WILDROSEMARY.com
MEDITERRANEAN  |  $$$  |  Chef/Co-owner GLORIA FORTUNATO

 

Classical dish preparations are spotlighted at Wild Rosemary. This intimate, 6-year-old spot in the South Hills has just 28 seats and two nightly seatings; if you don’t make reservations, don’t count on dining here. Great choices include any treatment of lamb, bistro whole fish and grilled scallops. Starch dishes accompany most offerings, such as spring soufflé, ricotta gnocchi or bacon-wrapped potatoes. The seasonal menu changes every two weeks. Co-owner Lynne Bielewicz handles the straightforward, satisfying desserts, such as pavlova and shortbread apple pie, while co-owner Cathleen Enders handles the front of house. Upon finishing your meal, you’ll realize that the menu tag line “Good Things Will Come to You” is accurate.

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