Di Anoia’s Eatery, Pittsburgh, 5/4/23

exterior – 2549 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Di Anoia’s is an Italian restaurant run by Chef/Owner Dave Anoia from Lebanon, PA. that opened in 2016 in the Strip District with his wife, Aimee DiAndrea (get how they came up with the name?).  They accept reservations 6 weeks in advance but do have a waiting list that actually works.  The bar and patio are for walk-ins.  It’s a large bustling place serving all ages on closely spaced faux marble tables with red-checked napkins.  Windows to the outside are on 2 walls and one looks like it used to be a garage door.  They are open for all three meals except for no breakfast on Sunday and closed all day Monday.  It’s a deli/cafe by day and a full-service restaurant at night.  You enter into the bar/cafe area where there is a pastry case and a full bar.  The dining room is to you right.  Service was helpful and friendly and the noise level is loud. Continue reading

Groceria Merante, Pittsburgh, 5/4/23

entrance –3454 Bates St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Groceria Merante is an Italian grocery store selling supplies and sandwiches.  It started in the late 1950s and moved to its present location in 1979.   The family had seven children and some of them still take part in this family run business.  We were on our way to visit Falling Water, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home about an hour and a half from Pittsburgh.  We wanted something we could keep in the car and eat before going in and this was perfect.  The little corner store had wonderful products and a deli counter in back.  Some sandwiches were ready made and in the cooler.  At check out she gave me napkins and mayo for our meal.  The sandwiches were well stuffed but did want the mayo for extra moistness.  If you need Italian supplies I highly recommend this place and if you want a sandwich to go it’s a fine choice.  There is no place to eat at the store. Continue reading

Altius, Pittsburgh, 5/3/23

exterior/day – 1230 Grandview Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Altius was a combination of fine dining and spectacular views.  Located next to the top spot for the Mt. Washington Incline, the 2-story restaurant makes the most of its views with windows on three sides and 2 levels on each floor, so everybody can look around.  The comfy seats have adequate-sized tables on carpet with only faint music in the background.  Most of the lighting was from the windows and that would have been an issue if we hadn’t been lucky to be located under one of the ceiling spots.  Some tables got quite dark as we watched the sun go down and the city’s lights go on.  Bridges, stadiums and buildings are all within view as was the Duquesne Indian station and its car.  A more casual crowd seemed to be celebrating special occasions among us regular diners.  Service was good as was the food but the view was exceptional. Continue reading

Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh, 5/3/23

exterior – 46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222

Primanti Bros. started in 1933 during the Great Depression.  Joe Primanti had a sandwich cart that was successful enough to turn into a storefront feeding shift workers and truck drivers.  Their signature is potato fries on the sandwich.  The story is that someone came to the restaurant during the winter with a load of potatoes.  He was concerned if they were frozen but when cooked on the grill they were fine.  As other customers came in they wanted some so Joe put them on the sandwich and it was a hit.  It allowed the drivers to eat with one hand while they drove.   They now have 40 restaurants in over 6 states.  We tried to hit the original location of this Pittsburgh icon.  It is definitely worth trying and they are open daily 8 am – 10 pm and even later on Fri and Sat. The interesting thing was their menu had no prices and the drink menu on the table didn’t either.  You can order extra meat or cheese on your sandwich but then I heard another patron asking how much and the server had to go to the register to check.   On the website, most of the sandwiches are around $9 with $2 for extra meat/cheese.  Service was super friendly and the place has murals you could study while you wait a short time for your order.  They also had a full bar and several options for draft beer, which is what I tried. Continue reading

Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Pittsburgh, 5/2/23

entrance – 150 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Eleven was in a renovated warehouse beside the rail lines and served a seasonal menu with an accompanying large wine list.  Opening in 2004 it was named because it was the 11th restaurant opened by the big Burrito Restaurant Group and it has been a launching spot for many of the best Pittsburgh chefs.  It’s a striking interior, with a two-story dining area where the second floor is glass-enclosed private rooms (and a patio) and downstairs is filled with curved booths opposite straight booths that are next to the wall separating the open kitchen.  The wine cellar is the glassed-in area on the second level above the middle of the space.  On the opposite end of the dining area/kitchen was the large bar area that had a separate menu.   Music was in the background with lighting lowered and curtains on the windows to the street.  The food was quite good but there were a few service glitches that showed a lack of communication among the staff.  It was a dressier crowd, many looked like expense account eaters.    I would recommend the place based on the food and the lovely setting but with some reservations. Continue reading