This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh

A new wine bar is coming to an old church in Rankin; Nashville hot chicken has arrived in Oakland; and we have recommendations on where to eat on Valentine's Day.

click to enlarge This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh
Love-struck Latte at Square Cafe
Mary’s Vine

In April, a Croatian church in the heart of Rankin will be revived as Mary’s Vine, a contemporary wine bar.

The century-old church, built in 1903, was purchased in 2017 by a California-based family. Four of the five owners, Wally Stasinowsky, Cheryl Stasinowsky, Amber Smith, and Daniel Smith, sold their West Coast homes, left their jobs, and moved to join Jordan Stasinowsky in Pittsburgh.

click to enlarge This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh
Mary's Vine
Before construction, the church was disheveled and uninhabitable. Since then, the building has seen major renovations, including electric rewiring, new plumbing, and re-roofing. But, the church still needs intensive work.

When finished, Mary’s Vine promises the atmosphere of a high-end wine lounge, complete with live music and local art. The wine program is directed by Jordan Stasinowsky, a certified wine specialist studying to be a level two sommelier. 

Mary’s Vine is asking for help in order to meet the April opening date. An Indiegogo campaign has been started to raise funds for continuous construction. Visit Mary’s Vine Kickstarter campaign or website,, to learn more and donate.

National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

February is full of wonderful holidays: Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, and a personal favorite, National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

Mercurio’s Pizza and Gelato clearly thinks highly of this holiday. The Shadyside restaurant is even extending hours to celebrate. Stop by the pizzeria from 8:30-11 a.m. on Feb. 2 to observe the day with pancake and gelato ice cream sandwiches, rolled in chocolate chips. And Mercurio’s couldn’t leave pizza out of the picture. Pair some ice cream with their breakfast pizza for a sweet start to Saturday.

Kingfly Spirits

Tomorrow at 10 a.m., a new distillery opens in the Strip District. Kingly Spirits Distillery and Loft, already home to an award-winning Double Gold-champion spiced rum, adds to the local landscape with cocktails, spirits, and an event venue.

Kingfly, also named the New Distillery of the Year at the New York International Spirits Competition, goes beyond rum, also crafting some limoncello. Kate Romane, of Black Radish Kitchen, has created a light snack menu to pair with the distillery’s inventive cocktail selection.

Visit Kingfly Spirits on its first flight or keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming events featuring live musicians.


Oakland just got a little bit spicier. Last week, a hot chicken restaurant, CHiKN, seduced Pittsburghers with its Tennessee-inspired menu.

The restaurant specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches. Sandwich or not, it’s all chicken: chicken tenders, chicken salad, and chicken and waffles. Sides, like Mac n’ cheese and coleslaw are available to cut the heat (spice level is adjustable).

Valentine’s Day Dinners

Wake up, world! It’s finally February. And February means ... Valentine’s Day. If you’re scrambling for last-minute reservations, check out these holiday menus perfect for a lovers’ night out.
  • Whitfield at The Ace Hotel

The Whitefield takes its monthly lamb dinners for a weekend long ride starting Feb. 14. Chef Bethany Zozula, along with in-house butcher and sous chef Steve Beachy, create a menu utilizing a whole lamb. Dishes include a lamb liver mousse, paired with red wine, jelly, and toast, and the traditional roast leg.

This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh
French kiss oysters
  • The Fairmont & fl. 2

Pamper yourself and a loved one before dinner with The Fairmont’s spa Rose-Mantic Massage for Two. After relaxing, head over to fl. 2 for a tasting menu featuring French kiss oysters, grilled maitake, and roast quail.

  • Square Cafe & My Goodness

Eat a heart at Square Cafe in Regent Square. The cafe is featuring red velvet pancakes exclusively for the holiday, dripping with cream cheese icing and powdered sugar. Wash down the sweet breakfast with a love-struck latte.

Don’t feel like leaving the house? Pick up the Square Cafe red velvet pancake kit (among other flavors) at My Goodness market. Proceeds from hotcake sales, packaged or not, benefit the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

This week's tastiest food stories in Pittsburgh
Chocolate raspberry truffle milkshake
  • The Milk Shake Factory

Abandon the fancy dinner. Instead, take your valentine to The Milk Shake Factory. Woo your boo with a chocolate raspberry truffle shake and two straws, the perfect treat for romance.

Mun's Pizza at Allegheny City Brewing
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"Yinzerpolitan" pies in the Northside

By Mars Johnson