What’s really great about going to a restaurant that’s brand new is that generally one receives an elevated level of customer service, in order to make sure that the restaurant is putting their best foo(“d” or “t”) forward. What’s even better is if that restaurant is Italian and as someone who knows their home-style Italian cooking, a new Italian restaurant means fresh, flavorful food that will make you want to come back over and over again. I believe DiAnoia’s Eatery in the Strip District of Pittsburgh accomplishes that goal to a high degree, and I will be looking forward to returning again! I was fortunate enough to be invited to DiAnoia’s with one of my best friends Brittany Schultz, along with her some of her other friends and family, for a classic Italian meal.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere, while not quite screaming traditional Italian, was artsy and modern and definitely had Italian inspiration. The light fixtures were random but it worked for me and I absolutely loved our table: a solid piece of wood straight from the trunk of a tree but smoothed and polished until it became shiny and servable. In addition, there wasn’t so much noise that we couldn’t hear each other, a problem at many traditional Italian restaurants (of which I am a contributor, you know us noisy Italians…)
Service: The service was incredibly, if not overly, friendly, maybe because this was one of the opening days of the restaurant. However, if the level of service we received sticks long after that opening, then DiAnoia’s has a recipe for hospitality success. We were personally thanked by the owner and executive chef, and our server was quite knowledgeable about everything we ordered (and believe me, we ordered a lot!)
Quality: The quality of everything was definitely above average, although not everything was superb. The appetizers we ordered were ordinary, as was the table wine for the everyone. However, the bread came out very warm (seemingly a lost but necessary art at many established eateries), and my Cinghiale (fricelli pasta in a red sauce with wild boar shreddings) was outstanding and the sauce was very rich.
The dessert platter was visually appealing, although the individual pasteries were hit or miss on the taste factor.
Price: This restaurant has a price point for anyone looking to eat out, and while one could go super extravagant at DiAnoia’s, it’s also very possible to have a very tasty meal on a budget (especially if you don’t do a pricy bottle of wine.)
Translation: This is a lovely spot for a not so traditional but more adventurous Italian experience. I would definitely love to return at some point, especially to see how the owners are doing (there’s a very interesting story as to how the restaurant came into existance: http://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2016/11/01/Strip-District-welcomes-new-restaurant-DiAnoia-s-Eatery/stories/201611010022)
Brittany’s Take: The overall flow of the restaurant was the best aspect. Everything about the atmosphere and the ambience just raised the caliber of DiAnoia’s and made it seem like a real fancy restaurant without all the effort. The one thing that took away from this place was the lack of traditional Italian elements, particularly the missing, sharable antipasti plates. Overall, this is a great place for more intimate occasions, where you know everyone at your table and you can be yourself.
Chelsea Pacella’s Take: The ambiance makes me thing of fresh, farm raised, organic food. The bright colors, white walls and lots of square doors and window with black trim are not the trappings of a traditional Italian restaurant (or the garage door walls for that matter). The meal itself was absolutely 10/10, but I would never want to eat it next to garage doors.
Brittany Schultz is a Senior Marketing and Business Information Systems Major with a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics at the University of Pittsburgh. She is originally from Limerick, PA.
DiAnoia’s Eatery is a new Italian bistro and deli that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in addition to coffee, pastries, and specialty cocktails and wines. This place literally does it all so check out their website and make a reservation today: www.dianoiaseatery.com