Sienna Mercato Offers Tasty Choices and Fun; ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ Now Screening; (Tues., 9/22/15)

1) “This must be the place,” David Byrne of Talking Heads fame once sang. You’ll be singing the same tune upon entering Sienna Mercato. The restaurant’s first floor, Emporio, offers four different gourmet meatballs—classic beef, spicy pork, vegetarian, and chicken—and nine sauces, ranging from marinara to gluten-free spinach-almond pesto. You can have your meatballs alone or on a bun, and with or without cheese. The second floor—Mezzo—features pastas and wood-fired pizza. Pizza varieties include traditional margherita as well as more exotic fare, like clams. Mezzo also has desserts and charcuterie (plates of cured meats, artisan cheeses, and preserves). Il Tetto, the rooftop beer garden, caps off  the Sienna Mercato experience. The garden has 30 beers on tap, cocktails, and smaller dishes. Whether it’s sunny or snowing, patrons can always appreciate Pittsburgh’s skyscrapers, thanks to the garden’s retractable glass roof (awesome, right?). Don’t worry, an elevator is provided should all that food and drink impede mobility. 942 Penn Ave., Cultural District. (CM)


2) Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – So you finally got the kids off to school and just as you settle into the big comfy chair, you hear the cry that’s haunted parents since the beginning of time.  “I’m bored!”  So why not take them to catch the second installment of this young adult sci-fi series.  The franchise is based on the popular novels by James Dashner set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia (is there any other kind?) about a bunch of teenage boys who, under the control of a group known as “World in Catastrophe: KIllzone Experiment Department” (a.k.a. WICKED) are forced to run through a giant maze while being hunted by evil thugs. At the end of the first movie they escaped from the maze and now, in this sequel, they find themselves lost in a vast desert (known as “The Scorch”) and need to find a way out of there.  Meanwhile they’re being pursued by more henchmen from WICKED and they soon discover that some of them are being mind-controlled so they can’t even trust each other! Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)


3) Queen of Earth – A small indie film from writer/director Alex Ross Perry. Perry’s earlier film Listen Up Philip, featured Elisabeth Moss as a jilted girlfriend. Those two must have got on like a house afire because Perry has created for Moss a role in Queen of Earth which, if marketed properly, could possibly garner her an Oscar nomination. She plays Catherine, an urban hipster who, after suffering through some life-changing upheavals flees to the country for peace and quiet. Unfortunately she’s brought her troubles with her and her bucolic rest turns out to be a descent into emotional collapse. 7:30 p.m. Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Cultural Dirstrict.

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Rick Handler

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