Bistro to Go

Bistro to Go and Bistro Soul are go-to places for comfort food and more.



Spinach mozzarella salmon: A pan-seared 6-ounce wild salmon filet topped with fresh spinach, asiago and mozzarella cheeses, garnished with fresh tomato-basil bruschetta. Served with pan-sautéed roasted vegetables.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

(page 1 of 2)

Bistro to Go is a great spot for old-fashioned home cooking served in a quaint, unpretentious environment. Since opening in October 2007 on East Ohio Street on the North Side, Bistro to Go has grown to include a new adjacent restaurant, Bistro Soul, which comprises a very active catering business, cooking classes and the provision of food at the nearby National Aviary.

Another good reason to try it out: Bistro to Go is one of the most community-oriented dining establishments in Pittsburgh. Owner Nikki Heckman, along with husband Stanley, created Bistro to Go with the goal of having a positive influence on the East Ohio Street neighborhood.

The restaurant is built on core values of caring for customers, employees, community and the earth. The Heckmans also engage in a myriad of community activities and partnerships, including providing meeting space, discounted food, job training and instruction on healthy eating.

An inviting, homey environment created by independent designer Robert Sands (who also did the logo) is to be found at Bistro to Go. There’s a tall tin ceiling, lots of colors (crimson, moss green and mustard) and accent pieces such as a pale-yellow vintage stove. Tables, all glass-topped, come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and you’ll be served on plates of assorted colors and patterns to boot. A few board games and newspapers are available, and sometimes you might see a poster display set up by a local nonprofit explaining its mission.

The kitchen is visible, and the food is offered cafeteria-style behind glass. Let me explain that: You go up to the counter, look at the food, order and pay, and a server brings your food to your table as quickly as you can sit down. Your meal arrives on brown cafeteria trays (why not a fun color?) and some of the serveware is plastic.

Nikki Heckman says she wants Bistro to Go to be a place where diverse people can meet and mingle. In order to achieve that goal, she designed the menu to be widely varied in both content and price range.

Each day, there is a hot-food selection that includes a traditional main dish such as beef Stroganoff, a “Lite” dish such as lemon-pepper salmon and a vegan option such as spicy chickpea cakes. Entrées, which range from $6 to $13, include one side dish and a traditional dinner roll made at neighboring Priory Fine Pastries.

Under the “Main” category, I recommend the traditional stuffed chicken ($8.95). It’s a substantial breast amplified by mild but flavorful breading, celery and onion stuffing. Under Lite offerings, I like the honey-mustard salmon ($9.50), a 6-ounce portion of fish baked with a mildly sweet glaze.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

Sharing the DNA of the father of children’s television, the Fred Rogers Company reinvigorates a beloved legacy while creating new hit characters and content that help children to grow, giggle and learn.
Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Jamie and Ali McMutrie were PM's 2010 Pittsburghers of the Year after airlifting 54 youngsters to safety. Now, they have forged a relationship with a major global player to continue their work to prevent struggling Haitian families from surrendering children to orphanages.
PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

Four ways to make the city even better in 2015.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Must-See: Pittsburgh's Holiday Displays

Must-See: Pittsburgh's Holiday Displays

Get yourself in the holiday spirit in just over a minute.
Destined to be a Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins 'Christmas Vacation' Parody Video

Destined to be a Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins 'Christmas Vacation' Parody Video

Evgeni Malkin is priceless at the end.
This Weekend: Chris Jamison & the Steelers, Pens & Ugly Sweaters, Mayor Undercover

This Weekend: Chris Jamison & the Steelers, Pens & Ugly Sweaters, Mayor Undercover

Some cool things to watch out for this weekend in the ’Burgh.
#Oops — Or, About that Headline . . .

#Oops — Or, About that Headline . . .

Once in a while, no good deed goes unpunished.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

Sharing the DNA of the father of children’s television, the Fred Rogers Company reinvigorates a beloved legacy while creating new hit characters and content that help children to grow, giggle and learn.
Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Jamie and Ali McMutrie were PM's 2010 Pittsburghers of the Year after airlifting 54 youngsters to safety. Now, they have forged a relationship with a major global player to continue their work to prevent struggling Haitian families from surrendering children to orphanages.
PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

Four ways to make the city even better in 2015.
Penguins Profile: The Fearless Patric Hornqvist

Penguins Profile: The Fearless Patric Hornqvist

The Penguin winger fits in easily with the team, thanks to his infectious personality and his mad dedication to confounding opposing goaltenders.
Rev It Up: This South Side Pittsburgh Loft is Unique and Unusual

Rev It Up: This South Side Pittsburgh Loft is Unique and Unusual

This three-story home melds all of the comforts of home with the sleek look and efficiency of industrial design.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags