Signature Dish: Crabcakes deliver reminiscences of a learn to head chef at 424 Walnut in Sewickley

This is element of an ongoing sequence highlighting Signature Dishes at domestically-owned dining establishments in the area. See Trib Total Media’s new online directory of restaurants, Dine Neighborhood, at

Jimmy Zipparo, head chef and co-owner of 424 Walnut, can’t support but sense a small nostalgic making some of the meals at the Sewickley cafe.

The borough resident with more than 30 a long time in the culinary sector uncovered the craft under the tutelage of Chef Nick Fusco for the duration of the 1980s.

Just one of the dishes that grew to become a position of delight for the apprentice was the master’s crabcakes.

“It’s stuck with me wherever I’ve absent,” explained Zipparo, 56. “It’s possibly one particular of our selection one particular sellers. I normally simply call it the Carolina crabcake because of him. He experienced me on producing them and I tweaked them into my own little point. They are gluten-totally free. There is no filler in them at all. It’s all 100% crab.”

The 4- to 5-ounce patties are built with lump and jumbo lump crab meat and oven-baked to perfection. They are seasoned with about a dozen herbs and spices and served possibly as a solitary ($32) or duo ($42) with a honey mustard sauce, a slice of lemon and the vegetable and starch of the day.

Practically 25 kilos of crabcakes are served weekly at 424 Walnut.

Zipparo explained Fusco’s education will come to intellect anytime these a plate is produced.

“I imagine about him all the time,” Zipparo said. “When I received intrigued in food stuff, someone stated how fantastic of a chef he is and I went down to the restaurant and fulfilled him. We talked. We sort of bonded. I qualified for a couple decades … Me and him remained close.”

Fusco, a longtime chef at the Pittsburgh Hilton, opened Fusco’s Cafe in Stowe Township in the early 1980s and taught culinary courses at the Group School of Allegheny County. In 1986, he moved the relatives to Myrtle Seashore, wherever they opened up shop at the Beach front Colony Vacation resort and ran a cafe for 21 many years.

Zipparo stated he would often visit his mentor all through individuals years and even aided prepare dinner on a yearly basis. A member of the Academy of Chefs and several other groups, Fusco died March 28, 2009, at his house following a struggle with ALS. He was 70.

Zipparo ran what was the Sweetwater Grille in Sewickley for about seven years in advance of becoming a member of forces with Joe Piccirilli in 2013. The pair reopened the small business as 424 Walnut.

They also companion with close by organizations these types of as Sweetwater Middle for the Arts for exclusive situations, these kinds of as delivering Valentine’s meals to nearby family members.

Other menu standouts incorporate the veal piccata or veal and peppers ($32), hand-cut Santa Carota prime New York strip steak ($49) and the rooster penne ($23). The rooster penne is touted as an authentic generation with chargrilled, sauteed sweet bell and onions about baby spinach topped with crumbled blue cheese.

Zipparo mentioned they like to alter the menu with the seasons, but the aforementioned meals will remain out there.

The outside eating place was also not too long ago upgraded.

424 Walnut (424 Walnut St.) is open up 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays by way of Thursdays and 4-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Contact 412-741-7143 or go to 424walnut.web for additional info.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Assessment personnel writer. You can call Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or by using Twitter .

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