Monday, June 30, 2008

Pittsburgh: Tessaro's, The Aspinwall Grille

After a short break, during which I celebrated my 27th year of existence and spent a lovely weekend on the central coast of CA, I'm back to wrap up our PA/NY trip. For our last dinner on the East Coast, we visited Tessaro's, a steakhouse/bar in the Bloomfield neighborhood of the city.

The interior is paneled in dark wood and nice bartenders will serve you a drink while you wait for a table. It is, for lack of any other description, a stereotypical neighborhood eatery. It seemed like everyone was a regular and the staff treated them accordingly.

Famed for their burgers, Tessaro's also does grilled fish very well. Unfortunately, I did not order a burger or grilled fish. I picked the pork chop(s), of which you can order a single or double order, and it didn't come out so well.

Our kindly server asked how I wanted my chop done and I asked for medium rare. I've never encountered degrees of doneness for pork. My chop came out thick and bone-dry. While flavorful, it was hard to chew. Yes, that's white rice as my side dish. I had a crazy craving for rice and it was pretty good. The cup at the bottom? Melted butter. Makes the world go round, methinks.

We were due to fly out the next evening, so D.'s uncle took us for a late lunch at The Aspinwall Grille. It's located in, uh, Aspinwall. Ok, that's a bit cheeky... to clarify, Aspinwall is a borough bordering Pittsburgh.

My entree was perfectly executed. Called Imperial Tilapia, it features a seared tilapia filet topped with a fresh crab cake and a delicious roasted red pepper cream. I love tilapia for its mild flavor and super-moist flesh.

The crab cake was full of shredded crab meat, complimented by the mild pepper cream. The veggies were cooked to perfect and the rice pilaf was very flavorful. They couldn't have made this dish better.

Special thanks to D.'s family for a great trip to Pittsburgh!

4601 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

The Aspinwall Grille
211 Commercial Ave.
Aspinwall, PA 15223