Vivo Kitchen Brings Homemade Italian to Sewickley

Plus, 
Sinobi to Go puts a spicy spin on an American staple
 and we get saucy with an easy recipe.


Spiced applesauce photo by Laura Petrilla

>>cheftalk
DiBattista moves Vivo to Sewickley

According to an old adage, “Change is the only constant.” Though we may instinctively become flustered, change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. That’s Sam DiBattista’s philosophy.

After serving robust Italian dishes on Lincoln Avenue for 11 years, he decided it was time to move his Bellevue mainstay Vivo to another neighborhood—and allow his daughters to open and operate their new business, Bite Bistro, in its space.

“The response has been very good so far,” says DiBattista, 53, who opened Vivo Kitchen in late August. “We’re happy to give families a reason to stay [and dine] in their own backyard.”

With a fresh look and switched-up (written) menu, the restaurant brings something unique to Sewickley. Diners can expect to see fish (like branzino) and various meats on the ever-changing menu. But just because Vivo serves Italian food doesn't mean the dishes are intricate: DiBattista doesn't like to tamper with simple, tasty ingredients; however, he does enjoy occasionally giving classic dishes a makeover—like subbing in another meat to provide a new flavor and texture.

"I'm not totally against things that are old-school—everyone starts at the beginning and learns the techniques they [eventually] rely on," he says, mentioning his first experience in the kitchen, which took place more than 30 years ago and helped shape his culinary techniques.

Before opening each day, DiBattista and his team check out available ingredients and discuss possible preparations; after testing a few concoctions, the evening's menu is decided, just before opening the doors to patrons.

"I'd hate to be the restaurant that people come to for [a certain dish]," he says. "It's my hope that patrons come for the style of the restaurant and the staff." 

(Vivo Kitchen, 432 Beaver St., Sewickley. Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-10 p.m. Info: 412/259-8945, vivokitchen.com
)
—Kristina Martin, PM Associate Editor

 

>>foodfind
Sinobi to Go puts spin on an American staple

With all that’s been “occupying” Market Square recently, you might have missed the opening of one of its new eateries, Sinobi to Go.

This takeout version of the popular Sinobi HQ restaurant offers diners a variety of Asian and Asian-fusion options that can be enjoyed on the go. Everything from traditional sushi favorites—like California and yellowtail rolls—to more unique options, such as the Asia dog, are available on the menu, which was developed by executive chef Imsub Lee.

What’s an Asia dog, you ask? Well it’s exactly what one might expect: an American hot dog topped with a far-East kick. The all-beef franks are served up with any number of unique toppings—like Korean barbecue brisket or minced chili pork—and are accompanied by a helping of kimchi, a spicy Korean cabbage dish.

If you’re having trouble deciding, we recommend the Bulgogi Festival topped with sweet teriyaki sauce ($3, each; $5, two).

(434 Market Place, downtown. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Info: 412/251-5510, facebook.com)
—Rob McCoy, PM Editorial Intern

 

>>simplerecipe
Use locally grown apples in spiced applesauce

Inspired by the flavors of chutney, this applesauce pairs well with grilled or roasted poultry.

Savory Spiced Applesauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the following ingredients: one-quarter cup white wine vinegar; one-quarter cup apple juice; three cups of peeled, cored and chopped tart cooking apples (like Granny Smith); one small yellow onion, halved and cut into two pieces; a 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise; one teaspoon grated orange peel; and one-eighth teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper and cardamom.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the pieces of onion and ginger and discard.

Over low heat, add two tablespoons of brown sugar to the mixture and stir, uncovered, for several more minutes (until completely thickened). Allow the mixture to cool and store in an airtight container. Makes approximately one cup.


—Kate Chynoweth, PM Food Editor, pittsburghmagazine.com/food

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

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: Union Standard

Restaurant Review: Union Standard

Longtime big Burrito chef Derek Stevens looks to elevate dining in Downtown Pittsburgh with his first independent restaurant project.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

Restaurant Review: DiAnoia's Eatery Bridges the Gap

With a little work, the Strip District restaurant could become a Pittsburgh classic.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments