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Lidia's in Pittsburgh: worthy choice or tourist trap?

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My partner and I are coming to Pittsburgh for Saturday night. We're staying downtown, and though we'll have a car, probably won't want to venture too far from downtown. We love Italian food, so thought we would try Lidia's. Would love to hear the thoughts (or other recommendations -- and we're certainly not limited to Italian) of fellow chowhounds. If Lidia's is a good choice, any word on what is good there would be welcome.

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  1. Lidia's is a Good choice. I won't suggest, but earlier this year I got a dessert that looked like a miniature Japanese garden. I sat there turning the plate to see it from all sides and thinking "This is silly. Grown men don't play with their food."

    Over on Penn Ave is a new place called Nine on Nine which has been getting some good buzz. Maybe even elegant.

    And a block or so away from 9 on 9 is a place called Sonoma Grille with a nice wine bar.

    These are pretty good joints for Pittsburgh.

    1. We've had brunch at Lidia's a few times and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure I can think of any overtly touristy type restaurants in Pittsburgh.

      1. Lidia's is good, solid Italian food in a pleasant atmosphere. Prices are pretty reasonable and service is fine. It is not somewhere I would necessarily go out of my way for but if you are in the mood for Italian and you're nearby, I would recommend it.

        1. Lidia's is not a bad choice. Haven't been there for a while, but they used to have a wine list of about 40 bottles for $20. Nice way to keep the meal reasonable too. Also, they offer an "all-you-can" eat pasta tasting menu. On a daily basis, the chef would cook three pastas, and you could sample as much of the three as you would like.

          If you have a car, you may want to consider hitting up Girasole in Shadyside for a nice Italian meal too or heading to Del's in Bloomfield. Both Shadyside and Bloomfield are only about a 10-15 minute drive from downtown PGH.

          1. i would go down the street from Lidia's to Eleven. Girasole is great as is Enrico's on Ellsworth ave (shadyside) and Dish on 17th and carson (southside)