Photo courtesy of LeVia Trattoria.

LeVia Castine’s love language was food. The daughter of Italian immigrants, she could make a plate of buttered noodles taste like a gourmet meal.

Now, her grandsons, Christopher and Anthony Castine, are carrying on the culinary tradition by opening a restaurant named after the late matriarch.

LeVia Trattoria, located in the former Cure space at 5336 Butler St. in Lawrenceville, is a place for hearty meals made with simple, fresh ingredients.

Photo courtesy of LeVia Trattoria.

“We are like any Italian family: every function revolves around a kitchen table that’s filled with good food,” Christopher Castine says.

The brothers have been operating under a delivery and takeout model since launching in March, but, starting April 29, the BYOB dining room will welcome patrons from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Guests can watch chef Anthony Castine create Italian comfort food in the scratch kitchen. Reservations are recommended.

Dishes put a modern spin on grandma’s recipes, with menu items such as Pork Bolognese, Salt Cod Fritters, Linguine and Clams, and Rigatoni with Basil Pesto and Oven-dried Cherry Tomatoes. For dessert, there’s the Rotolo Alla Marmellata, a vanilla roll cake with blood orange jam and an egg custard called zabaione.

The menu will change seasonally, but certain items, such as focaccia bread and garlic rolls with melted cheese and marinara, will remain year-round.

The Castines grew up in Greensburg and have worked in restaurants throughout Pittsburgh, including Cure, for more than a decade. With a passion for hospitality inherited from their family — both their grandfather and aunt operated eateries in the area before they were born — and the knowledge they gained from local chefs, they decided to open their own spot despite the pandemic.

Many Lawrenceville locals stop by once or twice a week to grab family-style grub they can enjoy in their own home, but the Castines are excited to invite them into the restaurant can seat 40 patrons full capacity.

The space has a homey feel to it, complete with the owners’ parents, Jeff and Diana Castine, working behind the scenes and LeVia’s wedding portrait hanging on the wall.

Photo courtesy of LeVia Trattoria.

“I’ve always wanted to name a restaurant after her,” Anthony Castine says, gazing at his grandma’s picture. “She is the example that all families should have. Our goal is to become part of the neighborhood, provide an honest product and build relationships. We want to take care of people the way she took care of us.”

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.