First Course

Take Comfort: Local Chefs Put a Creative Spin on Soup

By Andrea Bosco Stehle / Photography By Michael Fornataro | March 01, 2015
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Sweet Potato Bisque

March 20 marks the first day of spring; though, a Pittsburgh spring means it’s possible for that piercing chill to linger in the air. A good, warm-your-bones soup or stew is always a promising choice. Local chefs are using their creativity to put a spin on those homemade, consoling medleys — just enough to take a classic to the next level.

SWEET POTATO BISQUE

Altius Executive Chef Jessica Gibson elevates your average bisque by serving hers tableside. She lines candied pecans, aleppo pepper, and two bourbon marshmallows, topped with fried sage, in a bowl. The restaurant’s servers pour the savory Sweet Potato Bisque over the ingredients for an interesting presentation.

Altius, 1230 Grandview Ave., Mt. Washington. 412.904.4442. altiuspgh.com.

Oyster Stew
Chicken Ramen

OYSTER STEW

NOLA Executive Chef Maggie Kielburger brings the Big Easy to the ‘Burgh with her rendition of Oyster Stew, a combination of mussels, oysters, artichoke hearts, and cream. She serves her Louisiana-inspired goulash with grilled baguette and fresh herbs. 

NOLA on the Square, 24 Market Square, Downtown. 412.471.9100. nolaonthesquare.com.


CHICKEN RAMEN

Soba’s Chicken Ramen is far from your average ramen. Executive Chef Dustin Gardner braises chicken breast and leg meat to create a confit. He adds miso broth; Royal Trumpet mushrooms; a soft, poached egg; and scallions, ginger, and daikon, which are referred to as “aromatics” on the menu. The coziness of this bowl doesn’t compare. 

Soba, 5847 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. 412.362.5656. sobapa.com.

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