Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.



(page 6 of 8)


Seared salmon with fresh herbs, wild mushroom broth, roasted root vegetables and arancini

 


Lawrenceville: 3473 Butler St.
412/586-4347, sentirestaurant.com
Executive Chef Shawn Carlson
[Italian]  Go here for classic Italian cuisine and extraordinary service. Franco Braccia, Senti’s co-owner and proprietor, runs the restaurant’s front-of-house with a classical elegance that increasingly is hard to find. Pair that with a plate of spaghetti in salsa or lasagna alla veneta and a luxurious glass or bottle of wine from the restaurant’s deep and alluring collection, and you’re in for a elegant evening. Although the restaurant has no formal dress code, guests will feel more comfortable if they wear something nice to Senti.  $$
 



 


Carota Cafe's baby kale, tatsoi, pea shoots, whole grains, roasted petite carrots & radish, sunflower seeds and herb vinaigrette

 


Strip District: 54 21st St.
412/315-5950, smallmangalley.org
Executive Chefs Stephen K. Eldridge, Jessica Lewis, Rafael Vencino, Jacqueline Wardle 
[Eclectic]  Go here to choose your own adventure. Smallman Galley actually is four independent restaurants under a single roof. Members of Pittsburgh Magazine’s independent Restaurant Review Panel believe each eatery — Provision PGH by Stephen K. Eldridge, Carota Cafe by Jessica Lewis, Aubergine Bistro by Rafael Vencino and Josephine’s Toast by Jacqueline Wardle — is a strong contender in its own right, but panelists decided to honor the entire restaurant incubator in one swoop for its interactive experience. Diners can create custom meals by ordering a dish from one restaurant and something else from another.  $-$$
 



 


An assortment of tacos and side dishes from the Smoke Barbecue Taqueria kitchen

 


Lawrenceville: 4115 Butler St.
412/224-2070, smokepgh.com
Executive Chef/Co-owner Jeff Petruso
[Barbecue]  Go here for barbecue wrapped in a tortilla. Smoke moved from its original location in Homestead to a new, bigger Lawrenceville storefront in 2015. That move came with a huge upgrade in the smoker that Executive Chef/Co-owner Jeff Petruso uses as the starting point for his epic taco creations. They’re far from traditional — think American Southwest meets barbecue — but they’re ridiculously tasty. Favorites include brisket, migas and pork rib. Hamburger Tuesdays also are a popular treat.  $
 



 


photo by heather mull

 


Shadyside: 5847 Ellsworth Ave. 
412/362-5656, sobapa.com
Executive Chef Lily Tran
[Pan Asian]  Go here for an international experience. The big Burrito Restaurant Group’s pan-Asian restaurant is a draw for both big crowds and eaters looking to spice up their dinner. Executive Chef Lily Tran has infused the kitchen with new energy since early 2016, when she was promoted from sous chef. Tran uses the new late-night menu as an experiment station; her pho and chiang mai noodles now are must-get dishes on the regular menu too.  $$–$$$
 

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