From Our Editors
Dinette: A User's Guide
- For the table: salt-cod toasts with spicy-pepper puree
- Appetizer: parsnip cream soup with crispy shallots and parsley oil
- Pizza: brussels sprouts pizza topped with butternut squash, peppered bacon, gorgonzola, and mozzarella. Such "upscale . . . chef-designed topping combos" helped earn Dinette a spot on Pittsburgh magazine's list of 25 Superb Pittsburgh Pizzas.
What to Drink: Like the dinner menu, Dinette's international wine list changes daily. Besides those 20 rotating varietals, bartenders also pour local beers.
The Chef: In her teens, Pittsburgh native Sonja Finn learned the kitchen's ins and outs as a prep cook at Baum Vivant. After earning a degree at the Culinary Institute of America, she further honed her skills at several James Beard Award–winning restaurants, including San Francisco's Zuni Cafe. Now the James Beard Foundation's spotlight is falling on her—she's a two-time semifinalist for its award for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Green Initiatives: In 2009, Fortune magazine included Sonja on its list of green chefs for her commitment to local produce, cheeses, and meats. A year later, she took that dedication a step further by planting a garden on Dinette's rooftop. There, her father tends to veggies like arugula, tomatoes, and the hot dogs that grow inside hollow cucumbers.
Inside Tip: If you're craving a slice of pizza in the comfort of your own home, Dinette can help out. Its pies are available for takeout, but you'll need to come to the restaurant and order in person.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Ponder the latest in contemporary art, including graffiti and outsider art, at GalleriE CHIZ (5831 Ellsworth Avenue).
After: Celebrate the performing arts with an evening of dance, music, or theater at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (5941 Penn Avenue), named for Pittsburgh natives Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn.