You know how when you go to New York or Boston, you can stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall place and end up having the best pasta dish of your life? I can't seem to find that experience in Pittsburgh. I don't want a "tour of Italy" with gobs of cheese, and I don't need anything with shaved truffels. It doesn't even need to be a hole in the wall. I would really like to have a go-to pasta restaurant that is cozy, friendly, and with explode in your mouth flavor.
I have eaten at many places that may have certain qualities but not the whole shebang.
For instance - Enrico's in the Strip - I thought this would be the place. It is kind of secretly hidden away, dinner is in the "garage/kitchen" which is charming, the chef and waitstaff are friendly, but the pasta didn't get me to where I wanted to be. They don't drain their pasta well enough - big pet peeve of mine. Also, the food was good but not off the charts. I have eaten at Alexander's Pasta Express in Bloomfield. The name is kind of a buzz kill to begin with, it isn't very charming, the bartenders don't talk to you, and the pasta - while tasty - is easy to reproduce at home. I tried Bruchetta - Southside, Lidia's - the Strip, and Enrico's - Shadyside. Just boxy restaurants with good pasta.
So I ask....where is my authentic, mind blowing, pasta hiding from me in Pittsburgh or within 5 miles of the city????