South Side Pittsburgh for group of 20
Our family, a group of 20, ages 10-90, is meeting up in Pittsburgh from all points of the US for a 5-day "land cruise" to celebrate my father-in-law's 90th birthday. We'll need restaurants for dinner that can accommodate us all. Nothing too spicy to accommodate the elders' palates, or too noisy to accommodate the elders' hearing (!), but good, fun, basic food that can accommodate the rest of us! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I really enjoy Lidia's on Smallman Street in the Strip District. It serves authentic Italian cuisine and has an upper dining room that would be very nice for a big party...this might be an issue for the elders who don't do steps, but I'm sure that the downstairs dining room would also be able to accomodate you if you make the reservation early. The feature is a prix fixe pasta trio for $26, which comes with a salad and dessert. All of the pasta's are homemade and one of the three is flown in daily from Italy. The pasta bowl is never ending, so you can have as much or as little of the three different types of pasta.
The bread basket is also never-ending and has quite a delicious assortment! The menu is also equipped with a variety of traditional italian fare...not too extensive, but it has enough selection to keep a big group happy.
I find the atmosphere to be very fun and quiet enough that you can have good conversations without yelling across the table. The wine list is also pretty good. I would definately check it out!
If you're stuck on the South Side, try Cafe du Jour. Call them ahead of time, and they'll create a family-style menu to your tastes and budget. It's also BYOB. Since the restaurant is tiny, your entire party will probably own the entire space, and all the staff's attention will be on you.
Another good one for a special occasion in the South Side is the Grand Concourse - pretty building, pretty good food. Would definitely be good for all ages.