I wanted an opinion on the best way to surface items from a single list from a subsite. The important aspect is the display and the ability to filter the content. The display needs to be 2 columns x 3 rows with possible pagination option. Each story has a small icon, title and truncated description. In addition if the title is clicked then a pop up window shows the full article. The list is located in a subsite. I've looked at dataform webpart which almost works apart from the pop-up box (still working on this) I was wondering if CSOM maybe a better solution or not, or any other technique.
Out of the box the possibility is using Content Query web part. But it require huge customizations to make it work as you are expecting.
The next option is custom development. There are multiple ways which include creating a custom webpart.
Another option is to export the list view webpart from subsite and then importing it into the parent. Article
I know a free webpart which does 90% of what you are expecting.