In case you haven’t noticed, let me just state: I love pizza. A controversial position, I know. So when I heard that East Liberty’s Pizza Taglio was having their soft opening this past weekend, I had to be there.

Located next to The Livermore on South Highland (in the space formerly occupied by AVA lounge), Pizza Taglio’s high ceilings, large windows and warm color scheme give it the feel of a classy yet inviting neighborhood parlor. But the real star of the space is owner Tony Giaramita. A former lawyer, Giaramita is as friendly as he is knowledgeable. He rattled off facts about their imported wood-roasted espresso beans while stretching his Roman-style pies into their signature rectangular slabs.

Normally, Pizza Taglio will sell by the slice. An array of oblong pies will cover the shop’s counter, and the price will be based on the weight of the slices you select. Those choices will range from the classic Margherita to the inventive Greenpointer, which is topped with spicy soppressata and hot honey.

Much to nobody’s disappointment, Giaramita’s scale was not yet operational at the soft opening, meaning I got a whole pie all to myself. And what a pie it was. Speck (an Italian cured ham), fontina cheese, arugula and blistered tomatoes sat atop a crust that was substantial yet impossibly airy—no easy feat. The top-notch ingredients were perfectly balanced, walking that mouthwatering line between salty and sweet. My meal was bookended by a decadent cannoli and one of those excellent imported espressos. I left very full and so very satisfied.

Giaramita hopes to be fully up and running by this weekend (keep an eye on Facebook or Twitter for details on hours). And I hope he’s ready for the onslaught. With pies this good, Pizza Taglio is sure to be bopping in no time.

In other news…

If you’re headed out to Canonsburg’s Sarris Candies this week, be sure to go hungry. The beloved candy store will have food trucks on site nearly every day this week for Easter shoppers who want more than chocolate. Check their Twitter for details.

This Friday, Lawrenceville’s Spirit will host Keep Pittsburgh Fishy. The secular fish fry will benefit the PERSAD Center, a local nonprofit serving the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in western Pennsylvania.

Build-your-own-burger bar The Tipsy Cow, sister restaurant to Stack’d, is now open on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside.

Le Diner en Blanc, the strange international phenomenon where thousands of people dress entirely in white to eat a big, fancy picnic, is coming to Pittsburgh this summer.

Drew Cranisky

Drew Cranisky is a writer, bartender and recent graduate of Chatham University's Food Studies program. He enjoys cats, pinball and fancy burgers.