All right people. Can we just chill out about food and wine pairings? It seems the more we’re interested in food and the more we learn about wine, the more stressed we are about choosing wines to have with dinner.
As the great American playwright Tennessee Williams once said, “I think Italians are like Southerners without their inhibitions.” Williams could have made that observation from a table at Girasole, which combines the best of Italy and Pittsburgh: sometimes it can be a little bit pazzo, but it is always honest.
Is it wrong that one of my favorite childhood chores was running to the A&P for my grandmother and buying her a bottle of Fernet-Branca and a box of snuff? It’s probably not the kind of wholesome memory most people hope to create for their kids, but I can’t help…
There is a relationship that regular patrons have with Johnny’s Restaurant in Wilmerding that is a lot like the one shared by old married couples. They promise each other not to be the first to go, because the survivor will be lost until the end. And after a yearlong hiatus,…
It’s always been a nice break for me to get out of the hot kitchen and spend some time tending bar. And 40 years ago when I started in the restaurant business, making drinks before dinner was easy. A martini, a glass of sherry or an imported aperitif — that was all…
Chuck DiNardo, legendary food and drink impresario, operated the Hollywood Social Club in Shadyside into the 1970s. The haunt of politicians, every old mustache in the region and visiting celebrities, the “Sosh” was accessed through an unmarked narrow walkway, easily missed, between what is now The Pottery Barn and Kards…
While it’s my great pleasure in life to talk about wine, enjoy it with friends, pour it in my restaurant and assess it at tastings, I very rarely give wine as gifts at holiday time. People expect it from me now. I’m the wine guy, so wine’s too obvious.
Patrons who arrive at our restaurant after dark, or are focused on prime rib, may not notice the unusual mulch out front. It’s cork, or more specifically, corks, from the dozens of wine bottles we open every night.
There are some 400 wines on my restaurant’s wine list, and I can vouch for the deliciousness of every one. Imagine my chagrin when clients come in and order either a pinot noir or a chardonnay. Pinot noir or chardonnay. Pinot noir—
The orange neon fish sign at the corner of Butler &55th in Lawrenceville is the gastronomic version of the beacon atop the Grant Building. Nied’s Hotel Bar has held this corner since 1941 and, like all great joints, it’s a neighborhood within a neighborhood.
This Napoleon and Josephine story has a happy ending. It began in 1952, just two blocks from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, when Napoleon and Josephine Patti opened Nap’s, a shot-and-beer joint along the main drag of the small town.
As winter wraps its icy fingers around us, there is a no-fail way to fight back — comfort food. The ultimate chill-buster is a steaming bowl of hearty soup. If you have evolved past the canned variety, but don’t have time to make your own, visit The Original SoupMan in downtown Pittsburgh.
Dot’s in McKeesport is just that — a dot on the side of the road that is easily missed if it is not your intended destination. There was a time when this stretch of Fifth Avenue on the fringe of the city was more neighborhood street than highway.
I am blessed to come from a family of wonderful Italian cooks, and growing up, our holiday traditions included my grandfather’s wine and my grandmother’s homemade pastas, which she rolled out on the dining room table and served with Christmas dinner.