J.ustin Severino wasn’t sure whether his salty pork business would continue beyond the holiday season. However, the success of the Strip District popup, as well as the growing online sales of his charcuterie store, mean the lauded Pittsburgh chef will be keeping the pocket-sized storefront on Smallman Street open on weekends for the foreseeable future.
“Right now we’re still playing out the things we did at Cure and we still have at Morcilla. And I would like to continue to do so, “says Severino,” but we are also planning to add more products to the range. “
Severino is in the process of upgrading the storefront with additions such as a new cooler and a new menu bar. There will be a case with small and large sized salamis, pate, rillettes, guanciale, whipped lardo, and some other charcuterie. Customers can also expect a freezer with a variety of sausages. Severino says he plans to expand his product line to include more sausages, salami cotto, bacon, snack sticks, jerky, bologna and brisket.
“I want to be an integral part of people’s lives all week. I don’t want this to be seen as an expensive luxury. That’s why I didn’t get into the sausage industry, ”he says.
Severino recently equipped the salty pork production room in the Morcilla basement with new equipment that allows him to work in larger quantities. Even with the new equipment, he’s growing on purpose and planning to maintain relationships with local farmers like the Footprints Farm, from which he buys whole pigs. “I don’t want to overshoot. I want to do a small amount of things really well, ”he says.
Salty Pork Bits is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2018 Smallman St., Strip District; saltyporkbits.com
New boss alert
Eliza Jamison is now the head chef at Union Standard. Jamison, previously head chef at Muddy Waters Oyster Bar and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, brings a wealth of experience to the Downtown restaurant. She started working as a sous-chef at Union Standard late last year, and owner Derek Stevens said the intent was to move her to a larger executive position. “She’s an excellent cook. Now she is able to reach her potential. It’s exciting, ”he says.
Stevens says he will continue to advise on the menu and help Jamison develop new dishes, but will focus most of his attention on the operational aspects of the restaurant.
524 William Penn Pl., Downtown; 412 / 281-0738, unionstandardpgh.com