Pittsburgh Local Food News

June 24, 2017

Dear Newsletter Subscriber:

Hello and good morning.  Here is a collection of articles I read during the last week or so that I thought you might be interested in reading yourself.


Pittsburgh dads who really know their dough

Gretchen McKay
June 14, 2017

Pittsburgh’s food scene wasn’t exactly anything to write home about 20 years ago. Two forward-thinking food entrepreneurs set out to change that. 

Ron Molinaro was a self-assured 25-year-old pizza maker looking to introduce his hometown to the wonders of Neapolitan-style pizza. And he did, when he opened Il Pizzaiolo in Mt. Lebanon in 1996.

Nick Ambeliotis, on the other hand, was a seasoned food importer and distributor with dreams of making the finest artisan bread the city had seen, using the same laborious, centuries-old techniques as his Greek ancestors. That became a reality with the advent of Robinson’s Mediterra Bakehouse in 2002.

In the mid-1990s, their paths crossed. Mr. Ambeliotis was Mr. Molinaro’s purveyor for ingredients from Italy when he started Il Pizzaiolo. Mr. Molinaro, in turn, was one of Mr. Ambeliotis’ first customers when he opened Mediterra, and still buys his bread today.
In celebration of Father’s Day on Sunday, we take a look at how the two breadwinners got their start in Pittsburgh. 

Ron Molinaro has been obsessed with pizza most of his adult life. And not just your average slice, but the lightly charred Neapolitan-style pies crafted from a slow-rising dough and baked in a 950-degree brick oven at his Il Pizzaiolo restaurants.

To read this entire article, please go to - 

New restaurant ideas for Pittsburgh’s dining scene.  A parody by Bob Batz Jr.

Bob Batz Jr.
June 18, 2017

Pittsburgh “foodies” can’t seem to eat enough of the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, which seems to be eating Pittsburgh.

Helmed (something only chefs do, after completing their buildouts) by chef and restaurateur Richard DeShantz and his business partner, Tolga Sevdik, the company and its star chefs run the so-popular-that-nobody-can-go-there-anymore Meat & Potatoes (meat and potatoes), Pork & Beans (barbecue and beer), Butcher and the Rye (whiskey and more whiskey), as well as the ampersand-less but umlauted and macroned täkō (Mexican street food with most seats indoors), all within blocks of each other Downtown.

A year ago, it was announced that Mr. DeShantz and one of his chef partners, David Racicot, would transform the former Salt of the Earth in Garfield into two Scandinavian-look restaurants (restaurant & restaurant). Then, last month, the PG’s Dan Gigler reported that Mr. Racicot will helm the group’s latest Sixth Street space, serving raw fish & gin: Gi-Jin.  

To read this entire article, please go to - 

Pittsburgh a driving force behind hockey programs for the blind

Bob Batz Jr.
June 17, 2017

The campers stepped into the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, firing questions.

“Are we on the ice?”

Counselor: “No, we’re not on the ice yet.” 

“Can we see the rinks?” 

No, they could not, because of these 58 young people, ages 5 to 18, half are completely or almost completely blind. The others have a range of vision impairments. As part of this week’s Envision Blind Sports camp, they were bused Wednesday from Slippery Rock to the Penguins Rinks to try blind hockey.

Yep — blind ice hockey. It’s a new thing, and Pittsburgh looks to be a driving force behind growing it, here and across North America and beyond.

To read this entire article, please go to -