The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Semi-South at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
Wrapped in Delicious at The El Felix
The $25 Burger at The Spotted Pig
Eating Jongro BBQ in a Compact K-Town

‘Gnocchi’

Tender is the Night at Via Veneto

Succulent balls of meat.
Succulent balls of meat.

It’s not often that a fancy restaurant like Via Veneto invites you to check them out as a blogger. But alas, I found myself a few tables away from Zach Galifianakis ready to take down some of the fanciest Italian food in Santa Monica. It began with a couple of glasses of champagne and then we moved on to the real deal.

Semolina Gnocchi at Piccolo Forno

This ain't yo mama's gnocchi.
This ain’t yo mama’s gnocchi.

Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville has apparently emerged as a Tepper student’s top date spot. The BYOB policy may have something to do with it, but I had a feeling the food was probably pretty good as well when I decided to make it the place for my wife’s birthday dinner. As with most cool places, they don’t take reservations so we arrived early enough to get a table quickly.

Squaring Off at Root 174

Ride them horses.
Ride them horses.

Ever since arriving in Pittsburgh, I have been told to make my way to Root 174 in Regent Square. It took me a while, but that wait ended recently when the mother-in-law paid a visit to the ‘Burgh. The menu was nothing short of beautiful, but we started out with a little something called Devils on Horseback. This is, of course, dates stuffed with chorizo and manchego topped with a port wine reduction. It was a solid, if not spectacular start, but it whet my appetite for what was to come.

Blues and Gnocchi at the Old Winery

My kingdom for a gnocchi.
My kingdom for a gnocchi.

Since Niagara-on-the-Lake is a wine region, it comes as no surprise that there is a restaurant called the Old Winery. It may, however, come as a surprise that this spot features blues music on Saturday nights. It also features a pretty good selection of beer, pasta and grill items. Although I am typically a man of the grill, the pasta called my name because it went by the name of Gnocchi.

All the Small Things at RPM Italian

A lotta buratta.
A lotta buratta.

Lettuce Entertain You is kind of a juggernaut of restaurant groups in Chicago. It’s hard to throw a stone in the city without hitting one of their many successful restaurants, and their empire goes beyond just the Second City. Yet, while in that city my sister booked us a table at RPM Italian, which I can only assume stands for Rotations Per Minute Italian. Oh and the super skinny lady from E! News is somehow involved, but I’m guessing she doesn’t eat much of the food.

Rocking the Casbah

No lame duck.
No lame duck.

As I’ve mentioned before, the Big Burrito restaurant mafia in Pittsburgh is kind of a big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that I recently visited a third member of their family: Casbah. Featuring a menu with dubious claims of Mediterranean origin, there could be no doubt that the ever-changing menu looked nothing short of delicious. It also looked nothing short of beyond a student’s budget, which is why I found myself there with the in-laws.

Sapori Del Rey

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Pannagnocchi.

With our original lunch plans spoiled by a champagne brunch, we found ourselves at the Marina Del Rey Fisherman’s Village without a plan. Off in the distance, we heard some classic soul music and wandered in that direction to find Sapori, an Italian restaurant. It had a nice view of the marina, with that soul music played by a live band in the courtyard next door and we decided to give it a try.