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Dining – Village Tavern & Trattoria – West End – Pittsburgh

Dining Review – Village Tavern & Trattoria – 08/28/2010

By – Suz Pisano

It seems like forever that the West End has been going through renovation.  Finally we have a straight shot through the former circle and into the development of the West End Village.  What a perfect spot for a new restaurant The Village Tavern & Trattoria.  Everyone that I mention this restaurant to has heard of it!  There’s definitely a buzz… Now let me tell you why.

We were greeted by the most wonderful server named Ariana who welcomed us a glass of wine and some fantastic tapenade – Kalamata Olive Spread ($3.99) served with toasted baguettes.  I call this “Italian Caviar” and make it at home. I’m a pretty tough critic on things I make and love but this tapenade was delicious.  It was great with a glass of wine!  The Village Tavern & Trattoria offers wine by the glass and the opportunity to BYOB for a corking fee.  They look forward to presenting a wine list which is always being refined.  The Trattoria opened shortly after the Tavern and has been an instant success.

Antipasti- Zuppa & Insalata choices include Stuffed Banana Peppers ($4.99), Insalata Spinachi (1/2 for $8.99 & full for $10.99) served with warn bacon dressing and the portions are large enough to share!  This was the best spinach salad- artfully presented with goat cheese and pine nuts atop fresh spinach.  The Trattoria twist would be the flash fried prosciutto and sun dried tomatoes- something different added to an old favorite.  The Stuffed Banana Peppers made my mouth water and reminded me what good Italian food was supposed to be all about!  Other offerings to get your meal started include- Roasted Fresh Garlic ($3.50), Zucchini ($5.99), Beans & Greens ($6.99) served with or without sausage and Calamari Fritti ($8.99).  So many of the menu choices are so appealing – take a group so that you can try a bunch.  For me, so many of the choices are just like things I make in my own kitchen, I love to try other versions and can’t wait to go back to do just that.

Village Tavern & Trattoria also serves Pizza & offers a daily pizza feature.  Right now the I believe it’s the pasta dishes are what’s garnering the buzz.  We tried Spaghettini Bolognese (1/2 $12.50, full $18.50), Fettuccini Prosciutto (1/2 $11.50 & full $17.50) and Rigatoni Tomato Cream (1/2 10.50 & full $16.50).  Each one was delectably delicious, let me elaborate…….Spaghettini Bolognese is a rich meat sauce with sliced mushrooms, fresh basil and Parmigiano.  This is a classic and sure to be a favorite if you’re looking for a meat sauce.  I was hoping for some of this leftover but it was so good we ate every bite!  Fettuccini Prosciutto served with Prosciutto, mushrooms, Roma tomato cream & Cognac was equally as delicious and beautiful.  The last pasta we tried was definitely a “must have again”!

The Village Tavern & Trattoria is a relaxed dining atmosphere.  You’ll feel it immediately with the open air style dining created by giant garage doors.  When we visited, there was a family birthday party and I was so touched when they broke out singing Happy Birthday in Italian!

Village Tavern & Trattoria has banquet facilities and even an outdoor patio available for private events.  They look forward to steady growth and the addition of nightly Steak & Seafood offerings.  Soon you can experience a full dinner menu which will include Lasagna & Chicken Parmiagiana.  So many good things in one place with the expectation of even better things to come, I can’t wait to be a regular!  Check them out online- www.villagetavernandtrattoria.com

The owners Rob and Ray look forward to welcoming you!  Be sure to tell them Nightwire sent you!!!

Village Tavern & Trattoria is located at 424 South Main Street in the West End Village.  412.458.0417  Parking is plentiful.  Plan your visit now!

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