Best of the 'Burgh 2010: Services

Our editors pick the best of the best in Pittsburgh services.




Pamper pooch with a photo session from Totophoto, a photography studio owned by Joanna Totolici.

Photo by Joanna Totolici

Best Doggy Photo Op: Haute dog! Book a photo shoot for your pooch with accomplished fashion photographer Joanna Totolici of TotoPhoto, a doggy-centric photography studio with a passion for style and a love of our canine companions. Simple and stylish photographs of man’s (and woman’s) best friend can be arranged in the New York City studio or on location in your home. Majestic, hip or downright silly, Fido will be immortalized for posterity when his antics are captured. For pricing and booking information, call 917/325-5465 or send an e-mail to info@totophoto.com. — Reese Randall

Readers' Poll: Best Florist: Allison McGeary Floral, 3625 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/621-6427, allisonmcgeary.com
Readers' Poll: Best Company to Work for: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, pgharts.org

esspa kozmetika honey massage

Photo by Laura Petrilla   

Best Use of Local Honey: Forget waxing. Honey is the best new product that bees give to spa-goers. ESSpa Kozmetika’s 60-minute Hungarian honey massage, the specialty of Edit Herman, is a one-of-a-kind treatment that exfoliates, massages and improves blood circulation in the back and legs. Warm, locally sourced honey is applied to the skin and then massaged; as the honey dries out, it becomes sticky, which adds additional sensation to the massage. Plus, the skin absorbs the honey as the body absorbs its nutrients, leaving you feeling energetic and refreshed afterward. Sweet. 17 Brilliant Ave., Aspinwall; 412/782-3888, esspa.net. — Kaitlyn Johnston

Readers' Poll: Best Pet Day Care: Camp Bow Wow, Locations in Ross Township, Green Tree, Castle Shannon; 412/276-9247
Readers' Poll: Best Veterinarian: Point Breeze Veterinarian Clinic, 6742 Reynolds St., Point Breeze; 412/665-1810, pointbreezevet.com

Best Green Spa: With an eco-friendly approach to wellness, this full-service salon and spa offers organic and vegan friendly products to patrons. Earlier this year, The Neville Spa introduced its Bumble and bumble (Bb) hair-product recycling program. Turn in your empty plastic Bb hair-product container, and you’ll receive a 5-percent discount on your next purchase of a Bb hair product. All products sold at the spa are cruelty-free to animals, and if they are not entirely organic, then there is a green alternative within the line. Built with eco-friendly construction materials, The Neville Spa uses high-efficiency appliances and has instituted an on-site recycling department, making sure everything in the spa that can be recycled is recycled. 1597 Washington Pike, Bridgeville; 412/278-2500, nevillespa.com — R.R.

Readers' Poll: Best Architect: Desmone + Associates Architects, desmone.com

Tino Spagnolo

Photo by Chuck Beard   

Best Shoe Shine: A visit to the legendary Nordstrom shoe department is always entertaining. But at Ross Park Mall, Tino’s shoe-shine nook may be the star of the show. For a couple of bucks per pair, you can drop off your shoes for pick-up later or take a seat and relax for a moment. We recommend the latter, since Tino Spagnolo is charming and chatty (“Your shoes are as dry as the Gobi Desert!”). Plus, that way you can continue your shopping expedition, feeling confident that your shoes are up to Nordstrom’s standards. 1000 Ross Park Mall Drive, Suite 29; 412/548-4300, ext. 1505. — Betsy Benson

Readers' Poll: Best Dry Cleaner: Footer's, 5864 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill; 412/421-0400

Best Unexpected Wi-Fi Hotspot: You're sitting on a bench in Schenley Plaza. The sun is shining, the carousel is whirling and Pitt students are sunbathing on the lawn. You open up your laptop, and—what’s this? A free Wi-Fi connection? Where did that come from? We expect wireless signals in certain municipal places, like the airport, but Schenley Plaza is Pittsburgh’s most surprising hotspot. During the warmer months, visitors can tote their laptops to the gazebo, order a plateful of sushi from a Plaza vendor, then write an e-mail and feel a cool breeze at the same time. 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Robert Isenberg

Readers' Poll: Best New Home Builder: Heartland Homes, 412-221-7990, loveheartland.com

Best Place to Get Your Spa On: Even in a cloudy city like this one, there is always a ray of hope. Sewickley Spa’s “Get Your Tan On” special has been selling like ice cream at the beach since April. It includes a sea-salt body exfoliation, tanning application with instructions and can of take-home tanner for $95. The services would cost $200 if purchased separately. The visit takes about 60 minutes, and the shades naturally adjust to varying skin tones, so you won’t go from looking like Cate Blanchett to Snookie, but you will get some much needed color in your life—thanks to glowing ingredients like retinols, aloe, caramel and barbadensis leaf. 337 Beaver St., Sewickley; 412/741-4240, sewickleyspa.com. — Julie Talerico

Readers' Poll: Best Hair Stylist: Michael B at Michael B’s Gentlemen's Barber Shop, 2991 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont; 412-551-4247, mbgbpittsburgh.com

wacky jack's singing telegrams

Photo by Laura Petrilla   

Best Singing Telegrams: There’s something inherently wacky about sending someone a singing telegram, so Wacky Jack’s gets props just for the spot-on name alone. But living up to the name is what Wacky Jack’s does best: The company has an entourage of characters to deliver the message and song, including Ugly Olga, Nerdy Ned, Clipper the Clown and Nurse Noodle to name a few. Any signing telegram is better in person, but Wacky Jack’s also offers telephone-singing telegrams for $19.99 and e-mail-singing telegrams for $9.99 that include an MP3 file and lyrics. wackyjacktelegrams.com. — Jonathan Wander

Readers' Poll: Best Law Firm: K&L Gates, 412/355-6500, klgates.com

Best Place for a Quick Massage: Pittsburghers work hard—and at the end of the day, all that toil leads to knotted shoulders. Massage Envy is a national chain, but the Squirrel Hill branch has become the perfect spot for pedestrian clients. With its corps of therapists, Envy can usually reserve guests within the hour. You get in, you get a Swedish rubdown and you get out—all for a reasonable price. Day spas may be more luxurious, and localvores may prefer unique businesses like Healing Touch (downtown) or the Xie LiHong Wellness Center (South Hills), but for relaxation on a whim, this place hits the spot. 5836 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill; 412/420-5188, massageenvy.com. — R.I.

Readers' Poll: Best Plumber: Michael Ulicny Plumbing & Heating, 3226 Valewood Drive, Homestead; 412/461-5772‎

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

In its 225th year, the reference book on weather suggests we tune up our snow-removal equipment.
Chris Jamison Releases His First EP

Chris Jamison Releases His First EP

The Ross native finished third on NBC's “The Voice” in December of 2014.
Up Close Photo Gallery: 10 New Perspectives of Pittsburgh

Up Close Photo Gallery: 10 New Perspectives of Pittsburgh

Zoom in on the places that make our region so fascinating and diverse.
 You Now Can Purchase Wine at a Pennsylvania Grocery Store

You Now Can Purchase Wine at a Pennsylvania Grocery Store

The Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson becomes the first store in the state to offer direct-to-consumer wine sales.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Chuck Noll: A Man for All Seasons

Two years after Chuck Noll’s death, University of Pittsburgh Press prepares to publish the first definitive biography of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers coach. Pittsburgh Magazine is proud to share an interview with author Michael MacCambridge and an exclusive excerpt of “Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work,” scheduled for release in October.
The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

The Changing Face of Campus in Pittsburgh

Renovation is under way at nearly all of our area colleges and universities. For students heading back to school this fall — and their parents — we offer this crash course on the highlights of these projects and their projected benefits.
Fall Fashion: In the Black

Fall Fashion: In the Black

The little black dress, and shirt, and pants, never go out of style. Add mystery to your wardrobe with these easy-to-accent autumn staples.
Apteka: A Taste of Home

Apteka: A Taste of Home

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski bring top-notch vegan, eastern European cuisine to Bloomfield.
Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

Talk of The Tahn: City of Beer

There are plans afoot for a international museum of beer to be built and staffed right here in Pittsburgh.
Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

Pitt vs Penn State: Resumption of Hostilities

After an extended hiatus, the storied rivalry between the Pitt Panthers and Penn State Nittany Lions returns in September to Heinz Field.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

Old Farmer’s Almanac: Winter in Pittsburgh Will Be Warmer, But…

In its 225th year, the reference book on weather suggests we tune up our snow-removal equipment.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
See How Pittsburgh Chefs Are Giving Back

See How Pittsburgh Chefs Are Giving Back

Some of the city's top chefs and bartenders are organizing events to raise awareness about food waste and hate crimes in our community.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Comic Shops in Pittsburgh

These comic book shops offer more than just your casual Batman or Spider-Man choices.

Comments


New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

New Industry Public House Location Up to Par

If you’re in need of a dining option that’s not a national chain while visiting the Robinson area, this is one to keep in mind.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

Le'Veon Bell Talks The Talk But Can’t Walk The Walk

The Steelers running back emphasized his latest suspension resulted from missed random drug tests, and not a relapse into the marijuana-induced haze that got him jammed up last season. But if you lack the maturity to grasp the consequences of your actions (or, in this case, inactions), does it really matter?

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Custom Made: The Surmesur Suit

Straight out of Canada, the custom menswear store opens its first U.S. location in Pittsburgh.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Hipsters in Iraq, Cops and Robbers in the Old West

Hipsters in Iraq, Cops and Robbers in the Old West

Reviews of "War Dogs" and "Hell or High Water," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

The Lucky Ones: Katie Doré and John Potter

Want even more Real Pittsburgh Weddings? We'll be bringing them to you throughout the fall, beginning with this lovely and lucky couple.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

Put a Lid On It! The Container Store Coming to Pittsburgh

The store famous for carrying storage and organizational products is set to open at the revamped Block Northway in Ross Township.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

Two Events Planned for Prospective Waynesburg Students

A fall visitation day and a Saturday information session aim to allow interested students a look into life at the university.

Comments