Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hungry For Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in December.

We're drinking fermented apples at Threadbare Cider, throwing back oysters at Merchant Oyster Co., eating ribs at Tessaro's and more. Plus, we talk to restaurant industry favorite Mike Sheets.



 


photo by erin kelly

 

Funky Apples at Threadbare Cider
The team that brought Wigle Whiskey to Pittsburgh in 2011 has over the years established a reputation for its consistent push toward innovation. In October, they moved forward with their biggest expansion to date with the opening of Threadbare Cider and Mead in Spring Garden. The 10,000 square-foot facility is a cider and mead house, event space, casual eatery and performance venue. Threadbare currently ferments three signature styles of cider crafted by head cider-maker Brian Bolzan and features a menu by executive chef Jay Wess (Dinette) and pastry chef Elise Miranda.
Spring Garden: 1291 Spring Garden Ave.; 412/224-4827, threadbarecider.com
 


photo by badi wang

 

The Twisted Frenchman
With his October around-the-block move of The Twisted Frenchman, Chef Andrew Garbarino opened one of Pittsburgh’s most ambitious restaurants. The upstairs space (downstairs is the more casual Bar Frenchman) is a lush dining room inspired by Michelin star tasting menus, such as at Alinea in Chicago (to wit, the chairs are the same chairs) and Per Se in New York. Garbarino cooks French cuisine heavily influenced by modernist techniques. He is offering three-, eight- and 14-course meals in the dining room, as well as an additional 21-course “Chef’s Table” tasting menu.
East Liberty: 5925 Baum Blvd.; 412/665-2880, twistedfrenchman.com
 


photo by Hal B. Klein

 

Merchant Oyster Co.
Dennis Marron, chef/owner of Merchant Oyster Co., grew up by the Jersey Shore, and Merchant is part homage to a youth filled with lobster rolls, chowders and foot-long hot dogs. There is a top-flight oyster bar and a nice selection of conservas, high-end canned seafood that’ll make you forget terrible tinned tuna. Add clams, both raw and cooked, to the mix and you’re in for a coastal treat, even if it’s nearer the banks of the Allegheny than the Atlantic.
Lawrenceville: 4129 Butler St.; 412/932-2553, merchantpgh.com

Little Asia
Say it’s Tuesday and you forget that The Cafe Carnegie, like the museums it’s attached to, is closed. You might end up, as I did, on Craig Street in the tucked-away, enclosed courtyard that houses Little Asia. The pan-Chinese restaurant featuring Cantonese, Sichuan and other regional specialties is a solid destination for a quick weekday lunch. Spicy hot-pots, such as paste-chili beef or lamb, are terrific winter warmers, as are milder dishes such as Hong Kong style roasted chicken noodle soup. Order napa cabbage in vinegar sauce for a tart, balancing side dish.
Oakland: 301 S. Craig St. #2; 412/622-0133, pittsburghlittleasia.com
 


Photo by Laura Petrilla

 

Tessaro’s (Thursdays)
Tessaro’s in Bloomfield is, of course, best known for its custom-blend hamburgers cooked over hardwood on a cast-iron grill; it’s one of our favorite burgers at Pittsburgh Magazine, too. On Thursdays, the grill also gets stacked with beef and pork ribs, which are cooked to crisp perfection on the outside and succulent, fall-off-the-bone on the inside. It’s a good deal: a half-rack of either animal, plus a side (get the boiled potatoes and dip them in the accompanying melted butter), is $16. Also comes with a free stack of wet wipes, which you’ll need since one shouldn’t try to be dainty while eating these.
Bloomfield: 4601 Liberty Ave.; 412/682-6809, tessaros.com
 


Photo by Badi Wang

 

Inspired Italians: DiAnoia's Eatery
DiAnoia’s Eatery owners Dave Anoia and Aimee DiAndrea returned from a September trip to Italy refreshed and ready to introduce new menu items inspired by their visit. Look for spaghetti al limone, a dish they decided to put on the menu after eating in Sorrento; braised and chopped octopus tossed with bucatini and pureed uni; and a traditional, no-frills Bolognese that’s cooked for four hours. The duo also recently introduced hand-pulled mozzarella and ricotta that begins with curd from the fabulous Caputo Brothers Creamery, and pastry chefs Ben Martin and Amanda Rey now are preparing a daily selection of six styles of bread available for dine-in or to-go purchases.
Strip District: 2549 Penn Ave; 412/918-1875, dianoiaseatery.com



 

Mike Sheets
Driver | Millie's Homemade Ice Cream and Barista | DiAnoia's Eatery

Mike Sheets is a beloved member of Pittsburgh's service crew. He picked up his first front-of-house job in 2012 as a server at Stagioni and since has worked at celebrated establishments such as Salt of the Earth, tako and Bread & Salt Bakery.

What's your key to providing good service to customers?
Just imagine yourself in their shoes. How do you want to be taken care of? I like really small gestures. For example, you see someone and maybe their dish is taking a while to get from the kitchen or their drink isn't ready, but they have a glass of water. Returning to fill the glass of water shows them that you haven't forgotten about them.

What's changed in Pittsburgh restaurants since you started in 2012?
We're seeing a huge step back [as far as formality]. We're much more casual now than a few years ago. Look at how people are dressed, not just at [DiAnoia's] but at Eleven, Casbah, Cure and places like that. It's more relaxed. The pomp is all gone. Come as you are.

What do you like to eat?
I like eating all the offal I can possibly get my hands on. If you have something like tripe or intestines and it's lovingly and carefully prepared in a way that's interesting, I'm definitely going to eat that. But I really love sandwiches, too. 

Where would you go for that?
It's really convenient living in Squirrel Hill. I have How Lee, Chengdu Gourmet and Cafe 33 all right there. I love the spicy Sichuan style dishes.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Three Bridal Shops Team Up for One Major Sample Sale

Get ready for some serious bridal and occasion shopping at this one-of-a-kind sale in Sewickley.

Pittsburgh Hopes to Improve Parking Nightmare in the Strip

Finding a spot to park in the Strip District is always the worst, but the parking situation could improve thanks to insights from a local startup.

The 400-Word Review: Annabelle Comes Home

The latest chapter in the sprawling "Conjuring" series is a bit silly, but far more enjoyable than expected.

First-Of-Its-Kind Flower Truck Blooms in Pittsburgh

Customers are able to pick their own bouquet from the collection of fresh stems aboard Victoria Miess's mobile, mint green mini-truck.

All the County Fairs Happening This Summer in Western PA

Mark your calendars. There are 35 county fairs in western Pennsylvania this summer.

2019 Pittsburgh Area Fireworks: Where & When to Watch Them

This booming list of fireworks displays can help you get your fill of patriotism during the long holiday week.

What to Do with an Old Bank? Redecorate with Part of a Plane

The former PNC Bank in West View is now a community resource center with some very unique features.

The 400-Word Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

This arresting debut feature about displacement by the Bay is one of the year's best films.

Songs of Steel for a Summer in Pittsburgh

Love PGH Music Month has formed just in time for a summer filled with great shows.

You Could Be in a Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman Film

Want to be in a movie alongside some top celebrities? This is your chance!

Food, Beer and Games at the Crafty Jackalope

The popular Bridgeville bar serves its neighborhood well.

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in July

This month's lineup includes Belle and Sebastian, Kurt Vile and actor-turned-rockstar Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.

Transit May Improve Thanks to New Technology

Public transit users may luck out if Port Authority’s wristband ticketing service experiment goes well.

The 400-Word Review: Toy Story 4

Pixar's signature series comes up with an enjoyable fourth chapter. Just don't set your expectations too high.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pittsburgh Hopes to Improve Parking Nightmare in the Strip

Pittsburgh Hopes to Improve Parking Nightmare in the Strip

Finding a spot to park in the Strip District is always the worst, but the parking situation could improve thanks to insights from a local startup.

Comments

All the County Fairs Happening This Summer in Western PA

All the County Fairs Happening This Summer in Western PA

Mark your calendars. There are 35 county fairs in western Pennsylvania this summer.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.

Comments

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

We say hello to three new Galley Group concepts, plus Con Alma, Over Eden and Inner Groove Brewing.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

Comments

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

5 Races You (Yes, You) Can Run This Year

Even novice runners can work their way up to these fun and (mildly) challenging races.

Comments


Food, Beer and Games at the Crafty Jackalope

Food, Beer and Games at the Crafty Jackalope

The popular Bridgeville bar serves its neighborhood well.

Comments

In a Crowded City for Concerts, Rivers Casino Steps Up

In a Crowded City for Concerts, Rivers Casino Steps Up

The casino's new Events Center proves itself more than worthy of competing for big-name acts.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

DeCastro’s Preferred Order: Fries with That, Hold the Drama

The Steelers have emerged from their offseason sessions confident they’re capable of playing better. They also maintain a new atmosphere and culture have been established. But they won’t know for certain until they actually start playing.

Comments

Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 Pick Makes a Lasting First Impression

Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 Pick Makes a Lasting First Impression

Devin Bush will still have much to prove once the pads come on and the hitting commences. But the presence and purpose he brought to OTAs justified the hype on draft day.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Annabelle Comes Home

The 400-Word Review: Annabelle Comes Home

The latest chapter in the sprawling "Conjuring" series is a bit silly, but far more enjoyable than expected.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The 400-Word Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

This arresting debut feature about displacement by the Bay is one of the year's best films.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Three Bridal Shops Team Up for One Major Sample Sale

Three Bridal Shops Team Up for One Major Sample Sale

Get ready for some serious bridal and occasion shopping at this one-of-a-kind sale in Sewickley.

Comments

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

After her cookie table bridges proved to be a hit at her own wedding, a Pittsburgh bride has taken her idea to the next level.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
First-Of-Its-Kind Flower Truck Blooms in Pittsburgh

First-Of-Its-Kind Flower Truck Blooms in Pittsburgh

Customers are able to pick their own bouquet from the collection of fresh stems aboard Victoria Miess's mobile, mint green mini-truck.

Comments

 PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Comments