Alexander’s Italian Bistro with Mike Grott
Italian food at its best should make you feel like you’re in your grandmother’s house: you feel the warmth of friends and family around you, there is a distinct smell of garlic and oregano in the air, and a fine Italian wine is a must at the table. One definitely gets these feelings, smells, and staples at Alexander’s Italian Bistro, a pleasant and rustic little brasserie in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, Bloomfield. I had the pleasure of joining the Pathfinder Dining Club on their rendezvous to this adorable little spot, and our featured reviewer will be the founder of the club himself, Mike Grott!
Atmosphere: If anyone remembers the Italian restaurant from the movie “The Master of Disguise”, you will get the impression of what this place looks like. It has an almost whimsical feel, very old fashioned in décor and furniture but with a genuine Italian musk and look to the whole establishment.
Service: While the service was nice enough, it seemed almost tired and a little insincere at times, as though we may have been an imposition. Granted, we did have a large party, but not so large and so disorderly that we deserved insincerity in our service.
Quality: Overall, this was not my favorite Italian meal, but there were some noticeable winners on the menu. The pesto flatbread was absolutely fantastic, and the combination of pesto, artichokes, and goat cheese created a really nice flavor with each bite. I also enjoyed my wild mushroom ravioli, although it was very dense and I only got through a few bites of the dish. On the other hand, the complimentary bread was quite dissatisfying (the butter was cold, one of my biggest pet peeves), and the bruschetta wasn’t that tasty either.
Mike’s Take: While the bread was maybe the most disappointing part of our meal, as it was cold and definitely not homemade, all the other food was really good. There was a distinct and near perfect balance between sauces and spices, especially in my Mafalda Alexander, where the al dente pasta, spicy sausage and mix of Alfredo and marinara sauces worked together in a superbly delicious plate. Finally, Alexander’s is definitely a place with lots of flexibility in who you’re going to bring with you: the space works well for family, a date, or a casual outing with friends (of course!)
Mike is a Junior Economics and Accounting Major at the University of Pittsburgh. While he’s originally from Irwin, Pennsylvania, he’s currently studying in London, England!
Alexander’s Italian Bistro is a family run restaurant in the heart of Little Italy, serving fresh soups, desserts, and create your own pasta dishes. You can find Alexander’s menu and other information on their website: http://www.alexandersitalianbistro.com/aboutus.html