Restaurant Review: Lidia’s Pittsburgh
While I have eaten at Lidia’s numerous times, I had never tried their weekend market brunch. And remember, any place that serves brunch on Saturdays is extra all right in my eyes.
Lidia’s Pittsburgh is the restaurant of famed Italian chef Lidia Bastianich. The restaurant opened in 2001 and has been a presence in Pittsburgh’s Strip District ever since. Lidia’s is definitely more “upscale” Italian as pizzas and calzones are not on lunch and dinner menus, for instance. But back to brunch.
Brunch is a set affair, consisting of selections from the “bakery” (there were white chocolate macadamia nut scones and an extremely light and fluffy rosemary olive oil bread) along with apricot, strawberry, and crunchy sugar butters. A waiter was in charge of dispensing the breads on the plates but he came around multiple times during our time there asking if we wanted any additional ones. The antipasti table was also buffet style and featured countless options including olives, smoked salmon, roasted cauliflower, and butternut squash. While I didn’t overdo it on the bakery selections, I did get a second plate from the antipasti table since the options were healthy and included so many delicious tasting vegetables.
For the secondi option (the second course), you can choose between either the Pasta Tasting Trio (this is Lidia’s signature offering and consists of unlimited table side service of the chef’s daily trio of freshly made pasta with selections changing each day), or 12 entree offerings. Both D and I opted for one of the 12 entree courses although I would highly recommend the pasta tasting trio to anyone who ventures to Lidia’s in the future; it’s a great bargain and does allow you to be able to taste numerous pasta selections.
I selected the Gnocchi with Braised Duck Ragu for my entree. Words cannot convey the sheer exquisiteness of this particular sauce. I find that sometimes gnocchi can seem a bit plain, even generic but when paired with a duck ragu, it really is on its own level.
D went with the Grilled Bisteca which was an additional $5 supplement and featured a grilled steak done in a sea salt rub, with fried potatoes, roasted tomatoes, and an egg cooked in any style. He thoroughly enjoyed his selection.
And then there was the dessert table which was also buffet style. Biscotti, torte, and even a vat of tiramisu were all present and all particularly sinful.
The Market Brunch at Lidia’s is $28 per adult but does include a complimentary brunch cocktail (either a mimosa, bloody Mary, or sangria) so when you pair that with all the food you’re getting, the $28 is a true bargain for a brunch experience in an extremely classy setting.
Although we had abysmal customer service on our previous experience here, thankfully service at brunch was perfect. Pittsburgh has numerous spots for cheap and casual Italian-American fare, but Lidia’s is definitely a classy Italian dining experience.
1400 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222