Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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

We're shopping at Oriental Market, tearing into whole chickens at Vivo, savoring coddled eggs at Cure and more. Plus, we talk to Madeleine Bakery & Bistro's Andrew Stump.




photos by erin Kelly

 

Oriental Market
I adore specialty food stores. One of my favorite pastimes is losing myself in culinary thought while browsing through the region’s Asian markets. Oriental Market on McKnight Road is one of my favorite destinations for such an inspired wandering. There are vegetables galore, many that can’t be found at mainstream groceries, and all sold at reasonable prices. Fresh and dried noodles beg for a recipe, perhaps paired with something from the aisles filled with sauces, grains and gear. The market’s draw is its butcher case, which, in addition to more familiar cuts, is filled with hard-to-find parts such as bones, blood, tails, feet, ears and organs.
Ross Township: 4768 McKnight Road #2; 412/548-3648
 


 

Vivo Kitchen
Whole chickens are trending, popping up as prestige items on numerous Pittsburgh menus. Some of them even command $50 for a bird. My favorite whole chicken, served at Vivo Kitchen in Sewickley, goes for less than half that price. Sure, it’s a smaller bird, but order it along with a few of Executive Chef/Owner Sam DiBattista’s reasonably priced small plates — I recommend octopus with espelette peppers, olive oil and flake salt and pan-roasted forest mushrooms — and two people are set for an inexpensive, lovely dinner. DiBattista seasons the bird, par-roasts it and finishes it in a bath of hot oil. It’s crispy, tender, succulent and savory; you’ll be pulling bits of meat and crunchy skin with your fingers to find every last bite.
Sewickley, 432 Beaver St.; 412/259-8945, vivokitchen.com
 


photo by hal B. Klein

 

Baby Loves Tacos
Owner Zachary Shell serves his Mexican-inspired tacos, burritos, rice bowls and salads with a side of social justice. The Pittsburgh-born chef spent 17 years in Philadelphia, where he worked in restaurants (and played soccer in a semi-professional, largely Hispanic league). His food preparations — I’m partial to juicy chicken layered with pickled onion, salsa and cheese, as well as his daily vegetable specials — are top-notch. On top of that, his mission to mentor and provide training as well as employment for at-risk youths is a laudable goal.
Bloomfield: 4508 Liberty Ave.; babylovestacospgh.com

Acorn
There are some good things happening at Acorn in Shadyside. The modern-American — with a strong tilt toward Scandinavian — restaurant is the first upscale dining establishment to open on Walnut Street in recent memory. There is a lot of potential in Executive Chef Scott Walton’s menu. It’s approachable, but also forward-thinking, with a few standout dishes such as smoked beets dressed with goat cheese gremolata, walnuts and potato chips. Walton plates dishes with remarkable attention to detail in structure and color. I love mossArchitects’ clean design and cool colorscape.
Shadyside: 5528 Walnut St.; 412/530-5950, acornpgh.com
 


photo by Erin Kelly

 

Cure
Seven years ago, Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino upgraded Pittsburgh dining by opening Cure in Upper Lawrenceville. They’ve since introduced a second outstanding establishment, Morcilla, and have a third — a collaboration with East End Brewing — on the way. All the while, Severino and his team, led by chef de cuisine Danielle Felix, keep pressing forward at Cure with delectable dishes. Try classic and forward-thinking pastas such as burnt wheat tagliatelle with smoked pork and cabbage sugo, ricotta and coriander and perfectly prepared mains such as roasted trout with braised swiss chard, calabrian chili, crispy fried white runner beans and burnt lemon. The restaurant’s $85, six-course tasting menu is a great deal and includes bites such as coddled egg with sherry chantilly and smoked maple — one of the tastiest bites I’ve enjoyed thus far in 2018.
Upper Lawrenceville: 5336 Butler St.; 412/252-2595, curepittsburgh.com



 

Andrew Stump
Baker/Co-Owner | Madeleine Bakery & Bistro

Andrew Stump and his wife, Abigail, opened Madeleine Bakery & Bistro in Wilkinsburg in December. He prepares an array of delectable goods ranging from sourdough boules and airy baguettes to craveable cookies and croissants. Stump honed his skills at Iron Born, Five Points Artisan Bakeshop, Marty’s Market, Bar Marco and Lautrec.

What do you love most about baking? 
I enjoy the craftsmanship of it. There are so many intricacies for something seemingly simple in which you use a very limited number of base ingredients. It’s chasing the perfection in technique.

Is there a difference in technique between bread baking and pastry baking?
You do both at Madeline. I don’t really see them as that terribly different. The same techniques and underlying principles apply. It’s all about attention to detail whether you’re shaping a loaf of sourdough or laminating a croissant.

What are you working on now? What’s driving you? 
Nailing down the croissants. Why do they turn out the way they do? How can I get the consistency down to get nearly perfect croissants every time? I’m happy with the flavor, it’s more about understanding all the variables like shaping, different flours with different protein content, proofing time and temperature and relative humidity percentage in the proofer. I have pages and pages of notes on the experiments. The testing phase is something I really enjoy about baking.

Do you have any advice for budding home bakers? 
It’s going to be maddeningly difficult, and a lot of things don’t turn out the way they should. Because it’s so technique based, it’s a craftsmanship thing and the best way to get better at a craft is to keep practicing. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t look like the picture in the cookbook. Keep at it and you’ll get there.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

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

The Latest

Why These 6 Days in 1969 Were So Important to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but we're not the only ones. We take a look at six notable events from 1969.

Women in Power: The Pros Changing Allegheny County

Allegheny County breaks the old boys’ club by placing women in key positions.

Growing Together: Farmers and Chefs Elevate Pittsburgh Dining

These seven farmer/chef pairings are leading the charge toward more vital vegetable dishes.

Afraid to Go to the Dentist? Consider the Sedation Solution

For some patients, dental work wouldn’t be possible if they were fully alert.

Restaurant Review: Spirits & Tales at the Oaklander Hotel

Executive chef Jessica Lewis’ strong voice is undermined by inconsistencies throughout the restaurant.

Perspectives: A Big Life

A former newspaper reporter's assignment leads to a lifelong friendship with a man who battled a food addiction.

George S. Kaufman’s Sensational Scandal

The Pittsburgh-born playwright made tabloid headlines in the 1930s. (it didn’t slow him down a bit.)

You Can Ride a Roller Coaster Classic

Roller coaster history is hidden nearby — and not where you might think.

Tea, Cake and Death: A Safe Place to Discuss a Scary Subject

“Death Cafes” seek to reduce taboos around the act of dying.

How He Makes the Mundane Sound Magical

Experimental sound artist R. Weis creates otherworldly sonic compositions from everyday materials.

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Uber’s New Service Puts Riders in the Driver’s Seat

Passengers in Pittsburgh now can pay for a most customized experience with Uber Comfort.

Comments

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

Do You Want to Pay More Taxes to Improve Parks?

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy hopes to restore the city’s parks to their former glory, but they may need a tax increase to do so.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

The Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings in Pittsburgh

We say hello to a new concept from Justin Severino, a summer-long dance pop-up and a new spot for cocktails.

Comments

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says a corned beef sandwich, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

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


After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Primanti Bros.

The beloved bar-and-restaurant chain has become a Pittsburgh emblem. It's the 10th inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments

The Park After Dark

The Park After Dark

Kennywood’s “Night Rider” tickets may be the best bet for many visitors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

Comments

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Pens’ Conundrum: The Coach and the Culture

Try as he might, General Manager Jim Rutherford has so far been unable to change the makeup of his team as intended. It may, thus, ultimately fall on head coach Mike Sullivan to adjust the attitudes of players with a recent track record of resisting change for the greater good.

Comments


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

The 400-Word Review: Secret Obsession

Netflix is on a bit of a hot streak with its original thrillers. Unfortunately, this dud isn't part of it.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Point Blank

The 400-Word Review: Point Blank

Netflix's action thriller is forgettable, but serves well as a quick throwback.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Comments

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Comments

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Oakmont Glassware Company Looking to Join the Big Time

Amanda Lee began painting glasses in her basement to help pay for her college education. Today, she ships her products across the globe from a new, shabby-chic warehouse and gift shop.

Comments