Opening Soon: An Early Look at The Speckled Egg

Look for all-day brunch at Jacqueline and Nathan Schoedel’s cozy nook in the Union Trust building Downtown.

PHOTO BY TOM O’CONNOR

After five years of planning, Jacqueline and Nathan Schoedel will open their dream breakfast spot, The Speckled Egg, inside the Union Trust Building at the end of January. The Schoedels met while attending culinary school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and have spent the last ten years building solid culinary resumes at Pittsburgh establishments such as Soba, Gaucho Parilla, Muddy Waters, Eleven, Isabella on Grandview, Mediterra and Rivendale Farms. Jacqueline ran Josephine’s Toast as part of the first class of chefs at Smallman Galley, and it was during one busy brunch that the idea for The Speckled Egg crystalized.

“One of my line cooks had quit and Nate was able to be there flipping eggs. I walked down to the cooler to grab more, and I had this moment of peace where I was looking at a flat of eggs and they were so beautiful and adorable and speckled, and I realized that this is what we were going to do,” says Jacqueline.

The Schoedel’s settled on a space in the lobby of the Union Trust Building, making it one of the final pieces of the building’s $100 million renovation project. The restaurant’s small L-shaped bar peeks out into the lobby, inviting guests walking by into the space. The interior is casual, with refined hominess about it. The wallpaper features columns from newspapers, reflecting the idea of a cozy diner where you might sit with a cup of coffee and read the news. The couple kept the original marble floors and accented the space with gold and white; it looks clean but not starkly modern. “It’s a little bougie,” says Jacqueline.

The Schoedels want to provide breakfast classics with high-quality ingredients. Nathan, who will run the kitchen, will be curing all of the lunch meats in-house for an assortment of sandwiches. Menu items will lean into regional classics such as the Turkey Devonshire and toad-in-hole toasts, called “nesters,” which feature eggs cracked into bread with melted cheese and fried together. Patty melts, tuna salad, pork loin and cottage cheese with pineapple will round out a true-blue, diner-style breakfast. The Speckled Egg will pull on their local connections for sourcing by using maple syrup from Paul Family Farms, produce from Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance (now part of Paragon Foods), sausage from Heritage Family Farms, baked goods from Gluten Free Goat Bakery and breads from Mediterra Bakehouse.

Jacqueline will run the front of house and the bar, with a menu focused on classic cocktails, mimosas, bloody marys and a michelada. The bar has two taps which will be dedicated to a rotating selection of local beer and will also offer craft and domestic bottles and cans.

The coffee bar, which will also provide to-go service, will be run by Commonplace Coffee. Finally, there will be a grab-and-go section with sandwiches and small snacks, such as chia seed pudding, for people on the run.

The Speckled Egg will be open seven days a week, serving brunch 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. “We want everyone to be able to get a good brunch whether they work 9-5 or not,” says Jacqueline. “We hope the menu and the space sings to that.”

Categories: PGHeats