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sourdough bread

Five Points Artisan Bakeshop open in Squirrel Hill
Five Points, the new bakery Squirrel Hill bakery from Geof Comings, is open at 6520 Wilkins Avenue and is very much worth a visit.

In addition to a nice selection of artisan breads—including the standout sourdough and a fine baguette—the sizeable cookies and scones are first-rate indulgences. We particularly enjoyed the fruit and oatmeal and chocolate chip varietals, the latter of which struck an excellent balance of crispy around the edge with a soft, chewy interior.

On top of its retail space on Wilkins Avenue, Five Points Artisan Bakeshop is already supplying bread to Legume Bistro and all the baked goods sold at Commonplace Coffee—accordingly, you can get a cup of the locally roasted brew at the bakery to enjoy with whichever treat tickles your sweet tooth.

Trapuzzano opening in Shadyside tomorrow
Trapuzzano Italian Chophouse, which will take over the Walnut Street space formerly occupied by The Elbow Room, will open Wednesday at 5 p.m. for dinner, management announced on Monday.

In addition to a menu specializing in steaks, seafood and classic Italian fare, the restaurant will sport a martini bar with a scaled back menu of appetizers, snacks and flatbreads, and a calendar featuring live entertainment.

Michael Budway, formerly of the the Georgetown Inn on Mt. Washington, will serve as Trapuzzano’s executive chef. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, til 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and until 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Hell with the Lid Off

Tickets are now on sale for the 11th edition of Hell With the Lid Off, Kelly’s Bar & Lounge’s annual barleywine festival. As usual, the event will have sessions from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $65 now through Sunday, after which the price will rise to $75. You have to go through the website to get early bird pricing, as tickets won’t be available at the bar until next Monday.

While the event itself won’t be held until Saturday, March 7, we figured we’d let you know about this well in advance so that you have adequate time to arrange transportation and lodging, and to clear your schedule for the following day—it’s astonishing how drinking barleywine for three straight hours can devolve your otherwise ambitious weekend into a symphony of naps.

Peet’s, we hardly knew ye
Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced yesterday that it will close its three Pittsburgh locations as the company withdraws its presence from Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Peet’s first came to Pittsburgh late last year with locations in Oakland, SouthSide Works and Waterworks Mall, replacing Minnesota-based chain Caribou Coffee, which closed its area stores last September.

We’re eager to see which coffee shop chain will take the next crack at the soon-to-be former Peet’s locations, though it’s doubtless locals will continue to refer to all of them as “where the Caribou Coffee used to be.”

Eat/Drink’s holiday snack tips
Eggnog is tired, you guys. This holiday season try changing things up with a rum punch. There are tons of great recipes out there, but we’d suggest this one from cocktail expert and Pittsburgh native David Wondrich, adapted for modernity from a 19th-century recipe of which Charles Dickens was especially fond.

If you’re going to stick with eggnog, though, swing by the state store and pick up a bottle of Smith & Cross rum. It’s a pungent and fruity Jamaican spirit which a lot of bartenders use to add depth of flavor to cocktails, and it goes great with heavy cream and spices. Trust us on this.

If you’re looking to avoid going completely nuts at the very sight of a table full of cookies, Eat/Drink humbly suggests the following utterly non-scientific approach to holiday indulgence. Instead of stuffing your face with every sugar-and-cream-filled morsel put in front of you, keep it simple. We limit our snacking to Triscuits, specifically the brown rice variety, flavored with sea salt and black pepper. You don’t even need to put anything on them. For optimal snacking, pair with literally any red wine and consume while standing at your kitchen counter, then brood accordingly.

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.