A Taste of Home
KATE LASKY AND TOMASZ SKOWRONSKI BRING VEGAN, EASTERN EUROPEAN
CUISINE TO BLOOMFIELD WITH APTEKA. // BY HAL B. KLEIN // PHOTOS BY LAURA PETRILLA
At Apteka, they move beyond the
basic formula of “Pierogi vs … ”
to a fully fledged eatery focused
on the cuisine of eastern and
A hater might call Apteka
hipster. The design is evocative of
eating in a concrete bunker at the
that sometimes gets downright
weird. There are jars upon jars of
fermenting and pickling foraged
forest, field and fruit finds. Fret
not, this isn’t Brooklyn’s Bushwick
on Pittsburgh’s Penn Avenue.
It also would be easy to call
Apteka hippie. It’s 100 percent
meat- and dairy-free. Occasional-
ly a server meanders through the
dining room to “cleanse the air”
with a pot of smoking sage. In
most restaurants, that would be
a comical, oddball or otherwise
distractingly assertive act of olfac-
tory service. It’s not at Apteka.
In fact, these little details
are part of what make Apteka
a draw. It’s a restaurant that is
as committed as it is spirited,
and it’s a prime example of why
diners should continue to support a “good food” movement
that’s pushed restaurants back to
scratch-made cuisine and you-can-do-it spirit.
It quickly has become one
of my favorite places to eat and
drink in Pittsburgh since it
opened in February.
Apteka is a reason to celebrate
accomplished sincerity. Often,
restaurants are built on the mis-
appropriation of cultural pirating
masked as personal enthusiasm
— or worse, assembled from a
pop-conceptual point of view —
but Apteka comes from the soul,
and it shows.
Lasky is a sixth-generation
Pittsburgher; Skowronski grew
pteka in Bloomfield is Kate Lasky
and Tomasz Skowronski’s first
standalone restaurant, although the pair
already had built a significant following in
Pittsburgh by way of their longstanding
“Pierogi Night” series.
• Top: The lively bar at Apteka no w is a
popular gathering spot in Bloomfield.
Above: Two varieties of pierogi are
served with each order. Opposite:
Kartolfle z jogurtem migdalo wym,
boiled potatoes with lingonberry jam,
yogurt and dehydrated apples.
September 2016 pittsburghmagazine.com/taste