Best Restaurants 2013
Presenting 34 of the finest, freshest and most forward-thinking restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bon appetit!
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Downtown: 649 Penn Ave.
AMERICAN | $-$$ | CHEF/OWNER RICHARD DESHANTZ
Call before you intend to visit Meat & Potatoes because it’s one of the most popular restaurants in Pittsburgh — so much so that its owners are planning to open a similar spot nearby. You might find yourself dining alongside visiting celebs, local politicians, business folks, families or young couples. No wonder this place is such a hit. The menu offers a wide range of decadent fare, including housemade breads, rich pastas and bar-inspired food (try the fried pickles!). For those with an appetite, the 34-ounce ribeye with confit steak fries should satisfy. The drinks, including barrel-aged cocktails, are well-executed by a skilled staff of bartenders. The Bloody Mary bar, available during weekend brunch, is extensive and inspiring.
North Side: 856 Western Ave.
THAI | $-$$ | CHEF/OWNER RATTHASAK “NICK” INSAWANG
With lines often out the door, Nicky’s Thai Kitchen — both the original North Side site and new downtown addition, which opened earlier this year — continues to offer some of the freshest Thai food around. Great menu items include the spring rolls, rich crab Rangoons, tilapia with basil and marvelous curry dishes. The North Side location has a lovely outdoor dining area that’s the perfect place to sip a refreshing green iced tea during warmer months.
Downtown: 900 Penn Ave.
AMERICAN | $$-$$$$ | EXECUTIVE CHEF GARY BORROW
A staple for elegant dining, Nine on Nine delivers a high-quality experience in an unpretentious setting. In the midst of Cultural District hubbub, Nine on Nine remains tasteful with enduring favorites, such as the seared scallops with Swiss chard and bacon. The roasted chicken breast with hominy-sunchoke hash and crispy Brussels sprouts is also a homey treat. Bar Nine is a great spot to sip a Bellini or martini with friends. If you’re on the way to a show, try the three-course pre-theater tasting menu or, if you have more time, try the chef’s three- or four-course tasting menus. Remember that the restaurant and bar can be reserved for private events.
Highland Park: 5801 Bryant St.
EUROPEAN | $-$$$ | EXECUTIVE CHEF KEVIN HUNNINEN
Park Bruges is a classic neighborhood bistro with a French influence, and it’s the sister restaurant of beloved Belgian-inspired Point Brugge Café, another one of our Best Restaurants (below). The environment is simple, and the menu lists a nice selection of salads, poutine (twice-cooked fries topped with gravy and cheese curds), mussels and burgers. Brunch is popular, forcing folks to wait in line for sumptuous treats such as liege waffles and tarte flambé with chorizo and potato hash. Check out the website for Jazz Monday events, held the first week of every month.