Acorn is poised to blossom on Walnut Street in the heart of Shadyside’s shopping district.
The restaurant, which will open its doors to the public tonight, September 6, is a combined effort of Chef Scott Walton, Chicago restaurateur Jason Akemann, and Pittsburgh developer Brian Singer.
Bringing over 20 years of restaurant experience from Chicago into his new restaurant, Walton moved to Pittsburgh in 2014. He immediately began working at the Executive Chef at Heinz Field, but the goal to open his own space in Pittsburgh was always in the works.
Also on the Acorn team is Akemann, who opened City Works in Market Square earlier this year. Together, Walton and Akemann form a trio with Singer, and have partnered together to form the Deciduous Hospitality Group. Acorn is the group’s first venture together.
“We all share a passion for food, drink, service and atmosphere that is honest and simple but still elegant,” says Akemann. “All three of us agree that hyper-local sourcing when possible only enhances the guest connection and creates a spirit of community. We are excited to contribute world class dining to such an iconic Pittsburgh neighborhood.”
Chef Walton’s doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty when it comes to his food, and his method of sourcing local and fresh ingredients will be first and foremost on Acorn’s menu. Guests can expect Modern American cuisine that is “refined without pretense.”
In addition to to robust flavors and local, seasonal ingredients, an important characteristic of Acorn will be its magnificently plated food. Each dish is a work of art.
Being local and seasonally-driven, dishes on the menu will rotate frequently. Currently, guests can enjoy appetizers like oysters with fermented pepper mash and local honey, and calamaretti with octopus, elote, and queso.
Entrees on the menu are meant for sharing. Current items include lamb (with sweet breads, cipollini, ramp ash, hominy, and preserved lemon), trout (with sorghum, Tahini, mushroom green chickpeas, and okra), and a whole fried chicken (with dirty rice, fermented coconut, and green papaya salad.)
The restaurant’s bar program will be lead by RaeLynn Harshamn Gigler, formerly of Dish Osteria. Similar to the food, the drinks are centered around quality sourcing, straightforward preparations, and an emphasis on Western Pennsylvania.The draft list will exclusively highlight Western PA-based craft breweries. Acorn is also working with PA Libations to provide guests with PA-produced spirits, like Maggie’s Farm Rum, Boyd & Blair, and Big Spring Spirits.
Western Pennsylvania wine will also be available, and Pittsburgh’s own Enginehouse 25 Wines has crafted a custom Acorn Red Blend for the restaurant.
Walk-ins are welcome at Acorn, but reservations reservations can be made online via Tock.
Acorn (5528 Walnut Street)