Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.




photos by Hal B. Klein
 

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad Alta Via
The beauty of peak-season fruits and vegetables is that they pack a powerful punch of flavor. The challenge to enjoying them at their best is that window for maximum pleasure closes pretty quickly. To that end, I suggest you hop over to Alta Via in O’Hara Twp. as quickly as you can to indulge in executive chef Ben Sloan’s asparagus and strawberry salad, which currently is offered as a special. The sunny salad, enhanced with toasted sunflower seeds, pea shoots, basil and pickled ramps embraces the best flavors of spring. Pair that dish with one of my favorite pasta dishes on the menu, ricotta-and-spinach stuffed tortelli dressed with buttery melted onions and spek, and you’re in for a treat.  
46 Fox Chapel Rd. O’Hara Twp.; 402/406-3816, altaviapgh.com
 


 

Sushi and Bao at Mola
Mola, Alex Tang’s pan-Asian restaurant, is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, primarily because of Tang’s commitment to serving excellent sushi. He’s working with a supplier at the Fulton Fish Market in New York, as well as Philadelphia-based purveyor Samuel and Sons, to bring high-quality fish to his East Liberty restaurant; Tang’s attention-to-detail in his rice preparation also is laudable. I’ve been digging the fish for a few months now, but here’s something that surprised me on my most recent visit — the chicken bao is a nice little treat. Tang says the bun is prepared from his wife’s recipe; it’s wrapped around exceptionally crispy oven-baked chicken, slaw and sriracha mayo.
6018 Penn Ave., East Liberty; 412/365-6688, themolafish.com
 


 

Breakfast Sandwich at Pear and the Pickle
I’m obsessed with classic New York City breakfast sandwiches. They’re hard to get right because almost everyone tries to overcomplicate things. However, the key to a great egg sandwich is embracing simplicity, and they honor that ideal at Pear and the Pickle in Troy Hill. It starts with a gently toasted potato roll (poppy-seed Kaiser is my roll of choice but this works quite nicely, too) and an over-easy egg. You have your choice of cheese; you want American because it melts the best. Perhaps you'll top it with perfectly cooked, house-cured bacon (but you certainly don't have to). You can get a slice of tomato to add acidity, but I prefer a dash of ketchup — I grew up in New York; it’s a regional thing but trust me, it’s worth doing as the tang of the ketchup intermingling with the richness of the runny yolk is all you need to enhance the flavor of the uncomplicated sandwich.
1800 Rialto St., Troy Hill; 412/322-0333, pearandpickle.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The 400-Word Review: The Lion King

Despite a great voice cast, the new version of "The Lion King" was a bad idea from the start.

Why These 6 Days in 1969 Were So Important to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we're not the only ones. We take a look at six notable events from 1969.

Women in Power: The Pros Changing Allegheny County

Allegheny County breaks the old boys’ club by placing women in key positions.

Growing Together: Farmers and Chefs Elevate Pittsburgh Dining

These seven farmer/chef pairings are leading the charge toward more vital vegetable dishes.

Afraid to Go to the Dentist? Consider the Sedation Solution

For some patients, dental work wouldn’t be possible if they were fully alert.

Restaurant Review: Spirits & Tales at the Oaklander Hotel

Executive chef Jessica Lewis’ strong voice is undermined by inconsistencies throughout the restaurant.

Perspectives: A Big Life

A former newspaper reporter's assignment leads to a lifelong friendship with a man who battled a food addiction.

Our 50 Years: Why This Movie Landed on Our Cover

Hollywood could be found on the Mon, quite literally, in 1993 — leading to some fawning coverage of the mostly forgotten (but very, very Pittsburgh-centric) action flick “Striking Distance.”

George S. Kaufman’s Sensational Scandal

The Pittsburgh-born playwright made tabloid headlines in the 1930s. (it didn’t slow him down a bit.)

You Can Ride a Roller Coaster Classic

Roller coaster history is hidden nearby — and not where you might think.

Tea, Cake and Death: A Safe Place to Discuss a Scary Subject

“Death Cafes” seek to reduce taboos around the act of dying.

How He Makes the Mundane Sound Magical

Experimental sound artist R. Weis creates otherworldly sonic compositions from everyday materials.

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.