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Best Restaurants 2018



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All Arounders (cont.)

These restaurants have it all: talented chefs, top-notch service and a focus on ambience. They are perfect for a celebration yet approachable enough for a nice weeknight meal, and they often are our favorite go-to destinations.
 


 

Casbah​

SHADYSIDE: 229 S. Highland Ave.
412/661-5656, casbahpgh.com
Executive Chef
Dustin Gardner
[Mediterranean] 
Now into its second decade, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most important restaurants. Executive Chef Dustin Gardner caters to longtime regulars as well as new visitors with a menu that seamlessly intertwines classic Casbah favorites such as cavatelli with fennel sausage and double-cut pork chops with butternut squash risotto with newer dishes such as sheep’s-milk gnudi, bay scallops, preserved lemon, pomegranate, cauliflower puree and bread crumbs. Front-of-house service is professional, the wine list is deep and the cocktail program is, quietly, one of the best executed in Pittsburgh.
 


 

Spoon

EAST LIBERTY: 134 S. Highland Ave.
412/362-6001, spoonpgh.com
Executive Chef/Co-Owner
Brian Pekarcik
[American] 
Executive Chef/Co-Owner Brian Pekarcik returned to Spoon’s kitchen in February following the departure of Jamilka Borges (see “Chef of the Year,” p. 68). Pekarcik’s first full-time foray at the restaurant since 2014 means a refocused menu of contemporary American dishes such as goat-cheese souffle with frisee, grapefruit, lardons and pickled prawns and day-boat scallops with salsify purée, twice-cooked pork belly, blood orange reduction and broccolini. Service at Spoon consistently is among the best in town, crisp and professional without being overbearing.
 


 

Eleven Contemporary Kitchen

STRIP DISTRICT: 1150 Smallman St.
412/201-5656, elevenck.com
Executive Chef
Eli Wahl
[American]
  Eleven Contemporary Kitchen is one of Pittsburgh’s most revered establishments. The high-end flagship of the big Burrito Restaurant Group’s mix of elegant cuisine, full spectrum beverage program and attentive service makes it a destination for special occasions, and Eleven’s tavern menu also makes it one of the city’s preeminent happy hour destinations. Executive Chef Eli Wahl’s seasonal tasting menus are noteworthy, and main courses such as Elysian Fields lamb loin with smoked lamb belly, celery root purée, roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, Anson Mills oats and whole-grain mustard jus are crowd pleasers. 
 


 

Whitfield

EAST LIBERTY: 120 S. Whitfield St.
412/626-3090, whitfieldpgh.com
Executive Chef
Bethany Zozula
[American] 
The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty is run by two James Beard Foundation nominated chefs. Executive Chef Bethany Zozula is a 2018 semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic and Pastry Chef Casey Renee is, two years running, a semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Visit Whitfield for, well, just about anything you’re craving. Breakfast and lunch menus offer satisfying, comforting selections such as Toad-in-a-Hole, mushroom gravy and biscuits and duck leg confit with escarole and hashbrowns. The restaurant’s dinner menu highlights Whitfield’s ambitious whole-animal butchery program. Here, diners can find selections such as Jamison Farm lamb, rabbit “porchetta” and Jubilee Hilltop Ranch steaks. There always are terrific vegetarian options, too, including a daily, multi-course tasting menu.
 


 

Union Standard

DOWNTOWN: 524 William Penn Place
412/281-0738, unionstandardpgh.com
Executive Chef/Owner
Derek Stevens
[American]
  Derek Stevens made his mark in Pittsburgh as the longstanding executive chef of Eleven, running the Strip District kitchen for more than a decade. In 2017, after more than 25 years of working for other people, he decided to strike out solo and open Union Standard Downtown. Stevens’ menu marries the cuisines of the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia and the Northeast with impeccably sourced dishes such as Jamison Farm lamb with Anson Mills polenta, blistered green beans, blood orange and pistachio and Laurel Hill trout with fingerling potato, smoked jalapeno and chow chow. Union Standard is a top choice for brunch and lunch Downtown, and the raw bar and cocktail program make it a terrific after-work and happy hour destination.
 

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Food & Drink Features

Best Restaurants 2018

Best Restaurants 2018

This year we recommend 40 establishments as our region's top restaurants.For the second year in a row, we categorize the restaurants in All-Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out and Classic Pittsburgh to help you find whatever suits your mood.
Chef of the Year: Jamilka Borges

Chef of the Year: Jamilka Borges

Jamilka Borges, executive chef of Independent Brewing Company and Hidden Harbor, raises the bar with her dedication to volunteerism as well as her culinary prowess.
2018 Delicious Design Restaurant: fl.2

2018 Delicious Design Restaurant: fl.2

In a buildout that took less than six months, a team of architects and construction workers metamorphosed the Fairmont Pittsburgh's Downtown restaurant into one of the most polished dining spaces in the city.
Best New Restaurant of 2018: Superior Motors

Best New Restaurant of 2018: Superior Motors

Owner Kevin Sousa's cuisine is an evolution of his work at the now closed Salt of the Earth in Garfield.
Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Now is the time to be eating pizza in Pittsburgh. Pizza makers are crafting pies in a variety of styles from New York to Old World. We round up our nine favorite destinations.
5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

Uncovering the hidden gems of western Pennsylvania’s craft spirit world.
Celebrating 5 Pittsburghers Who Built Careers Behind the Bar

Celebrating 5 Pittsburghers Who Built Careers Behind the Bar

Pittsburgh is a city that celebrates its neighborhood bars. In some of those spots, second- and third-generation regulars are pulling up their stools to be served by someone who started pouring drinks decades ago.