Little Bites: Food news

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

• Fromageophiles rejoice. Wild Purveyors, which quietly opened on 5308 Butler St. nearly two weeks ago, has a monthly cheese subscription for pickup the last week of every month. For $26.95, subscribers can stop in for three cheeses -- cow, sheep and goat -- from local farms, in a community-supported agriculture set-up.

"We have offered this as a part of our produce CSA package for awhile now," says Cavan Patterson. "Now that the store is open, it's the first time people can come to a central location to pick up their orders." Last month's trio featured a tomme goat cheese, an alpine Swiss and a farm cheddar.

Mr. Patterson says there are limits to the CSA. "As much as we'd like to include a Camembert-style cheese, chances are it'll get smashed."

The Patterson brothers had hoped to open the shop in May rather than August. "It took nine months," he says.

Though the shop debuted with abbreviated hours, it will segue to full-time next week, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Foodists can get more niche at Wild Purveyors with the Pattersons' mushroom CSA. Fifteen dollars buys a pound of criminis or buttons and 21/2 pounds of more exotic finds, such as maitake, oyster, or royal trumpets.

"We've always spent time in the woods," says Mr. Patterson, who started his foraging business with his brother Tom in 2009. Shout-outs to the brothers on restaurant menus and an active Facebook page helped build a clientele. "Foraging for mushrooms is how we started our business."

TAKE THAT BAR TO THE ER

• Emilia Romagna, the Strip District sibling to Allentown's Alla Famiglia and Peters' Arlecchino Ristorante, seems to be having some growing pains.

Conceived by Jonathan Vlasic and Cory Hughes, the restaurant that opened in late June has painstakingly announced each iteration of its debut, transition, demise, and potential rebirth on Facebook and Twitter.

"So here's the deal. Emilia Romagna, the restaurant, is closed once and for all! No worries ... Bar ER is still open," read its Twitter feed on Aug. 21.

That linked to a Facebook announcement has since been deleted, with an Aug. 23 update that Mr. Vlasic and "his lovely wife Brandi" have closed the restaurant to focus on the flagship.

Later that day, an entry announced the bar closure as well and a teaser for an overhauled concept slated for the fall.

And then there's this: "Get ready, Pittsburgh, you're gonna shake your butt and dance on tables!" reads an Aug. 27 status update. The Post-Gazette will keep you posted as the story unfurls.

Update: Owner Jonathan Vlasic said he is fielding calls from confused patrons asking whether Alla Famiglia has closed. To clarify: Alla Famiglia is alive and well. dining


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