The Forks blog

Best New Restaurants, 2012: Round 3

Written by Melissa McCart on

beetsLast week we began counting down the year's ten best new restaurants, many of which are intimate spaces with focused menus. A handful elevate breakfast or lunch while others offer superb craft cocktails.

Click here for the first and second rounds.  Read on for more.

Union Pig and Chicken. March 2012
Harvard & Highland. September 2012
East Liberty
This pair from chef Kevin Sousa features a barbecue bonanza downstairs with brisket, ribs, fried and barbecue chicken. An array of sides inspire Southern nostalgia, from cornbread to collards to meaty mac and cheese.

Picnic-checked print is a given, albeit on walls rather than as a tablecloth. The spare digs are home to late-night dining at 50 percent off the menu for dining in. The late-night menu spans from 10 p.m. to midnight weekdays, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

While whiskey and beer are the drinks of choice downstairs, the second-floor cocktail bar Harvard & Highland that opened this fall displays ambition. Creative and classic cocktails are curated by Summer Voelker, former bar manager at sibling restaurant, Salt of the Earth in Garfield.

As it gets its stride, the bar offers various happy hours that include $6 punch and wine and various snacks as well as an expansion to the downstairs space after 10 p.m.

Fishbowl windows, minimalist decor and the smell of smoked meat evokes a winter ski lodge — if only there were a fireplace.

Bluebird Kitchen, Downtown. May 2012
In just a few months, Liz Moore Pessaro's Bluebird Kitchen has become a Market Square staple. Terrific coffee from Counter Culture, healthful salads and memorable sandwiches such as confit chicken with cashew, apple and cumin on a croissant are among favorites.

Oversized cookies, whoopie pies, brownies and tarts beckon from behind display glass, made in-house by pastry chef Julie Cogley. They're so good she seems to have inspired groupies with a penchant for sugar.

Bluebird Kitchen photo

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