Summer 18|volume 11|Issue 4

    What’s New?

    An update of goings-on that reflect the continuing verve and vitality of the Strip District and Lawrenceville

    My American Dream: New Memoir by Lidia Bastianich

    My American Dream by Lidia

    Chef, author, and restaurateur Lidia Matticchio Bastianich has been a beloved public figure for decades, but she has never told her full story until now—in her memoir, the just-published My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018).

    Lidia grew up behind the Iron Curtain in post-World War II Istria. When she was only 10 years old her family became targets of Yugoslavia’s communist regime and were forced to flee, sneaking across the border to Italy. Finally, they arrived in New York in 1958, settling first in New Jersey and then in Queens with the help of the Catholic Charities.

    Starting with a single restaurant in Queens she opened with her husband in the 1970s, Lidia worked full time as a chef while raising a family. Through ups and downs—including near financial ruin when struggling to open her Felidia restaurant in 1981—she eventually grew the business to heights she could never have imagined. Her successes include many bestselling cookbooks, her show Lidia’s Kitchen on Public Television (now in its 20th year), the restaurants Becco and Del Posto, the ever-expanding Eataly chain, and of course the Lidia’s Pittsburgh restaurant in the Strip. Her entertainment company Tavola Productions creates high-quality broadcast productions, and she also has a line of pastas and all-natural sauces.

    Written with her trademark warmth and spirit, My American Dream is an inspiring and revelatory memoir from a remarkable woman.

    Lidia’s Pittsburgh
    1400 Smallman St. / 412-552-0150

    Preeti’s Pitt Opens in the Strip

    Preeti's Pitt

    Newly opened a few months ago on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, Preeti’s Pitt is a lounge-restaurant serving great American food. The restaurant has a bar, a stage, a lounge section, and an open kitchen; and live music is a staple. Diners can enjoy watching their dishes prepared, and among the menu items are burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings, fried lobster or shrimp, cheesesteaks, and mac ’n’ cheese.

    Preeti’s Pitt
    2701 Penn Ave. / 412-904-2585

    Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Unveils Six New Dancers for 2018-19 Season

    Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr has signed four more dancers to the company roster for the 2018-19 Season, which opens in October with “Mozart in Motion” with the PBT Orchestra.

    Orr recruited the following dancers from PBT School’s Pre-professional Division: Jonathan Breight of Pittsburgh; Colin McCaslin of Vineland, NJ; Yu-Chieh Chao of Pingtung, Taiwan; and Caitlyn Mendicino of Pittsburgh. All four dancers will join the company as apprentices. Earlier this season, Orr announced the hiring of PBT School graduate students Christian García Campos of Puebla, Mexico, and Tommie Kesten of Pittsburgh, who also will join the company as apprentices for the 2018-19 Season.

    The new dancers will make their professional debuts at PBT’s free “Ballet Under the Stars” performance at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 19, at Hartwood Acres, followed by “Mozart in Motion,” the company’s main-stage season opener, October 26-28, at the Benedum Center.

    Single-ticket sales for “Mozart in Motion” and other 2018-19 Season productions open August 7 (at, 412-456-6666, or the Box Office at Theater Square). Tickets start at $28.

    Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
    2900 Liberty Ave. / 412-281-0360

    Contemporary Craft Presents Visual Voices
    Bryan and Brad Caviness: Aleppo, Syria, 2017.

    Bryan and Brad Caviness: Aleppo, Syria, 2017.

    “Visual Voices: Truth Narratives” is a large-scale ceramics exhibition featuring 37 selected artists that runs through August 18 in Contemporary Craft’s main gallery in the Strip District. The narrative ceramic artworks highlight personal stories and global issues to acknowledge racial, religious, class, and gender biases that exist in today’s society. This exhibition is a collaboration with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).

    Clay works dating back thousands of years have enabled archaeologists to theorize on ceremonial, spiritual, and utilitarian societal markers that document the social and cultural contexts of their makers’ communities. Contemporary narrative ceramic artists, compared to their historical counterparts, are visually bombarded through media systems. Some work is created based solely on the artist’s personal experiences while others are influenced by what they see through the media; many today are shaped by both.

    Among the featured artists are Syd Carpenter, Roberto Lugo, Sana Musasama, Reginald Pointer, Janathel Shaw, and the brothers Bryan and Brad Caviness.

    Contemporary Craft
    2100 Smallman St. / 412-261-7003

    Klavon’s Hosts Nick’s Planet Warriors Fundraiser

    Klavon Kids

    Crowds gathered in late May at Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor for the Nick’s Planet Warriors Fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research. Guests buying an ice cream cone or a sandwich enabled 100% of the purchase money to be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of “Team” Nick’s Planet Warriors.

    In addition, Klavon’s has launched its first sugar-free ice cream, called Nick’s Warrior Vanilla. Nick himself was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes / Juvenile Diabetes in 2016. Since then he has raised over $4,000 towards finding a cure for those living with the disease.

    Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor
    2801 Penn Ave. / 412-434-0451