Cioppino: Celebrating 15 Years in Pittsburgh

As we approach the end of 2023, Cioppino proudly celebrates 15 remarkable years in business.

As guests step into Cioppino, they are greeted by an elegant and inviting ambiance. The tastefully designed interior features warm lighting, plush seating, and a combination of modern and classic elements that create a sophisticated yet comfortable setting.

The layout provides ample space for intimate dinners or larger gatherings, making it an ideal choice for a romantic date night or a celebratory dinner with friends and family or even just a casual drink at the bar. The attentive and friendly staff adds to the welcoming atmosphere, ensuring that every guest feels well taken care of.

Since it first opened its doors in the vibrant Strip District in 2008, Cioppino has been a beloved culinary destination. As they reach an incredible 15-year milestone, it’s a time for reflection, gratitude, and recognition of the amazing team and loyal patrons who have contributed to their success.

General manager Dana Zinsser tells us that survival in the restaurant industry is no easy task, with many establishments struggling to make it past their first year, let alone five. However, Cioppino has defied the odds and thrived, and she credits their success to the unwavering support of their incredible customers. 

These individuals have been the backbone of the restaurant, sustaining them even during the challenging times of the pandemic. Their loyalty has allowed Cioppino to emerge even stronger than before.

Cioppino has maintained its enduring appeal over the years, and one of the main factors behind this success is their exceptional team. Executive Chef, Robert Carter, affectionately known as “RC” among his fellow team members, has been a valuable part of the restaurant for an impressive 14 out of the 15 years. With his extensive experience and culinary expertise, RC brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, further enhancing the dining experience at Cioppino. 

The Chef de Cuisine has also been an integral part of the Cioppino family for 12 years, further solidifying their commitment to consistency and excellence. Moreover, the dedicated bartenders, servers, and dishwashers have been loyal members of the team for years, creating a sense of unity and respect that permeates the entire establishment.

As Cioppino celebrates their 15-year anniversary, they want to honor their roots while showcasing the tremendous growth they have achieved over the years. They cherish their humble beginnings and seek to pay homage to the Cioppino of old, all while highlighting the remarkable progress and evolution they have undergone. From inception to the present day, Cioppino has become more than just a restaurant; it has become a symbol of community, resilience, and unwavering dedication.

Cioppino takes great pride in their exceptional culinary offerings, led by the team of talented chefs who craft a delightful fusion of flavors inspired by Mediterranean and American cuisines. From appetizers to desserts, each dish is created with precision and creativity, promising an unforgettable culinary journey.

Their namesake, the Cioppino seafood stew, is a must-try dish that exemplifies their commitment to quality and taste. This rich and flavorful concoction features a medley of fresh seafood, including succulent shrimp, tender scallops, and briny clams, all cooked in a savory tomato broth. Served with crusty bread, it’s a true taste of the ocean.

For those seeking a meaty delight, the ribeye steak is a standout option. Cooked to perfection and served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables, this juicy and tender cut of meat is a carnivore’s dream.

Cioppino also offers vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring that everyone can indulge in their culinary offerings. From fresh salads to hearty pasta dishes, these plant-based options are crafted with the same attention to detail and commitment to taste.

Tucked away behind the doors of the full-service restaurant, Cioppino Cigar Bar offers a sanctuary for the discerning gentleman who craves a touch of elegance in his leisurely pursuits. Stepping through the unassuming entrance to the left of the bar, you are transported to a bygone era, reminiscent of the sophisticated speakeasies of the early 20th century.

A focal point in the room, the humidor seamlessly built into the lounge’s front wall is a sight to behold. Unlike the walk-in humidors found in some cigar bars, Cioppino’s offers a more curated selection behind elegant glass doors. Though choices may be limited, each one is carefully chosen, ensuring a truly exceptional experience.

To further enhance the experience, Cioppino Cigar Bar extends its offerings beyond cigars and libations. The full food menu from the restaurant is available, allowing patrons to indulge in a light meal while enjoying their smoke. The sight of numerous guests relishing their delicacies alongside stimulating conversations is a testament to the bar’s excellence.

The inviting cigar lounge exudes a warm ambiance, softly illuminated and adorned with plush leather chairs, bar tables, and couches. 

Welcoming us into this hidden retreat is Nicole Marshall, an exceptional mixologist with a remarkable talent for crafting exquisite cocktails in the unique setting of a cigar bar.Nicole’s years of experience have honed her skills and deepened her understanding of the art of mixology. Her creativity and passion shine through in every cocktail she meticulously crafts, whether it’s a classic Old Fashioned or a signature cigar-infused libation. Nicole’s innate ability to blend flavors and create memorable concoctions perfectly complements the rich and smoky ambiance of a cigar bar.

Her expertise extends beyond mixology, as she possesses an extensive knowledge of cigars and their ideal pairings with different beverages. Nicole’s understanding of the complexities of various cigar flavors, strengths, and origins allows her to provide valuable recommendations to patrons. Her friendly and approachable demeanor creates a welcoming atmosphere, encouraging guests to seek her guidance and expertise. 

Bartender Marco Martinez is also an aficionado of cigars and a masterful creator of cocktails. Marco brings an impressive 15 years of experience and expertise to the art of mixology.

At Cioppino, Marco revels in the freedom to curate a specialty drink menu that showcases his exceptional skills.
When asked about his personal favorite, Marco wastes no time conjuring up his masterpiece, a Classic Manhattan. 

This timeless concoction elegantly combines Clydemays, sweet vermouth, bitters, and dark Luxardo cherries, resulting in a glass of perfection. Marco also delights guests with one of his signature creations, aptly named “Love is Refreshing.” This clear elixir features Noire Expedition, an American Gin from Lawrenceville, along with Crème De Violette, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a garnish of thyme and lemon peel. It is a truly refreshing libation that tantalizes the taste buds. And with the current rye trend, Marco insists on Sagamore as his personal favorite. With his expert guidance, you can rest assured that your chosen beverage will be an exquisite selection, especially when paired with a hand selected cigar, such as a My Father robusto, from the lounge’s humidor.  

To stay up-to-date on Cioppino’s menu, hours, and their exciting classes like cigar rolling and cocktail mixing, simply visit their website at

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