Best Restaurants 2015
Which 33 establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
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Asado de tira — grilled shortrib, lime, chive, onion and toast
[ARGENTINE] It’s just about impossible for those with carnivorous appetites to walk past the scent of charred meat roasting over a wood fire and not be drawn into Anthony Falcon’s Strip District eatery. The original quarters might have been cramped, but patrons didn’t mind eating elbow-to-elbow with friends or strangers once they were face-deep in a Carne Con Pan — a steak sandwich with peppers, grilled onions and chimichurri — or rosemary-braised beef mixed with a lively horseradish sauce and served on a baguette. “Vaca, Cow” — steak plates — are served in small or large sizes accompanied by salad and toast; the ribeye especially is flavorful. At press time, the restaurant was moving into an adjacent building, so be on the lookout for a larger menu and more seating soon. $
Strip District: 1607 Penn Ave.
Executive Chef Matthew Neal
Roasted carrots, fresh cheese, toasted edamame, little gem lettuce and chili vinaigrette
[WORLD CUISINE] Our 2014 Best New Restaurant keeps getting better. There’s now an expanded lunch menu and a fairly new weekend brunch service, so there’s no excuse to miss out on one of downtown’s best restaurants. The steel-cut oats (oats, poached egg, confit pork, Manchego and mostardo) are a highlight of the new brunch, especially when paired with a kimchi Bloody Mary. Dinner remains as lively as it’s ever been; chicken meatball ramen and braised goat are some mainstays. Make sure to order something from the tiki-influenced cocktail program. $-$$
Downtown: 535 Liberty Ave.
Executive Chef/Co-owner Brian Pekarcik
Dover sole, asparagus flan, sautéed wild mushrooms, fava beans, almond beurre noisette, bull’s blood microgreens
[AMERICAN] If you’re looking for elegant, comfortable continuity, there’s no better place to be than Hyeholde, a 78-year-old stalwart of Pittsburgh dining. Menu favorites have included crab cakes, pan-seared trout and pine nut-crusted elk. If you’re feeling festive, make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance to sit at the chef’s table for a multiple-course extravaganza. As an added bonus, you’ll be experiencing all of this in a building that resembles a castle, and that’s always fun. Dale Miller recently replaced former Executive Chef Jim Brinkman. $$-$$$
Moon Township: 1516 Coraopolis Heights Road
Executive Chef Dale Miller
PHOTO BY CHUCK BEARD
Almond-crusted Chilean seabass with mandarin-orange beurre blanc and wildberry marmalade
[ITALIAN-AMERICAN] Joseph Tambellini Restaurant is a welcome throwback to the era when going out to dinner was a special occasion and you were encouraged to get a little dressed up. So it’s no surprise that service is outstanding at this Italian-American restaurant where “red sauce” and “white tablecloth” intermingle without worry of spillage. Start with Tambellini’s popular zucchini planks and stuffed banana peppers. Both meat and seafood courses here are excellent, as is the iconic eggplant Parmesan. The restaurant’s extraordinary wine list is both deep and reasonably priced. $$-$$$
Highland Park: 5701 Bryant St.
Executive Chef/Co-owner Joseph Tambellini