New street fest gives a nod to Italian restaurants, heritage in Pittsburgh

A brand new festival that will be held Downtown is celebrating the Italian heritage in Pittsburgh.

The food-centric Italian StrEAT Festival is the brainchild of Alessandra Pazzaglia, a staffer in development and special events at the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation.

An Allentown native, she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with a degree in Italian and writing and a minor in museum studies. As an intern with the PDCDC last year, she presented the idea of an Italian festival to executive director John Valentine.

“I’m very proud to be Italian,” she said, and wanted to find a way to showcase Pittsburgh’s authentic Italian restaurants.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Penn Avenue between Sixth and Ninth streets, Downtown.

Some Downtown restaurants are participating, but the PDCDC cast the net wider, drawing restaurants and vendors from all over Western Pennsylvania.

In addition to food, there will be bocce and other games, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, artisans and other vendors, and live entertainment. About 40 total restaurants and vendors will participate in the festival.

Emporio, a Downtown restaurant, will hold a meatball-eating contest at noon Saturday on the Sixth Street Stage. Contestants need to devour as many meatballs as possible in seven minutes and must be at least 18 years old. Preregister by e-mailing

DeLallo’s will hold a creative pizza contest at 2 p.m. Sunday featuring chefs from Downtown restaurants Giovanni’s and V3 and from Portogallo Peppers N’at of Braddock.

The events will be held on the Sixth Street Stage on Saturday and Sunday.

• On Saturday:

11 a.m.: Cooking demonstration by chef Phillip Milton of Ten Penny.

Noon: Emporio’s meatball-eating contest.

1 p.m. Cooking demo by chef Steve Lanzilotti of Talia.

2 p.m. Cooking demo by executive chef Daniel Walker of Lidia’s Pittsburgh.

3 p.m.: DYEnamic Flame, a professional fire performance duo.

4 p.m.: Live music by Chase and the Barons.

5 p.m.: Allegro Dance Company workshop.

• On Sunday:

11 a.m.: Cooking demo by chef Chad Rapp of Market Street Grocery.

Noon: Live music by Right TurnClyde.

2 p.m.: DYEnamic Flame.

2:30 p.m.: DeLallo’s Creative Pizza Contest.

4 p.m.: Cooking demo by two chefs from Il Pizzaiolo.

5 p.m.: Live music by Bobby V.

“The PDCDC really wants to make Downtown a fun and livable place,” Ms. Pazzaglia said, noting she hopes this festival will assist that effort.

Admission is free. Food, wine and beer will be sold by individual vendors. Information:

Museum food nights

Craft Night, Truffle Painting: Amanda Wright of A519 Chocolate teaches truffle painting. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Carnegie Museum of Art, Oakland. $35 includes a glass of champagne, three truffles to paint and a guided museum tour including a glimpse of the paintings that inspired A519/CMOA’s new art-themed truffle boxes.

Imbibe North Side: Samples from local breweries, wineries and distilleries, plus museum exhibits, food trucks, live music and museum admission. 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Mattress Factory, North Side. $40; $50 for VIPs (includes 6 p.m. admission); $25 for designated drivers. Ages 21 and up only. (search for “Imbibe North Side”).

For charity

Round-Up to the Rescue: Six food trucks, Hop Farm hot dogs and brats, craft brews, live music and photo ops. 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Hop Farm Brewing Co., Lawrenceville. $12; bring a nonperishable food donation for $1 off. Benefits 412 Food Rescue. (search for “Hop Farm Round Up”).

Bourbon With a View: Four-flight bourbon tasting, celebrity guests, appetizers, music, auction. 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at The Smart House Mansion, Mount Washington. $125; benefits the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Coaches vs. Cancer program. Ages 21 and up only. (search for “Bourbon With a View”).

Drink it up 

Wine Dinner: Atria’s hosts an intimate wine dinner on the farm. 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Gilfillan Farm, Upper St. Clair. $125. Reservations: 412-325-0550, ext. 205.

Wine, Beer & Comedy Festival: Wine and beer samples, food, vendors, live music, comedy show. 4 to 10 p.m. Friday or Saturday at Monroeville Convention Center. $30 in advance; $35 at the door. (search for “2017 Wine Beer & Comedy Festival”).

Kombucha Class: Hands-on brewing experience, plus light vegan refreshment and  kombucha samples. 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Pittsburgh Juice Co., Downtown. $25 in advance; $30 at the door.

Pittsburgh Libations Week Kickoff Bash: Beer, mead, whiskey and wine samples, plus an appetizer buffet, auction, pop-up art station and raffle benefiting the creation of a Pittsburgh Libations Week. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Industry Public House, Lawrenceville. $35.

Rebecca Sodergren:; @pgfoodevents.


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