Where We're Eating in May

This month, we're springing for Mexican tortilla soup at La Palapa, poached pear at Kaleidoscope Cafe and more.




La Palapa

Tortilla soup can be modified easily for the American palate. La Palapa returns the dish to its simple Mexican roots, starting with a homemade vegetable-herb stock. Protein is added by way of a poached egg, a treat when dipping freshly made tortilla chips. Request a side of green salsa to drizzle on top.

1925 E. Carson St., South Side; 412/586-7015, lapalapapgh.com; photo by Laura Petrilla

 

Ristorante Arlecchino

Plates of homemade pasta and salad accompany each family-style entrée, as well as a neverending supply of housemade bread slices. Milk-fed veal chop, the specialty, is offered in a few preparations; we’d recommend the pan-fried Milanese topped with crab. Chef Jonathan and Brandy Vlasic pass on their beloved marinara and vodka sauce recipes from Alla Famiglia, their first eatery; the sauce also is sold at certain area retailers.

133 Camp Lane, McMurray; 724/260-5414, arlecchinopgh.com

 


Kaleidoscope Cafe

Sub in pulled duck for pork in the common sandwich, or enjoy the poultry in cannoli pre- or post-meal. Nosh on piping-hot crab dip and pita triangles with your favorite white wine. A bonus: Depending on when you visit — and what you order — the staff might kick in a free bottle. Wise diners save room for dessert, especially for the poached pear, an occasional feature.

108 43rd St., Lawrenceville; 412/683-4004, kaleidoscopepgh.com; BYOB; photo by Dawn Biery

 

Kavsar

Cooks incorporate humanely sourced meats into an assortment of Uzbek halal dishes. For the uninitiated, each choice is approachable. Among them: The namesake entrée of sausage, eggs and vegetables; skewers of juicy, charcoal-grilled lamb; and boiled chuchvara dumplings with beef. Steer clear of the fries and instead consider soup, such as the protein- and bean-loaded borscht variation, with fresh bread.

16 Southern Ave., Mount Washington; 412/488-8708, kavsar.us

 


Wild Purveyors

Professional and home cooks alike anticipate the mid-spring arrival of morel mushrooms, favored for their unusual flavor. Brothers Cavan and Tom Patterson stock the fungi at Wild Purveyors, where you also can pick up accompaniments. Always cook morels before consuming — try sautéing them with butter.

5308 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/206-9453, wildpurveyorsmarket.com; photo by Chuck Beard

 

The Livermore

“Bar food” is elevated through the use of freshly baked, rustic bread, quality charcuterie picks and local produce. The Bar Marco team runs this drink haven, where the gimlets are noteworthy. Regular food features include crostini with various toppings, such as pâté, and bresaola salad. On weekdays, Juice Up 412 transforms fruits, veggies and herbs into nutritious beverages, such as the Aloe Zinger.

124 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty; 412/361-0600, twitter.com/livermorepgh



 

Meghann Walsh / Pastry Chef / Osteria 2350 and Cioppino
 

Despite her daily focus on sweets, Meghann Walsh occasionally forays into savory territory — crafting a chocolate chili-fried ice cream, for example. Walsh, who’s mastered sugar pulling, makes cakes and other special-occasion arrangements in Osteria 2350 and Cioppino’s shared kitchen.   

Guilty pleasure?
Probably anything chocolate. As long as I know it’s quality chocolate — I just get picky when I eat dessert. 

Technique that’s harder than it looks?
Making a soft caramel. Because if you don’t cook it enough, it’s not stable — it’s thick. Cook it too much and it’s too hard and not edible. [In different parts of the pot] the temperature differs . . . You know by experience and eye when it’s ready. 

Underrated tool?
Probably my chocolate bag! I like to write in chocolate. 

Most memorable dessert?
One thing I do remember: I was in Ireland a few summers ago, and everything was so fresh and local. There was this little fishing dock [that had] a little store/café [where I got] vanilla ice cream with honeycomb in it; it had a nice texture and flavor. 

photo by Laura Petrilla

 

Watch: Walsh makes a sugar flower


Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

The towns, neighborhoods, boroughs, main streets and small corners of western Pennsylvania that we call home -- and what we love about them.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Once again, our editors scour the city for 57 FRESH TAKES on our favorite things about Pittsburgh, including place to "get the boot," witness a nerd fantasy come to life, and snap a selfie with a furry.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Burger joints. Bar bands. Radio hosts. Here's the most popular stuff in town.
Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

A long-awaited update to Pennsylvania's beer-selling law prompted change to the region's brewpub scene.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Things You Might Not Know About Beautiful Heinz Chapel

Things You Might Not Know About Beautiful Heinz Chapel

From the mind-boggling number of pieces of stained glass to its amazing pipe organ, a new video reveals that this chapel is much more than just a popular wedding spot.
The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

The Hilarious Chore James Harrison Does During Workouts

Most people simply would catch their breath — but not this legendary Steelers linebacker.
Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

Dream Achieved: Meghan Klingenberg is a World Cup Winner

The Pittsburgh-area native and her teammates are headed to Heinz Field next month.
12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

12 Powerful Pictures of Pittsburgh's Past, Present & Future

The images are not necessarily iconic, but they're just as revealing of the city's spirit.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

City Guide: Terrific Things to Do in the 'Burgh and Beyond

The towns, neighborhoods, boroughs, main streets and small corners of western Pennsylvania that we call home -- and what we love about them.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Best of the 'Burgh 2015

Once again, our editors scour the city for 57 FRESH TAKES on our favorite things about Pittsburgh, including place to "get the boot," witness a nerd fantasy come to life, and snap a selfie with a furry.
Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Best of the 'Burgh 2015: Readers' Poll

Burger joints. Bar bands. Radio hosts. Here's the most popular stuff in town.
Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

Brewed in the 'Burgh, the Evolution of Our City's Brewpubs

A long-awaited update to Pennsylvania's beer-selling law prompted change to the region's brewpub scene.
PittGirl: A Feminist with Killer Shoes, Hear Her Rawr

PittGirl: A Feminist with Killer Shoes, Hear Her Rawr

PittGirl takes a history lesson in feminism, prompted by her daughter's love of dinosaurs.
Chic Summer Fashion: Get Ready for the Haute Wave

Chic Summer Fashion: Get Ready for the Haute Wave

These summertime looks sourced from Lawrenceville shops will keep you feeling cool and stylish.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module