Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Last weekend we met some friends and dined at a new-to-us restaurant: Mezzo. It's the second floor of Sienna Mercato on Penn Avenue. We've dined at the first floor's Emporio several times (meatballs!) but have not yet tried Il Tetto (rooftop beer garden). R&S had dined at Mezzo before. We were early for our reservation but were shown to the elevator and seated when we arrived.
I liked that Mezzo seems a little less crowded/busy than Emporio. I also liked the dim atmosphere, the exposed brick, the chalkboard walls, the windows along one side. I didn't like the hard bench seating. I'm old and my derriere is accustomed to my special, honeycomb, breathable, soft, supportive wheelchair cushion. I didn't want to sit on the end of the table and felt it would sort of "mess up" the seating/conversation for 4 people to have 2 on one side and then one on another side and one on another side with the 4th side empty. So I scooted from the wheelchair onto one side of a bench. Halfway through the meal, my derriere was very unhappy with me. It felt bruised later that night and kinda hurt! This is the third time I've learned the hard way (literally) that my derriere doesn't like wood benches anymore (I had similar discomfort halfway through meals at Veritable Quandary in Portland and at Butcher & the Rye here in Pittsburgh).
No one else was bothered by the seating. Just me and my overly sensitive butt. While we waited for R&S, SP ordered a glass of sauvignon blanc and I ordered a glass of Verdicchio, Rocchina, Marche, Italy. I like this wine a lot. It's become the one Italian white wine I recognize on menus and know I like!

Onto the food:
SP & I started with Ricotta Gnudi (apple butter, roasted onion, spinach, thyme, cauliflower, breadcrumb). Cheesy, delicious gnudi. Yum.
Next up we shared Arugula Salad (roasted fingerling potato, sicilian olives, pecorino, pistachio vinaigrette). Also yummy. It's salad and my main requirement for a delicious salad is fresh greens lightly dressed. That's what this was.
For his entree SP went seasonal: Pumpkin Risotto (confit rabbit, charred red onion, cauliflower, sage, hazelnuts, pecorino). He got the small portion. I was a little surprised, but we haven't made risotto in a while, he likes rabbit (which we don't cook at home), and he likes pumpkin (which we don't cook at home). He ate it all and said it was tasty.
I chose Lamb Sugo (paccheri, milk, tomato, wine, soffritto, parmesan). Lamb & pasta - I cannot resist. It was delicious. Also, I ordered a large portion so I'd have leftovers for lunch the next day.
I took a photo of S's Smoked Sausage (tortiglioni, melted leeks, spinach, tarragon, cream, sunny side up egg) but not of R's Shrimp Fra Diavolo (orecchiette, jalapeño, calabrian chili, parsley, tomato). Both ordered small portions and finished them.
I was full but SP seemed like he really wanted to try Warm Apple Cassata (toasted cinnamon roll, vanilla spice parfait, apple jack anglaise). I think I ended up eating more of it than he did. This is definitely a me kind of dessert. So good. I spooned up all that anglaise sauce.

R&S shared Chocolate Puddin’ Cake (vanilla cream, brown butter purée, brûléed bananas). Three of us ordered coffee and one chose an after dinner sherry.

I really enjoyed my meal at Mezzo. Service was great, too. I'm not sure why it took us so long to try Mezzo, especially when we really like Emporio and Sienna on the Square (same chef, Matthew Porco). We'll be back.

Mezzo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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