Best Restaurants 2016
Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
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Strip District: 1601 Penn Ave.
Executive Chef/owner Anthony Falcon
[Argentine] Go here for a wood-fired party. Gaucho Parrilla Argentina expanded in 2015 into the neighboring building. The result of that expansion is a much larger kitchen and a significant seating area (there were no seats at Gaucho 1.0). It was a smart decision, because lines for the popular Strip District eatery continue to grow. The wait — Gaucho’s friendly and efficient staff keeps spirits high when lines are long — is worth it. Make sure to order hardwood-grilled steaks, but also get fish, chicken and other dishes too. $–$$
Mt. Lebanon: 703 Washington Road
Executive Chef/Owner Ron Molinaro
[Italian] Go here to celebrate the simple beauty of high-quality ingredients. Pennsylvania’s first Neapolitan pizzeria remains its best. Owner Ron Molinaro imports the finest Italian ingredients to make his stunning, airy pizzas. Toppings are simple and purposeful; eating here will reframe your expectation of what really should be called great pizza. Fior di latte (fresh mozzarella) is made daily from Caputo Brothers Creamery curds. Look beyond pizza to the pasta menu — all fresh pastas are made in-house — or enjoy a larger plate of eggplant parmesan. $$
Farmington, Fayette County: 1001 Lafayette Drive
Executive Chef Kristin A. Butterworth
[Fine Dining] Go here for the meal of a lifetime. Raid your closet, grab your fancy garb and take a scenic drive to Lautrec. Whether you’re in the stunning 96-seat dining room or taking it all in at the private chef’s table, Executive Chef Kristin A. Butterworth and her team will prepare sumptuous seasonal offerings for you. Lautrec is one of only 27 five-star, five-diamond restaurants in the world. This year, Pittsburgh Magazine is recognizing Butterworth’s impressive work by honoring her as one of our “Outstanding in Their Field” chefs. $$$$
Oakland: 214 N. Craig St.
Executive Chef/Co-owner Trevett Hooper
[American] Go here to celebrate the season, whatever the season. Executive Chef/Co-owner Trevett Hooper’s focus on seasonality means you’ll always find something to be excited about when perusing the restaurant menu. In winter, he coaxes funky brightness into hearty beef soup with the addition of kimchi, while at the height of summer diners can enjoy richly flavored corn soup enhanced with Morita chile oil and cilantro. If you happen to see any “limited-availability” dishes on the menu, jump on them because the season for some of the dish’s star ingredients is peaking and fleeting. $$–$$$