Best Restaurants 2017
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SHADYSIDE: 5501 Centre Ave.
Executive Chef/owner Chris Bonfili
[American] Avenue B in Shadyside keeps going strong year after year, so much so that it expanded into an additional room in 2016. Bistro favorites such as wild-caught fish and chips topped with malt aioli and served with Napa cabbage slaw, and braised short ribs with sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli, mushroom dashi and black garlic keep both longtime regulars and new Pittsburghers happy. Here’s a nice bit of hospitality: the BYOB restaurant doesn’t charge a corkage fee on Sunday nights.
Morels, green almonds, green garbanzo and ramps
SEWICKLEY: 432 Beaver St.
Executive Chef/co-Owner Sabatino “Sam” DiBattista
[Mediterranean] Vivo Kitchen strikes a perfect balance between ambitious and casual, making it both a comfortable neighborhood restaurant for Sewickley residents and an easy destination drive for city dwellers looking for a night out. Go for comforting dishes such as crispy whole chicken accented with fried garlic and seasonal treats such as morels served with country ham, halloumi and chili peppers. An added touch: DiBattista designed and built most of the restaurant’s interior.
SHADYSIDE: 5996 Centre Ave.
Chef/owner Sonja Finn
[Mediterranean] Chef Sonja Finn is one of the founding figures in Pittsburgh’s dining renaissance. It’s almost a given that better restaurants now change their menus with the season. Not only has Finn been doing that longer than most Pittsburgh chefs, but she also continues to be at the top of the list of those who do it now. Whether you’re there for late-winter Jerusalem artichokes with paprika aioli or peak-summer Serbian-style rooftop-grown salad of roasted hot peppers, tomatoes, feta and onion, you’re in good hands.
MT. LEBANON: 703 Washington Road
Executive Chef Matt Stover
[Italian] Owner Ron Molinaro and his team expanded the Italian eatery and pizzeria to two new locations in the past 12 months, but the original in Mt. Lebanon remains the best of the bunch. Classic Neapolitan pizza — something Molinaro perfected long before the current trend toward that style of pizza — is a draw, thanks to high-quality ingredients and expert craftsmanship. Be sure to visit the restaurant’s cozy wine bar for a pre- or post-meal drink.