Bistecca Steakhouse and Wine Bar
South of Pittsburgh in Washington County,
a growing population has discovered
Bistecca, where Adam Johnston creates
dishes for the Italian-influenced menu that
include this seared, butterflied jumbo prawn
with a limoncello pan sauce and risotto.
Adam Johnston, a graduate of the
Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, has worked at
restaurants around the country, but enjoys
cooking the Italian-influenced cuisine at
Bistecca. He crafts Italian “crust” like his
grandmother made. Small baguettes similar
to breadsticks are fried in a single portion.
Rosemary is kneaded into the dough,
resulting in Bistecca’s signature rosemary
bread. “Pittsburghers like big portions and
their dinners themed to holidays, such as
St. Patrick’s Day,” says Johnston.
On the topic of portion size, the burgers at
the PIPA Group’s Clark Bar & Grill are made
from a full pound of meat. Located between
PNC Park and Heinz Field stadiums, the
restaurant is named for the candy bar
originally made in the space. In addition to
the pound of meat, the Smokin’ Joe burger
is packed with cheese and barbecue sauce.
The personality of the downtown Cultural
District, with its opera and theater venues,
contrasts with the scrappy image of the
South Side, home to more bars per block
than most other Pennsylvania towns. Here,
the many steelworkers paused after work
for a cold beer and a sandwich. Now the
area is full of culinary attitude.
Yo Rita is a fine-dining restaurant disguised
as a taquería. With a sleek silver and bronze
décor and long bar, the starters and tacos
by chef/owner Kevin Sousa surprise and
delight the palate. With Sousa’s culinary
experience in Arizona and Pittsburgh, the
menu features simple ingredients matched
in unique combinations.
The jicama chop salad of edamame, corn,
melon, radish, mint, goat cheese and pickled
pepper vinaigrette is a well-balanced
mélange of ingredients. The open-faced
tacos, from chicken livers with bacon, lemon/
garlic aïoli, Creole crisp rice and guava to the
wild salmon with huitlacoche, horseradish,
Di Mare Amante—linguine with scallops
in a white-wine sauce—is on the menu at
Caffe Amante in the downtown Cultural
District, which draws diners from the
business crowd during the day and
theater/concertgoers at night.
asparagus, corn, avocado and blood orange,
offer exciting flavor combinations. Taco
specials may include beef tongue and
marrow or foie gras with tomato, radish,
watermelon, cabbage and apricot.
Clark Bar & Grill, located between
PNC Park and Heinz Field stadiums
and named for the candy bar originally
made in the space, offers this
Traditional ½-Pound Boomer Burger
with fresh-cut french fries.
Grand Concourse is a fine-dining restaurant
with character. Movies such as Dogma (1999),
starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, have
been filmed in the expansive space of the
former concourse of the Pittsburgh and Lake
Erie Railroad. Against a backdrop of the stately
staircase and stained glass, guests dine on
salmon Rockefeller and applejack sea bass.
The National Culinary Review | June 2010
The PIPA Group also owns Caffe Amante
in the historic downtown Cultural District.
With daytime trade from local healthcare
and financial-services companies and the
evening theater crowd and concertgoers,
the restaurant’s kitchen serves up rustic
comfort food such as veal parmigiana and
Virginia spots, a perch-like fish.
Clark Bar & Grill