Dining – Monte Cello’s – North Hills – Pittsburgh

Monte Cello’s Dining Review

Now you all know I love a good pizza place and travel all over to find unique and column worthy establishments.  I’m thrilled this month to tell you about a place that’s been around for almost 30 years, notorious for their pizza, but is soooooo much more.  Monte Cello’s, the “Italian restaurant” comes before pizza but when we hear the name, we think pizza!  Let me dish on the dishes we sampled with delight………

I have to admit that on my way out to Babcock Blvd.  I found myself hoping for some Wedding Soup ($3.99 bowl & $3.25 cup).  Chef Jeff Allen spent a few minutes talking with us about the food that was being prepared for us and I was very excited when I heard Wedding Soup!  I told him I was hoping for soup on such a blustery cold night & sensing my affinity for soup- he brought out some pretty gorgeous & super delicious French Onion Soup ($5.99) to go along with my extra delicious wedding soup.  I couldn’t remember being happier about homemade soup that wasn’t made in my own kitchen!  The French Onion Soup smelled so rich and the broth with the bread and bubbly cheese…….oh my!  It’s made in limited quantities so definitely try it if you can!  The wedding soup, a consummate favorite was as good as grandma’s.  Definitely no crackers needed!  Then the appetizers were presented and let me tell you the little Lobster Rolls ($12.99) seriously take the concept of a pepperoni roll to a way new level!  They are served with a Fontinella Cheese Sauce….perfect little puffs of rolled dough wrapped around succulent bites of lobster meat with garlic butter and cheeses.  We tasted them first without the cheese dip and then couldn’t decide if we liked them better with or without!  Chef Jeff Allen explained that he was born and raised in Maine and this little bite of heaven was certainly reminiscent of his hometown.  We had some leftover & even then next day they were still delicious.

Monte Cello’s serves fresh fish on Fridays with an ever-changing repertoire of specials and a Chef who creates dishes that sell out each week, sometimes in hours!  Now aren’t you glad we’re getting to tell you about more than pizza!

The entrées were presented by Chef Jeff Allen and the decision of which one to try first was daunting.  Chicken Madeira ($12.99) served with a sumptuous Madeira sauce, fresh mushrooms, topped with mozzarella cheese, and accompanied with asparagus and mashed potatoes.  Looked so delicious and a very generous portion, extremely flavorful and with lots of mashed potatoes…..

The Flat Iron Steak ($15.99) marinated and char grilled to order served with garlic roasted red skin potatoes and grilled asparagus.  This 10 ounce steak is a great value and a nice surprise for a notorious pizza place!  We also tried the Linguini Allo Scoglio ($14.99) linguini with shrimp, clams & scallops sauteed in oil & garlic then mixed with a Sicilian style sauce.  This pasta was so delicious that is would seem a shame not to give it a try.  The shrimp & scallops were prepared to perfection and the red sauce with the clams, oh so delicious!  And the price!  When I was presented with this dish, I thought of so many over-priced places that we’ve eaten at that can’t even come close in presentation, price and taste. Each dish expresses its own unique flavor on a very extensive menu.

Monte Cello’s is very conscious of value and quality for the price.  Their restaurant was founded on a family value that resonates true all these years later.  What a great place to take the kids for pizza, while the parents can dine on specialties of the house.  Monte Cello’s is the best of both worlds and completely affordable.  But there’s more……..

We would be remiss if we didn’t get to try the pizza!  We were presented with a NY Thin crust pizza with imported tomato fillets and cheese.  Delicioso!  Monte Cello’s offers several specialty pizzas such as Steak Onion & Ranch, Spinach & Feta and Chicken & Broccoli.  Your kids will love picking from the extensive topping list to create their own pizza.

Monte Cello’s also offers Salads, Sandwiches, Gourmet Burgers and Calzones.  There’s something for everyone here, and we seemed to have answered the question of why their parking lot is always packed!   Monte Cello’s is a North Hills treasure and we’re always delighted to share our finds & our friends with our Nightwire family!

One last thing, my favorite thing to talk about- Dessert!  Chef Jeff Allen brought us two dessert offerings made right in the restaurant- Cannoli and the Rum Cake.  After eating a meal, both desserts seemed enough to share & I still can’t decide which one I like the best.  The cannoli were perfect with a light creamy filling and finished off with mini chocolate chips to give them the perfect sweetness……..Ooooh!   The Rum Cake, well let’s just say that every crumb remaining got put into a box for home!  It was crazy delicious.  It transported me to a very fancy, expensive restaurant somewhere in NYC!  How lucky we are to have that quality right here in North Hills!!  Plus, I’m very excited to tell you these little bites of heaven are made by a server/pastry chef, Leah Boehler, who comes in on her own time to make them.  Her love of baking clearly shows as she is one awesome pastry chef.  Keep them coming Leah and we’ll keep on coming back to enjoy them!!

Monte Cello’s is open 7 days a week.  They are the flagship for local franchises so be sure to check out the website for other locations, menu’s & specials or testimonials.  I just love to read what other people have to say about a place they love.

Monte Cellos – 2198 Babcock Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15209
Monday thru Thursday
11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Friday and Saturday
11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
12:00 PM to 10:00 PM