I was interested to learn (from my friend Melissa McCart's Twitter feed) of tonight's opening of
täkō, the new taqueria from Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik next door to Butcher and the Rye on Sixth Street, Downtown. But I couldn't find a menu on the website.
So, it being such a lovely day, I wandered over there and found paper menus -- "The tako Chronicle, Summer 2015 Edition" -- in an old newspaper box out front. They were going fast (the guy in the photo is grabbing one).
Page 1 has Chips & Salsas (your choice of three) for $7 and intriguing vegetable choices: English Peas with cotija custard, lemon curd, mint oil, hazenl nuts, lemon gel and white chocolate ($7); Beet Tostada with corn tortilla, "beets pretending to be beef," avocado, fromage blanc and lemon vinaigrette ($7); Street Corn with mayo, chili, lime and cojita cheese ($6); and Carrots done sous vide, charred and fermented with carrrot vinaigrette, yogurt, pepita brittle and queso fresco.
The inside spread has a lot of good reading/eating, starting with raw selections ranging from Ceviche to Beef Tartare ($12 to $14). There are Kale and Chopped salads ($8) and a half dozen fusiony small dishes including Asian Bolognese (udon noodles, spicy pork sauce, fried onion, sesame, scallion and bonito for $12) and Stuffed Dates (with chorizo, queso fresco, bacon, scallion and chipotle tomato sauce for $10).
The main story is tacos in 10 varieties, two for $10 to $12. The house-named one is grilled octopus, harissa aioli, preserved lemons, mizuna and pickled red onion (tako is Japanese for octopus). The duck confit one is dressed with cucumber, charred scallions, pickled peppers, cilanto, mint and hoisin. The mushroom includes maitake and truffle with huitlacoche salsa, garlic aioli, Oaxaca cheese and burnt brussels. There's also chorizo, Korean, carnitas, pollo assado, bistec, Baja and al pastor.
You can also choose from a foursome of sandwiches -- Banh Mi, Cuban, Ahogada (roasted pork and black beans) and the TJ Dog -- for $7 to $12. And three desserts -- Champurrado (dulce de leche and chocolate mousse with a chocolate butter crust), Pinapple Inside Up Cake and Tres Leches (white coconut crus, coconut lime cake and condensed milk sauce) for $7.93.
The back page is filled with drinks: 11 diffwebsite.erent margaritas plus six frozen ones ($10 each), 11 other cocktails, including Neville Island Tea ($10), 19 different world brews including Presidente Lager from Dominican Republic and Lucky Buddha Pale Lager from Australia ($4 to $6.50) and a nice bunch of non-alcoholic drinks including the agua fresca of the day ($4). The wine list starts with sangria and ends with sake, with several choices of reds, whites and sparklings by the glass (mostly $8 to $9) and bottle ($30 to $44).
More than I was before, I can't wait to sit at the sidewalk bar or inside and try some of this non-street street food.
The place (sometimes written TÄKŌ) opens at 4 p.m. today, and according to Melissa, they'll eventually add lunch. Hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Tues.-Thurs. and 4 p.m. to midnight Fri.-Sat. For more, call 412-471-tako.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: Here's today's news release:
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, April 28, 2015
Chef Richard DeShantz and his business partner, Tolga Sevdik, are very proud to announce the opening of their newest restaurant project, TÄKŌ. The opening day is today, April 28, 2015 and the restaurant is located at 214 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA. Designed entirely by chef and owner Richard Deshantz, TÄKŌ provides chef-driven street food to Downtown Pittsburgh in a unique, edgy and playful atmosphere.
TÄKŌ, Japanese for octopus, showcases chef-driven street food with DeShantz’s creative take on Asian and Mexican inspired dishes. The interior design of TÄKŌ incorporates the elements of the street and includes industrial details such as: a large open kitchen in the front of the restaurant, a garage door counter with five street-side bar stools, custom chandeliers made entirely out of bike chains and street art murals.
DeShantz’s chef-driven street food features local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. The menu features a variety of playful dishes to be shared, including a build your own guacamole. Additionally, all of our tortillas are made fresh to order and our chorizo is made in house.
TÄKŌ features twenty-two cocktails that spotlight our interpretations of classic Mexican inspired libations. Our bar program has a large focus on tequila, rum and sake, while our beer menu includes Asian and Mexican varieties. TÄKŌ also offers seasonal sangria and a limited selection white wine and red wine available by the bottle or by the glass.
TÄKŌ is located at 214 Sixth Street in the Cultural District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The initial restaurant hours are Tuesday-Thursday 5pm to 11pm and Friday-Saturday 4pm to 12am. The bar will be open late.
Bob Batz Jr./Post-gazette photo