The Unvegan

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Upstairs at Sienna Mercato’s Mezzo

Not ravioli.
Not ravioli.

Located in the middle floor of the gigantic Sienna Mercato in downtown Pittsburgh is a place that goes by the name of Mezzo. Unlike the balls of meat that dominate the floor below in Emporio, this floor specializes in cured meats, cheeses, pastas and pizzas. The wait can be nuts, but thanks to Pittsburgh’s own NoWaitApp (no they aren’t paying me for this) we were able to be seated just as we arrived.

We started with some Fried Calimari that came with Calabrian chilis and lemon emulsion. As far as calimari goes, this was pretty good. I am not the biggest calimari person, but alas the fact that I was not disappointed should count as a win enough when it comes to squid.

Nice little eggy.
Nice little eggy.

After a long look at a menu containing dishes with far too many ingredients from the veggie side of the world, I ended up splitting two dishes with the wife. The first was a pizza called Tartufo. It came topped with ricotta, fontina, mushroom, truffle, parmesan, farm egg and chives. I got half of it without the mushrooms and it was by far the better half. There was a lot to work with in terms of ingredients, but it tasted quite good. The crust was the right amount of crisp and the egg was the right amount of runny.

Where's the beef?
Where’s the beef?

As for the pasta, we chose La Genovese, which came with ziti, braised beef, onions, pancetta and pecorino cheese. For the wife I allowed the onions, and I was able to eat it pretty well without them despite the knowledge that it would have been better without. While it was a pretty good pasta, I was a bit disappointed with the amount of beef present.

While Mezzo was definitely a more upscale restaurant compared to Emporio, it seemed to lack some of the originality that the meatballs below brought to the table. Nonetheless, for an upscale Italian meal one could do a whole lot worse.