By Caitlin Cesa, Matthew Hacke, + Rachel Jones | Photographs by Michael Fornataro | Styling by Alyssa Otto + Jason Solak
When we hosted our first Chef’s Best Dish event, we wanted to present local chefs the opportunity to share the meals that make them the most proud. Now in our fifth year, the event has grown into the ultimate evening for the major players of the foodie community to unite. From the culinary wizards who give validation to our local restaurant scene’s national accolades, to the savvy tasters who revel in the delicious benefits of living in the area, we love to see the networking, sharing, and connecting take place every year. The tradition continues November 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Circuit Center & Ballroom. Come partake in a lovely fall evening, where colleagues and friends spend their dinnertimes together, sampling the unparalleled offerings and voting in the categories of Best Seasonal Dish, Best Presentation, Best Pittsburgh Dish, Best Dessert, and Best Overall. Sponsored by Dollar Bank and Yelp, the event also benefits Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. We’ll see you there!
For tickets, visit whirlmagazine.com/chefsbestdish.
Chef’s Best Dish 2017 is sponsored by Dollar Bank, Rivertowne Brewing, Beam Suntory Spirits and Wine, Wigle Whiskey, Diamond Vodka, and Yelp.
[Special thanks to All Occasions Party Rental, Mosaic, Inc., and Roxanne’s Dried Flowers]
Executive Chef Jessica Bauer
Duroc Pork Chop from Compart Family Farms with sugar pumpkin and apple mostarda, spiced pepitas, smoked Gouda purple potatoes, French green beans, and baby carrots.
1230 Grandview Ave., Mt Washington. 412.904.4442. altiuspgh.com.
Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique
Owner and Official Taste Tester Kadee Lewis
At left: S’More to Love Wafflelicious, a tasty waffle topped with chocolate and caramel sauces, toasted marshmallows, and pecans. At right: Strawberry Blonde Wafflelicious, a tasty waffle topped with strawberries, white chocolate drizzle, cream cheese icing, and vanilla wafer crumbles. Both dishes are served with vanilla ice cream, made fresh with a homemade ice cream base and liquid nitrogen.
213 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall. 3511 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412.772.1283. asweetboutique.com.
Executive Chef Les Murphy
Black & Gold Pierogi Bowl — pierogi topped with mesquite pork, sunny-side-up eggs, and a house-made black and gold sauce, which is a peppery Carolina barbecue sauce.
“We serve this particular dish on our ‘Sunday Funday’ menu. It translates perfectly from brunch to dinner, and we started serving it on Sundays for the Steelers’ season.” — Executive Chef Les Murphy, Bigham Tavern
321 Bigham St., Mt. Washington. 412.431.9313. bighamtavern.com.
Co-owner Fred Hartman
Back plate, clockwise from the top: twist dinner roll, sesame horn roll, pumpernickel raisin roll, and salt stick. Front plate: rustic raisin bread — filled with dark and golden raisins.
2110 Brighton Road, North Side. 412.515.0157. breadworkspgh.com.
Burgh Bites’ Brick N’ Mortar
Owner Ricci Minella
Harvest corn chowder with charred corn, roasted pumpkin, crispy prosciutto, sage, and scallion with grilled jalapeño cornbread on the side.
“This seasonal dish was a happy accident. One of the chefs at our restaurant was coming up with a pumpkin and corn salsa to serve with our tortilla chips. We didn’t like it as a cold salsa, but we knew that it had potential and could be the start of something really great. One of the chefs suggested we make pumpkin corn chowder out of it, roasting whole pumpkin and garnishing with some crispy prosciutto and sage. The end product turned out great!” — Owner Ricci Minella, Burgh Bites’ Brick N’ Mortar
1709 E. Railroad St., Heidelberg. 412.229.7119. burghbitestruck.com.
Chef and Owner Jeff Iovino
Carnitas Tostadas with green chile salsa, pickled red onions, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro.
300A Beverly Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.440.0414. cafeio.com.
Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar
Executive Chef Jason Mooney
Pan-roasted halibut with onion soubise, crispy fingerling potatoes, haricot verts, and whole grain mustard glaze.
“The onion is sweeter, so when you put the potatoes on top, it makes a great flavor.” — Executive Chef Jason Mooney, Cornerstone Restaurant & Bar
301 Freeport Road, Aspinwall. 412.408.3420. cornerstonepgh.com.
D’s Six Pax & Dogz
Chef Corey Flesse
Franksgiving Dog — a turkey hotdog in a poppy seed bun, topped with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and corn with cranberry sauce on the side.
1118 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. 412.241.4666. ds6pax.com.
Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar
Owner and Executive Chef Don Winkie
Serenity Hill Farms rack of lamb with roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and apples, and a warm couscous salad with pomegranate yogurt sauce.
1910 New Texas Road, Plum Borough. 724.519.7304. eightyacreskitchen.com.
Executive Chef Eli Wahl
Beef tartare with black garlic, a port reduction, ground cherries, petite greens, buttered croutons, cured egg yolk, and pickled mustard seed.
1150 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.201.5656. elevenck.com.
Emerald Valley Artisans, LLC & A519 Chocolate
Emerald Valley Artisans, LLC Owner Alisa Fava-Fasnacht, Emerald Valley, LLC Sales Manager Racquelle Fava-Rockwell, & A519 Chocolate Chocolatier Amanda Wright
Emerald Valley Artisans, LLC created an orange, cranberry, and apple fromage blanc cheesecake. Each slice is paired with dark chocolate truffles from A519 Chocolate, featuring a dark chocolate shell with orange cranberry apple fromage gel filling and toasted white chocolate.
Gaby et Jules
Executive Pastry Chef David Piquard
Clockwise from the top: White Chocolate Basil, Sea Salt, Raspberry, Rose, Peach & Violet, and Cassis & Lavender macarons.
5837 Forbes Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412.682.1966. 435 Market St., Downtown. 412.281.3818. gabyetjules.com.
Executive Chef Jennifer Gerasole
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with tomato cream sauce.
“It’s our most requested dish!” — Executive Chef Jennifer Gerasole, Girasole
733 Copeland St., Shadyside. 412.682.2130. 733copeland.com.
Head Sushi Chef and Partner Alex Tang & Owner Jimmy Wan
Tuna Poke Bowl with rice, seaweed salad, guacamole, black sesame seeds, ginger, and scallions.
“This is a new featured item. It’s basically deconstructed sushi with a relatively simple design and high-end ingredients.” — Owner Jimmy Wan, Jimmy Wan’s
1337 Old Freeport Road, Fox Chapel. 412.968.0848. 1686 Route 228, Cranberry Twp., 724.778.8978. jimmywans.com.
Executive Chef Ben Sloan
Jerked Pork and Plantain Nachos — a heaping pile of fried plantain chips topped with Chihuahua cheese sauce, jerked pork, scallions, cilantro, pickled red onion, Fresno Chiles, and lime.
2000 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.261.6565. bigburrito.com/kaya.
Executive Chef Heather Deraway
Hot, smoked salmon with brown sugar and pink peppercorn, whole grain mustard aioli, and arugula with Meyer lemon.
1411 Grandview Ave., Mt. Washington. 412.481.4414. montereybayfishgrotto.com.
Paris 66 Bistro
Executive Chef Larry Laffont
Salade de Betteraves with rainbow beets, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, arugula, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.
6018 Centre Ave., Shadyside. 412.404.8166. paris66bistro.com.
Slice on Broadway
Owner Rico Lunardi
Stuffed Pizza, packed with pepperoni, bacon, sausage, capicola, and provolone, served with garlic knots and marinara sauce on the side.
2128 Broadway Ave., Beechview. 412.531.1068.
108 E. Main St., Carnegie. 412.276.0200.
PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore. 412.325.4485.
6004 Centre Ave., East Liberty. 412.450.8375. sliceonbroadway.com.
Executive Chef Lily Tran
Korean-style rice cakes in gochujang with bok choy, pork belly, and bean sprouts.
“In Korea, this is a traditional dish served during Chuseok, an autumn festival very similar to Thanksgiving in the United States.” — Executive Chef Lily Tran, Soba
5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412.362.5656. sobapa.com.
Owner Gordon Sheffer & Chef Brock Edwards
“Brandy and the Giant Peach” — a raspberry waffle adorned with brandied peaches, whipped cream, and honey mascarpone, drizzled with raspberry sauce.
+ This dreamy dish was inspired by the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center’s production of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” November 10-12 + 17-19!
453 3rd St., Beaver. 724.359.4841. 2517 E. Carson St., South Side. 412.301.1763. 10339 Perry Hwy., Wexford. 412.349.5257. wafflesincaffeinated.com.