Habitat Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has come a long way on the food scene since I moved here 20 years ago.  We now have restaurants to rival any west coast bistro or New York trend spot.  Habitat has hit the food scene with a huge flair of excitement that rivals the big duck floating its way to fame on the Allegheny River. This unique restaurant sits atop a spectacular floating staircase overlooking the bustling lobby of the Fairmont.  A distinctive residential decor with warm earth tones and wood accents gives diners the sense of being at home. A beautiful glass-etched map of Pittsburgh hangs in the main bar area and is a must-see.

 

This is a great place to escape the rigors of a stressful day or a winter blitz.  In fact, you might even enjoy the beauty of our wintry mix from the spectacular view this restaurant offers.  Executive Chef Jason Dalling  is a native of Vancouver and began cooking professionally at age 14.   He  focuses on world flavors and a commitment to locally sourced ingredients. Habitat features Asian-influenced dishes and updated versions of American classics created with locally-sourced seasonal ingredients.

It is located in the heart of downtown and the perfect stopping place for an night on the town.  I remember years ago attending late night events and struggling to find one decent place open to eat.  It is so nice to have a great selection of world class eating establishments at our fingertips.  However, I still mourn the loss of Top of the Triangle in the U.S. Steel Building.  So far I have found nothing that comes close to replacing it.  But Habitat is unique in it’s own way and their signature communal table is the centerpiece of the restaurant. This stunning table was produced from a single piece of wood and is completed with a natural earthy finish.  I love supporting local endeavors and all the furniture in this establishment was sourced within 100 miles of the restaurant. It comfortably seats 12 in front of the dynamic exhibition kitchen where diners can watch Chef Andrew Morrison and his team prepare internationally inspired dishes with the kitchen’s unique wok station and tandoori oven.  What better evening could you ask for?  Forget the cold, forget the wind, grab a friend or meet a new one at this friendly spot with intimate appeal.

Pittsburgh Thai by Boris

Pittsburgh is fortunate to have a wide selection of excellent Thai food but you will not find it better anywhere than what is lovingly prepared by Boris in Verona.  He puts his personal touch on every dish and comes out of the kitchen to greet each guest.  He took over a former Thai restaurant about two years ago and has developed quite a faithful following.  It is definitely a word of mouth restaurant and I found out about it’s culinary wonders from my neighbor Michelle.  It should not be missed and is a great place for a quiet reprieve.

Verona is a quaint riverside borough about 13 miles northeast of downtown along the left bank of the Allegheny River.  If you follow Allegheny River Boulevard it will take you almost to the restaurants front door.  It is hard to miss if you are not looking for it and is located on a side street at 321 South Avenue.  The phone number is (412) 828-0339.  Pittsburgh Thai by Boris's profile photo

The decor is minimalistic and serene.  There is a clever wooden sculpture of a reclining Buddha that appears to be suspended in air.  The tom kha soup is so popular  that an artful poster of it hangs on the wall beckoning you to the quixotic experience it offers.  The pumpkin custard and crab fried rice are both examples of the unique fare that you can’t find just anywhere.

Pumpkin custard with sticky rice     Crab fried rice

Although it is still a fairly well kept secret, you may want to call for reservations on weekends.  The hours are Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Friday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.  They do not serve alcohol but do have B.Y.O.B. with no corkage fee.  It is perfect for a book club meeting, sophisticated birthday party or small business gathering.  The food cannot help but put you in a good mood and the service is superb.

They have a Facebook page where you can view their menus and will be pleasantly surprised to find lunch priced between $4.50 and $7.50.  I think you will be hard pressed to find a more delectable bargain anywhere else in or out of town.  You will be instantly transported to the exotic cultural experience of Thailand and will feel you have been treated to a home cooked meal with this authentic menu.