Cupcakes were just the beginning

Written by China Millman on .

These days, Dozen Bakeshop seems to be as much about savory soups, salads and other vegetable-based dishes as they are about cupcakes.

If you've noticed that savory food has been trending upwards, it probably comes as no surprise that co-owner James Gray has long dreamed of opening a restaurant. "I have had a restaurant concept ready for years," admitted Gray, who hopes to be able to move forward on the project within the next year.

"The focus will be heavily on local, sustainable foods, heavy on vegetarian and even vegan items." said Gray, who isn't a vegetarian, but believes both from a personal standpoint and a business stand point that his businesses should serve only "really, really quality meats."

While the restaurant would serve some meat, Gray imagines it as the inverse of the "vegetarian option" at so many fine dining restaurants. He hopes to show omnivores that "a meal without meat can be really refined and beautiful."

Meanwhile, Gray is feeding his love of multi-course dining with a series of local food dinners at the Lawrenceville store.  Working with Grow Pittsburgh, Penn's Corner Farm Alliance and others, Gray has been amazed by how much local produce has been available even this early in the season. Future dinners are scheduled for March 20 and 27 and will then continue every other week throughout the growing season.

Gray is especially excited that his friend Rachel Lori, who also happens to be a professional personal chef with a focus on local, sustainable foods, has come on board to help with the dinners. She designed the menu for this Saturday's dinner and will take full responsibility for executing them starting on the 27th.

The dinners are $35, BYOB; reservations are required. Get more info, including the full menu for this Saturday's dinner here.


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