Kevin Saftner said he can’t fix complaints about noise at his iconic music venue if he doesn’t know who is making them.
The new restaurant at Fairmont Pittsburgh — Fl.2 — is scheduled to open for dinner Oct. 27.
A new American restaurant on the second floor with a brasserie-style menu and a raw bar, it will replace Habitat, which had been the marquee restaurant for the Downtown hotel since 2010.
The reboot is a big change from the place that executive chef Andrew Morrison helmed at the debut. As Downtown hosts more restaurants — including hotel spots like The Commoner in Hotel Monaco and Or, The Whale in the new Distrikt Hotel — the place may have needed an update in the face of competition.
Back in April, news broke that Habitat would close and by May the hotel unveiled its first plan, having hired an out-of-town chef with international experience. But plans unraveled following the announcement that the restaurant hired Jean Paul Lourdes — an acolyte of Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. Mr. Lourdes was a perfume maker at an Hermes collaboration when he met Mr. Gagnaire. After that he was in New York with restaurateur Stephen Starr, then cooking for a small restaurant group in Miami before heading to Pittsburgh. But the hotel and chef parted ways shortly after he arrived.
Moving forward, the Fairmont needed an update that would stick — one that wasn’t subject to the whims of an individual chef or a fledgling partnership.
The result is a top-to-bottom overhaul, with a hard-to-Google name: Fl.2 (written fl.2 — that’s Floor2Pgh on Facebook). It will open with a dining room redesign and a menu focused on shared plates.
“Local sourcing with area farms and purveyors, combined with preparations from the culinary team’s perspective will bring the collaborative menu to life,” reads the statement released Wednesday. Though Washington County’s Rivendale Farms is name-checked in the release, the name of a head chef is not.
“The restaurant is opening as a collaborative effort of our culinary team,” a spokesperson said. “We intentionally kept the titles of our chefs as equals to foster creativity and truly evoke an open collaborative process.”
Dishes “pay homage to tradition,” with creativity channeled into presentation, paired with a promise to focus on local ingredients. That carries over to the bar spirits and brews, with half of the beer collection from Pennsylvania as well as many of the taps. In addition to the raw bar, there will be a rotisserie.
Barcelona-based designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan — who has designed restaurants like Mussol and Ajoblanco, both in Barcelona; Iberica Manchester in the UK; and Casa Velha in Cascais, Portugal — has reimagined the dining room from Habitat’s brown and orange vibes into a more eclectic space, with wood, carpet and leather accents along with cool blues, metallic finishes and marble accents. Futuristic elements like floating light fixtures pair with mid-century furnishings. Also look for a mosaic cityscape of Pittsburgh as well as a central bar with lit-glass and a brass canopy.
“The space is really special and will resonate with Pittsburghers,” Fairmont general manager Matthew Sterne said in the statement.
The plates have been created by Pittsburgh ceramicist Reiko Yamamoto, host dresses are by local designer Kelly Lane, Citizens of Humanity denim is from Larrimor’s and the leather bar books come from Pike Leather.
Fl.2 at 510 Market St. will be open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with longer hours Thursday through Saturday. The bar will be open until midnight weekdays and until 2 a.m., Thursday through Saturday. The raw bar will serve every night until midnight. Reservations will be available as of Oct. 13 for dinner Oct. 27 as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner from Oct. 28 onward, via OpenTable or 412-773-8848.
Melissa McCart: email@example.com