Dish Osteria and Bar
Dish Osteria is my new favorite Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh. They serve Sicilian-inspired dishes that are simple and fresh. I studied abroad in Sicily, specifically in Taormina, two years ago and I crave the salty sea urchin all the time. Even though Dish does not serve ricci, they have a menu filled with traditional Italian dishes and loads of seafood.
Make reservations! They are very busy and would not be able to accept walk-ins (mud-bloods) even on a week night.
Fancy Pants ONLY. Find those pants that don't have a hole or poo on them and wear them. As Patrick Star would say, "pinky up."
What to Order:
Really you can't go wrong here but I'll give you my all-time favorites.
For your antipasto, which is a starter, I recommend the Polpo all Griglia, grilled octopus, sorry Squidward. If you've never had octopus give it a chance! If the restaurant has the courage to put it on the menu, that means it is good. The octopus has a creamy thin layer of fat and the meat inside is sweet and tender. The charred outside balances the flavors well.
Another fabulous antipasto is the Melanzane e Mozzarella di Bufala, which is eggplant and Buffalo mozzarella. The mozzarella is smooth and extra soft and it reminded me of the mozzarella di buffalo from the marketplace in Sicily. In the fishermen's town of Siracusa, there is a market where the cheese vendors slice big slabs of soaking mozzarella for you to taste. The cheese is delicate and so light that it melts in your mouth. In the U.S. our mozzarella is often too hard for my liking, but Dish has the good stuff.
For your secondo, second dish, you must order the Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare. This dish features all the fruits of sea: mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, and calamari. The sauce is simple, white wine, olive oil, garlic, and parsley. The spaghetti is a perfect al dente which means that it is a bit firm, the Italian style. When an "Italian" restaurant does not serve al dente pasta you have yourself a fraud. The tomatoes and peppers add sweetness to this salty dish and the scallops slice open like butter. You'll be transported to the coast of Italy in just one bite, I promise.
*sorry there is not a picture for the spaghetti because I was so seduced by the dish that I forgot to photograph it*