Pittsburgh food in January 2019: What’s opening and what’s closing

Get ready for Argentinian wines, escargot, and tikka masala.

New on the North Side.

New on the North Side.

Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
Rossilynne Culgan

With a French bistro, an Indian restaurant, a coffeeshop, and an Argentinian wine bar, Pittsburgh’s food and drink scene is kicking off in earnest this year.

There’s also plenty to look forward to in 2019, from a permanent location for Pigeon Bagels to a brewpub from Cinderlands to finally, at-long-last Gi-Jin.

Here’s the full report on what’s new in the city’s food and beverage scene (and what you might have missed in December).

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Astroid Cafe, South Side

This new cafe inside the Terminal Building is serving up Parlor Coffee in a space that looks like it was designed by a lifestyle blogger. Look for muted tones, marble tables, and plants to provide the backdrop for your #latteart Instagrams.

Bonfire Food & Drink, South Side

This new concept from chef Chris Bonfili (of Avenue B fame) is offering flatbreads, sandwiches, and meats along Carson Street. Look for a variety of mac-and-cheese options on the menu, including one with wood-fired cauliflower, fontina, and garlic crumbs that comes in at $15.

Blue Sparrow, mobile

Food truck? Sure. Food bus? Oh heck yes.

Known for its blue box truck, Blue Sparrow has now added a massive silver bus to its fleet. The vintage Greyhound features three windows, one for a tap system, another for a guest chef, and the third for Blue Sparrow’s delicacies.

A brick-and-mortar space is on the way, too, the chef tells NEXTpittsburgh.

Jean Louis Parisian Bistro, Dormont

Jean Louis Parisian Bistro has transformed what used to be Needle & Pin into a French restaurant. The restaurant is led by executive chef Gaetano Ascione, the opening chef for The Pennsylvania Market who also was a partner at Chicago’s Michelin-starred restaurant Gioco and has cooked for Michelle Obama and Jimmy Carter, per the Post-Gazette.

Yes, escargot and coq a vin are on the menu.

Macaron Bar, East Liberty

The aptly named Macaron Bar is now open in East Liberty for a little slice of France in Pittsburgh. Look for specialty holiday flavors, like gingerbread, peppermint, and eggnog.

Masala House Indian Bistro, Bloomfield

Inside what used to be Chaz & Odette, Masala House Indian Bistro is now open serving small plates, tandoori, tikka masala dishes, and Indian classics, Good Food Pittsburgh reported. Also look for an extensive dessert menu.

Mayfly Market & Deli, North Side

This neighborhood market is all about sandwiches, snacks, and sorbet on Arch Street in the former Allegheny City Market location. The shop has partnered with local businesses, such as Axel’s Pretzels, Black Market Jerky, Pittsburgh Pickle Co., La Prima Espresso, and Pigeon Bagel, per NEXTpittsburgh.

Refucilo Winery, Allegheny West

Grab a glass (or a bottle) of wine at Refucilo Winery, which specializes in wines from Argentina. Find it along Western Avenue.

See you soon

Ba-Co at Smallman Galley, Strip District

A year-long concept at Smallman Galley, Ba-Co will fuse chef Tim Dominick’s love of Southern Barbecue and Latin American cuisine. Look for tacos like The Texan (featuring house smoked brisket, Ba-Co BBQ, and grilled pineapple) and the Veggin’ Out (with cauliflower, sweet beetroot pepper sauce, sultanas, and cured red cabbage). Also on the menu: A selection of tots and brunch specialties.

Bridges and Bourbon, Downtown

After a year gutting the former Seviche space, chef David Racicot is set to launch Bridges and Bourbon very soon, per NEXTpittsburgh. Small plates, an extensive cocktail list, and, of course, bourbon will be on the menu.

Gi-Jin, Downtown

The product of years of anticipation, restaurateurs Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik  are expected to open Gi-Jin in the first week of January, according to the Post-Gazette. This Asian-inspired 30-seat restaurant will offer gin drinks and sushi next to Butcher and the Rye.

See you soon-ish

🍴 Brick Shop and Over Eden restaurants at TRYP Hotel featuring two prominent Pittsburgh chefs.

🍻 A Cinderlands brewpub in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building in the Strip District, where construction is underway.

🥓 East End Brewing pub conversion in Larimer, with charcuterie and other delicacies from Morcilla’s Justin Severino.

🌯 A Mexican-Italian fusion in the Strip District in partnership with Edgar Alvarez of Edgar’s Best Tacos.

🔥 Fig & Ash, a “farm-to-flame restaurant,” coming to Deutschtown.

🦋 Kingfly Spirits, a small batch craft distillery in the Strip, which will open with a bar in February.

🍷 Leo. a public house, for beer, wine and sandwiches, opening in the North Side in the next few months, from the team behind Lola Bistro.

🥛 More milkshakes — a new Milkshake Factory location will open in early 2019 in Oakland.

🍦 A Lawrenceville location for Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, coming in April.

🍣 Mola, a sushi, dumpling, and bao spot in East Liberty from the nephew of Jimmy Wan.

🏈 North Shore Seven, a restaurant near Heinz Field from Ben Roethlisberger, set to open in April, boasting made-from-scratch entrees and “Hollywood-style booth seating,” which is maybe just a little excessive.

🍺 A Penn Brewery taproom in Downtown — at some point.

🍞 A permanent location for Pigeon Bagels expected to to open in the spring.

🎶 A Rascal Flatts restaurant in Station Square. … Maybe. The operator has been served with an eviction notice, and there’s plenty of legal drama, the Business Times explains.

🍻 Rogan Brewing Co., a taproom with pints and growlers, coming to West Homestead.

🥕 Spirits and Tales, located on the 10th floor of the forthcoming The Oaklander Hotel in Oakland, slated to open early 2019.

🌮 SYN Taqueria & Pizzeria in the former Sharp Edge Friendship location.

🍚 Two Sisters Vietnamese Kitchen in East Liberty, a low-key BYOB spot with pho, rice bowls and Vietnamese-style vermicelli dishes.


Pirata, Downtown

Pirata Caribbean Cuisine & Rum Bar has closed, and the space will become Wolfie’s Pub. The pub will serve comfort foods — pierogi, mac-and-cheese, sandwiches, and daily specials — and it will be decorated with Point Park University kitsch, per the Business-Times.

Smallman Street Deli, Squirrel Hill

The Squirrel Hill location of Smallman Street Deli has closed, allowing the owner to focus on the deli’s Strip District outpost, the Post-Gazette reported. The menu will remain the same in the Strip.