DiPietro’s Restaurant Aug17

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DiPietro’s Restaurant

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Rating: 4.7/5 (6 votes cast)

I’m on a constant quest to find the second best place to get Italian food in Pittsburgh. The number one place for Italian food is my mother’s kitchen, in case you were wondering. I still haven’t made up my mind as to who gets the silver medal for Italian food in Pittsburgh, but one restaurant that earns serious consideration is DiPietro’s in West View.

DiPietro’s has been serving traditional Italian food on Perry Highway in West View since 1978.

When you first walk into DiPietro’s, you enter into what appears to be a pizza shop with a counter and ovens. But upon closer inspection, you notice a doorway that leads to a large, multilevel dining room. There are tables with oak Windsor chairs and black shiny vinyl booths. The walls are adorned with typical Italian restaurant stuff–maps of Italy, scenes of Italy and I think even a Mona Lisa. It’s not fancy, but it’s clean and simple.

The menu features a large selection of traditional Italian dishes including pizza, a few Italian preparations of chicken and the requisite veal (piccata, romano, marsala, parmigiana and a few more). And of course, there’s a nice selection of pasta dishes (I counted 15) including ravioli, lasagna, stuffed shells and manicotti. Dinners include the choice of soup or salad and a side of pasta or vegetables. Pasta entrees include a choice of soup or salad. And every dinner comes with the Cadillac of Italian bread, Mancini’s.

Mostaccioli Arrabiata

On a recent visit with my date, I ordered my favorite entrée at DiPietro’s, the Mostaccioli Arrabiata ($16)—penne pasta tossed with fresh hot banana peppers and brandy in a tomato sauce. This is a spicy dish. It almost makes my nose run, but the dish isn’t all about the heat. The hot peppers are cooked just long enough to give off a nice amount of heat yet not overpower the dish. The tanginess of the tomato sauce with a hint of sweetness from the brandy still shines through the heat of the peppers. Even the flavor of the peppers themselves comes through after the initial hit of heat. I could eat this every day. I cleaned my plate with two slices of Mancini’s bread after the pasta was gone. That’s how much I love this.

My date ordered the Fettucine Carbonara ($16), fettucine tossed with bacon, prosciutto, cream and imported romano cheese. She got a huge portion of pasta in a delicious creamy sauce, the salty prosciutto and bacon offering relief from the richness of the sauce. She could barely eat half of the large portion she received.

Fettucine Carbonara

At the end of our meal, our waitress took my date’s food away to box for us to take home. Five minutes later she returned without the boxed food. She told us that she told the chef to make more sauce to put in the container because the pasta absorbed a good bit of it, and it would get too dry when reheated. Now that is thoughtful service.

DiPietro’s isn’t fancy. It isn’t trendy. There’s nothing on the menu that’s drizzled with something that’s been infused with something else. There’s nothing topped with a foam. And can you believe an Italian restaurant exists in 2011 that doesn’t serve polenta? And those are all the more reasons why I love this place.

DiPietro’s is traditional Italian food done well with welcoming service that makes you want to come back. Culinary fads have come and gone and a lot of restaurants have opened and closed in the 33 years DiPietro’s has remained in business. And there’s a reason for that.

Find DiPietro’s Restaurant on the web at dipietrosrestaurant.com.

DiPietro's Restaurant, 4.7 out of 5 based on 6 ratings