DC chef will move here to run Hotel Monaco restaurant

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

marronfinalDennis Marron, executive chef at Poste Modern Brasserie in Washington, D.C., will be relocating to Pittsburgh to helm the restaurant at the Hotel Monaco. The boutique hotel, part of San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant group, is scheduled to open in late 2014 in the James H. Reed building at 435 Sixth Ave.

The nine-story hotel in the 1902 Beaux-Arts style building will offer 247 rooms, a fitness center, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and a 120-seat restaurant. 

"We're still working out the concept for the restaurant," said Mr. Marron. "The company has made the announcement early to get me involved in the process."

Mr. Marron will move to Pittsburgh in July. Though he's not from the area, his wife grew up in Latrobe and her family lives close by.

Mr. Marron has been an executive chef for the company in the D.C. and Virginia area for the past seven years. Before he helmed Poste, he was executive chef of The Grille at Morrison House and Jackson 20 Restaurant & Tavern in Alexandria, Va.  

Since he's been the executive chef at Poste, Michelle Obama dined there for dinner in January, a late birthday celebration in one of the private rooms. 

His menus have focused on seasonality. A Labor Day menu featured chilled pea and mint puree soup, a summer harvest salad with arugula, garden strawberries, cucumber and a rose vinaigrette; pea and carrot crepes with Monacacy ash goat cheese from Maryland; and Arctic char with a tomato salad and chilled basil cream. 

Kimpton has been discussing a walk-up "sandwich window" for take-out near the hotel entrance to the restaurant at Strawberry Way and William Penn Place, Mark Belko reported last summer in the Post-Gazette.

And while there was talk of landing a Shake Shack at the hotel, the chain will not open a Pittsburgh outpost in this location and the walk-up window "is not a done deal," confirmed Kimpton spokesperson, Kristin Huxta.

Dennis Marron. Photo credit Scott Suchman

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Open Bottle Bistro debuts tomorrow in Shadyside

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

casaOpen Bottle Bistro will be open tomorrow at 5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. It's the new restaurant from Dave DeSimone, formerly of Bridge Ten Brassierie.

Open Bottle Bistro will pour "an expanded presentation of wine," he said, with a selection from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. That's fitting for Mr. DeSimone, radio host for KQV and wine writer for more than 20 years.

Former Bridge Ten chef Jeremy Hickey is the executive chef. The menu references Spain and France, with pinchos such as white anchovies or chorizo, patata bravas or tapenade. Steak and tuna tartare are also featured, as well as roasted chicken Basquaise and mussels mariniere.

Mr. Hickey's position marks his return to the neighborhood, where he had been employed by Omar Mediouni, owner of La Casa as well as Brasserie 33, where Mr. Hickey ran the kitchen. 

Open Bottle Bistro will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 for lunch and from 5 until 10 p.m. for dinner, as well as Saturday lunch through dinner until 11 p.m.

The address is the former home of La Casa.

Google Maps photo

 

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Patron Mexican Grill is open in East Liberty

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

04042014mexgrill

Patron Mexican Grill opened yesterday at 135 S. Highland Ave. in East Liberty. The restaurant is owned by Martin Bolanios, who moved to Pittsburgh from Michoacan, Mexico, a western state on the Pacific coast. He moved to Pittsburgh in 2006 to open a restaurant in Pine (Wexford), his first of four Patrons.

It's colorful in there, courtesy of tables, chairs and artwork that he imported from Mexico.

Popular dishes at his other locations include steak, chicken and shrimp fajitas, enchiladas and carnitas as well as the Monday Night Special -- 95-cent tacos and $2.95 margaritas.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, serving dinner until 10:30 p.m., with the possibility of service until midnight in the future.

Here's the full menu.

Melissa McCart photo

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A Downtown classic deli you can bank on

Written by Dan Gigler on . Openings

04022014carnegie sandwich
The name is synonymous with libraries, halls, philanthropy and academia in both Pittsburgh and New York, but only the Big Apple is known to have a deli bearing the surname of the world's most successful steel magnate – until now.
 
At least that's what Wesley Ross, and his partner and co-worker, Heather Harper, say of their new venture, Carnegie Delicatessen & Catering, which opened a little over a month ago in the lobby of the opulent, 114-year old Bank Tower, in the heart of what was once considered Pittsburgh’s "Wall Street."
 
A veteran of Pittsburgh’s kitchens for over 30 years, Mr. Ross previously owned a diner in Robinson called "Not Just Toast" and wanted to get back into that business.
 04022014Carnegie WesVault
"I wanted to do a diner and a deli, but it wasn’t in the cards. I didn’t have any funding," he said. He'd taken a job at the Bellevue Diner where he met Ms. Harper, who was a server there.
 
When the Bank Tower changed hands last year, the new owners, Erie-based Rockmere Properties, were insistent on putting in a deli in as an amenity for the building and an opportunity presented itself for Mr. Ross (at right).
 
One problem: the space itself – a century-old bank. A small coffee shop previously had occupied the spot, but a full kitchen was another animal altogether.
 
"I thought, 'What the hell am I gonna do with this space?' " that included a vault, among other things.
 
So they improvised. The vault was turned into the kitchen. A small room where bank customers once examined the contents of their safety-deposit boxes is now used for an office. It's worth a visit just to check out the small but ornate marble lobby and 20-story spiral staircase. (Confession: I’m a Pittsburgh lifer and had never been in it until last week.) 04022014carnegie BTstairs
 
With a nod to classic Jewish delis there are three different corned beef sandwiches, pastrami and matzo ball soup – "Jewish Penicillin." But it’s a Pittsburgh deli too, so of course there is Italian wedding soup and sammies with local nods in the names. For examples: The Bloomfield Italian Beef – juicy house-seasoned roast beef, sliced and topped with jardiniere and melted provolone on ciabatta – and the Homewood Happiness – slow-cooked brisket with barbecue sauce and cheddar on brioche.
 
04022014carnegie vaultgearsA handful of salads also are available, as is breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m.
 
Even though the Downtown food scene is as good and as deep as it’s ever been, Mr. Ross said he sees a natural opening for his straightforward sandwiches: "We have all these people moving back into town, and no more classic delis."
 
Carnegie Delicatessen and Catering is at 307 Fourth Ave., Downtown. 412-281-2254; carnegiedelidiner.com.
 
 
Dan Gigler photos, from top to bottom:
 
The Andrew Carnegie sandwich (corned beef, Swiss, Russian dressing, dark rye) at Carnegie Delicatessen & Catering.

Wesley Ross stands in the entrance of the kitchen – a converted antique bank vault inside The Bank Tower – at Carnegie Delicatessen & Catering.

The marble, circular staircase in the lobby of The Bank Tower, Downtown.

Gears in the vault door which is part of the kitchen of Carnegie Delicatessen & Catering.04022014carnegie gargoyle

A gargoyle in the lobby of The Bank Tower.

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Nepalese restaurant will open on the North Side

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

dumplingverestethnicmag0-5-2Last week, Deo Subba became a U.S. citizen a few weeks before he opens his first venture, Subba's Asian Restaurant, where he'll serve Nepalese and Indian cuisine. He is hoping to open by April 15.

It will be the third Nepalese restaurant in the region, following the November opening of Himalayas Restaurant in Cranberry and the January debut of Everest in Brentwood. 

Mr. Subba is among the 3,000 Nepali who live in the Pittsburgh area, part of the resettlement effort that started in 2008 following the purge of ethnic Nepali in Bhutan in the late 1980s through the '90s. The first immigrants came here with help from Catholic Charities, Jewish Family & Children's Services and the Northern Area Multi-Service Center. The second wave has arrived to join family and friends.

The restaurant will be on the second floor of 700 Cedar Ave. at the corner of East Ohio Street. It will seat 180 people. Sidewalk seating will be available. 

Nepalese cuisine features a prevalence of dal, roti and Indian breads, chutney and pickles. Seafood and curried meat -- particularly lamb, goat and chicken -- are staples, but beef is not, as many Nepalese people are Hindu. China's influence is also found in many dishes, from dumplings, noodles and mustard greens to Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers.

Mr. Subba has put together the menu and will be cooking in his kitchen.

Mr. Subba will feature dumplings on his menu. Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette photo



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Wine bar to open in Shadyside

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

casaA month after closing Bridge Ten Brasserie on the South Side, Dave DeSimone is consumed with a new project: a restaurant and wine bar at 5884 Ellsworth Ave. that he hopes to open this Spring.

The restaurant will pour "an expanded presentation of wine," he said, with a selection from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, fitting for Mr. DeSimone, radio host for KQV and wine writer for more than 20 years.

Former Bridge Ten chef, Jeremy Hickey, will run the kitchen. His new position marks a return to the neighborhood, where he had been employed by Omar Mediouni, owner of La Casa as well as Brasserie 33, where Mr. Hickey ran the kitchen. The former La Casa space is where Mr. DeSimone will open his new restaurant.

Mr. DeSimone is narrowing down options for the name or the restaurant as well as working on details such as securing the liquor license.

When the restaurant opens, it will be low-key.

"We want to open on a soft basis before the formal opening," he said. "when there's a sign up and people inside, that's when you'll know."

The address is the former home to La Casa. Google maps.




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