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SiBA Cucina, Pittsburgh


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SiBA Cucina, Pittsburgh

Bomberman760 | Nov 15, 2008 12:41 PM

After driving by it for so long, my friends made a reservation for dinner last night and I went along to give it a try. Overall, not impressed.

Great looking restaurant and decor, but not much more.
Starting with the appetizers:

The bread is decent, and the aioli has cayenne pepper in it that gave it a tasty kick.
The stuffed banana peppers were good, but not great. One pepper was huge, the other was tiny.
The fried calamari was so salty that I could not eat more than one piece. When the say "lightly seasoned" they mean enough salt to cover your sodium intake for three days.

For dinner I had the 14 oz. rib eye (ordered rare and very well-seasoned) and a Caesar salad.

The salad was as bland of a Caesar I've ever tasted. Very little dressing (generic, at that), rock-hard croûtons that were too big, but shattered if you tried to break them up. I did not enjoy it at all.

The rib eye is served with garlic mashed potatoes, "vegetable medley" (carrots, cauliflower and two French-cut green beans) and topped with thin cut onion rings dipped in the same salt-batter as the calamari. The steak was over cooked - half medium, half medium-rare - and barely seasoned at all. It was a great cut of meat and not really over-cooked, but it could have used some kosher salt and coarse ground pepper or crushed peppercorns. A shame. I started putting some onion rings with each bite of steak, but that sucked so I just moved the onions to the side.

The mashed potatoes were very dry, with barely a hint of garlic, and zero seasoning. The vegetables were undercooked and guess what - unseasoned and bland.

Overall it was not a good dining experience. I decided against sending anything back, because I've worked in Pittsburgh restaurants in high school and college, and had a feeling I'd be getting a little extra "special seasoning" from the cooks on the return trip.

My friend and his wife got the Rigatoni Asagio, and barely finished half of it, and were unimpressed. Can't remember what the other two got, but I didn't hear any clamor from them. Best part of the meal was the banana peppers and the wine!

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