When sisters Beth and Katie Talarico decided to open their own restaurant, they wanted to recreate the feeling of Sunday dinners at grandma Ida’s house: a warm and friendly space where everyone feels like family.
In fact, many of the people working at Piazza Talarico are family.
Mom, Deb Talarico, discovered the location on Penn Ave. in Lawrenceville and continues to play a vital role in the daily operation. Dad, “Papa Joe,” oversees the wine operation making blends on-site from grapes grown in California and Italy. There’s even a couple of cousins on the small staff, helping Beth and Katie with kitchen and service duties.
“We wanted a place where we could feature simple, fresh Italian food,” says Katie, who along with Beth is a University of Pittsburgh grad. Both are long-time local residents. The idea to open a restaurant was inspired by their travels in Italy, along with family traditions and recipes passed down to them. Both sisters worked at Enrico’s Cafe in the Strip and credit owner Larry Lagattuta for helping them shape their vision.
The recently opened Piazza Talarico has a casual neighborhood vibe with nods to Italy. There’s a cozy dining space for 16, with room for more on the outside patio. The stand-up bar features several varieties of Papa Joe’s wine on tap, along with KingView mead and local brews. Instead of a full-service set-up, customers place food and drink orders at the counter and are served at their tables.
Menu highlights include a Talarico family classic, Baked Maccheroni, made with rigatoni, grandma’s sauce, pepperoni, cheese and boiled eggs. “It’s a recipe that’s been in the family for well over 100 years,” says Joe. Italian classics like soppressata pizza, chicken piccata,