Pittsburgh, PA      Date of Visit  02/10/16  

In the burgh getting all sorts of computer stuff worked out and after all is said and done we are pretty hungry. We wouldn’t be for long. I’m not sure where Dennis met the owner of Sarafino’s (my best guess is Rotary) but if you happen to dine with he and Linda at the small neighborhood Italian themed restaurant, it seems you will get the red carpet treatment.



The place is a family affair, feels just like it, kid watching the ipad, friends and family in and out, the chef owner is a presence in and out of the kitchen and it seems like he knows most of the folks walking in the door. If you walk the red carpet, you get a bag of swag and Chef Joe (Caliguire) did just that. Before our entrees hit the table our young and polite server had it completely loaded with food, can’t get much more traditional Italian than that.

Just as traditional is the basket of warm crusty bread but Sarafino’s is served with a monkey dish of ruddy red oil with layers of mildly spicy aromatics, very tasty. We were also delivered two enormous bowls, one of beans and greens, the other “Crafton” gumbo. The gumbo was good, a thick sauce with a warming heat, fat grains of rice, all sorts of proteins from the land and sea. Filé, peppers, cumin, and a dash of Crafton. It wasn’t quite NOLA but it wasn’t pretending to be, it did manage to be an appetizing local variant. The other ceramic boat contained a simple but wonderful mélange of white beans, wine, light spices, and wilted onion/bitter greens. There were disks of pale but spicy sausage, which really cut through all the richness of the beans. Beauty is often simple.

Nice Warm & Crusty

With A Side Of Seriously Seasoned Oil

A Unique Take On Gumbo

Beautiful Simplicity In Beans & Greens

D got the antipasto salad, which sounds like the healthy option, then you see it. It’s huge, and piled with cappocollo, salami, cheese, cheese, cheese…oh, and some greens, tomato, peppers, olives and two big cups of dressing and oil which if he hadn’t ordered on the side would be on top. Who needs healthy? Linda ordered the crab cakes, two enormous and tender disks full of fat lumps of sweet crabmeat. Had a lot of inferior crab cakes, these aren’t one of them, just enough seasoning to elevate the crab without smothering it.




Just A Little Meat & Cheese On The Salad

With Two Dressing Standard

Jumbo Lump Cakes

Sharp Tangy Sauce On Tender Veal & Perfect Pasta

I ordered the veal parm with a side of tagliatelline. Tender veal is suited up in a dark brown, salty and crispy crust. The crunch stands firm, even under a dose of sauce and blanket of melted cheese. Their sauce tastes young; sweet, sharp, acidic and tomatoey. Where it really stands on its own is atop the tagliatelline, which is done to perfect ribbons of toothiocity. What a great little local joint with the food and people to tie a community together.




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