Restaurant Openings: Early Fall
BRGR expands to the suburbs, a Six Penn Kitchen alum starts his own joint and a wine bar opens in the North Side.
BriX Wood-Fired Wine Bar
There are similarities between this spot on the North Side and its Shadyside sibling, Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar: the ownership, the rustic yet urban interior. and the wine pricing and variety. After its soft opening in late August, BriX’s early menus have a much tighter focus on simple pleasures, like handmade pizzas from a wood-fired oven—such as the classic Margherita or one with peppered ham, provolone and red onions. It feels more like a neighborhood joint, unafraid to take a few chances on wines not often seen on Pittsburgh menus, like an earthy pinotage from South Africa.
900 Western Ave., North Side; 412/904-4606, brixpgh.com
After leaving Six Penn Kitchen to open his own place in July, Keith Fuller’s menus have grown in intricacy and whimsy. Gone are the onion rings and massive pork shanks in favor of a starter of confit wings with coffee, green curry and dehydrated banana, followed by ricotta gnocchi with peas, Parmesan cheese, wild mushrooms, egg and cherry tomato. The menu changes often, as Fuller gets access to new ingredients or the seasons change. Fuller also offers several vegan menu items, keeping with the offerings of Root 174’s predecessor, Legume. Named for the square root of two zip codes comprising Regent Square, the eatery is BYOB with a minimal corkage fee of $5.
1113 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square; 412/243-4348, root174.com
Winghart’s Burger & Whiskey Bar
It took until August for this spot, tucked away in a corner and mostly surrounded by chains, to fully live up to its name, finally getting its liquor license and serving whiskey, bourbon and beer. It had quickly established itself as a lunchtime destination, which can happen when Brie, white-truffle aïoli, arugula, caramelized onions and bacon sit atop a well-cooked burger. But new extended weekday hours—the kitchen’s open ‘til midnight and the bar until midnight or later—allow Winghart’s to become something more than a mouth-watering mid-day reprieve for downtown workers.
5 Market Square, downtown; 412/434-5600, winghartburgers.com
‘Burghers have always been crazy about their burgers. Good thing, too: Within the last year, nearly a half-dozen burger bars have popped up across the city. BRGR Bar, which opened in East Liberty under the direction of Brian Pekarcik, was instantly a hit. Months later, the BRGR team celebrated the success of the first location by opening a second one. BRGR’s Cranberry site offers everything the East Liberty location does—and then some: Patrons can order favorites (like the Button Buster burger with a dark-chocolate shake) while seated at one of nine tables on the patio, which will be enclosed and toasty during colder months. And because the new eatery has a larger kitchen than the original, it offers extended appetizer and burger selections. Another bonus: Free parking.
20111 Rt. 19 & Freedom Road, Cranberry Township; 724/742-2333, brgrpgh.com
For more of Jacob’s adventures in food and drink around Pittsburgh, check out his blog at Eatsburgh.com.