Little Bites: Restaurant news for the week

Il Pizzaiolo to open Downtown

Il Pizzaiolo hopes to open the 8 Market Square location Downtown by mid-December, manager Debbie LoVerso confirmed.

Richard Sphatt, executive chef at the restaurant's original Mt. Lebanon location, will staff the Downtown kitchen. He is training Pizzaioli staff to take his place at the flagship.

The menu will be "predominantly the same," said Ms. LoVerso, "though we will add a few things to accommodate the Downtown crowd."

Like the original, it will have a wood-burning oven that allows for the restaurant to maintain DOC (authentic Italian) standards. A true Neapolitan-style pie must be 10 inches across and feature San Marzano tomatoes and fresh ingredients.

The 40-seat restaurant will have an upstairs bar.

Church Brew Works celebrates

To celebrate the 16th anniversary of Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville, the restaurant will feature rattlesnake and cactus pierogies, featured on Food Network's "Outrageous Food" show. Also on the menu is ostrich pizza and less exotic black pepper glazed pork chop, Cajun chicken and bowtie pasta.

Brewer Steve Sloan debuts his Thunderhop Extreme, a double IPA, a big (9 percent alcohol), palate-smashing brew with a dry finish.

Additional menu items will be available throughout the celebration until Nov. 18.

Conflict Kitchen hosts dinners

Though Conflict Kitchen is looking for a new home, dinner is still served. On Nov. 10 and 17, the group will host a Cuban paladar, a five-course meal in the home of a Pittsburgh family in Point Breeze.

Conflict Kitchen has been a takeout restaurant that features food from countries with which the United States is in conflict, focusing on a different country every six months.

These days, Conflict Kitchen makes an appearance as Cucina Cubana, during which it serves home-style dishes packaged in take-out boxes that include interviews with immigrants and Cuban residents.

For the November dinners, courses are ham or plantain croquettes, avocado salad, garlic soup, Cuban-style chicken fricassee with red beans and rice, and tres leches cake. Drinks will be provided.

The price per person is $40 and reservations can be secured via Please include number of guests, seating time preference and a phone number.

Six Penn Kitchen to sell pies

The pastry chefs at Six Penn Kitchen, Downtown, will be busy baking pumpkin roulade ($8), pumpkin pie ($8), pecan ($10) and apple pies ($12) to take home for Thanksgiving.

Phone orders to 412-566-7366 will be accepted through Nov. 19, to be picked up by 10 a.m. Nov. 20 or 21. A dollar per item will be donated to Caring for Kids Campaign through the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Sandwich shop to open

Thin Man Sandwich Shop will open at 50 21st St. in the Strip District in mid-December. Chef owners Dan and Sherri Leiphart are renovating the space that used to be 21st Street Coffee and Tea.

The Leipharts, classically trained chefs who have worked at Isabela on Grandview on Mount Washington, Le Pommier (now closed) on the South Side and Lidia's in the Strip, will offer a menu that includes signature and seasonal sandwiches, soups and sides. The Smash sandwich, for example, is a ciabatta bread sandwich with milk marinated chicken breast, avocado, alfalfa and pickled green onions.

Read more food news at the new food and drinks blog, The Forks, at


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