from big President Bill Fuller, March 2019
Alta Via! Our newest restaurant! Coming this month to Fox Chapel Plaza! A ton of house-made fresh pasta dishes! A huge, custom-made wood-burning grill! Lots of delicious Modern Italian dishes! Endless seasonal produce! Soft-serve gelato!
Soft Serve Gelato!
I am a little excited. Can you tell?
We arrived at this point after a long and winding road. Alta Via means “High Way” in Italian and is the name of a trail in the Dolomite Mountains in Northern Italy. We chose the name because it evokes the feeling of what we want to offer at this new restaurant – Italian flavors and dishes with fresh, clean preparations that feel indulgent and rejuvenating at the same time. Much like we’d feel tucking into a delicious meal at our Italian mountain resort after a long hiking day over the mountains – decadent and healthy all at the same time.
This restaurant started years ago with the feeling that we should do an Italian restaurant. I was never able to clearly describe what I felt it should be. I love all styles of Italian cooking: from big pans of lasagna to stone-fired pizzas to prosciutto and parmesan to All Of The Pastas to biscotti to tiramisu, I love it all. But I knew that I didn’t want to open a red sauce joint. To pursue that in earnest, we would have to battle every Pittsburgher’s Italian Grandmother Food Memory. It is hard to win there. And to open a red sauce place as a lark, as an over-the-top homage to Italian-American cooking, would be an insult to the community.
Simultaneously, I have also wanted to create a restaurant of the type I grew to love while I lived in (and when I visit) San Francisco. I love cozy San Francisco neighborhood bistros that serve great wines and excellent food. I totally dig simple dishes featuring freshly grilled farmers market vegetables, incredible meats, and super fresh fish. And I freaking LOVE interesting pastas made fresh daily featuring local, seasonal produce and incredibly tasty ingredients – perfect olive oil and amazing cheeses. There also should be house-made fresh focaccia and a little fun for dessert.
So when we found this space, it seemed the perfect place to synthesize the two. Intimate and friendly, we could be the delicious, seasonally driven Noe Valley neighborhood restaurant. But also, we could dig deep into our pasta book and our Pittsburgh Italian souls and create a restaurant that reflects the delicious flavors of Italian food in all her glory. The food will be simple and delicious. The cocktail list classic, bold, and fun. The wines come only from Italy and Northern California. There needs to be rigatoni and an amazingly delicious green salad that I like to eat with my fingers.
And there will be soft-serve gelato.
And so we are nearly prepared to present this to you. Alta Via. Modern Italian. Totally my soul.
See these these recipes in action on Pittsburgh Today Live.