Signature Dishes: The ‘Blackenzola’ steak at Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco in Oakmont, a tribute to late owner

Signature Dishes: The ‘Blackenzola’ steak at Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco in Oakmont, a tribute to late owner

This is section of an ongoing collection highlighting Signature Dishes at regionally-owned dining establishments in the region. See Trib Whole Media’s new on-line directory of restaurants, Dine Community, at

Danny Monaco’s legacy life on via his family members, his dining places and in each individual chunk of a specialty steak meal.

The effectively-acknowledged Oakmont businessman and his government chef, Brian Leri, concocted the “Blackenzola” two many years in the past for Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco along Allegheny Avenue.

It is a middle-lower 8-ounce filet of top quality Angus beef, flippantly seasoned, pan-seared and then topped with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese in advance of remaining cooked to get in an oven. The steak is topped generously with a balsamic vinegar reduction.

A petite edition, with 3 2-ounce filet mignon medallions, is also served through lunch and evening meal.

“There was always an ongoing debate, who developed the dish,” Leri reported. “We often battled. Unfortunately, we shed Danny this yr. So, from this time on, I’m heading to relinquish the dish to him. We all pass up him significantly. I assume about him each working day. He was these kinds of a great presence at the restaurant. We’re going to retain every thing going in his honor.”

Monaco and his brother, Tom, begun the organization in 1971 with their grandmother’s Italian recipes. It went underneath significant renovations in 1990. The family members also owns and operates Chelsea Grille, just a several doorways down.

Monaco died from covid difficulties in January right after battling the virus for about a few months. He was 75.

“He wanted to make certain almost everything was best all the time,” reported Leri, 47, of Tarentum. The pair worked collectively for about 26 many years.

The Blackenzola is out there every day and will come with two sides. They can be salad, soup, greens, rosemary mashed potatoes or an additional starch. It is also served with bread and butter or a rosemary sun-dried tomato dipping oil.

Leri stated the supper ($38.99) is offered about 40 moments a 7 days, and the petite serving ($21.99) is on about 200 plates weekly.

“The good quality of the products is No. 1,” the chef reported. “That’s a super basic dish. It’s steak, some seasoning, cheese and then the sauce. The sauce is sweet. It goes with the sharpness of the cheese, a little little bit of the spiciness with the steak. All all around, it wraps with each other and it’s superior.

“You can make the fanciest dish in the environment, but if you never have fantastic good quality ingredients, it isn’t heading to be really excellent.”

Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco ( is at 533 Allegheny Ave. in Oakmont. Open day-to-day, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday via Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday. 412-828-8555.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review employees writer. You can get hold of Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or through Twitter .

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