Iron Born Pizza and Banhmilicious, two long-time Smallman Galley tenants, are leaving the Strip District food hall June 2. But a pair of new restaurants is moving in.
Mangiamo, Italian for “Let’s eat!,” brings pasta classics and experimental offerings to the table, while Sultry F&B is the spot for Eastern European comfort food and desserts.
Mangiamo is the first pop-up owned and operated by Galley Group, which runs Smallman Galley and its sister locations Federal Galley on the North Side, Ohio City Galley in Cleveland and Detroit’s Fort Street Galley. Sites in Chicago and Minneapolis will open this summer.
Ben Mantica, who co-founded the restaurant incubator in 2015 with Tyler Benson, says introducing Italian cuisine to the table was a no-brainer.
“Growing up in Pittsburgh, I came to the Strip every week to visit Penn Mac and Sunseri’s,” says Mantica, a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant who has dined in food halls around the world. “It’s hard not to get hooked on Italian food. We can get a lot of awesome ingredients a block away. That’s how we landed at this anchor concept.”
Among their offerings: Spaghetti Bolognese, a slowly simmered sauce of ground beef, pork, white wine, fresh tomatoes and herbs, poured over long, tubular bucatini noodles that help distribute the zesty red goodness throughout the dish.
Other traditional staples include calamari and rigatoni with sausage. The Italian chop salad, a mix of artichoke hearts, hand-pulled mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, Romaine hearts, cucumbers and crunchy chickpeas in an oregano vinaigrette, is summer in a bowl.
The menu also boasts inventive dishes including polenta fries with shaved Parmesan cheese and house marinara, and an eggplant parm panini with crispy eggplant, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and red sauce.
The menu was created by chef Phillip Milton, who also helms Home (Smallman’s comfort food pop-up) and the chicken-based Which Came First at Federal. He’ll juggle all three operations until Galley Group hires a staff for Mangiamo.
Their pop-up offers savory bistro cuisine while paying homage to Pittsburgh’s homestyle cooking. The menu covers brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert with plates that are as appealing to the eye as they are the taste buds.
Forrester elevates old-time favorites, such as the Confit Pork Haluski with cured cabbage and egg noodles, and potato and cheese pierogies served with Brussels sprouts, braised beef and creamed onion.
Grandma’s Chicken Paprikash gets an upgrade with braised chicken, sweet peppers, onion, paprika, potato dumplings and house sour cream. Complement the dish with a serving of pickled beets with shaved onions, sweet and spicy peppers, homemade croutons and caraway seed.
Barth oversees the pastry program, which includes her take on pączki, a Polish doughnut filled with chocolate, vanilla or seasonal custard. Other sweets include seasonal sorbet, the Not a Prince Polo (dark chocolate ganache, crispy wafer and hazelnut) and the Lady Lock Cup, a vanilla bean Bavarian cream and berry coulis in a flaky pastry shell.
Both eateries debut the week of June 7.
Like other Galley Group pop-ups, Mangiamo and Sultry F&B will operate for about a year and then make way for other concepts and aspiring chefs who dream of eventually opening their own brick-and-mortar eateries.
Chef Pete Tolman’s Iron Born Pizza started at Smallman Galley in June 2017 and now has a stand-alone location in Millvale and plans for a second operation at 1808 Smallman Street. Chef Hoa Le of Banhmilicious is currently searching for a permanent space.