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Lidia's (Pgh) revisted

MrKotter Mar 2, 2009 10:01 AM

Had dinner at Lidia's on Saturday, and I am searching my memory to recall better service than we had on this vist. The food was very good--the pasta trio is hit or miss depending on your tastes and what is being served, but I can always find at least one of the three that is spot on. My wife had the Pollo con Limone & Olives and it was outstanding as was the Frico as an appetizer (sort of a quesadilla with cheese as the tortilla, stuffed with potato, onion, leek, and mushroom). The wines by the class are fairly limited but quite nice and relatively affordable, from the $8 Montelpuciano to the $16 Super Tuscan. The latter wine was poured at the table with a really nice crystal stem.

Back to the service--I can't tell you how starved I have been for service like this in Pgh. My wine glass was never empty, and the server was extremly knowledgable on the wines and pairings. He also did not overly push the Bastianich wines, either! Gracious, attentive, and extremely effficient. I hope that this was not an anomaly as I have not seen this dedicated and precise level of service in the Burgh in the 12 years that I have lived here.

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  1. r
    Rick RE: MrKotter Mar 2, 2009 06:07 PM

    I've always enjoyed my visits to Lidia's for brunch and never understood how often the places gets a negative review on here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rick
      Davecli RE: Rick Mar 9, 2009 09:52 PM

      I'm with you Rick...I've never had a bad experience there. Actually just the opposite..It's always been tremendous.

    2. b
      burghgal RE: MrKotter Mar 3, 2009 04:21 AM

      I'm glad you enjoyed your meal at Lidia's. It seems like there is a love-hate relationship with Lidia's. I had brunch there about a year ago and I really enjoyed it.

      1. yayadave RE: MrKotter Mar 10, 2009 07:29 AM

        I agree with the folks who have always had good experiences at Lidia's. But in these tough times, any restaurant that wants to survive has to keep their service at a high level.

        1. j
          jkosnett RE: MrKotter Mar 25, 2009 02:36 PM

          My wife and I have dined at Lidia's three times in the last three years (on various trips to Pittsburgh from our home in Baltimore). The brunch was the best value for a brunch I can recall in a long time, and dinner is certainly above average. Service is terrific and the room is very attractive. And easy to park. I am also mystified when I see Lidia's get harsh treatment on this forum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jkosnett
            Rick RE: jkosnett Mar 25, 2009 08:12 PM

            We actually just had brunch here this past weekend. The service was great, as was the food. Just like jkosnett said, the brunch is a very good value too, even if they did recently raise the price to $22, bloody mary or mimosa included.

          2. h
            HonestInPitt RE: MrKotter Mar 31, 2009 06:16 PM

            Service without being served your food is NO Service.
            Made reservations for Valentine's Day 2009 at Lidia's Pgh. Was seated promptly and had drinks and salads in short order. But, after waiting over two hours, the dinner never came and no explanation was offered by the wait staff - we left and had to find eating elsewhere. A very memoriable Valentine's Day. But, hey live and let live..move on to today 3/31/2009.
            Stopped at Lidia's Pgh for a late lunch/early dinner at about 2:05pm. Was turned away and told they are closed between 2pm and 5pm. Now, regular customers might know this - I am not a regular. And, I had checked their web site and it had no mention of this closure. We were very very disappointed. We have had their food only once before at a special event held there - it is good. But they will not let us try it again - at least so far on these two occasions. Their attitude seems to be..tough!!!...No apology! And I have a gift card to use there, but looks like it will never be redeemed. Other ideas of this situation are appreciated. Am I wrong ?

            2 Replies
            1. re: HonestInPitt
              yayadave RE: HonestInPitt Mar 31, 2009 07:02 PM

              I don't think you're wrong to be peeved. I think you just got caught in two bad luck situations. There are a lot of possible and plausible explanations that may or may not be true. But I think you should take the post you have here or a reasonable facsimile and forward it to Lidia's Pittsburgh MANAGEMENT with a copy sent to their headquarters in New York.

              That's the short version. The longer version is that talking to the waitstaff on Valentine's Day was probably a waste of time. They were probably so far in the weeds they couldn't find their way home. I never heard about their closing in the afternoon, before. Maybe that's a recent adjustment to hard economic times. Of course, maybe they've always done it and I just never bumpt into it.

              Sometimes a good thing to do is just walk in, sit at the bar, order a drink or coffee and say those wonderful words, "I'd like to see the manager." Then, in a courteous manner, you present your concerns just as you have here.

              I'm sure after two bad experiences in a row, you're not ever going to have a great feeling about the place, but at least let them know.

              1. re: HonestInPitt
                Davecli RE: HonestInPitt Apr 1, 2009 06:22 AM

                A two hour wait??? I'd be hard pressed to return to a place where that happened. That being said, I've been there several times with great service and food. I have to recommend that you give it another try, although I would understand if you didn't!

              2. h
                HonestInPitt RE: MrKotter Apr 18, 2009 06:13 PM

                Shortly after posting about my two experiences, I did receive a call from the Head Chef at Lidia's Pittsburgh. He was very apologetic and sent a letter and flowers. He also offered to come to our home and prepare a meal for my family. We took him up on the offer and a Wonderful meal was prepared and served to my family this date. Congratrualations Lidia's Pittsburgh and their Head Chef Eric for stepping up to the plate and beyond. Most Excellent apology and service beyond. Just want every one to know.

                8 Replies
                1. re: HonestInPitt
                  yayadave RE: HonestInPitt Apr 18, 2009 06:20 PM

                  WOW! That's impressive!! I hope you shared your wine with him. WOW!

                  1. re: yayadave
                    six dower RE: yayadave Apr 19, 2009 06:29 AM

                    Class act....I have never been to Lidia's. I will put it on my list this week. Very impressive!!

                    1. re: six dower
                      burghgal RE: six dower Apr 20, 2009 07:19 AM

                      WOW!!! A chef comes to your home. Unbelievable customer service!
                      That's great!

                  2. re: HonestInPitt
                    PghJen RE: HonestInPitt Apr 20, 2009 12:03 PM

                    Just out of curiosity, how did they find out who you were?

                    1. re: PghJen
                      HonestInPitt RE: PghJen Jun 13, 2009 07:15 AM

                      I had left a msg at the restaurant.

                    2. re: HonestInPitt
                      Burghfeeder RE: HonestInPitt Apr 21, 2009 11:40 AM

                      That's top class.


                      1. re: Burghfeeder
                        yayadave RE: Burghfeeder Apr 21, 2009 08:26 PM



                        1. re: yayadave
                          Burghfeeder RE: yayadave Apr 24, 2009 07:21 AM

                          Thanks!!! Now I know where I'm going for lunch!!!


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