I think that if I lived in Bloomfield (Pittsburgh’s Little Italy neighborhood), Sausalido would be my neighborhood “joint.” Bloomfield itself is extremely community oriented (more so than I feel in other Pittsburgh neighborhoods), and so that paired with a small street front restaurant makes Sausalido the place you could dine at week after week.
When my parents were visiting a couple of months ago, I had originally wanted to dine at Grit and Grace, a new dim-sum restaurant in the city’s Cultural District. Well, in shades of Butcher and the Rye (you can read about what I mean by that by clicking here), the only reservations available (mind you I was wanting to make a reservation almost a week away) was at 4:30 PM on a Saturday. I don’t mind dining early but when it’s before 5 PM at a fancier place, yeah no. I thought of Bloomfield then since it has an absurd number of restaurants I want to try (until my meal at Sausalido I had only ever shopped in Bloomfield) and thought all involved would enjoy it.
The restaurant itself is small (it looked like there were only about a dozen tables in the main dining room) although I think there were also rooms for a private event. It’s a bistro in the sense that you’re very near to your dining neighbors but this is something I’ve never minded. For being a small venue the menu was quite extensive as well as eclectic (cider mussels and quinoa meatballs anyone?); there were also nightly specials (appetizers and entrees).
Upon being seated our waiter immediately came over, took our drink orders and also placed a basket of locally baked bread on our table that was accompanied by a delicious white bean and rosemary oil spread. We started off by ordering the Danish Bleu Roasted Sprouts ($8). Here’s the thing about Sausalido (and our waiter warned us of this as well). Portions are enormous, including something as sinful as Brussels sprouts that have been topped with melted Danish bleu cheese. We all had numerous helpings and I even started to feel the least bit full.
All entrees come with a side salad; I was able to get a cup of the daily soup instead (that evening happened to be a chicken noodle variety). Between the soup, bread, and sprouts, you can see how my stomach was already nearing capacity.
For something completely different, I went with the Daily Risotto ($18) for my entree. I found this menu item particularly intriguing and wasn’t disappointed. That evening the risotto was “caprese style” and so it featured melted mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes. The amount of risotto that was on my plate was obscene! I took most of it home and it actually served as an additional meal for both D and me later on that week.
D selected the Grilled New York Strip ($28) for his main course. It came with smoked gouda whipped tomatoes, roasted garlic wild mushrooms, and the daily vegetable.
My dad (surprisingly enough-I thought for sure he was going to go with the French Cut Pork Chop $25) ordered the Bruco Pasta Bolognese ($22) which featured San Marzano Plum Tomato Sauce and was made with your choice of either ground lamb, beef, or pork. I had a bite and the sauce was truly delicious.
My mom opted for the Crab Cakes ($24) for her entree. This consisted of two two jumbo lump crab cakes topped with the house remoulade sauce, a squash carmelized onion risotto.
For dessert there were a couple of selections to choose from (they change each season), but each couple decided to split the creme brulee. This is my go to sweet finish after such a heavy meal (and especially for me, one in which so much melted cheese was involved). It was excellent and is always a treat when you first break through the burnt topping. I forget what all was in it but I do remember the ginger which is a taste I adore.
Service was excellent, the food varied and innovative, and all around, it was a great meal and dining experience. I definitely look forward to returning again in I hope in the very near future.
Sausalido is BYOB and is also open for lunch!
4621 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. 15224