Millvale is home to numerous delis
Millvale might have a population under 3,800, but it has something in common with New York City — a reputation for delis, purveyors of sandwiches, soups and salads.
Deli on North
A few weeks ago, owner Pete Notarangelo of Verona opened this establishment at 215 North Ave. as a second Deli on North location, the first being on Pittsburgh’s North Side. His partner, Gary Gigliotti, owns and operates Lawrenceville’s Deli on Butler.
Notarangelo, 59, described his menu as having an “Italian flair.”
“We would remember things that our grandparents made for us when we were little and try to incorporate things like that,” he said.
Friends and relatives served as taste testers when the partners developed their sauces and deli oil for the 11-year-old Lawrenceville and eight-year-old North Side locations.
They also inspired the menu’s names.
A sandwich of roast beef, smoked ham and turkey with two cheeses, red onions and a special sauce ($8) is called the Pasquale after Gigliotti’s father, who encouraged his son to open a food service business.
An offering with roast beef, provolone, horseradish sauce, lettuce and tomato ($7.75) is named Teresa’s Arrosto Dimanzo after Notarangelo’s mother.
The Jason’s Cajun panini, Dylan’s pork stacker, Casey’s turkey bacon ranch and Zach’s Southwest are named in honor of the employees who developed them.
“It’s really cool to have employees that are that interested and invested in your business, you know, and that want to come up with ideas and support you that way.”
The Millvale location has stand-up counters, but Notarangelo may add stools.
If Pasquale were still alive, he would flash a smile and welcome people to the shop while occupying a chair in the deli’s corner, Notarangelo said.
“He would be so very, very proud of Gary and me, too, but definitely for his son.”
Duncan Street Sandwich Shop
After four years of hosting monthly pop-up dinners in their former home on Duncan Street in Lawrenceville, Kendyl Ryan, 29, and Dan Rodriguez, 31, opened the Duncan Street Sandwich Shop, at 543 North Ave., Millvale.
Since September 2018, they have operated the deli in the storefront and offered dinners three nights per month in an intimate dining room. The chefs said the cozy 12-person setting fosters friendships.
Ryan and Rodriguez contact people through a mailing list with the dinner details, giving them 24 hours to make reservations. Afterward, the dates are posted on social media. Join the list at [email protected] .
The five-course meals are $100, which includes an opening cocktail toast, wine pairings with each course and an after-dinner cocktail.
Dinner items have influenced deli offerings. The “everything” pork sandwich, featuring roasted pork, seasoning, pickled red onion jam, cheese, cucumber and fried onion ($10), is based on a pork tenderloin the chefs prepared for a dinner. The smoked chicken sandwich ($10) with herb aioli, onion jam, cucumber and basil is the same as one served during a dinner.
Ryan’s mother loves the hearty vegan roasted mushroom sandwich ($10) with Montreal seasoning, roasted garlic, caramelized onion and mushroom jus.
The now Reserve-based couple sells homemade ice cream, like the peaches-and-cream and toasted oats flavor ($6) recently available.
Guests may dine at six stools inside or on the dog-friendly patio, where they might spot house dog Jelly Bean.
Nova Café, at 224 Grant Ave., may have undergone recent renovations, but owner Christina Koehn is serving up the same classics that she has prepared since opening in 1996 in Lawrenceville, prior to relocating to Millvale in 2006.
“One of the things that I’ve always strived to do is to offer good food at an affordable price,” Koehn, 48, of Shaler, said.
Nova Café serves breakfast all day, salads, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and sides such as fries, onion rings, provolone sticks, zucchini sticks and fried ravioli.
“Soup is one of our biggest sellers. People call and ask for it by the gallon this time of year. Then, they will give us their name and phone number and say if you’re making potato soup, make sure you put a gallon aside. I like your chili, or I like your cream of broccoli,” she said.
The homemade soup is $2.95 for a cup, $4.95 a bowl and $7.95 a quart.
The deli offers daily specials.
“We have a full dairy case. We have breads. We have lunch meats cut by the pound to order. We have a grocery-type theme as well. We’re multi-faceted. We have fresh produce to sell,” Koehn said. Café Nova might add additional shelving for canned goods and condiments — a potentially welcome addition in Millvale, which doesn’t have a full-service grocery store.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.