A prominent national dining survey released Tuesday ranked the city as having had the best year for restaurants.
By Dan Majors and Madasyn Czebiniak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
You can’t complain that Pittsburgh doesn’t have any good restaurants. A prominent national dining survey released Tuesday ranked the city as having had the best year for restaurants.
The Zagat Survey, a provider of restaurant reviews based on feedback from critics and diners, based its rankings on “new openings, award-recognition and national media attention” during 2015.
The results, assembled by the Zagat staff, put Pittsburgh ahead of (in order) Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Dallas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., Miami and San Diego.
“While hefty Italian bread sandwiches from Primanti Bros. remain musts on the Pittsburgh culinary circuit, as of late it’s an abundance of more refined food glories that Steel City is becoming known for,” the website said. “With its geography straddling both the East Coast and the Midwest (likelihood of poaching more chefs from those areas = high), this town is poised for even more exciting things in 2016.”
Among the restaurants singled out were The Vandal and Morcilla in Lawrenceville, Chaz & Odette in Shadyside, Station in Bloomfield, tako in the Cultural District, and Whitfield in East Liberty.
“I'm honored,” said Ohio native Justin Severino, owner and head chef at Morcilla. “Pittsburgh has always been great to me. I feel like I could have chosen to do this anywhere else in the world. I chose Pittsburgh and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.”
Zagat said 2015 has seen a boom in “culinary innovation,” with chefs leaving bigger cities to set up their own shops in smaller markets, bringing special food to unexpected places.
Nina and Tim Zagat started Zagat in 1979 after a dinner party with friends showed them that restaurant reviews were unreliable. So they began pooling hundreds of amateur critics.
The rankings sparked predictable responses on the Zagat website. Denise Schreiber posted a comment saying, “I hosted a major convention in Pittsburgh last year and everyone was amazed at the city and quality of food!” But another post said, “OK, now you’re just talking crazy.”
Dan Majors: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1456. Madasyn Czebiniak: email@example.com or 412-263-1269
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