2017 URBANIST SUPERLATIVES
2017 was a… well, weird year, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have some exciting things brewing here in Pittsburgh. From (lots of) new restaurants opening to creative businesses doing creative things and even a certain famous foodie giving the world his much-buzzed-about view on our fair city, 2017 put Pittsburgh on the map more than ever.
Now that we’re far enough removed from the antics of 2017, we’re ready to hand out our superlatives for the past year. Here are just a few of our favorite moments, memories, meals and more.
Lonely No More is today. Tonight at 9, Albert C. Hall rides down from Troy Hill with gifts. With hardly any blowing of cartridges or wiping of cds, Albert is playing through some of the sonic gems from the age of SNES & Playstation 1. Expect everything from Donkey Kong Country bongo jungle dreams, to the dark musical musings of Captain Falcon. The cocktail should probably be pizza combo inspired, or just a cold IBC cream soda served with a retainer on a napkin, but it's not. Special: spiced rum+ elbling+ persimmon+lime+ cynar=$5. Imagine the blue glare of a TV running tired at 3:30am is replaced with candlelight, and the 5 hour old Totino's are subbed for our Pierogi, and you're right back in the thick of it, Crash balancing himself on the edge of disaster, and you getting the job that no one else is around to finish. Relive the glory days with a more developed palate. See you soon. @ghost_tropic #lonelynomore
Best Style: Apteka
Whether you’re entertaining your high school BFF who moved to LA and now thinks they know everything or a far-flung friend who you’re trying to convince to move to Pittsburgh, Apteka is the place to go to really show off Pittsburgh’s cool factor. The vegan Polish cuisine and unpronounceable cocktails started with a Kickstarter, but in 2017, garnered praise from everyone from Bon Apetit to your most hard-to-please houseguests.
Best Drama: That Whole Anthony Bourdain Incident
It went from the thing Pittsburghers were most excited about in 2017 to the thing that really pissed Pittsburghers off in 2017 within just a few days, so Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode tops our list of biggest drama of the past year. We can’t be too mad about it, though, because it did give us a pretty epic (and unexpected) little cameo of our street-box. A STAR IS BORN!
Most Likely to Be Late to Graduation (a.k.a. most worth the wait): Merchant Oyster Co.
The building sat empty (and almost in a taunting way) for much of 2017, but once it opened its doors and unleashed that delicious coastal cuisine to hungry Lawrenceville masses, all was forgiven at Merchant Oyster Co.
Cutest Couple: Whitfield x Sharing Knives Friends
While there are a ton of amazing collaborative dinners out there, we loved how Whitfield chef Bethany Zozula bought in people that she shared a special relationship throughout her career from a seven-course vegan dinner with her sister to a reunion of her days at Eleven with chef Derek Stevens to a birthday clambake bash with her friends at Spak Bros.
Most School Spirit: Steel City
Steel City went from an online-only brand to outfitting celebrities with Pittsburgh-themed gear and operating a seriously stylish downtown space (and we have them to thank for somehow making Joe Manganiello’s biceps look even better than they already did).
Most Popular Newcomer: Too Many To Pick
2017 brought us so many new favorites. Here are some of our top picks from across town that are poised to crush it even more in 2018. Fl. 2 (Downtown), Crown Barber (Garfield), Bitter Ends Luncheonette (Bloomfield), Cafe 33 (Squirrel Hill), Threadbare Cider (North Side), Pigeon Bagel (roving).
Best Eyes (a.k.a. the Place With the Cutest Facade): Madeleine Bakery and Bistro
It snuck in just at the tail end of 2017, but Madeleine in Wilkinsburg instantly charmed us with its French countryside facade and an almond croissant that we’re still dreaming about days later.
Most Unchanged (a.k.a. The Most Old School Pittsburgh Spot): Tessaro’s
You’re going to have to wait, and don’t even think about asking for fries, cause they don’t have ’em. Despite its quirks, however, Tessaro’s is still known as the best burger in town.
Most Changed Since Freshman Year (a.k.a. Best Makeover): Round Corner Cantina
With the addition of its plush, pink velvet booths, palm wallpaper, its ‘gram-worthy bar area and arguably the best patio in the city with the new and improved glass enclosed Chalet for winter; Round Corner Cantina finally achieved its full potential in 2017.
Most Photogenic: Number Fourteen
If you, your girlfriend, your sister or any female in Pittsburgh is on Snapchat then chances are they are swooning over the daily posts from this pretty in pink Lawrenceville shop. Shop owner, Brianne Conley’s near perfect account not is just the clothes from her beautiful shore but also her out on the town and at home giving a glimpse into her chic lifestyle.
Best New Look: Commonplace Coffee
Are you surprised we take notice when someone releases a beautiful new relaunch of their branding? And Commonplace’s new look in 2017 had us weak in the knees!
Most Thoughtful: CMOA’s 20/20 Exhibit
We talked and raved and talked about this collaborative exhibit with the Studio Museum in Harlem for good reason. It was thought-provoking and absolutely stunning. We can’t wait to see what CMOA has up their sleeve for the upcoming 57th Carnegie International this fall.
Most likely to Be Our Last Meal in Pittsburgh: Morcilla’s Cochinillo
It’s extra in all the right ways: enough crispy skin on the suckling pork roast for four people but we say go all out and order it for two. And we just hope the renovation after their recent damage is quick so we can make a date for a January night to feast on this dish. And if meat isn’t your thing, then our veg dish of the year goes to the vegetarian squash tortelloni at The Vandal.
Most Likely to Make Us Cry: Dish
We’ll keep it short, because our eyes are already welling up thinking of days of pastas past: we’ll miss the way we were, Dish.