This past weekend, Alex and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary (yay!) by dining at Girasole in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside. We have been dying to try this place for years.
We arrived at the restaurant about a half an hour before our reservation time and we were greeted by the owner of the restaurant, who seated us immediately upon walking through the door. We opted to sit outside to enjoy the cool evening and also because it seemed a bit crowded indoors. Within a couple of minutes, our waitress served us warm bread with butter and took our drink order. Chardonnay for me. Peroni for Alex.
Ordering the food was not as easy. Alex and I always have trouble deciding what to get. We deliberated over the menu for so long we actually went through three baskets of bread before finally settling on what to order.
As a starter we got the Escarole and Beans, cooked in a light tomato sauce and topped with fresh grated cheese. This dish was the highlight of our meal. We devoured the entire plate, using bread to mop up all of the sauce.
Our entrees came with a surprisingly delicious House Salad of mixed greens, carrots, crumbled blue cheese, red onions, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, olive and grape tomato. It was probably one of the better salads I’ve had in a really long time. Typically when a restaurant serves a salad with your meal, it’s some lackluster dish of iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing but this definitely took it over the top.
Alex ordered the Spinach Spaghetti with tomatoes, corn, buffalo mozzarella and basil for his main course. Although Alex really enjoyed his dish, he was a bit disappointed in his entree selection. He had some regrets over not ordering something a little more substantial (like the Carne special).
I debate over two choices from the menu but eventually ordered the Linguine Rustic, which was an absolutely fabulous dish. The linguine was prepared perfectly al dente and cooked in a olive oil garlic sauce with littleneck clams and baby spinach. The other choice I was debating over? The Squid Ink Linguine. Oh well, next time right? Well…
Our waitress had a slight mix up with our order and accidentally brought us an extra dish. Much to my delight, the mistake was an extra order of the Squid Ink Linguine! How serendipitous! We very happily accepted the extra (and complimentary) entree. Well, I say “we” but I really mean “I” because Alex has a shellfish allergy and could not enjoy this dish with me. So sad. For those of you who have never tried squid ink pasta, you should! It does not taste at all fishy. The squid ink just adds a bit of saltiness, which pairs really well with the buttery shallot sauce and chunks of lobster.
Overall, we had a great experience at Girasole. The food was really good, but the ambiance and service are even better.
Average Rating: 4/5