Friday night- Pittsburgh, PA. On the Southside, you'll find some of the best Italian food anywhere. A few years ago, before Abruzzi's moved down the block to a new location, it was known as a dive with excellent food. The new space is elegant- and has also attracted new fancy clientele- but the food is still just as memorable.
Fresh Italian bread with this olive oil, basil, parsley and garlic dip along with freshly grated cheese was just delicious. This is one of those restaurants where you have to pace yourself just to get all the way to your main course. Next course was choice of soup or house salad- the chicken pastina soup had a great taste-the stock was hearty- very filling- and they give you an entire bowl. I had a few sips and it was delicious.
Before I tell you about the entrees, I must mention the house wine spritzers. They're very fine drinks- melon liquor, wine, fruit- you can choose red or white wine. We chose red. Next- the entrees.
I ordered trout with toasted sliced almonds and golden raisins. It was all part of my plan to pace myself, because I knew if I ordered pasta, I'd be so full I'd have to waddle out of there. My plan worked- and the trout was fantastic. I had only had trout once before, in a Washington, D.C. restaurant and I remember liking it. This was much better- the flavor of the stock it was cooked in shone through, and the raisins and almonds gave a nice bonus taste. I would definitely order it again.
My partner's gnocci. Like little clouds of pasta and cheese- simple, delicious. I think she ate 5 bites and had to surrender. She didn't pace herself :)
Jack's veal marsala. I presume it was delicious- it certainly looked that way... oh, and he finished his plate. He always does!
Marilyn's chicken saltimbocca. Delish! Sauce was fantastic. Prosciutto and mozzarella cheese. She ate a few bites before she surrendered!
Finally, Cynthia's chicken parm. Cynthia isn't the most adventurous eater amongst us, hence the chicken parm. Poor thing couldn't hang with the rest of us, I don't think she could eat more than one bite. She said it was great, and I second that- some of us did eat it for lunch the next day. That chicken fed 4 people- it's a ridiculously large portion.
None of us had room for dessert, but...what the hey...you only live once. Banana pudding - light and creamy. I give it a B because...
This was the best dessert by far. Chocolate eclair cake. Everyone's favorite. Next time you are in the 'Burgh, and want to be very good to yourself, stop by for dinner and drinks at Abruzzi's- and don't forget to pace yourself...and the eggs.