Sunday, January 13, 2013

Osteria 2350

Last Friday I had a doctor appointment. It was one of those crappy ones, the ones that take 3 hours and involve tests that are uncomfortable and/or painful, the ones that are frustrating, the ones that make you realize that sometimes, no matter how advanced medicine seems these days, your body just cannot be fixed, or, if you want to fix something, there is so much risk that you just don't fix it and you learn to live with things. The ones where you discover that just when you think there can't possibly be another issue, there is. Sigh.

So I ended the visit by having a cry in the exam room. Just me & SP, with me silently letting tears roll down my face, because the alternative was another ranting outburst and I'd already had one of those in between tests. When we finally left Oakland, it was a given that we would go out somewhere for a bite to eat. My mood was such that I couldn't offer any suggestions on where I wanted to go, I just shot down or shrugged at every suggestion he made. Finally, sensing that I was making my dearest husband super frustrated when all he was trying to do was make me feel better, I pulled the deck of Pittsburgh Dining Cards out of my purse, SP flipped through, and he decided we were going to try Osteria 2350. OK.

So off we went, arriving at the restaurant around 6 pm. We had been at Osteria 2350 once before, back in June 2011 (that's what the blog tells me). I remember we liked it, and we liked it again this time, too. It wasn't very crowded when we arrived and we seated ourselves along a wall at one of the marble topped tables. Our server came over, introduced himself, and went to get our iced teas while we perused the paper placemat menus.

I didn't have my new fancy camera with me, nor did I have my old camera, so I had to resort to my cell phone camera in a dimly lit restaurant and then trying to brighten the images in Photoshop, which I really do not know how to use. So, here's the crappy photos of what we ate:
Warm Lobster Salad: lobster, wild arugula, Belgian endive, pan vinaigrette. Tasty. Very tangy vinaigrette. Peppery arugula.

Soup of the Day: Potato & Sausage. SP ordered this. It wasn't a creamy soup like we expected but instead it was a tomato-y broth. He said it had a kick to it, the sausage seemed spicy, and there were crushed red pepper flakes.
SP chose the special of the day, a Duck Rigatoni. There was a light cream sauce, al dente rigatoni, an earthy mushroom flavor, tasty chewy duck confit. He really liked it.

I chose the Cavatelli with pork confit, arugula, and ricotta. I asked for as little garlic as possible, and our server told me that except for the garlic in the cooking liquid for the pork, it could be garlic free, which I appreciated. The pork was shredded, tender bits which paired nicely with the peppery arugula, salty ricotta, and al dente pasta. The sauce seemed just like a light broth, just enough to add some moisture, which was fine, especially since these days I like less sauce on my pasta.

SP couldn't resist the Baklava Cheesecake. I have to admit this was quite tasty. The bottom crust and the topping was that lovely sticky, sweet, honey, cinnamon, nut flavor which was a great contrast with the cool and creamy cheesecake.

There were maybe six desserts and two had peanut butter and one banana, neither flavors I like, so I opted for the Chocolate Raspberry Torte. Somehow it looked less dense and less rich in the display case! This was very tasty, lots of chocolate and raspberry flavor, but very rich. I ate almost half before giving up!
We both again enjoyed our meals. Our server was terrific, answering questions, keeping our iced teas filled, friendly. I liked the casual atmosphere, and that it was on the quiet side. Before using any discounts, our meal was around $50, which seems pretty reasonable for how much we ate. Osteria 2350 validates parking, so we didn't pay anything for the parking garage in the same building.

I wish we'd remember this place more often when we're looking for a casual, tasty, not too expensive place for dinner.


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