Morcilla Pittsburgh Restaurant Review
Last summer I dined at one of Pittsburgh’s top chef’s restaurants, Cure by Justin Severino, and while I certainly enjoyed my meal, I’m not going to lie when I say I was more excited to try out his newest one, Morcilla, which opened up in Lawrenceville last fall. You see, Morcilla, which in Spanish means black sausage, is a Spanish restaurant and where there is Spanish food I will go, especially since it’s lacking here in Pittsburgh.
With my parents in town visiting last month, it seemed like the perfect spot to go for an early afternoon lunch since it was just a quick drive from the gorgeous Vanka murals we had visited earlier that day.
The menu at Morcilla is divided into pintxos (the Basque word for small plates), montaditos (tiny tapas on bread), croquetas (croquettes), plates, and platters (the latter being the larger of the two). I loved the interior space here, especially its ode to Spain with its jamones (hams) hanging from the ceiling and its “arm” which is constructed to resemble the traditional way of pouring cider in the northern provinces of Spain (yes, they really do that there-it’s almost an art).
Being a new spot and one with tapas, I decided to try a little bit of everything but I first got things started with a cocktail, the Collins de Sevilla, which consists of fino, apricot brandy, Seville orange, and mint. It was slightly strong but delicious.
As for my food selections, they were as follows:
-Jamon-wrapped tortilla espanola (Spanish-style omelette) $5. I didn’t realize it would come cold (I’m so used to eating them hot when I make them myself) and I could have done without the smoked olives, but that’s more due to the fact I don’t care for their taste.
-Oxtail Montadito ($6). This might have been the favorite thing I ate. The oxtail meat was succulent and was topped with carmelized onion and Mahón cheese.
-I’ve been in love with croquetas ever since my study abroad days in Spain and while jamon ones are my favorite, I decided to order the Queso de Cabra ($6) for something different. They are filled with smoked goat cheese and spiced membrillo (quince paste). You can never go wrong with fried goodness.
-For something very new, I also ordered the Cebolleta a la Plancha ($10) which are blistered spring onions that come with a side of romesco sauce. I don’t know if I could do copious amounts of these but I did enjoy the taste of the grilled onions and the romeso sauce was superb.
And here’s what the rest of the table ordered:
-Croquetas de jamon ($5)
-Alitas de pollo en adobe (adobo-rub chicken wings accompanied by a salsa verde). These are available in either a half dozen ($14) or whole dozen ($28) portion. D opted for the half dozen and there were a ton of them.
-Cordero en Moreno (Jamison Farm spiced lamb meatballs, sumac yogurt, golden raisins and leek escabeche)-$10.
-Patatas Bravas (known in Spanish as fierce potatoes due to their spiciness). These crispy smoked fingerling potatoes are accompanied by a spicy pimento aioli-$7. The portion was massive.
Sopa Blanca (leek and potato stew, smoked chorizo, fried egg)-$14. This steaming bowl is the largest serving on the menu.
And even though we were entirely full by this point, we still ordered dessert, (naturally) opting for the Churros ($9) which feature a hazelnut cookie and cinnamon cream. These were divine.
I loved everything about my meal at Morcilla and look forward to dining there again in the very near future. My only critique is their selection of music that was playing, as it was much too loud and didn’t go with the whole Spanish cuisine theme at all. Justin Severino has quite the following (read: hipster) but I think more subtle Spanish tunes/melodic flamenco-style guitar would fuel the Spanish ambiance a lot more.
3519 Butler St| Pittsburgh, PA| 15201