Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

2010 Legends

What makes a restaurant a legend? It has something to do with three words that begin with the letter "C": character, consistency and comfort. These establishments distinguish themselves with outstanding food, a refined sense of who they are and distinctive decor. What's more, they deliver that experience time after time, year after year. We are pleased to list some of the region's most legendary restaurants, chosen by the Restaurant Review Panel.



A juicy Tessaro's burger.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in downtown Pittsburgh is (The) Common Plea Restaurant. Owner John Barsotti sets the tone of gracious hospitality that is conveyed by the entire staff. Don’t forget to try out the award-winning (and visually stunning) Steelertini, garnished with black and gold licorice.

It’s hard to believe that the cozy neighborhood trattoria Girasole is only 10 years old since it feels as if it has always been a part of the ambience and character of Shadyside. It’s what I would call Italian comfort food, and that never goes out of style.

As always, the pasta and veal dishes on the menu are the standouts, but the authentic food is only part of the charm at Gran Canal Caffe, located in Sharpsburg. Here you also get the passion and warmth of the owners and chefs, Michele and Antoinette Bonaventura, as well. I hope they never take the cannelloni off the menu.

The Grand Concourse at Station Square is not only a legend of fine dining in this region, it’s also a historic landmark. Walk through the doors into what must have been one of the grandest railways stations in America, dine like a steel baron and don’t miss the spectacular river-level view of downtown from the River Room. Sunday brunch remains one of the most extravagant in western Pennsylvania.

Ah, romance! It’s in every corner of the magical Hyeholde Restaurant, and the genius of executive chef Chris O’Brien’s cuisine only adds to the special moments you’ll enjoy here in Moon Township. His commitment to quality and locally sourced ingredients earned him the Governor’s Award for Culinary Excellence last year. New features are always being added—including a chef’s table, Hye Tea and even cooking classes.

Tucked away in Station Square, Kiku Japanese Restaurant is an oasis of tranquility, a far cry from the raucous restaurants with flying knives and acrobatic chefs. It is a place where you’ll be pampered and can savor the delicate and distinctive flavors of authentic Japanese cuisine.

Sometimes dinner is all about a unique food experience, and sometimes it’s all about going someplace where they make you feel special. At LeMont, it’s always about both. Enjoy some of their fabulous specials during the 50th-anniversary celebration at this Mount Washington landmark.

A simple food philosophy has been the hallmark of the legendary Monterey Bay Fish Grotto ever since its inception as the Rodi Grille House almost 20 years ago: the finest and freshest seafood, expertly prepared. The daily roster at this scenic spot with locations atop Mount Washington and in Monroeville always includes 10 to 20 varieties of fish from all over the world.

Of course you wouldn’t want to eat here every day, but when the urge comes over you, there is no denying a trip to Primanti Brothers in the Strip. With cole slaw and french fries piled high, there is just nothing like its Pitts-Burgher Cheese Steak, the No. 2 bestseller. And let’s face it, you’re not going to make one of these for yourself at home!

With the advent of cell-phone cameras, I’ll bet there are thousands of pictures of the food at Sushi Kim, located on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, circulating through cyberspace. Here, artistry meets authenticity with an extensive menu of Korean and Japanese entrees as well as the incredible array of sushi.

If you’re walking around Bloomfield within a few blocks of Tessaro's, you can’t avoid the tantalizing aroma of fresh beef searing to perfection on a wood grill. Tessaro’s should get an award just for improving the air quality of the region. But even if beef is not your thing, you can always stop by for the friendly atmosphere and some of the fabulous home fries.

Award-winning The Carlton downtown is where the grown-ups go for lunch and dinner. It’s not just the sophisticated menu and extensive wine list. It’s also that sense of being treated as an adult with the finest-quality food and professional service. No games and no gimmicks.

You don’t usually think of college bars as places to go for the food. But Union Grill, an Oakland watering hole on the edge of the Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh campuses, serves imaginative and plentiful soups, salads and burgers that turn tavern staples into memorable meals.

It’s just a 30-minute ride from downtown to the romantic Wooden Angel in Beaver. Celebrate a special occasion, or treat yourself to a memorable meal. Chef Mike Frashure’s thin-crust skillet breads are amazing—especially if there’s one with roasted apples, figs, blue cheese and molasses on the menu.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit 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.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


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

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.

Comments

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

Comments

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says a corned beef sandwich, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

Comments

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

Even novice runners can work their way up to these fun and (mildly) challenging races.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

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.

Comments

The Park After Dark

The Park After Dark

Kennywood’s “Night Rider” tickets may be the best bet for many visitors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

Comments

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Try as he might, General Manager Jim Rutherford has so far been unable to change the makeup of his team as intended. It may, thus, ultimately fall on head coach Mike Sullivan to adjust the attitudes of players with a recent track record of resisting change for the greater good.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Lion King

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.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

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.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Comments

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Comments

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Amanda Lee began painting glasses in her basement to help pay for her college education. Today, she ships her products across the globe from a new, shabby-chic warehouse and gift shop.

Comments