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

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Why Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from Penguins

Why Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from Penguins

It seems the 'Burgh's boys of winter are popping up everywhere on the internet.
Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

One item on the menu got a lot of attention.
Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Plus –– who knew? Actor Will Smith's ties to Pittsburgh.
Remembering Ron Tassone

Remembering Ron Tassone

The long-time dance professor at Point Park University died Tuesday.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Lawrenceville hot spot Tender, once favored primarily for its libations, now is known as well for its culinary offerings.
Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in February

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in February

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module