Brought To You By The Letter L

November 2011

We were in the car, and we were stuck.  No, it wasn’t a mechanical issue.  It was a brunch issue.  Where to go for brunch?  This can be a difficult question to answer in Pittsburgh, let alone on a Saturday.  On top of that, we were adding a location stipulation.  With Handmade Arcade on our agenda, our goal was something near the convention center (incidentally, one of my favorite PGH buildings).  We were just about to answer the brunch question with, “nowhere” when the smart phones went into action and confirmed a Saturday brunch option at Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh.

Lidia’s has been on my mental Pittsburgh bucket list.  This list is really just a restaurant list with a few tangents, but I’m sticking to the bucket concept.  My bucket would be a lot more satisfying if I actually wrote a list somewhere, so I could cross off my accomplishments, but in the meantime, there’s a mental check next to Lidia’s.

Though the glass fixture was a dazzling focal point, the overall decor struck me as a 1970/80s vision of what a future of industrial design would be.  Hey Lidia, just a thought… it might be time to renovate?

The brunch is a combination of savory and dessert buffets, a main entree from the menu and one boozy brunch drink of choice.

Salted focaccia and three butter options (apricot, strawberry and crunchy sugar) were already set on the table to tickle the taste buds while we pondered the menu.

I went for the mimosa.  It’s my classic choice for a brunch bevvie.

From the savory buffet table, I sampled a mediocre slice of dry frittata, an enjoyable but simple salmon salad, a salami staple, a warm potato and bacon salad (hard to go wrong with bacon and potato) and the best taste on the plate- roasted acorn squash.

Brunching with a friend I haven’t seen frequently enough can often mean brief and fleeting glances at menus.  Fortunately, when “wild boar” catches my eye, the choice is quite easy despite the lack of concentration.  In this case, the resulting entree was the Wild Boar Ravioli in a rosemary infused sauce with grated pecorino cheese.  I was expecting the filling to be a wild boar sausage, but it was more akin to shredded pork.  My quick choice was a winning choice, and I was really eager to eat the leftovers later.

When brunching at Lidia’s, if you really want to feel like the Queen of the brunch, might I suggest the Pasta Tasting Trio.  Three separate waiters will bring three skillets of pasta to serve directly to your expectant plate.  My brunching companion went the royal route, and the taste definitely merited the special service, especially the goat cheese ravioli!

A baby cookie, a dash of tiramisu, a pumpkin spice cake and a caramely panna cotta.  What’s not to love about a dessert buffet conclusion to brunch?  The multitude of choices might dazzle, but I will say this, Lidia, that tiramisu could have soaked a lot longer, but I did love that wee baby cookie even if it wasn’t so photogenic.

Conclusion

I crossed Lidia’s off my [mental] bucket list with pleasant satisfaction.  Will I be scrambling to return for my favorite meal of the weekend?  Probably not anytime soon.  It was worth a one timer, but without location or Saturday constrictions, I’d have a list of options (including my dining room) I would rank higher than a return visit.

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