Best Restaurants 2015
Which 33 establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
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PHOTO BY CHUCK BEARD
Gorgonzola mess appetizer
[MEDITERRANEAN] E2’s slogan, “Bring Your Bottle. Bring Your Mess,” is indicative of the hospitality you’ll find at this Highland Park favorite. The monthly Sunday Sauce series is an ideal way to spend an uproarious evening: Red-sauce Italian food centers an experience that will make you feel like family, even if half of the people you dined with started out as strangers. Brunch is one of the most popular Sunday options in Pittsburgh, and with hot doughnuts and savory-sweet dishes such as “Mush,” it’s easy to see why. With so many special reasons to come to E2, it’s easy to overlook dinner. Don’t, because Executive Chef/Owner Kate Romane is on top of her game after traveling to Italy last year. $-$$
Highland Park: 5904 Bryant St.
Executive Chef/Owner Kate Romane
[AMERICAN] It’s all about comfort at Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar. Pappardelle is cooked al dente and mixed with a rich pork and veal Bolognese. If you’re looking for something to really fill you up, diners loved Executive Chef/Owner Don Winkie’s red wine-braised Jamison Farm lamb shank. Service at Eighty Acres is warm and quick to apply the little touches that make you feel special. For example, if the staff knows you’re going to share a salad, it will be delivered already neatly divided. Speaking of salads, it’s worth getting the excellent roasted beet salad just for the perfectly fried ball of goat cheese. $-$$
Plum: 1910 New Texas Road
Executive Chef/Owner Don Winkie
[AMERICAN] Executive Chef Derek Stevens and his Killer Kitchen team at Eleven create a menu that makes the restaurant Pittsburgh’s go-to choice for celebration dinners, power lunches and family-in-town brunches. The four-course chef’s tasting menu is a terrific way to explore the best of what the kitchen has to offer. If you’re ordering from the regular menu, there’s everything from a light and citrusy yellowtail sashimi to prime beef ribeye. Service at Eleven is attentive and engaged without being cloying. $$-$$$
Strip District: 1150 Smallman St.
Executive Chef Derek Stevens
PHOTO BY CHUCK BEARD
Pork and cabbage potstickers
[TAIWANESE] Thwack! Whip! Pow! Those are just a few of the sounds you’ll hear as you pass by the Everyday Noodles’ kitchen crew creating the eponymous ribbons of noodles behind a Plexiglas wall. Those noodles are served in soups and in dishes that satisfy both adventurous and everyday appetites. Don’t miss the soup dumplings: tender packets filled with pork or crab and a spoonful of rich broth. Start your meal with a pan-fried green-onion pancake and a cold appetizer such as the five-spiced eggplant, and round out your main course with Chinese watercress or baby bok choy. $
Squirrel Hill: 5875 Forbes Ave.
Executive Chef Steve Chow