There's much to learn here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line. Welcome to the Family !
The Cancilla and the Batallia families set sail for the States from the island of Sicily in the early 1900's. James Cancilla and Mary Batallia emigrated here, knowing that they would be married upon arrival as part of a pre-arranged marriage between the two families. These familial marriage arrangements at times where more like business contracts rather than gestures of love to Sicilians. Mary Batallia, however, was devoted to her husband and loved him dearly all the days of their lives.
The couple settled in the south hills of
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (the southside slopes).
Jimmy quickly found work in the many 'Steel Mills'
that bordered the city's three rivers. Earning a solid income, the young couple settled in with the ever-growing Italian population of the city and raised their seven children: Ida, Mary, Anthony, Phillip,
Anna Mae, Betty, and Dorthey
Eventually the family opened their first restaurant 'Mona Lisa' in the local neighborhood of Brentwood; Specializing in fine Italian dinners and quality cocktails. Mary's passion for home cooking and dedication to using only the freshest ingredients were reflected in every dish she made. Her gentle and caring smile was infectious with the local community, and she was always happy to share her knowledge and expertise with friends.
Dorthey, the youngest of the 7 children, met and fell in love with the son of German immigrants, Donald Deering. They gave birth to their first-born son of the same name in August of 1952.
Dorthy went on to raise her 7 children on the South Side Flats. The very same streets where our restaurant is located today. Don Jr. would have children of his own. Donnie, his first born, opened Cancillas Sicilian Kitchen and Pizzeria in August of 2021 with a vision of celebrating his families history and keeping true to the simplicity of flavorful fresh food made with love
Executive Chef & Owner, Donnie Deering, is truly passionate about Italian cuisine & culture. He learned to cook from his grandmother and grew up in the food service industry. Beginning at the age of 15, he has worked hands-on most of his life, learning from both the guest's perception to the cook's reality. Cancillas was founded in 2021 with a mission to bring authentic Italian American cuisine to our guests' tables. Having over 35 years of perfecting his passion for the industry, Donnie has brought his love for Italian cuisine to our restaurant and created a menu that reflects the traditions of a true Italian immigrant family. We continue to honor the family legacy by preparing delicious homemade food, providing exceptional service within a memorable and outstanding atmosphere. Donnie instills a sense of genuine hospitality within all employees that extends through in a really relatable way to each and every guest.