big Burrito Restaurant Group is bringing a new concept to Pittsburgh. Alta Via—named for the renowned footpath through the Dolomites—is inspired by the fresh cuisine and active lifestyle of both California wine country and the lively mountain towns of the Italian Alps and presents the group’s take on modern Italian cooking in a comfortably intimate space.
For big Burrito President and Corporate Chef Bill Fuller, Alta Via presents an opportunity to pursue more closely his passion for great pasta, seasonal vegetables, and the warm comfort of wood hearth cooking. “Alta Via fulfils our desire to further explore Italian cooking, embracing a cuisine that celebrates the way we like to live and like to eat: fresh, clean, active.”
The creative new restaurant design is a collaboration between big Burrito, Studio K in Chicago, and Wildman Chalmers Design. The Alta Via menu is built around the hearth and handmade pasta with a continued attention to big Burrito’s love of great seafood. All pastas will be made by hand every day in Alta Via’s kitchen. The vegetable-forward recipes embrace sustainably sourced ingredients and fresh, clean flavors. They also plan to make two flavors of soft serve gelato daily.
In addition to the cozy 90 seat dining room, there will seating for another 40 in the bar area, including the large horseshoe-shaped bar. The full menu will be available in both rooms. The drink program will focus on well-made classic cocktails, a concise wine list with an intelligent balance of Italian and American wines, and a carefully curated menu of draft and bottled beers with a heavy focus on Western Pennsylvania producers.
The opening menu will include sharable vegetable dishes including Grilled Wild Mushrooms with Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Romanesco in Salmoriglio with Oregano, and Runner Beans with Basil and Italian Vinaigrette. In addition, it will feature at least ten fresh pastas a day including Pappardelle with Beef Short Rib Sugo and Parmigiano Vacche Rosse, Tortelli filled with Smoked Ricotta and Spinach in Melted Onion Sauce, and Riverview Farms Goat Cheese Ravioli with Lemon, Bottarga, and Pistachio. There will also be roast chicken, steaks, and fresh fish and seafood from the wood-fired open hearth.
Ben Sloan of Kaya and Eleven will be Executive Chef, working with Jennifer Johnson from Eleven as the General Manager. The restaurant is currently scheduled to open in late-March, 2019 for dinner seven nights a week with brunch and lunch to follow later in the spring of 2019.