The kitchen staff at Giuseppe's Cafe draws on the age-old culinary traditions of southern Italy using family recipes. The tasty results take form in al dente pastas, flaky fish, and succulent meats. In addition to the classics, nine signature foccacia flatbreads are smothered in everything from sausages to shrimp.
But Italian cuisine isn't the bistro's only specialty. American staples such as fish and chips and baby-back ribs are delivered to diners, who can enjoy an outdoor patio in warmer months. To foster a sense of community, this setting also hosts live entertainment at Sunday pig roasts.
Though its sweet shoppe is a new addition, Charlie's has been serving ice cream for over 30 years, long enough to witness both I Love the '80s and its original source material. Try your tongue on one of Charlie's time-honored soft-serve treats in chocolate ($2/medium), vanilla ($2/medium), yogurt ($2.35/medium), or Dole ($2.35/medium) in a cake cone. Charlie's can also add any of 36 flavors, including butterscotch, espresso, cheesecake, mango, and many more into any of its soft-serve flavors. Or opt to sharpen your teeth on two scoops of classically flavored hard-serve in a cake cone ($2.25). Sugar-free options in butter pecan and fudge ripple help keep discerning diets in tact. Ice cream is also skillfully injected into cakes, pies, and cookie sandwiches, bridging the gap between Charlie's old and Charlie's new with a filling more satisfying than caulk. Swing by the sweet shoppe portion of the dessertery to pick up some home-style baked goods, such as cookies, brownies, crème horns, muffins, tarts, apple dumplings, cakes, savory pepperoni rolls, and more. Pie, cake, and other large orders must be placed 24–48 hours in advance.
A self-proclaimed sculpture-cake confectioner, Sweetest Desserts rolls out a menu filled with fresh batches of hand-decorated and artfully crafted cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Using quality ingredients, the bakery creates a variety of custom cupcakes ($12.50/dozen), which are available in more than 25 base flavors, such as classic crisp vanilla, decadent mocha crunch, and moist southern red velvet. Optional fillings ($2.25/dozen) include chocolate ganache, lemon cream, and va va vanilla mousse. Fresh, succulent strawberries are drizzled and dressed in milk, dark, and white chocolate before being accessorized with nuts and coconut shavings ($19.95 for 18), and tasty tartlets ($13.95/dozen) are stuffed with apples, berries, and white chocolate mousse before they sashay across your mouth’s red carpet. Customers can either visit the bake shop in person or opt for delivery, which is available to Pittsburgh and surrounding areas within a 50-mile radius for an additional fee of $6 to $11.
Style Envy's bright red couch, festooned with zebra pillows, sets the salon's tone as stylists prepare to perform hair, waxing, and tanning services. The beauty specialists lead guests on the path to hairdo reconstruction with a menu of salon services, which includes hair-coloring treatments that restore luster to locks with Scruples products and Blazing highlights. Blazing's one-step, bleach-free process achieves up to seven levels of highlights when applied to both natural hues and color-treated hair, and the stylists use a roster of 19 shades to achieve anyone’s desired color. They can also render an artfully crafted haircut and style to form a more tasteful head ornament than a diamond-studded beer helmet, in addition to bedazzling clients' domes with colorful extensions. Style Envy's tanning beds perk up bodies below the hairline and deepen skin tone in private rooms coated with playful bubblegum-pink, sky-blue, and red hues.
The chefs at Café Vita craft a menu of gourmet Italian fare from fresh, locally purchased ingredients. Evening meals fit for two kings or four royal comptrollers can commence with Café Vita's signature appetizer, the artichoke romano, which anoints artichoke hearts in flour and egg before sautéing them into a crispy, golden shell. Ravioli pillows stuffed with portobello and porcini mushrooms are lulled to sleep in a blanket of sherry cream sauce. Much like a velvet bib worn over a freshly pressed Armani suit, the veal parmesan's marinara-and-parmesan-studded cape belies the crispness of its flour-battered surface. Diners can swap big-fish stories over a plate of sautéed calamari swimming in a linguine strewn with buoys of garlic and cherry tomatoes. A house-made dessert ends meals on a sweet note reminiscent of Mozart's unfinished Requiem for a Fumbled Twizzler.
Nancy Pursh set aside a 20-year career as an administrative assistant to pursue her life’s passion by operating a Victorian-style tearoom. Within a stately Springdale home, she hosts refined afternoon-tea services, pouring gently steeped cupfuls of loose tea that she personally selects from local merchants. Now joined by chef Brian Boring, she pairs teas with a seasonal selection of housemade sandwiches and baked goods. Relying on handpicked fruits and herbs from the gardens, Brian creates refreshing finger foods to accompany tea, such as almond and coconut macaroons or cinnamon-pear scones. Although the tearoom’s china saucers and lace tablecloths evoke the elegant tearooms of an earlier era, Nancy’s goal was simply to create “a cozy, warm, welcoming house where friends could sit and chat, relaxed and unrushed.” :m]]