Senti Restaurant from Franco Braccia and his wife Annette Ishida will soft-open tomorrow with a limited lunch-and-dinner menu and a 25-percent discount. In exchange, they're asking diners to give feedback on food and service.
Mr. Braccia, who is from the Abruzzo region of Italy, left his position as general manager of Lidia's in the Strip District to open his own place. He has been in Pittsburgh for about eight years, having worked at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel for his first three. Before he moved here, he worked in New York at the Plaza Hotel.
Many of the recipes at Senti are inspired by his longtime friend Enrico Scolari, a Michelin-starred chef from Italy, who is in town for the opening. Shawn Carlson will serve as the restaurant's executive chef; he has cooked at Verde Mexican Kitchen + Cantina in Garfield and worked as the opening chef at Bridge Ten Brasserie on the South Side and at Baum Vivant in Shadyside (both of which are closed). "He has a delicate sensibility as far as cooking," said Ms. Ishida.
The opening lunch menu costs about $10 per person. Selections include an array of salads, pasta and fish, poultry and meat choices. The dinner menu lists eight to 10 small plates, a soup, a selection of pasta and a few entrees. This week there also is osso buco.
Wine lovers, here's your cue. Mr. Braccia is an oenophile who has installed an Enomatic wine system that will be stocked with more esoteric and hard-to-find, special-order Italian wines. The Enomatic preserves wines and allows more diners to sample wines by the glass. Following the soft opening, diners will be able to buy a pre-paid card and serve themselves.
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