Best Restaurants 2018
(page 4 of 10)
Killer Casual (cont.)
A solid combination of excellent food and casual-yet-attentive service draws diners to these restaurants. These are the types of places where you quickly can become a regular.
STRIP DISTRICT: 2549 Penn Ave.
[Italian] DiAnoia’s Eatery appeals to our cravings morning, noon and night. Stop by in the morning for a breakfast sandwich reminiscent of New York City bodegas and an espresso. Visit in the afternoon for a deli sandwich, salad and glass of house wine. In the evening, put it all together with a multicourse meal of antipasti, homemade pasta and delectable mains such as roasted whole branzino and porchetta with its drippings. Breads and desserts are prepared in-house by the restaurant’s top-tier pasty team. Thirsty? DiAnoia’s cocktail menu mirrors the food menu, with well-balanced, perfectly prepared drinks that get stronger as the day gets longer.
The Cafe Carnegie
OAKLAND: 4400 Forbes Ave.
Sonja J Finn
[American] Cafe Carnegie is one of my favorite lunch destinations in Pittsburgh. The upscale yet casual restaurant is nestled in the lobby of The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, which means a quick cultural escape is footsteps away. One of the things I love best about Consulting Chef Sonja J Finn’s menu is that a meal will leave you feeling stronger and more energetic than when you came in. Go for peppy, satisfying salads such as the Zuni Cafe-influenced pulled chicken salad or salad chevre chaud, or a heartier dish such as Jamison Farm lamb pot pie.
Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33
SQUIRREL HILL: 1711 Shady Ave.
[Taiwanese] Regionally specific Chinese cuisine is on the rise in Pittsburgh, and there perhaps is no better demonstration of this trend than Taiwanese Bistro Cafe 33. Executive Chef/Co-Owner Asan Tao forgoes generic “Chinese food” in favor of a menu of Taiwanese specialties such as cold jellyfish, three-cup chicken and pork with mustard greens soup. Certain dishes, such as pork-blood “tofu” with garlic-chive soup, intestines in garlic sauce and book-tripe with vegetables, might be unfamiliar to Western palettes but absolutely are worth ordering. Co-Owner Jenny Tao oversees a genial front-of-house staff who are eager to guide guests to assemble a perfect meal.
BRADDOCK: 1211 Braddock Ave.
[New American] Executive Chef/Co-Owner Kevin Sousa serves New American cuisine influenced by modernist technique at his Braddock establishment, which the independent Restaurant Review Panel selected as this year’s Best New Restaurant. Sousa’s artfully composed dishes such as carrot or tuna tartare with nori, kimchi, miso and katsuobushi and sturgeon with spaetzle, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard are a draw to the restaurant, as is Superior Motors’ forward-thinking cocktail program.
LAWRENCEVILLE: 202 38th St.
[Japanese] Pittsburgh is a city starving for late-night dining options. One of the reasons we love Umami, a third-floor izakaya from Roger Li (Ki Ramen, Ki Pollo) and Derek Brunell (Round Corner Cantina) is that the establishment serves crushable Japanese pub food such as chawanmushi, karaage and okonomiyaki until midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends. Li and his team also serve some of the best sushi in Pittsburgh — pay particular attention to the daily specials. We’re smitten with items such as whole fish, King Trumpet mushroom and bacon-quail eggs cooked on the charcoal-fired robata grill. The izakaya’s intricate design and DJ-curated playlists are transportive.