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Good espresso and restaurants in Pittsburgh?

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We're heading to Pittsburgh tomorrow night for 4 days, staying at the Omni William Penn. Can anyone suggest:

a) a couple of good espresso places (we saw Aldo online -- we'll have a car but would love to know something in walking distance) and

b) any good Italian restaurants (more northern than red sauce, but we're up for anything).

Any other suggestions for out-of-town 'hounds would be appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. La Prima Espresso in "Strip District" is very good with great Sat AM atmosphere. Girasole for Italian in Shadyside, Copeland St. save room for Gelato upstairs from restaurant. Seafood Monterey Bay on Mt. Washington. take the incline! for interesting and tasty breakfast experiences check out Jo Jo's, DeLucca's or Pamela's. also in Strip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 42duffy

      I second 42duffy's recommendation of Girasole. I lived in Pgh for over 10 yrs; it's my favorite restaurant there. If the Fall menu is available, try the pumpkin ravioli with sage cream sauce. Here's Girasole's site: http://www.733copeland.com/

      Have fun.

    2. I've been to both Aldo and La Prima Espresso and I much prefer La Prima so don't bother with the drive to Aldo. One word of caution regarding La Prima though, they seem to have an younger less experienced staff on the weekends so I'd recommend trying them during the weeday. While you're there, go around the corner to Cafe Richard (close Mondays). Our favorites there are basically any of the pastries but the scones and croissants are what we buy time and time again. www.laprima.com

      My favorite Italian is Alla Famiglia in Arlington, a short drive from your hotel. The area isn't the greatest but it's a nice restaurant with excellent food. Johnathan the chef/owner specializes in fresh seafood so be sure to order from the specials. It's BYOB and expect to spend about $100 for two. Call for a reservation. 412-488-1440.
      http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05188/... for a review.