Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene
Stop 1 on Restaurant Week was rather successful. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Cioppino in the Strip District.
For our 2nd stop we venture to the heart of Sewickley, to enjoy the cooking of Sam DiBattista at Vivo Kitchen. We have dined here twice before, both times before we started this whole blogging thing and thoroughly enjoyed both meals. Sam moved Vivo from Bellevue a few years back and it was probably one of the greatest moves he could have made. He now has a liquor license and is in an area that allows his restaurant to thrive. He doesn’t stick to just one style of cuisine but the main influence is clearly Italian with an emphasis on what is fresh. The menu is simple and straightforward, with around a dozen starters ranging from salads and soups to shellfish and small plates of pasta. There are also a dozen or so entrées that have all your bases covered, steaks, fish, pasta, and shellfish, a little something for everyone.
Now since Vivo has a liquor license he has created a solid wine list and a great cocktail list. D ordered the “Strong Sangria”, imagine your standard sangria with a shot of bourbon in it. Are you imagining it? Yeah, it was delicious. BUT, my drink was the clear winner, the “Sweet Dutchie”, bourbon with apple butter, some apricot and something else (sorry can’t remember). This is one of the best cocktails I have ever had, even D agreed, that’s saying something. So now we have a lil booze in us it is time to get to the consumption of mass quantities. (Obscure movie reference, I know)
Sam is offering a 3-course menu for restaurant week, we all went with this option but there were 2 apps that we also wanted to try. The first was fried oysters in a homemade cocktail sauce, plump oysters in a light crispy breading (cornmeal I believe) in a tangy and slightly spicy cocktail sauce with chunks of fresh horseradish. Next app was Shiitake mushrooms stuffed with crab, now they were delicious but as the picture shows this app was tiny, it was $9; I know crab and shiitakes are not cheap but there should have been at least 3 served for the app. You could have even charged $10 and given 4 on the plate. It was kind of tricky splitting 2 mushrooms between 3 adults. But the apps were both delicious.
For our 1st courses I went with the pork & chevre meatballs in a spicy red pepper sauce, D went with the beans and greens salad, and D’s Mom had the roasted beets and arugula salad. All three were great but I have to say the meatballs were the way to go; the red pepper sauce had just the right amount of heat. Naturally D and her Mom thought their starters were better. Agree to disagree, I guess.
For mains D went with the seared scallops, her mom enjoyed the red grouper and I devoured my Duroc pork chop with braised with braised beef short rib. My pork chop was cooked to a perfect medium, D’s scallops were seared just right, and the red grouper was incredibly flaky. All the entrees were great, however D wished she had gotten 1 more scallop.
For dessert they had a selection of homemade gelato D went with the Nutella, and her mom and I went with the Heath Bar gelato. The gelato was so rich and creamy it was the perfect end to the meal.
Cioppino was great, and Vivo was even better so we are really looking forward to our 3rd and final stop, Butcher & the Rye. We hope you have taken advantage of the special menus and deals that the great restaurants of the Burgh are offering this week. Please be sure to avoid the chain restaurants and support our local owned and operated Pittsburgh Restaurants. We promise, you will not be disappointed.
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432 Beaver St
Sewickley, PA 15143
Closed Monday and Sunday