Little Bites: Local restaurant news

Chef shuffle at Up Modern Kitchen

Eric Wallace, former executive chef of Casbah in Shadyside and Lidia's in the Strip District, has taken the helm at Up Modern Kitchen.

Mr. Wallace had been slated as executive chef at Consol Energy Center. With the NHL lockout, he decided to change course.

Shadyside's Up Modern Kitchen, formerly known as Walnut Grill, changed names and concept this spring with Ron Deluca as executive chef. He departed more than a month ago.

Since he arrived, Mr. Wallace has been trying out a Monday night menu with dishes such as haluski layered with duck fat and bacon paired with "city chicken," which actually is pork loin breaded, fried and served on a stick.

This week, Mr. Wallace will serve picnic chicken to the music of Good Brother Earl. The side is to be determined.

Best thing about Monday nights? The food is free.

Also new for Up Modern Kitchen is a late-night menu on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

For after hours, there's beef jerky, "wrapped in butcher paper and served like a baton," said Gregg Caliguiri, a partner in the restaurant.

From the late night menu, warm olives are served in a Mason jar. A crispy mozzarella sandwich, minus crust, is breaded and deep-fried.

"Eric's not going to be your doctor," said Mr. Caliguiri. "I can tell you that."

Ramen served everyday at Station Street

No longer do fans have to wait for the monthly ramen brunch at Salt of the Earth in Garfield. Station Street in East Liberty now serves ramen every day.

Ramen noodles in pork ($14) or vegetarian broth ($12) will be served with slow-cooked egg, Garfield Farm radishes, fish cakes or tofu.

"In our minds, we got it 100-percent right," said chef-owner Kevin Sousa of the most recent ramen brunch earlier this month.

This brunch was the first time sous chef Chad Townsend served his house-made ramen noodles.

"We did not want to abandon our efforts," Mr. Sousa said.

With the introduction of ramen, Station Street Hot Dogs will transition to Station Street Food, with an emphasis on the street-food genre.


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