Union Standard Will Open This Weekend

The highly anticipated restaurant from Derek Stevens is located in the Union Trust building Downtown.



 


photo by Laura Petrilla
 

Union Standard, the highly anticipated restaurant from Derek Stevens, opens Friday in the Union Trust Building Downtown. 

Union Standard is the first independent venture from Stevens, who made his mark as the longstanding Executive Chef of Eleven Contemporary Cuisine in the Strip District. Stevens trained at the Culinary Institute of America and was the opening sous chef for Eleven in 2004. He was promoted to executive chef in 2006. Stevens left the restaurant last spring to focus on opening Union Standard. 

“I’m 42 years old. And I started to wonder ‘what am I going to be doing when I’m 52?’ As much as I loved working at Eleven and for big Burrito, it always felt like I was living someone else’s dream and not my own,” he says.
 


photos by Hal B. Klein
 

Stevens says that he had thought about opening a restaurant several times over the past five years, but that the opportunities either fell through or weren’t the right fit for him. “I look back now and feel really good about what I did there [at Eleven]. But you're always looking for a little bit more,” he says.

He’s in for a lot more.

Union Standard is a 180-seat, Classic American restaurant with inspiration drawn from Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian cookery. Stevens and business partner Christine Grady worked with Moss Architects on the design for the space: The first floor features an open, three-tiered dining area capped with a square bar; upstairs is a flexible space that can accommodate various arrangements for private parties and business functions.

“Derek took a big leap. He made this decision at a time when this project was more of a vision than a reality. It’s not that surprising, considering what a creative, visionary guy he is," say Jonathan G. Davis, CEO and Founder of The Davis Companies.

Davis, a Pittsburgh native now based in Boston, purchased the Union Trust Building in 2014. His company is spearheading a $100 million restoration of the building, which was built in 1915 by Henry Clay Frick. 
 


“He’s part of a movement that's taken Pittsburgh to a very high level in terms of the quality of creative cuisine offered there. It’s an incredible amenity to have someone with such high standards in the building," Davis says.

Stevens leads a kitchen brigade with three sous chefs: Melanie Krawiec, a former chef at Eleven who most recently worked at Girl and the Goat in Chicago and returned to Pittsburgh to join the Union Standard Team; Chris Castine, who was working as a busboy at Eleven when Stevens first met him and most recently was sous chef at Muddy Waters in East Liberty; and Patrick Zulick, a former Eleven line cook who worked at Bouchon in Las Vegas. Seth Eidemiller is the restaurant's general manager and Jen Parks is the beverage manager.

The heart of Union Standard’s kitchen is a wood-fired grill and rotisserie. Diners can expect an opening menu with entrees such as rotisserie chicken served with hearty greens and sweet onion salad and schmaltz vinaigrette, wood-grilled Pennsylvania trout with root vegetable and red potato chowder and country ham, and roasted squash with Sea Island red pea fritter, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, cauliflower and Riverview Dairy cheese. 

First courses include sea scallops with roasted carrots and smoked chicken broth, oyster and clam stew, and a Brussels sprouts, Castelfranco radicchio and Bibb lettuce salad. There also is a raw bar menu featuring five varieties of oysters, littleneck clams and shrimp cocktail, plus a short list of cooked bar snacks such as potted pork and crispy smelts. 
 


Stevens is one of the foundational figures of Pittsburgh’s recent culinary boom — notable chefs such as Justin Severino (Cure, Morcilla), Bethany Zozula (Whitfield) and Chad Townsend (Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream) worked under him at Eleven. It’ll be exciting to see what he will do in this next step of his career. 

"I never could have done this without being on the opening team of Eleven. Still, you think you know, but you don't really know until you do it yourself,” he says.

The restaurant will be open for dinner Mondays through Saturdays, with lunch and brunch service launching in the near future. 

[524 William Penn Place, Downtown; 412/281-0738, unionstandardpgh.com]

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Eat & Drink:

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

The Commoner — Too Much of a Good Thing?

Chef Dennis Marron designs a menu of modern-American fare at The Commoner in the downstairs space of Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.
Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Celebrating 75 Years: Connecting History with Community

Celebrating 75 Years: Connecting History with Community

The Heinz History Center’s World War II traveling exhibit focuses on western Pennsylvania’s ties to history.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Executive Chef Ben Sloan will offer a festive, eat-with-your-hands spread on Tuesday nights.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

Voodoo Brewery is an enticing alternative to the many chains in and around the Waterfront.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Even as they entertained Dont’a Hightower for nearly seven hours during a free-agent recruiting trip to the South Side, the Steelers never lost sight of who they are or what they’re all about.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

The miniature bath- and shower-oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates makes every shower a luxury experience.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

Reviews of two films appearing at the 2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: "I, Daniel Blake," and "The Eagle Huntress." Plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

Married couples talk hashtags — and why they used them at their weddings.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s new exhibit features the works of architect Arthur Lubetz and Front Studio, including the vibrant Glass Lofts Building in Garfield.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

The Outdoor Recreation Club becomes the newest student organization at the college.

Comments