Browsing Tag

Pasta

Pittsburgh Restaurants

DiAnoia’s Eatery

DiAnoia’s Eatery is on Penn Avenue in the Strip District in Pittsburgh.

The Food

DiAnoia’s menu offers an extensive wine (Italian wines only) and cocktail menu.  From the cocktail menu, I recommend the Godfather with Grouse Scotch, Amaretto, and lemon or the Manhattan.  Both are great.  When it came to wine for dinner, the restaurant manager came over and made recommendations based on what entrees my friends and I chose.  She actually provided us healthy samples of the wines she was recommending before we made our selection.  There is an extensive antipasto menu.  I’ve had the house salad and recommend it.  The oregano vinaigrette is perfection.  I also tried the escarole, beans, and sausage appetizer.  Again, another worthy recommendation.  The entree menu has a variety of pastas, meats, and sides.  A good option is, the gnocchi with meatballs and red sauce, which is the perfect blend of sweet and savory.  The linguine and mussels is another worthy choice as an entree.  The white wine sauce is a mouth watering enhancement to the mussels.  If you are trying to avoid carbs, another entree item to be considered is the Steak Florentine.  Its savory, delectable taste is addicting.  I’ve also had the zucchini, squash, and tomatoes with truffle oil as a side.  For dessert, if you have room, the house-made tiramisu is wonderful.

          

The Service

The service at DiAnoia’s is friendly, efficient, and professional.  I recommend making reservations ahead if going during peak times.  From the moment we were greeted at the door, the service was outstanding.  Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu items and gave us informed recommendations.  Runners brought food and drinks to the correct patron even if they weren’t present when ordered.  (I’m still smarting over  this experience ).  And the manager coming over to offer wine recommendations and tasting could be described as perfect service.  A visit to DiAnoia’s does not feel like being a customer, but rather a guest to be fawned over.  Bravo!

The Ambiance

The venue is gorgeous.  With large windows, the whole restaurant is spacious and bright.  The atmosphere can best be described as electric.  When you enter the restaurant, there is a bar to the left.  It is small and intimate.  Further back in the restaurant, there is a pasticceria from which breads and desserts can be ordered and taken out.  The main dining room is spacious and the corner offers a great view of Penn Avenue.  The artwork on the walls is tasteful.  At times, it was difficult to hear others at my table because acoustically, it is pretty loud.  However, I did not find that as an irritation as I sometimes do.  To me, it added a din of excitement.

Overall

DiAnoia’s Eatery is a new restaurant to Pittsburgh.  All three criteria for reviewing restaurants were exceptionally good.  It is my pleasure to give DiAnoia’s an overall recommendation and rating of:

“Absolutely Must Visit!”

Contact

2549 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 918-1875
Visit DiAnoia’s

Other Cities

[Hershey, PA] What If of Hershey

Located in the “Sweetest Place on Earth,” in Hershey, Pennsylvania, What If of Hershey offers a full service menu.

The Food

To start with, What If, has an extensive specialty drink menu.  Go with the Tin Cup Maple Fashion, which is What If’s twist on the traditional Old Fashioned.  The food menu offers small plates as appetizers, which can pair well with a specialty salad or a small pasta dish.  From the small plate options, I recommend the blackened Ahi tuna with ginger, horseradish, and a sweet soy sauce, the pan seared scallops, or if feeling particularly hungry, the lobster mac n cheese with brandy cream sauce and sweet corn.  All are delicious!  There are a variety of salads to choose from with the options of blackened shrimp, tuna, salmon, chicken, steak, and the not often seen offering of scallops, jumbo lump crab, or lamb chops.  There is an extensive menu of entree items including chicken, steaks, veal, pork, seafood, and pasta.  If you’re really hungry, have the lobster ravioli.  A lot of calories for sure, but it is absolutely delicious.  If looking for lighter fare, the Chicken Arrabbiata and Chicken Milanese are great options.  Even though you may be full, you are still in the sweetest place on Earth.  So dessert is a must.  The turtle brownie with caramel and pecans served with hot fudge and ice cream is the perfect ending for dinner in Chocolatetown USA.

The Service

I have visited What If of Hershey twice.  Once for lunch and once for dinner with a larger party of six of us.  At both visits, the staff was friendly and efficient, which are the two most important traits for this reviewer about restaurant service.  Glasses and dishes were cleared quickly, and the bill was divided among six individuals without griping.  Thumbs up on the service.

The Ambiance

Oddly enough, What If of Hershey is located downstairs below a Howard Johnson’s Motel (I didn’t even know they existed anymore).  But don’t let the peculiar upstairs jade your opinion to the downstairs.  Although there is not much natural light, the decor is appropriate and has a speak easy feel to it.  The space is decorated tastefully and the acoustics are pleasing.

Overall

What If of Hershey is definately worth the visit.  My overall rating and recommendation is:

“Go For It!”

Visit What If of Hershey

845 East Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA  17033
717-533-5858
Vist What If of Hershey

Pittsburgh Restaurants

Piada

Pittsburgh Piada restaurant Review

I am starting by reviewing three restaurants here in the great city of Pittsburgh.  My first review is of one of the newest additions in the Oakland section of the city, Piada.  Opened in the spring of 2017, Piada is commited to create modern, healthy, and fresh Italian cooking with top notch ingredients.  Piada, an up and coming national chain, has its roots in the Midwest, as well as in Texas.  The Piada in Pittsburgh is the first one in Pennsylvania.

Food

I visited Piada three times.  Their piada is an Italian thin crusted dough that is baked with the ingredients the customer wants.  I had the summer avocado piada with grilled chicken.  It was absolutely delicious.  When you enter the restaurant, the menu is on the wall before you order.  On it, there are recommendations for the different types of meats to have with your entrée whether it be a salad, piada, or pasta.  Pay heed to these recommendations.  I got the Pasta Carbonara twice.  The first time with the recommended grilled chicken and it was fantastic.  The second time, I thought I would be brave and try it with the Italian sausage.  The sausage was an odd juxtaposition with the other ingredients.  Lesson learned.  Follow the menu.  Overall, the food is quite delicious and the pricing is spot on.

Service

I have been there when it was slow and when it was busy.  Each time the service was efficient and I was served quickly.  The staff and managers were upbeat all three times that I was there.

Ambiance

The ambiance at Piada is great.  It has a clean, bright setting visually with windows that face the intersection of Forbes and Meyran avenues.  There is an upbeat buzz that has a nice balance with acoustics and music.

Overall

This is a great spot to dine in or to pick up.  The food is delicious and I didn’t feel guilty as though I was eating something unhealthy.  My rating and recommendation is:

“Go for it!”

Contact

3600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone:  412-224-2432
Visit Piada’s website