In October, Dish Osteria and Bar welcomed diners back after 19 months. Many Pittsburghers were eager to return to this beloved spot for their regional Italian cuisine.
Dish is a small space with less than 15 tables and some limited bar seating, making it a true neighborhood joint. It’s always packed and lively, so getting a table is tough. If you can wait a few weeks, try for a reservation. If you’re anxious to eat here soon, try stopping by between 8:30-9:30 p.m. for a late night bite; you’re more likely to get a table, but there’s no guarantee. Currently all guests need to show proof of vaccination to dine at Dish.
Dish’s menu is separated into six distinct sections: antipasti di terra, antipasti di mare, salads, pasta, meat dishes, and seafood dishes. It resembles an eatery in Italy, but unlike across the ocean, they don’t expect you to order something from each section. That would be nearly impossible.
Seafood is a highlight of Dish’s menu with entrees such as grilled octopus, pan seared scallops, and pan roasted Lake Superior walleye filet. Every item on Dish’s menu is prepared very simply in a way that lets the main ingredients shine. This is one of their many strengths.
Another one of Dish’s strengths is their antipasti. Every dish in this section is packed with savory flavors, and each one is worth trying. Two that particularly stand out are the Carpaccio di Manzo and Melanzane e Mozzarella di Bufala.
The carpaccio is extremely tender and thinly sliced raw beef tenderloin. The meat is perfectly seasoned and melts in your mouth. It’s paired with arugula, Reggiano, lemon, and Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. These ingredients bring both a bitterness and a tanginess to the rich meat. Every ingredient is thoughtful and the freshness of each ingredient is apparent. This is a theme throughout Dish’s menu.
The Melanzane e Mozzarella di Bufala is grilled eggplant with mozzarella. Similar to the carpaccio, the eggplant is extremely tender and grilling it adds some char and brings out the sweet undertones of the vegetable, which adds to the flavor of the dish. The basil and 12-years-aged balsamic complemented the sweetness and freshness of the eggplant. No dish is complete without cheese and the mozzarella added the perfect amount of creaminess.
While you’re dining at Dish, pasta is a must. You can’t go wrong with any of their pastas, like the Cavatelli al Ragù d’Anatra or Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare. A customer favorite is the Fettuce ai Funghi. Like the name suggests, this pasta is filled with a variety of mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello, shiitake, and oyster, and each mushroom brings a distinct flavor to the dish. As if the copious amounts of mushrooms weren’t enough, there are also delicately cooked Brussels sprouts and garlic, and the entire dish is topped with Reggiano. This only adds to the luxuriousness of the meal. This is definitely an item to split with your dining partner based on the richness alone. Many of Dish’s items are worth sharing, so you can try more of them.
If you’ve never been before, Dish is definitely worth a visit. It’s perfect for a date night or to catch up with friends. It’s wonderful to have this Pittsburgh institution open again.