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Eden Restaurant opens in Shadyside, features raw, vegan items

The restaurant Eden has opened in Shadyside, and has stated its mission simply: to bring the freshest food possible.  The new eatery replaces the former Juice Box Café, but is a project of the previous owners, Albert Polanec and Chef Hilary Zozula.  

Zozula says the new restaurant was opened in order to focus on healthy foods and the health of people, with equal emphasis on building community as well as meals.  

“We just wanted people to feel good about what they're eating,” Zozula says.  She says she wanted to create a restaurant where customers come in knowing that everything is nutritious and high quality.

Zozula says raw-vegan is the epitome of healthy food because all ingredients are pure, and no nutrients have been cooked out.   And as a chef, creating meals without the use of heat is both challenging and rewarding.

“It’s the most fun that I've ever had with food because you get to see this product that was just a vegetable or a piece of fruit and you mix it with these other ingredients, and all of a sudden it turns into something else,” Zozula says.

Starters include tomato tartar, with basil, lemon, and zucchini, and an apple, celery, mint, cucumber gazpacho.  Entrees include a BBQ mushroom wrap, Tomato Napoleon, with sweet corn, sunflower seed, and basil, and a cashew cream curry with red ginger rice, avocado, and yellow squash.   

The lunch menu, however, is not exclusively raw, and does include meat.  Those items are also available during dinner hours.

This Saturday, Eden will launch their new fall menu with a $10 Menu Tasting event.  Dinner will coincide with an exhibit by photographer Arvin Clay.  Starters include spiced cabbage slaw, sweet walnut paté, and a beet and apple salad.  Entrees include pumpkin curry, squash noodle Pad Thai, and a kale, tomato, mushroom, pizza.

Keeping with the focus on raw and fresh foods, Eden features fresh juices and smoothies, made from 100% real fruits and vegetables.

Zozula says she hopes to have created a setting for raw food that is equal to any other fine dining experience.  “Except instead of the food just being good, it’s insanely healthy,” she says.

Eden, located at 735 Copeland Street, is open Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner; Sundays, brunch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. BYOB.  412-802-7070.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Hilary Zozula
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