Pittsburgh Chefs Share Opinions on Customers, Each Other
We polled some of the city's top chefs for an insider's look on the industry.
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ALLEGHENY WINE MIXER PHOTO BY LAURA PETRILLA
Where is your favorite after-work hangout?
Allegheny Wine Mixer 
Kelly’s Bar & Lounge
Squirrel Cage (or the
Squirrel Hill Cafe)
Round Corner Cantina
Someone Else’s Bar (in Castle Shannon)
What ingredient did you find most inspiring this year?
Minus 8 vinegars
Seafood, specifically oysters
High-quality olive oil
Arugula from Churchview Farm
Citrus, especially Meyer lemons
and blood oranges
Fermented and dried
Iberian cayenne pepper
What is your guilty-pleasure food?
Chicken wings 
French-fry-and-butter sandwich on baguette
Chicken wings, Buffalo-style, extra-crispy, blue cheese
Rigatoni alla Scamoza from Dish Osteria and Bar
Too much of everything
Potato bun split-tops with hot dogs slathered in Heinz ketchup
Fish and chips plus a pint of beer from Piper’s Pub
Burrito from Chipotle
Chocolate ice cream
Chocolate-covered marshmallows from IKEA
Milk-soaked Oreos microwaved
till warm, vanilla-bean gelato, hot fudge, walnuts
ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM PHOTO BY RENEE ROSENSTEEL
Who is your favorite meat supplier?
Jamison Farm 
Strip District Meats 
Elysian Fields Farm 
Heritage Farm 
True World Foods
Jubilee Hilltop Ranch
Curtze Food Service
Butcher on Butler
Serenity Hills Farm
Thoma’s Meat Market
Miller’s Meat Market
What’s always in your fridge?
Hot sauce 
Good San Marzano gravy in the freezer
Rendered pig fat
TAKO photo by hal b. klein
What is your favorite development in the Pittsburgh restaurant scene this year?
High-quality bakeries opening 
Growth of downtown as a dining destination 
Food trucks 
Multiple Szechuan restaurants
All of the James Beard recognition
You see a lot more Pittsburgh chefs branching out and establishing their own identity
Community events and collaborations such as the backyard BBQ and Italian BBQ
Some really great ethnic restaurants, Nak Won Garden, Chengdu Gourmet, etc.
Looking forward to täkō
412 Food Rescue
More and more restaurants sourcing locally and presenting these ingredients with elegant simplicity
International camaraderie through social media
What ingredient is overused?
Pork belly  (Note: 3 qualified that they also love it)
Brussels sprouts 
Microgreens as garnish 
Paper-thin radish or beet as garnish
Pickled mustard seeds
SPAK BROTHERS PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL
Where is your go-to takeout place?
Spak Brothers 
Gaucho Parrilla Argentina 
Sesame Inn (the North Hills location)
East End Food Co-op salad bar
Salem’s Market & Grill
What is Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene missing? What would you like to see here?
Late-night dining 
“Ethnic” food 
Better non-Thai Southeast Asian
A Derek Stevens restaurant
Casual but delicious Italian
Formal/white tablecloth dining
More of many things
Lounge with a DJ and good food
Better overall dining culture with better-educated diners
Large, year-round farmers market