Little Bites: 08/23/12

• Executive chef Joseph Weems of Three Rivers Restaurant and Bar at the Wyndham Grand, Downtown, kicks off a Steelers Sunday brunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 9.

The highlight? Sausage- and egg-stuffed pierogis.

"Most places just serve potato and cheese," says Mr. Weems, who has run the hotel kitchen for nearly a year. "I wanted to offer something innovative."

He was inspired several months ago in the run-up to a catering gig for a wedding at the hotel. "The couple getting married wanted a late-night snack. So I sat down with the folks at Pierogies Plus and came up with a Reuben pierogi and a potsticker pierogi," he says.

Pierogies Plus is the shop in McKees Rocks owned by Helen Mannario that's been making Polish dumplings for retail and wholesale since 1991.

Guests were so enthusiastic about them that Mr. Weems decided to feature one on his breakfast menu. The breakfast pierogi was born.

"We have people call us to ask to make unusual combinations all the time," says Ms. Mannario. "Breakfast pierogis are new. With sausage inside, it's interesting and tastier than if it were just egg."

Steelers brunch is more than dumplings. Carnivores can layer plates with ham and roast beef sliced thick or thin. Traditionalists might steer toward Belgian waffles or eggs made to order. Purists may stick to granola and oatmeal. As for drinks, bloody Marys and mimosas are $5 a piece.

Because the hotel is en route to Heinz Field, chances are no one will be drinking alone. Mr. Weems says if this season mirrors last year, a couple hundred guests will visit before kickoff and after the game. "It's especially fun when the Browns play," he says, "when there's some rivalry in the house."

• Toast! Kitchen and Wine Bar in Shadyside is holding a four-course dinner to raise funds for Springboard Kitchens at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Tickets are $85 per person or $150 per couple ( and 412-366-9490).

-- Dining critic Melissa McCart:


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