When the Vallozzi household opened a Downtown Pittsburgh location in 2012, an enlargement of their Greensburg establishment of a number of many years, it was one thing of a chic white tablecloth Italian throwback: like Marcello Rubini in a thin tie behind the wheel of a Triumph.
Against this, with an open kitchen, modern cool decor, hip-hop on on the bar and even a menu of shooters comprised of Italian liqueurs and prime shelf spirits, the Vallozzi’s new sibling restaurant Talia Cucina & Rosticceria at 425 Sixth Ave. is refined however with a humorousness — that is extra like Ferris Bueller in a beret, sneaking out the Ferrari roadster.
And whereas he might not be Bueller’s alter ego Abe Froman, “The Sausage King of Chicago,” with a while, government chef Steve Lanzilotti may turn into the roasted meats king of Pittsburgh, through a five-figure roaster custom-made in France, a centerpiece of the kitchen.
The standard of the roasted meats was instantly obvious within the ricotta gnocchi. Regularly served in a Bolognese or a ragu, right here massive pillows of gnocchi and smoky bites of brief rib are offered nearly like a stew in a half-sauce, half-broth presentation that was fascinating and scrumptious, and spiced with Calabrian chile and topped with bottarga.
At a latest preview dinner, the inch-thick porchetta appeared just like the ringed cross part of a tree log. The outer layer rims a stunning juicy meat and fats with a crackling, crunchy pores and skin. The core may’ve retained extra moisture, however that’s one thing they’ll work out in time.
Different signature gadgets from the roasting spit or ‘spiedo’ embody a leg of lamb, a 30-day dry aged prime rib and half-chicken.
Regardless of being meat heavy, there are lighter gadgets. A day by day crudo choice as an example was dramatically composed of skinny tuna with slices of vibrant crimson Fresno chili and white radish and olive oil. A contorni of roasted asparagus is served rustic with a poached egg and bottarga. A bowl of linguine with pink peppercorn and Grana Padano is easy magnificence.
Breads are made in home by baker Glen Hoover. Pastas can be found in half parts, that are a pleasant means to a reasonable chunk on an in any other case expensive menu.
A constellation of filament bulbs hangs over the bar space, and the liquors are handsomely displayed on backlit shelving. A number of murals by Pittsburgh artist Jeremy Raymer add coloration and soul to the in any other case glossy inside. And smashing the idea that an Italian restaurant will need to have the Rat Pack on repeat, the soundtrack ranged from Invoice Withers to Migos.
Scott DiBenedetto’s bar crew serves up basic and modern cocktails to go along with a top-notch Italian wine checklist, and enjoyable shooters just like the “Bro” — Russell’s Reserve bourbon and Meletti amaro.
However it’s a deal with to sit in entrance of the open kitchen and watch Mr. Lanzilotti and workers do their factor. A profession kitchen veteran in supporting roles, he was prepared to surrender his culinary ambitions earlier than he took one final job on the opening kitchen workers at Vallozzi’s Downtown location. The proverbial pilot gentle flickered on for him and after rising to the highest place there, 5 years later, he’s on the helm of Downtown’s latest restaurant. It’ll be enjoyable to look at his expertise develop.
Dan Gigler: email@example.com; Twitter @gigs412