In Homestead, Dorothy Six will open mid-October

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

dorothy6Since April 2012, Olivia Crocker and Tom Kazar have been working on the Homestead building at 224 E. 8th Ave.

On Oct. 18, they'll officially open Dorothy Six Blast Furnace Cafe, named for Duquesne Steel Works furnace that residents fought to save from demolition. In the meantime, diners can book a reservation during the soft opening, Wednesday through Saturday nights through mid-October. 

"I knew what an amazing space it could be," said Ms. Crocker. The three-story building has a large kitchen that fans out on either side of the bar and a patio. The main floor is approximately 2,000 square feet, with floors from 1908.

The restaurant offers 20 craft beers on tap with a menu of reuben balls, stuffed cabbage, salmon croquettes, housemade pierogies and steaks cut to order. 

"I want to bring more light into a really cool neighborhood," Ms. Crocker said. "It's very much what Homestead deserves."

Dorothy 6 Blast Furnace Cafe Facebook

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An update on fall restaurant openings

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

mezzoMezzo is scheduled to open on Monday, confirms general manager Chris Clark. The middle floor of Sienna Mercato will offer a menu of wood-fired pizza, charcuterie and cheeses, pasta and entrees. And, like Emporio and Il Tetto, the restaurant has been designed with outdoor access in mind, with garage doors that open to Penn Avenue. 

Asiatique Thai Bistro is seeing construction delays, says owner Ling Robinson, with a projected opening at Bakery Square pushed to early October. The restaurant from the owners of The Green Mango will feature a small menu of healthy, reasonably-priced fare and BYOB. It seats 48, with limited outdoor seating.

The Commoner in the newly-built Kimpton Hotel Monaco at 435 Sixth Ave., Downtown, will open in the winter with a wood-fired oven as the centerpiece of an exhibition kitchen. The menu will feature flatbreads, roasted fish and seasonal vegetables. Also expect classics such as beef tartare and grass-fed burgers topped with a drib of onion soup and gruyere as well as dishes such as roasted cauliflower with sage and walnut pesto. The 16-seat beer-focused bar will display 20 taps for local brews, plus wine and cocktails. Stay tuned for pop-up dinners with executive chef Dennis Marron, above, in the meantime. 

Other fall openings include Tako in November. It's the two-story tequila-fueled taqueria from Tolga Sevdik and Rick DeShantz, next door to Butcher and the Rye Downtown. Smoke BBQ Taqueria in Lawrenceville also is coming along as the space continues to come together. 

Mezzo logo

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Carmella's Plates & Pints drafts Austin chef

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

CarmellasCarmella Salem has been celebrating the one-year anniversary of her Carmella's Plates & Pints on the South Side. Meanwhile, she's been building a kitchen so the place can offer a full menu by mid-October. 

Through a serendipitous turn of events, she has drafted David Murphy, a former sous chef of Uchi in Austin to move to Pittsburgh to run the kitchen. The restaurant's chef owner Tyler Cole won "Best Chef: Southwest" for the 2011 James Beard awards. 

She met Mr. Murphy through his brother who lives in town. After a series of interviews over several months, she offered him the position and he arrived in June. As construction winds down, he has been developing the menu, which he'll tweak in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for updates here and on Carmella's Facebook page. 

Carmella's logo

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Russian restaurant, Diyor Cafe, now open Downtown

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

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Diyor Cafe & Lounge (14 Smithfield Street) opened Downtown last month, a Russian restaurant with an interesting bar and tapestry-covered tables and walls. It's owned by Oybek Babajanov who started Diyor Pizza that had been in the Parkway Center Mall, now closed.

He's one of three cooks who offer plov ($9), samsa pastries ($2.75 each), manti ($7.99), and delicious khonim ($9) among other dishes. 

Here's the menu and the interior, below. 

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Melissa McCart photos

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Bea's Taco Town now open Downtown

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

beastacosBea's Taco Town opened on 633 Smithfield on Monday, the little taqueria from the owner who had briefly set up shop last year on the South Side near the Birmingham Bridge.

Bea Martinez mans the cash register as the line files out the door for a super inexpensive pair of tacos ($2.50), dorados (also called taquitos or flautas for $7.50), burritos ($7.50-$8.50), enchiladas ($9-$12), quesadillas ($7.50) and sides such as rice and beans, chips and guacamole. 

Don't set your heart on the beef and chicken on the chalkboard menu overhead, since additional meats are listed at the register. Though seats are available, perhaps on afternoons such as this one it's preferable to order take-out and head over to Mellon Square Park a block away.

Bea's is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Vegetarian tacos. Melissa McCart photo. 

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Aiello's is open in Harrison City and serving breakfast

Written by Beth Kurtz Taylor on . Openings

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So, breakfast in a pizza shop? Like many residents of Penn Township, my son and I were anxiously awaiting the opening of Aiello's Pizza LLC here in Harrison City for what seems like an eternity. (It's not affiliated with the famed Squirrel Hill Aiello's, but owner Pete Aiello used to work for his late father's business, now run by Pete's brother Mike.)

A flashing sign on a neighboring business advertised that we also could expect zeppole and Commonplace Coffee as Aiello's would be opening daily at 7 a.m. Commonplace Coffee? In the middle of Westmoreland County? The area is starved for good coffee.
 
We had to investigate the decadent Italian breakfast treat. Fried to order, the puffy, buttery, cinnamon and sugar dough pieces melted in our mouths. We could have opted for powdered sugar, and topped it with Nutella and crushed hazelnuts, Ghirardelli chocolate sauce or caramel.

Pete Aiello was busy forming fresh mozzarella (made daily) upon our arrival, so of course we
had to try that. It was still warm and perfectly balanced with the right amount of salt.

We went back another day for pizza. A bit overwhelmed with more than 32 offerings of gourmet and artisanal pizza options, we settled on pepperoni. The fresh homemade sauce was perfectly sweet and the savory-and-a little-sharp house cheese blend made it the best pizza I have tasted outside of Allegheny County. Appetizers, (including savory versions of the fried dough), salads, sandwiches and pasta round out the menu.

The response from the community has been enormous and positive; the business has run out of handmade dough on at least two days during its soft-opening week. 

Beth Kurtz Taylor photo

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