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big Burrito reveals new concept for Fox Chapel Plaza eatery

Tawnya Panizzi
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The newest restaurant from big Burrito, Alta Via, is expected to open in Fox Chapel Plaza in March.

Foodies rejoice – the opening of the newest concept from the big Burrito Restaurant Group is on track to open in Fox Chapel Plaza this spring.

President Chef Bill Fuller announced today that Alta Via is expected to open in March, bringing modern Italian cuisine to the spot formerly occupied by Donato’s along Fox Chapel Road.

“Alta Via fulfills our desire to further explore Italian cooking, embracing a cuisine that celebrates the way we like to live and like to eat: fresh, clean and active,” said Fuller, corporate chef.

The big Burrito group is prolific across the Pittsburgh region, operating Mad Mex, Kaya, Casbah, Eleven, Umi and Soba. They most recently opened a Mad Mex in The Waterworks, a stone’s throw from the Alta Via site.

Named for a footpath through the Dolomite mountains in northeastern Italy, Alta Via is the first new concept for Fuller and his colleagues in several years.

He said it was inspired by the fresh cuisine and active lifestyle of the California wine country and the lively mountain towns of the Italian Alps.

It will give Fuller the chance to pair his passion for pasta with seasonal veggies and the comfort of wood hearth cooking, he said.

The space is planned to be “comfortably intimate,” with a 90-seat dining area and a horseshoe-shaped bar that will seat 40.

A partnership of big Burrito, Studio K in Chicago and Wildman Chalmers Design, the menu will be showcase Fuller’s love of great seafood and pasta made daily by hand, with specialties like pappardelle with Beef Short Rib Sugo and Parmigiano Vacche Rosse. Sustainably sourced ingredients and freshly made gelato round out the menu.

Ben Sloan of Kaya and Eleven will be executive chef.

The restaurant will open for dinner daily and will offer brunch and lunch later in the year.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, [email protected] or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.