Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news | Pittsburgh City Paper

Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news

click to enlarge Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news
Photo: Courtesy of Ritual House
Lent at Ritual House

Pittsburgh Lenten Specials

Lent starts on Wed., Feb. 14, and for the next 40 days, Pittsburgh restaurants are rolling out the specials. Square Café will serve its “fan-favorite” Fish Tacos — battered filets with cilantro ranch — every Friday through Mar. 29 (Good Friday). Lent-inspired dishes at The Commoner include fried branzino and fresh cavatelli with crab. Khalil’s has pescatarian delights like Mediterranean sautéed shrimp and an Aleppo red pepper fried fish sandwich paired with za’atar steak fries.

Stop by Ritual House for a variety of featured seafood, including a fried fish or crab cake sandwich for lunch, or shrimp and scallops and a swordfish special for dinner. Head to The PA Market in the Strip District for two stories of unconventional Lenten dishes, including a flavorful adobo shrimp burrito at Carne Asada, Bistro 108’s Moroccan-spiced salmon, and small shareable plates such as the pulpo con frijoles (tomato-braised octopus) at Taparia.

4744 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield.

Station in Bloomfield announced it will close after a nine-year run. The restaurant’s last day of service will be Fri., Feb. 16, followed by a closing party on Sat., Feb. 17. The closure comes as Chef Curtis Gamble is moving to Tennessee later this year.

“We’ve been through a lot in this space,” Gamble said in a press release. “The irony of this is that we’re doing great, all things considered. Our fantastic team and strong collaborative partnerships have been the fuel behind a lot of our recent successes. I’m going to miss that part of Station and of Pittsburgh.”

Weeknight reservations are recommended for those wanting a “farewell taste” and pick-up meals will be available through Feb. 16. Diners can also expect a few pop-ups with Station food and cocktails throughout the spring; follow Station's social media for updates.

Sharpsburg Community Annual Chili Cook-off
1611 Main St., Sharpsburg.

After a four-year hiatus, the Sharpsburg Community Library is bringing back its annual chili cook-off under a new name. The newly christened Robert “Snakeguy” Habegger Chili Cook-off honors a community advocate who died in 2020. Habegger, who was a founding member of the Sharpsburg Environmental Advisory Council, was “almost always accompanied wherever he went by one or more of his beloved snakes,” according to a library press release.
Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news
Photo: Courtesy of Sharpsburg Community Library
Robert “Snakeguy” Habegger
Taking place on Fri., Feb. 23 from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Sharpsburg Council Chambers, the cook-off allows 15 chefs to each enter one gallon of chili of “any style and ingredients.” First-, second-, and third-place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges, along with a Tasters Choice Award given by community tasters. Details can be found on the event page and all proceeds benefit the Sharpsburg Community Library.

Pittsburgh Chocolate, Wine & Whiskey Festival
777 Casino Dr., North Side.

The Chocolate, Wine, & Whiskey festival brings the “luscious, sweet, and savory” to Pittsburgh with a stop on Sat., Feb 24 at Rivers Casino. Part of a national tour by TasteUSA, the festival promises a “multitude of decadent presentations from sweet hand-rolled truffles to ooey gooey marshmallowey crunchy s’mores,” as well as “an amazing selection of bean-to-bar artisan chocolates.” Included with admission are chocolate samples, “plentiful pours” of wine and other beverages, whiskey tastings, and sweet and savory food samples like pretzels, cakes, cookies, cheeses, and more. Tickets ($65) are available online with three sessions taking place throughout the day.

Adda Coffee & Tea House Resolution

After the sudden closure of all Adda Coffee & Tea House locations on Jan. 11 — one day after a unionization bid was declared — former employees and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW Local 1776KS) announced they're "pleased" to have "reached a resolution" with Adda owner Sukanta Nag. According to a press release, on Jan. 21, parties "reached a preliminary agreement" including a compensation package for former employees. In turn, the local, which was to include Adda baristas and kitchen staff, is withdrawing its petition for a union election from the National Labor Relations Board.
click to enlarge Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Hand-drawn chalkboard art at Spak Brothers

Spak Brothers
5107 Penn Ave., Garfield.

Spak Brothers, a beloved pizza place in Garfield, took home a national accolade last week when it made People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)’s list of top vegan pizza places to eat in 2024. In honor of National Pizza Day (Feb. 9), PETA recognized Spak’s tangy BBQ Seitan Pizza — made with vegan cheese, seitan, red onion, fresh cilantro, and barbeque sauce — as a “slice of heaven.”

“No matter how you slice it, the savory BBQ Seitan Pizza from Spak Brothers delivers flavor that can’t be topped,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk in a press release.

The pizzeria will receive a framed certificate.

Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Pl., Downtown.

The Omni William Penn Hotel announced that it will reopen its Terrace Room for dinner. One of the city’s oldest dining spots — known for its original molded plaster ceiling and “The Taking of Fort Pitt” mural — the restaurant debuted as the Italian Terrace in 1916 and has not served dinner since 2017. As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, the relaunch will come with a new menu and is part of the hotel’s larger strategy to draw diners back Downtown, which also includes opening Mellon Square Coffee (formerly Starbucks) and expanding its Speakeasy restaurant. Slated to reopen for dinner in March, the Terrace Room plans to introduce new features and programming like an executive chef’s table, chocolate buffets, and wine dinners.
click to enlarge Station closes, Grist House expands, Lent arrives, and more Pittsburgh food news
Photo: Courtesy of Grist House Craft Brewery
Grist House Taproom location at Freedom Farms Farmers Market in Butler

Grist House Craft Brewery
10 E. Sherman St., Millvale.

Grist House is bringing its beer north, opening a new taproom in Butler. Taking over a space at the Freedom Farms Farmers Market on Rte. 8, the Millvale-based brewery will rebrand the Corn Crib as the new Grist House Beer Crib. According to a press release, the taproom will serve Grist House’s handcrafted beers and “mouthwatering meal[s]” from Freedom Farms Farm-to-Fork Kitchen at the same location, offering a “unique indoor space” and a “large outdoor area to enjoy." Follow Grist House on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

National Pizza Day at Italian Village
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National Pizza Day at Italian Village

By Mars Johnson