2015 was a great year for mobile food. Plenty of new trucks and carts rolled onto Pittsburgh’s streets, from Mission Mahi and their fish tacos to the waffle-slinging Second Breakfast. In a crowded field, Driftwood Oven stood out. They aren’t (pardon the pun) reinventing the wheel, but they are making some killer pizza, putting the best possible ingredients into their mobile, wood-fired oven. Local produce, homemade mozzarella and an airy, slightly singed crust combine to make Driftwood Oven a serious player in Pittsburgh’s pizza scene. And Driftwood Oven is remaining active throughout the winter, popping up at coffee shops and breweries and posting up at The Vandal on Sunday nights.
The Big Y Restaurant Group specializes in recreating specific culinary experiences in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, from French Quarter revelry at NOLA to the South Beach chicness of Seviche. For their latest venture, Big Y set their sights on the rocky shores of Greece. Located in Market Square, Poros cuts a fine figure, with a slick oceanic interior and a display case filled with fresh, whole fish. That seafood plays a prominent role on the menu, as does lamb from two local farms. The bar provides a Mediterranean-focused wine list and creative cocktails studded with ouzo and Greek herbs.
On paper, Spirit sounds like it’s having a bit of an identity crisis: it’s a concert hall, a pizza parlor, a cocktail bar and probably a half dozen other things. But one visit to the Upper Lawrenceville hot spot, which occupies a former Moose Lodge, and it all makes sense. Spirit feels like an old-school social club, only with local drafts, hip game nights and New York style pizza. That pizza comes from Slice Island, a small kitchen in the back of Spirit run by the Pizza Boat dudes. The expertly executed classics and rotating menu of specialty pies are just the things to keep you fueled up for one of Spirit’s already legendary dance parties.
What 2015 openings had you in a tizzy? (How about BAKN, a wonderful addition to Carnegie’s E. Main St?) Leave ‘em in the comments!