Way Up North

Since I live in the South Hills, sometimes it takes a little while for me to catch up on goings on to the north of the Ohio River. Here's an update from Bellevue, where the owner of Vivo (a very good restaurant) and some investors have put together some cool stuff along Lincoln Avenue:

Vivo: http://www.friendsofvivo.com/

Roberto's Pizzeria: (web site?) http://www.robertospizzeria.com/

The 517521 Building, in the former G.C. Murphy store: http://www.517521.com/ (no content yet)

Art by HBandz, in the 517521 building: http://www.hbandz.com/home.htm

Affogato coffee bar and bookstore: http://www.bigreda.com/home.htm

Ruth Ann Dailey's column from Spring 2005: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05089/479420.stm

Ruth Ann Dailey from August 2005: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05237/559275.stm

Jonathan Barnes from August 2005: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05237/559381.stm


12 Responses to "Way Up North"

Jonathan Barnes said... 11/01/2005 11:54 AM

Since I'm a Bellevue native and I stay in touch with the old hometown, I've known about these developments for some time. I have written about them extensively for the Post-Gazette and Pulp over the last few years.
Thanks for linking to my latest story.
It's nice to see that folks across the river are noticing what's happening in that small borough named for its "beautiful view." There are some movers and shakers over there--many of whom haven't really been written about much.

Dr. Mallard G. Brash said... 11/01/2005 3:21 PM

Roberto's website:


The place is amazing. Do not miss it. Try the Nutella pizza for dessert.

Christina said... 11/01/2005 3:38 PM

Lord, yes, the Nutella pizza. It's warm gooey hazelnut crack.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 11/01/2005 4:42 PM

When it was "Regina Margherita", I tried several of their pizzas a number of times. Good, but not amazing. Maybe with these new Italian ovens it is better.

If you want to read about other top pizza places that came in before #13, the NYT Levine article, "The Sacred Art of Pizza Making, and Secrets to Perfect Pies" is available. Lots of NYC standards. New and notable is wood fired Una Pizza Napoletana which is only open 4 days a week and only as long as the dough lasts. In Phoenix, AZ, Pizzeria Bianco. (review) Chris Bianco, two years ago, won the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest. NPR's "Fresh Air" did a 9 minute interviewed with Levine.

I will have to check out Affogato. Vietnamese, Syrian, and French pressed coffee. Hmm. Yerba Mate, even with the straw. Interesting. A Spanking? Coke with espresso. Strange. Some people call that "Turbo Coke". It is supposed to have a "Guinness like" foam.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 11/01/2005 5:09 PM

Oh, and, of course, all you Yale-ies remember Sally's Pizza on Wooster St. New Haven claims to the birth place of both the hamburger, Louis' Lunch, and American Pizza.

Mike Madison said... 11/01/2005 6:03 PM

Louis Lunch isn't really a hamburger. We used to call it "raw meat on toast."

TIM MURRAY said... 11/01/2005 10:59 PM

The only pizza in the Pittsburgh area that approximates what you find throughout Italy is "Regina Margherita"/Roberto's. "Lombardi's"in NYC's Little Italy is great; legendary "Pepe's" in New Haven can make attending Yale almost tolerable. As good as those landmarks are, they are just American pizzas, and nothing compares to real Italian pizza -- which includes "Regina Margherita"/Roberto's.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 11/01/2005 11:25 PM

"raw meat on toast" MMmmmm. Sorry, just some wild throw back Magyar horsemen genes of my Eastern European background. I actually have gotten a burger, or two at Louis' on my way to BOS, or Foxwoods.

So, "real Italian pizza" is always just a little bit more soggy than crisp? Ever pie I got at Regina (still have not gone back after the name change/buy out/new oven) was distinctly floppy. No pizza viagra jokes.

TIM MURRAY said... 11/02/2005 7:43 AM

Not my experience there. But I agree with you that regardless of the place, the "soggy" aspect absolutely ruins what otherwise would be a great pizza.

Jonathan Barnes said... 11/02/2005 9:45 AM

Roberto's pizza is good and fairly unique for Pittsburgh. But for a "traditional" American pizza, stromboli or calzone, head across Lincoln Ave. to Luigi's, which is a Bellevue institution.
Down the street is Frankfurter's Hot Dog shop, owned by Marty and Mary Armstrong. It has excellent dogs and other food, and you don't have to flirt with the cook/bartender to get served, as in some East End dog shops...

Anonymous said... 11/02/2005 6:53 PM

I'd take Frankfurter's over Vivo any day.

And if you're feeling adventerous, pass up A and head about a mile down Lincoln/California to The Vault coffee shop in Brighton Heights.

Tommo said... 11/06/2005 1:06 PM

We're starting Thinktank - a workspace for creative minds in the 517521 Building. This would be modeled on writer's rooms in New York, LA and other cities where writers and other laptoppers can work in a quiet, affordable space. Check our website at www.versopartners.com/thinktank.html.

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