Senti soft-opens tomorrow in Lawrenceville

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

senti
Senti Restaurant from Franco Braccia and his wife Annette Ishida will soft-open tomorrow with a limited lunch-and-dinner menu and a 25-percent discount. In exchange, they're asking diners to give feedback on food and service.

The new restaurant is one of several Italian restaurants now in Lawrenceville, including San LorenzoMatteo's and Piccolo Forno as well as the Italian-inspired Cure. It's located in the ground level of the new Doughboy Square apartments at 3473 Butler St. 

Mr. Braccia, who is from the Abruzzo region of Italy, left his position as general manager of Lidia's in the Strip District to open his own place. He has been in Pittsburgh for about eight years, having worked at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel for his first three. Before he moved here, he worked in New York at the Plaza Hotel. 

Many of the recipes at Senti are inspired by his longtime friend Enrico Scolari, a Michelin-starred chef from Italy, who is in town for the opening. Shawn Carlson will serve as the restaurant's executive chef; he has cooked at Verde Mexican Kitchen + Cantina in Garfield and worked as the opening chef at Bridge Ten Brasserie on the South Side and at Baum Vivant in Shadyside (both of which are closed). "He has a delicate sensibility as far as cooking," said Ms. Ishida. 

The opening lunch menu costs about $10 per person. Selections include an array of salads, pasta and fish, poultry and meat choices. The dinner menu lists eight to 10 small plates, a soup, a selection of pasta and a few entrees. This week there also is osso buco. 

Wine lovers, here's your cue. Mr. Braccia is an oenophile who has installed an Enomatic wine system that will be stocked with more esoteric and hard-to-find, special-order Italian wines. The Enomatic preserves wines and allows more diners to sample wines by the glass. Following the soft opening, diners will be able to buy a pre-paid card and serve themselves. 

Senti website logo





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Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe has opened in Greenfield

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

staghornThe week before Christmas, Mark and Kate Morris opened Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe, a retail store and coffee shop at 517 Greenfield Ave., a couple blocks from their home. Named for the animal and the fern, the new place lets Kate expand her side business, Road to the Lakehouse, specializing in terrariums, graphics, vintage wares and garden-inspired products. 

The 20-seat coffee shop will brew Zeke's coffee. It's also serving croissants, scones, biscotti, cookies and brownies from Enrico as well as ice cream sandwiches from Leona's. In the future they plan to offer specialty coffee drinks and more food selections.

"We're up-and-running in six weeks," Mr. Morris said. "We are planning to grow." The Morrises had been eyeing the building for awhile and jumped on it when it was listed.

For now, the cafe offers wi-fi and hours for an early riser: 6 to 10 a.m. Mon. and Tues., 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weds., 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thurs., 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fri. and Sat. and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun.

Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe Facebook image

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Drive-thru Panera opening in McCandless Jan. 6

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on . Openings

01052015Panera

At 6:30 a.m. this Tuesday, Jan. 6, the first drive-thru Panera Bread bakery-cafe opens at 8800 Covenant Road in McCandless Crossing.

The first 500 paying drive-thru customers will get a free ceramic car coaster.

And starting at 10 a.m., the first 500 paying customers inside the cafe get a free travel mug and free coffee for two weeks.

At some point, there will be an appearance by former Steeler Charlie Batch, to whose Best of the Batch Foundation the chain will make some donations.

There'll be other promotions thru -- that is, through -- this Thursday, when, until 11 a.m., you can get half-price egg souffles and breakfast sandwiches.

Panera photo

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Kickstart Piebird to Lawrenceville

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

piebird20Piebird will open in the spring at 5304 Butler St. in Lawrenceville. It's to be a dessert-focused pastry shop from Jason Thomas of E2 and Annalee DePaoli, his business partner and wife. The Kickstarter is less than $2,000 away from the goal.  Click here for the video. 

If you have ordered dessert at E2 in Highland Park, you have tried Ms. DePaoli's desserts, such as salted caramel crostada or flourless chocolate cake with cocoa nibs as well as some of these desserts, pictured. 

Before she started her own business about four years ago, she had been working under Susie Treon at the Cafe at the Frick as well as Big Burrito. She earned a culinary degree at Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I. 

Piebird will start as a commercial kitchen, where customers can order and pick up desserts. As things progress, they will consider offering coffee or eating in. 

piebird10


 

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Second Breakfast opens in the Public Market tomorrow

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

secondbreakfastposterSecond Breakfast will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Pittsburgh Public Market. It's a stylish stand with a retro logo and weathered wood accents put together by owner Thomas Wood. Named for the reference in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," the stand offers a cross-cultural organic menu of breakfast dishes, such as crepes, Belgian waffles with bacon ice cream or pumpkin spread, eggy Hong Kong cakes and Japanese omelettes. Prices range from 50 cents to $10.

Second Breakfast has inspired Pittsburgh Market to open two hours earlier for the morning meal, starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.The new hours begin the first week of December, with breakfast menus from Ohio City Pasta and La Palapa Mexican Gourmet Kitchen.

Second Breakfast at the Pittsburgh Public Market. 2401 Penn Ave., 412-398-0352. facebook.com/secondbreakfastPGH/info
Graphic by Joe Mruk from redbuffalo.org



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Korean restaurant, Nag Won Garden, opened in Shadyside on Saturday

Written by Melissa McCart on . Openings

nakwon41A new Korean restaurant opened at 5506 Centre Ave. in Shadyside on Saturday. Nak Won Garden is run by Chung-Chu Yi, his sister, Yang-Suk Beondy, and her daughter, Christina Beondy. 

I spoke with Ms. Beondy, who told me she moved back from Los Angeles four months ago to help with the restaurant. 

Mr. Yi is cooking with one other chef at the moment.  "The few Korean restaurants in the area offer barbecue and Korean-Chinese dishes," said Ms. Beondy. "We wanted to keep the menu as traditional as possible."

Here is the second page of the menu, with hours and the phone number.
 Nakwon1
Melissa McCart photos



























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