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


Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.

The 412

A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

Hundreds of years after Johannes Kepler presented a theory on how to best stack spherical objects, Pitt reps confirm that the German mathematician was correct.
Next Month, the City of Pittsburgh Will Turn Into the Best Gym Class Ever

Next Month, the City of Pittsburgh Will Turn Into the Best Gym Class Ever

Act like a kid again at the City of Play Best Games Fest.
5 Painless Pittsburgh Running Routes

5 Painless Pittsburgh Running Routes

If you’re going to sweat, you might as well enjoy some beautiful views of the city.
Here’s the ‘Pittsburgh is Beautiful’ Commercial That’s Running in Times Square

Here’s the ‘Pittsburgh is Beautiful’ Commercial That’s Running in Times Square

The city celebrates its resurgence with a national ad campaign.

Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.
6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

PittGirl's at it again — this time with a list of a half-dozen fun facts you'll want to mention at your next cocktail party.
'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

We pick the perfect neighborhood for six breeds of ’Burgher.