We decided to try this restaurant on the advice of a friend, and we were not disappointed!
Alla Famiglia is in not in an attractive part of Pittsburgh, however, it was easy to get to--straight up the hill from Station Square. There is a police station at the corner, which was somewhat reassuring. We valet parked our car, which is a complimentary service.
The restaurant is several stories high. I noticed that there was a wide variety of dress among the patrons. Some women were in dresses, others in jeans. Same for the men--some were dressed nicely, others very casually.
We were seated at the top floor and walked through other parts of the restaurant to get there. Some of the rooms were noisy and a bit crowded (think sports bar), but the top floor was wonderful. I loved the church-like decor and there were only 5 or 6 tables set up. It was not in the least bit crowded or noisy.
Our server was wonderful--very attentive and helpful.
The menu had many choices of pasta and veal dishes. I will say that is was like no other menu I've experienced in the Pittsburgh area. I believe the least expensive entree I saw was around $36. Many were in the $50 range and above. Bread was brought to the table and served with a goat cheese spread (delicious), dipping oil (good but a little spicy), and chickpeas/ cheese. The bread was served warm and we enjoyed trying it with the different offerings.
Next, we had the calamari/shrimp and stuffed meatball as appetizers. Both were excellent! The calamari and shrimp were sauteed with spinach and were very tasty. The meatball was heavenly and the sauce that came with it was great, too. Following the appetizers, salad was brought to the table. The greens were very fresh--reminded me of lettuce right out of the garden. It was served with roasted red peppers, olives, candied walnuts, and a vinaigrette. Absolutely delicious!! Next came the pasta with vodka sauce. It, too, was wonderful. I wanted to lick the plate. :)
For the main course, I opted for the veal chop milanese. It was $65 on the menu. It was HUGE, breaded, and served with lump crabmeat and pignoli nuts. It was very good, but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. With the large price tag, I was really expecting to be "wowed", but I wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and had a nice meal of it as leftovers the next day. I just expected it to be something of a once-in-a-lifetime meal, and it was not. My husband had the veal parmigiana and thought it was great.
For dessert, I had the raspberry, burnt almond tiramisu. It didn't taste anything like tiramisu, but was delicious--tasted like a fine wedding cake. My husband had the cannoli and enjoyed that as well.
Our bill with appetizers, entrees, desserts, and one glass of wine came to $180. I don't mind paying a lot for a great meal, and this certainly was! The portions were really enormous and from what I could see, everyone took home leftovers. I will certainly go back to try some of the other items on the menu.
A couple things to note: If you have someone in your party who is elderly or handicapped, let them know when you call for a reservation. Also, the valet was a bit unreliable. We couldn't find the valet when we left the restaurant, and a bit of a line formed of patrons waiting for their cars. In a nice neighborhood, this might only have been mildly annoying, but a large group of rough looking men had assembled in front of a building across the street and were a bit intimidating. They did not bother us, but it was a little unsettling to be standing around in a neighborhood such as this.
Overall, we loved Alla Famiglia and will definitely be back!
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