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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Prosciutto-wrapped salmon with eggplant caponata and arugula salad
[ITALIAN] Although Co-owner/Executive Chef/Managing Partner Matthew Porco’s establishment was our Best New Restaurant just two years ago, it already feels as if Sienna on the Square is a Market Square institution. Pasta plates are a specialty, and classics such as bucatini with Mozzarella-stuffed meatballs and housemade pappardelle with a delectable Bolognaise are not to be missed. Porco works with local ranchers including Serenity Hill Farms to source his meat. Sienna on the Square’s sister space, the three-tiered Sienna Mercato, is nearby and a winner of this year’s Delicious Design award. $$
Downtown: 22 Market Square
Chef de Cuisine Jason Watts
Sesame seared rare tuna in Korean barbecue sauce with ginger-fried rice, cucumbers and red-onion salad, kimchi and peanuts
[PAN-ASIAN] Soba, big Burrito’s pan-Asian concept, has been a mainstay in the Pittsburgh dining scene for 19 years. Executive Chef Dustin Gardner now runs the kitchen after working for nearly six years as the chef de cuisine at nearby Casbah. Since taking over the kitchen last year, Gardner has added his own touches to the menu, including Korean fried-chicken buns, more sashimi choices and a chicken-crab wonton. Gardner’s skill is evident in dishes with seasonal influences — such as a springtime halibut with fiddlehead ferns, asparagus kimchi and caramelized onion. $$-$$$
Shadyside: 5847 Ellsworth Ave.
Executive Chef Dustin Gardner
Gorgonzola-blue cheese soufflé and fall orchard salad
[AMERICAN] Spoon is the perfect combination of a chef-driven menu, attentive service and an outstanding beverage program. Executive Chef/Co-owner Brian Pekarcik oversees the kitchen, which features a seasonal rotation of dishes such as dayboat scallops, crispy-skin black bass and porchetta. Service at Spoon, as well as S+P Restaurant Group restaurants Willow and Grit & Grace, always is attentive and thorough. Spoon’s curated wine list is among the best in town, and its bar is a gem hidden in plain sight; it’s worth a visit to Spoon simply to enjoy the weekly bartender’s tasting menu. $$
East Liberty: 134 S. Highland Ave.
Executive Chef/Co-owner Brian Pekarcik
Olive oil-poached octopus, smoked potatoes, Calabrian chili aïoli and ramps
[ITALIAN] Executive Chef/Co-owner Stephen Felder’s restaurant is a celebration of Italian cookery. Monthly Sunday suppers highlight the bounty of every season, and every spring, food lovers anticipate his preparation of Le Virtu, the impossibly complex 49-ingredient soup that marks the transition from winter storage eating into the bounty of the growing season; it is offered only three days per year. For the rest of the year, enjoy perfectly prepared, straightforward cuisine in the South Side dining room. You’ll be forgiven if you temporarily forget that you’re still in Pittsburgh. $$
South Side: 2104 E. Carson St.
Executive Chef/Co-owner Stephen Felder