Here are a dozen places to visit in Downtown/Strip District, East End, South Side and South Hills for the best tacos in Pittsburgh.
Matteo's to open Feb. 8
Chef-owner Matt Cavanaugh of Matteo's at 3615 Butler St. in Lawrenceville confirmed the restaurant will likely open the weekend of Feb. 8.
He has been working on the space that had formerly housed an insurance agency for the past year. "It has been a long haul," he said.
This week the hood will be installed, which will allow him to work with staff and finalize the menu.
Mr. Cavanaugh solicited menu and cocktail suggestions on Facebook earlier this month.
The 50-seat Italian restaurant will feature steak and seafood, as well as a full bar.
Mr. Cavanaugh is an alum of the kitchen at Sarafino's in Crafton, where he worked for a decade.
Il Pizzaiolo Market Square opening delayed
Construction and permit delays have pushed an anticipated December opening to early March, confirmed Il Pizzaiolo manager Debbie LoVerso at the Mt. Lebanon location. The 40-seat, two-story restaurant and bar will open at 8 Market Square.
Executive chef at the Mt. Lebanon location, Richard Sphatt, will man the Downtown kitchen when it opens. He is training a pizza maker 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 standards. A true Neapolitan-style pie must be 10-inches across, feature San Marzano tomatoes and fresh ingredients.
Lunch and learn
The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh has a restaurant called A Taste of Art, where the public is welcome to lunch while students learn.
The restaurant -- at 420 Blvd. of the Allies, Downtown, up on the ninth floor -- is open 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through March 12. Reservations aren't required, but you can get them and more information by calling 412-291-6532.
This quarter's menu strikes an Irish theme, which includes split pea and ham or pear parsnip soup; roasted beet and egg on toast points; smoked salmon, dill and horseradish tart; or almond crusted brie with cranberries. Larger plates feature classics such as Irish corned beef brisket or Irish lamb stew, as well as pierogies filled with sweet potato, sage and cream. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, be it ricotta ice cream or Irish cream cheese cake with a chocolate-chip-cookie crust.
For more food and drinks news, read The Forks blog at pgplate.com/forks.