Second Breakfast opens in the Public Market tomorrow

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

secondbreakfastposterSecond Breakfast will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Pittsburgh Public Market. It's a stylish stand with a retro logo and weathered wood accents put together by owner Thomas Wood. Named for the reference in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," the stand offers a cross-cultural organic menu of breakfast dishes, such as crepes, Belgian waffles with bacon ice cream or pumpkin spread, eggy Hong Kong cakes and Japanese omelettes. Prices range from 50 cents to $10.

Second Breakfast has inspired Pittsburgh Market to open two hours earlier for the morning meal, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.The new hours begin the first week of December, with breakfast menus from Ohio City Pasta and La Palapa Mexican Gourmet Kitchen.

Second Breakfast at the Pittsburgh Public Market. 2401 Penn Ave., 412-398-0352. facebook.com/secondbreakfastPGH/info
Graphic by Joe Mruk from redbuffalo.org



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Korean restaurant, Nag Won Garden, opened in Shadyside on Saturday

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

nakwon41A new Korean restaurant opened at 5506 Centre Ave. in Shadyside on Saturday. Nak Won Garden is run by Chung-Chu Yi, his sister, Yang-Suk Beondy, and her daughter, Christina Beondy. 

I spoke with Ms. Beondy, who told me she moved back from Los Angeles four months ago to help with the restaurant. 

Mr. Yi is cooking with one other chef at the moment.  "The few Korean restaurants in the area offer barbecue and Korean-Chinese dishes," said Ms. Beondy. "We wanted to keep the menu as traditional as possible."

Here is the second page of the menu, with hours and the phone number.
 Nakwon1
Melissa McCart photos



























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Arancini House will open in Mt. Lebanon mid-November

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

arancinihouseJoe Reale and his soon-to-be father-in-law, Emanuel Lacommare, have been working toward the opening of Arancini House in mid-November at 615 Washington Road in the building's terrace-level cafe.

The duo started catering in July, specializing in Sicilian street food: panelle sandwiches of chickpea fritters, four kinds of arancini, pepperoni rolls, sausage-and-pepper rolls and desserts such as cannolis and nutella balls. 

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Lacommare returned to Sicily with his family when he was a child and grew up working in his uncle's bakery. It was there where he learned to make the foods he'll sell.

Mr. Reale of Greentree was introduced these delights seven years ago, when he started dating Mr. Lacommare's daughter. He liked them so much he wanted to find a way to sell them to the public. The men originally intended to find a catering kitchen. Instead, they've found a little restaurant space. The 30-seat spot will open with limited hours and an emphasis on counter service or takeout. 

Until Nov. 17, you can keep an eye on the restaurant's progress on Facebook and check out the menu on the website here.

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Szmidt's to open Downtown next year

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

Darren-Smith-file-szmidtDarren Smith signed a lease Tuesday on 955/957 Liberty Ave., Downtown. The addresses had been Mercy Life Center Corp. and an Indo Asian-fusion restaurant. It's going to be Szmidt's Old World Deli (pronounced Szmeeds).

"I'm really excited and really nervous and I just can't talk myself out of it," he said, acknowledging that he's taking on quite an ambitious project in comparison to the deli's original Greenfield location. 

Though he will keep much of the current format and menu, he said to expect a few surprises, including dinner hours.  

Currently, Szmidt's sells Old World (potato and kraut), New World (Buffalo chicken) and sweet pierogies, sides and hefty sandwiches dressed with housemade condiments, served on bread baked on-site. He says that he hopes to also make the cheese in his new location.

Named after his Polish grandparents, Szmidt's opened in 2011. He hasn't decided if he will keep the original shop open. "I have to feel confident that it remains the place that people expect it to be," he said. As a small-business owner, he's concerned about quality.  "I don't have the deep pockets of a company," he said. "If I'm not there, it's a different place."

Last September, he was in negotiations with the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp. about taking over the Quiet Storm location on Penn Avenue. Instead, E Properties and Development bought the building as part of a townhouse project. E Properties recently listed 5430 Penn Ave. for lease.

Ideally, Mr. Smith would like to open the Liberty Avenue location by early 2015, but, "there are so many variables with the build-out," he said. Szmidt's will post progress on its Facebook page.

Bill Wade/Post-Gazette photo


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Carmella's Plates & Pints will open for dinner Nov. 8

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

CarmellasDavid Murphy, the new chef at Carmella's Plates & Pints on the South Side, said the restaurant will begin dinner service on Nov. 8. 

Carmella Salem opened the place a year ago and has been putting the finishing touches on the kitchen buildout, which has taken a bit longer than anticipated. South Side residents may have known her as a beloved manager and bartender there for years. 

Mr. Murphy moved here from Austin in June, where he was the sous chef at the acclaimed Uchi. The native Texan has also worked at restaurants in New York and San Francisco.

He said he's nearly finished with staff training and an opening menu, which will include chicharrons with charred shishito and pickled serranos, lime creme fraiche and micro cilantro, served with watermelon acqua fresca. Another dish may be wagyu strip and tongue with pickled mushrooms and fried yucca for a Latin spin on steak frites. 

In the meantime, look for progress on the restaurant's Facebook page here.

Carmella's logo


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Piccolo Forno to open Grapparia

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

piccoloforno
Sometime next month, Piccolo Forno owner Domenic Branduzzi hopes to start the build out for Grapparia, a wine bar and grappa destination behind his Lawrenceville restaurant. 

"I wanted to have a space where my customers can hang out while they're waiting for a table," he said. Piccolo Forno will remain BYOB.

His landlord at Piccolo Forno suggested the space, in conjunction with the relocation of Jeffrey Smith Salon to Bryant Street in Highland Park.

The inspiration for the name, said Mr. Branduzzi, "is an inside thing with my dad. He wasn't much of a drinker, but he loved grappa." 

Originally from the Tuscany region, his father Antonio died in 2007. "When he still lived in Italy, he and his friends had a little shack where they'd get away to drink some."

Grappa is not for beginners. The fiery, clear booze is made from grape skins, seeds and pulp, remnants from wine making in the press. It often starts as a sipper and ends up a shot.

The late R.W. Apple, Jr. cited its use as "a form of central heating" by peasants in Northern Italy. "A shot in the breakfast espresso -- yielding a 'corretto' or corrected coffee -- got the motor started in the morning gloom." 

Mr. Branduzzi said he'll also serve wines by the glass and the bottle, amari, Italian-inspired cocktails and Italian microbrews. The 800-square-foot bar will seat 30 to 35 guests. 

He said he hopes to open before the year's end, but with buildouts and the permit process far from predictable, we'll have to wait and see. 

Speaking of waiting, Mr. Branduzzi said plans for ARDE on the North Side are on hold as the project developers "navigate issues with the city," he said. 

The wood fired oven at Piccolo Forno. Post-Gazette photo






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