Saturday, March 6, 2010

Restaurant Review - Girasole

For my friend Ashley's 27th birthday, I took her to a restaurant called Girasole. This authentic, unpretentious, little Italian restaurant is tucked away on Copeland Street in Shadyside, just off of the busy shopping area on Walnut Street.

I've never been to Italy, but after a visit to Girasole, I feel like I have. The walls of old stone, copper table tops and colorful art work make make this place warm and cozy - almost as if you were invited to a Tuscan villa for dinner. It's always packed full of people who are clearly having great time. The vibe of this bona fide Italian establishment has the beat of a family pulse .

Shortly after being seated, the owner stopped by our table and sat down. He kindly asked if we wouldn't mind moving to different table, as they needed to make room for a party of 6. Of course we didn't mind, but I was surprised that he remembered my name which was a nice touch and offered to buy us each a glass of wine for our compliance. The owner as well as the rest of the staff were nothing shy of first class.

Now, for the food - I'll admit I've eaten at this restaurant before, and I had already rated the food with a gold medal in my mind. On this visit, the food went above and beyond my already high expectations. Even the side salads are wonderful - fresh crisp spring mix, plump tomatoes, chick peas, creamy Gorgonzola cheese, and sunflower seeds all tied together with the tartness of a sunflower vinaigrette.

For my entree, I looked for the most interesting thing on the menu - cocoa fettuccine in an aglio e olio sauce with cauliflower, leeks, pistachios and Gorgonzola. On paper, this dish sounds like a real hodgepodge of flavors. I'm not sure how on earth the chef ever thought up such a concoction. This dish was so interestingly delicious - I give the chef a proverbial standing ovation. Ashley ordered the penne marinara with shrimp and the sauce was tangy, the pasta cooked to aldente perfection and the shrimp was fresh and tender.

We also received dessert on the house since we agreed to move our table (as if it was that big of a deal to us...). Ashley made a great choice in ordering the tiramisu. It was homemade that day, and absolutely delicious. All other tiramisus should strive to be this good.

If you live in Pittsburgh, or ever visit the City of Bridges, you have to try Girasole. You won't be sorry.

Girasole on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Kate ( said...

Hi, I noticed you put an Urbanspoon "spoonback" (spoon icon) on your blog. We're happy to have you join our list of Pittsburgh bloggers!

However, in order for the spoonback system to work properly and automatically detect your reviews, you need to paste the spoonback for the specific restaurant in the blog post about that restaurant. At the moment, the spoonback in this post points to Casbah.

As soon as you add the right spoonbacks to your blog posts, we can start linking to them from Urbanspoon. If you have any further questions, please let me know. Thanks!

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