Produced and written by Andrea Bosco Stehle • Photographs by Michael Fornataro • Styled by Andrea Bosco Stehle, Alyssa Otto, and Jason Solak
Seven days and 30 food shoots later, we reveal to you our 2016 Chef’s Best Dish spread in anticipation of our fourth annual event. The vision for the shoot’s production came to me as a play on an elegant Tim Burton-meets-Dorothy Draper dinner party. What we came up with was something less eccentric, but still whimsical, allowing the dishes and their seasonally inspired ingredients to really speak to our readers. We had a blast working with Ed Amori of Lendable Linens and Allison Miller of All Occasions Party Rental, who so graciously provided us with all the gorgeous materials necessary to achieve our look. Using patterns of black, white, and ivory, and textured, jewel-toned elements, we built a beautiful foundation for each chef’s creation. We invite you to devour each dish below and then do so literally on Tuesday, November 15, at the Circuit Center & Ballroom.
For tickets, visit whirlmagazine.com/bestdish.
Chef’s Best Dish 2016 is sponsored by Dollar Bank, Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Beam Suntory Spirits and Wine, and Yelp.
[Special thanks to Lendable Linens and All Occasions Party Rental]
Asiatique Thai Bistro
Owner and Chef Ling Robinson
Coconut milk-based Tom kha soup with organic chicken, carrots, cucumbers, celery, cabbage, lemongrass, kaffir lime, bean sprouts, fresh garlic, tamarind, and galanga, ginger, and turmeric roots. Request chili oil to spice things up!
120 Bakery Square Blvd., Bakery Square. 412.441.1212. facebook.com/AsiatiqueThaiBistro.
Executive Chef Les Murphy
Sticky Icky Wings, grilled and glazed with maple bacon bourbon sauce, topped with sea salt, cracked pepper, and scallions.
321 Bigham St., Mt. Washington. 412.431.9313. bighamtavern.com.
Executive Chef Jessica Gibson
Duck breast with duck-fat-fried fingerling potatoes, duck confit poutine, cheese curds, and crispy Brussels sprouts.
711 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.306.1919. bistro19.com.
Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie
Executive Chef Jason Shaffer
Drunken pheasant, made with free-range wild pheasant, soaked in white rum, black pepper, salt, and rosemary; served with onion soubise, sherry gastrique, collard greens with bacon and raisins, and brie dauphinoise potatoes.
“The sweet of the onion, the tart of the gastrique, the flavor of the pheasant, and the bitterness of the potatoes all play off each other. It’s a happy, little world.” — Jason Shaffer
107 6th St., Downtown. 412.992.2005. braddocksrestaurant.com.
Co-owner Fred Hartman
From top left: split dinner roll, Eppi (fermented for 24-36 hours and hand-cut); center plate: twist dinner roll, salt stick, pumpernickel raisin roll, onion stick, and knot dinner roll; and at right: rustic Italian — a hearty, earthy, robust grain.
2110 Brighton Road, North Side. 412.515.0157. breadworkspgh.com.
Chefs Ricci Minella and Jonathan Tryc
Seared pork belly with grilled sweet potatoes, maple bourbon mustard, candied walnuts, chives, and edible flowers.
Owner Jeff Iovino
Classic club sandwich with house-roasted turkey and ham, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, served on a pretzel bun with a side Greek salad, housemade red wine vinaigrette, and French mushroom soup.
300 Beverly Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.440.0414. cafeio.com.
Cornerstone Restaurant and Bar
Executive Chef Jason Mooney
Short rib in a red wine reduction with celery root purée, and turnip, rutabaga, and sweet potato hash.
301 Freeport Road, Aspinwall. 412.408.3258. cornerstonepgh.com.
D’s Six Pax & Dogz
Executive Chef Corey Flesse
Pumpkin-and-herb-infused, all-beef corndogs with cinnamon spice cream cheese and candied pecans, served with a pumpkin spice latte beer.
1118 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412.241.4666. ds6pax.com.
Executive Chef Adam Luiso
Two four-ounce twin filets over a green peppercorn demi, topped with two miniature crab cakes, lemon beurre blanc sauce, and microgreens for garnish.
12980 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 724.934.3660. ditkasrestaurants.com.
Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar
Owner and Executive Chef Don Winkie
Pan-seared Jurgielewicz Farm duck breast with roasted butternut squash purée, French green beans, braised red cabbage, and a beet mostarda.
1910 New Texas Road, Plum Borough. 724.519.7304. eightyacreskitchen.com.
Emerald Valley Artisans
Owner Alisa Fava-Fasnacht
Pan-seared pressed Ricotta Chiesi, infused with Italian black summer truffles and sea salt from Steel City Salt, topped with peach mostarda by The Porch at Schenley’s Executive Chef Kevin Hermann.
“We want our cheese to inspire people. We’re always fascinated to see and taste what that inspiration becomes on a plate.” — Alisa Fava-Fasnacht
166 Fava Farm Road, Scenery Hill. 1.855.67. GOTCOWS. emeraldvalleyartisans.com.
The Foundry Table & Tap
Executive Chef Mike Godlewski
Korean beef tartare with peanuts, sesame seeds, confit egg yolk mustard emulsion, pea shoots, local mustard greens, and togarashi-spiced pork rinds.
381 N. Shore Drive, North Shore. 412.930.0744. thefoundrypgh.com.
Gaby et Jules
Owner and Master Pastry Chef David Piquard
Macarons in the flavors of sea salt caramel, cherry, chocolate, almond, Earl Grey, pistachio, and lavender with traditional canelé — a small French pastry flavored with rum and Madagascar vanilla bean with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust.
5837 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412.682.1966. 435 Market St., Downtown. 412.281.3818. gabyetjules.com.
Executive Sushi Chef Aki Lee
Bigeye tuna poke with scallions, sesame seeds, red beets, avocado, and salmon roe.
“It’s really fun to bring this West Coast influence to Pittsburgh. Poke has Hawaiian origins, and we bring really fresh, high-quality fish in. It’s a very versatile appetizer or shareable entree.” — Jimmy Wan
1337 Old Freeport Road, Fox Chapel. 412.968.0848. 1686 Route 228, Cranberry Twp., 724.778.8978. jimmywans.com.
Executive Chef Ben Sloan
Oxtail loco moco poutine with braised oxtail gravy, Amish cheddar cheese, cilantro, scallions, egg, and Fresno chiles, paired with a basil margarita.
2000 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.261.6565. bigburrito.com/kaya.
Executive Chef Nicole Neely
Creamy burrata served over butternut squash and garnished with a balsamic reduction.
“Italians love their mozzarella. They found a resourceful way to utilize the leftovers with cream, butter, and a mozzarella shell when they created burrata.” — Nicole Neely
1400 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.552.0150. lidias-pittsburgh.com.
Event Coordinator Joni Ropelewski
Traditional paella with chicken, pork, chorizo, peppers, onions, saffron, rice, shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops, and shrimp stock, garnished with peas.
2228 E. Carson St., South Side. 412.488.1818. mallorcarestaurantpgh.com.
Monterey Bay Fish Grotto
Executive Sous Chef Tim McLaughlin
Porcini-crusted walleye, black pepper spaetzle, rutabaga sauerkraut, pickled cranberries, and veal jus.
“When I think of fall, I think of earthy, sweet flavors. The rutabaga and porcini mushrooms are earthy and the sauerkraut treatment is just kind of Pittsburgh. The pickled cranberries really speak to fall.” — Tim McLaughlin
1411 Grandview Ave. #2, Mt. Washington. 412.481.4414. montereybayfishgrotto.com.
PAN Asian Kitchen
Executive Chef Josh Ross
Szechuan-braised Kurobuta belly, truffled butternut squash purée, Chinese snake beans, pickled vegetables, and bibimbap sauce.
3519 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412.325.3435. panasianpgh.com.
Executive Chef Larry Laffont
Butternut squash and cauliflower soup with potatoes and mussels, served with butternut squash chips.
6018 Centre Ave., East Liberty. 412.404.8166. paris66bistro.com.
Executive Chef Juan Gonzalez
Arroz con pollo with Jubilee Hilltop Ranch’s free-range chicken, olives, sofrito, peppers, cilantro, and scallions; paired with double-cooked green plantains; and garnished with pickled onions, cilantro, and house aioli.
274 Forbes Ave., Downtown. 412.323.3000. piratapgh.com.
Six Penn Kitchen
Executive Chef Ken Cumberland
Thyme-marinated, slow-roasted lamb rack, served with sage pasta stuffed with a butternut squash mousse and topped with minted-cider caramel.
146 6th St., Downtown. 412.566.7366. sixpennkitchen.com.
Slice on Broadway
Owner Rico Lunardi
Pepperoni roll and spinach lollipops with mozzarella, provolone, and garlic seasoning; and a braided calzone with roasted vegetables, chicken, and feta, topped with roasted garlic.
2128 Broadway Ave., Beechview. 412.531.1068. 108 E. Main St., Carnegie. 412.276.0200. PNC Park, 115 Federal St., Downtown. 412.325.4485. sliceonbroadway.com.
Executive Chef Lily Tran
Seasonal, local beet salad with Asian pears, housemade pistachio butter, sunflower seeds, Maldon sea salt, and sake mustard vinaigrette.
“You typically see beet salads with cheese. The pistachio butter, made with olive oil and lemon, brings that nice richness without adding heaviness.” — Lily Tran
5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412.362.5656. sobapa.com.
Executive Chef Curtis Gamble
Chicken liver mousse with organic local chicken livers, coriander mustard, pickled beets, and marigolds.
“It’s pretty simple despite how complicated it looks.” — Curtis Gamble
4744 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412.251.0540. station4744.com.
Table 86 by Hines Ward
Culinary Manager Evan Bieganski
Slow-roasted Veal Shank Osso Bucco with saffron risotto, red and green bell peppers, and Kalamata olives, topped with spiraled peppers and olive slivers.
530 Northpointe Circle, Seven Fields. 724.741.0860. hineswardstable86.com.
Executive Chef Jamie Tavelaris
Confit duck and goat cheese sage waffle with a sunny-side-up egg, orange pear marmalade, micro greens, a spicy maple honey sauce, and pecan dust made with pecans and panko breadcrumbs.
“This dish encompasses all of the flavor profiles. It has the sweet, the spicy, the salty, the savory, and it also has texture. It’s a hit.” — Jamie Tavelaris
960 Penn Ave., Downtown. 412.318.8000. tenpennypgh.com.
Chef Brock Edwards
Pumpkin and gruyère cheese waffle, topped with lemon cream cheese, diced apple, whipped cream, cinnamon and sugar, and honey.
“It’s a great seller. The gruyère cheese adds to the dish in a delightfully unusual way.” — Gordon Sheffer, owner
2517 E. Carson St., South Side. 412.301.1763. 453 3rd St., Beaver. 724.359.4841. 10339 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 412.349.5257. facebook.com/WafflesINCaffeinated.
Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown
Executive Chef Dean Gress
Seared brine pork tenderloin with creamy roasted pepper polenta, butternut squash purée, and roasted peppers.
“Brining helps to maintain the tenderness and juiciness of the meat.” — Dean Gress
600 Commonwealth Place, Downtown. 412.391.4600. wyndhamgrandpittsburgh.com.