Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2019
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BEST NEW RESTAURANT - POULET BLEU
It’s Best Because: Dining at Poulet Bleu is a transportive experience.
Poulet Bleu is the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group’s first foray from its Downtown core of bar/restaurants, and it’s a grand success, earning this year’s award for Best New Restaurant.
DeShantz’s tempting French bistro menu tilts to the classics with dishes such as seared foie gras with tart cherries and apple compote, trout almondine and boeuf bourguignon. And don’t get me started about the French onion soup; its rich broth is resonant with deeply caramelized onions, veal stock and Cognac, and the crust of melted Comte and Emmental cheeses is a savory blanket.
Pastry Chef James D. Wrobleski III’s winning dessert menu features stunners such as chocolate souffle and pavlova. Wine maestro John Wabeck curated the French-heavy wine list, and classic cocktails shine on the bar menu. DeShantz went classic with his design choices, too. Soft blue and white are the dominant tones; accented with brass and pewter, they speak to an era of refined dining. The Polynesian-influenced upstairs bar is a swell getaway, too.
Executive Chef Richard DeShantz
LAWRENCEVILLE: 3519 Butler St.
What we've said in the past: Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu
SALEM'S MARKET & GRILL
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
It’s Best Because: It’s budget-friendly, delicious and welcoming.
I love the lunchtime hubbub at Salem’s Market & Grill. Come prepared for bare-bones ambience and amenities that are balanced by warm hospitality and fantastic food. The diversity of its clientele is a reflection of the population of the city — it’s the Pittsburgh restaurant where you’ll most likely be surrounded by people who come from a different background than you do.
Pittsburghers of all stripes line up for generous hot-bar portions of goat curry, tandoori chicken and daily specials such as grilled fish, or order items such as shish tawook, chicken shawarma and kufta kebab from the grill menu.
General Manager/Owner Abdullah Salem
STRIP DISTRICT: 2923 Penn Ave.
What we've said in the past: Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District
It’s Best Because: Franco Braccia and his staff bring upscale Italian to Lawrenceville.
Senti’s low-key exterior makes it easy to miss, which is a shame because once you’re inside, it’s a real treat. Pittsburgh is lucky to have owner Franco Braccia running front-of-house service; his ability to read and react to what a table needs is extraordinary.
Chef Antonio Garcia’s Italian classics such as ossobuco di Maiale (pork shank braised in white wine, served with creamy polenta and gremolata) are stunners and, this year, Chef Jon Sterrett introduced a culinary counterpoint; his “Nuovo” menu features progressive Italian dishes such as gnocchi with braised lamb ragù and a mint kombucha palette cleanser and baby carrots with chili oil, caramelized ricotta, pomegranate seeds, parsley and carrot-ginger foam.
Chefs Antonio Garcia and Jon Sterrett
LAWRENCEVILLE: 3473 Butler St.