I recently tried Il Pizzaiolo and was very impressed.
A little history. My wife's family is from the Pittsburgh area and we lived there off and on over the past twenty years. In the early 90's after leaving the Inn at Little Washington we tried to make a go for it and moved to the area.
Eventually hoping to open a restaurant. Now don't get me wrong... I'm not knocking Pittsburgh but the truth is, it is not the culinary capital of the world. You can believe I don't cook to get rich but at the time the pay scale was so below average that it was not feasibly possible to support a family. Plus the quality of restaurants at the time could not even balance out the salary loss. We tried again a few years later and again I was not willing to take the gamble opening a restaurant. Just did not seem practical from a business sense.
So after my visit to Il Pizzaiole it was delightful to see someone took the risk and produced a restaurant that no doubt would be successful anywhere in the country. Bravo and well done!
My wife's family may not be the most adventuress diners out there but they even were impressed. Between all of us I believe we sampled a good share of the menu. But need to return to try more of the wonderful pastas.
We started with a nice bottle of Zefiro and received a complementary bowl of baby clams with tomatoes. Excellent broth to dip your bread in. My mother-in-law could not believe her eyes seeing her six year old granddaughter enjoying those clams.
For apps we had Antipasto Misto 'Very good', Cozze Marinara which were plump mussels in another great bread dipping sauce. Unfortunately my son refused to part with but a few. A salad 'Roma' that I did not taste but heard the tomatoes were great for this time of the year. Caesar salads a few at the table had. Perfectly dressed and passed my wifes caesars salad test.
I then had the Margherita with mozzarella di bufala while the better half ordered the regular margherita. I enjoyed mine more, but hers was also very good. Found it a bit odd that both versions are offered. One daughter had the Tagliatell alla Bolognese. which was better then Babbos bolognese. Six year old daughter had the Gnocchi which was light as clouds. Dad thought for sure I would get more but she polished it off.
A few colzones that I did not try. And I believe my son had a pizza called diablo but I may be wrong. I enjoyed the slice he shared but can't recall ingredients.
Service was good but a bit rushed. But it is a busy place and should be expected.
Was it the best pizza I ever had? No, Chris Bianco still holds that title. But that is a personal choice as they are two totally different styles of pizza. But second place for sure and thats a winner in my book.
Can't wait to return and the best reason in over twenty years to visit the mother-in-law. Just joking... I think.