Live and Love to Eat

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Restaurant Review – Lidia’s

I’m honestly surprised at how many people have never ever heard of a Shamrock Shake!  You can read more about them at Wikipedia here, see the frightening nutrition facts here (for a small!), or make my delicious minty-vanilla green monster version.

Have you ever had such terrrible service at a restaurant that you wouldn’t go back even if they have amazingly delicious food?

I’m sad to say that last Friday night was that kind of experience.  My family and I have been juggling a lot recently, so we made a point of picking a nice restaurant to all dine out together last Friday – my parents, my brother, my husband and I went to Lidia’s in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.


Lidia’s Pittsburgh opened in 2001 after their success in two spots in New York City and one restaurant in Kansas City.  Lidia herself was a famous TV chef and the restaurant is famous for their homemade pasta. 

We started with a bottle of wine (which we ordered from the manager since our server was gone for 10+ minutes after handing us our menus).


I’m always excited when the soup of the day is vegetarian – and this tuscan bean and fennel was right up my alley.  There was at least 2 cups of soup in this portion!


I also sampled my mother’s arugla, beet, and walnut salad.  Simple and delicious.


For my entree, I opted for the Primi Butternut Squash ravioli with almonds.  The server suggested increasing it to a dinner portion, but I knew it would be at least 6 ravioli – which is a serving in my book (and plenty after the filling soup).


One of their coolest menu features is their pasta trio – three homemade pastas that change daily, which they serve tableside in unlimited amounts.  Here’s my husband’s first plate: penne with sweet sausage and broccoli rabe, goat cheese ravioli (OMG!), and tagliolini with fresh tomato basil sauce.


In theory, this is an awesome choice for any pasta lover – he snuck me some extra raviolis and only ordered more of his favorites (the ravioli and tagliolini).  However, the tableside servers refilled plates at every table but ours – my mother and husband were still waiting while the rest of us had finished our meals.  😦

All of the pastas were delicious, but our server never offered us freshly grated cheese, either – something happening all over the dining room, but not at our table.

My brother ordered the lamb shank – disturbing to any vegetarian.


Even more disturbing was that he ate the whole thing – practically licked the bone clean!

After speaking with the manager we were given a gift card (which barely covered the wine), but the whole experience was just miserable – it was almost as if we were intentionally ignored all night long, and not as “important” as the tables around us. 

My mother’s dinner came with dessert, which we opted to have wrapped to go since we had had enough.  When we got home, we opened it to see a 2 inch sliver of what looked like a tasty cake brownie – not at all what the menu described.  You’d like the disappointment would have ended at the restaurant!

Sorry, Lidia, your food is delicious, but your staff is sub-par.  I’ll stick to making my own pasta at home.

Have you ever had a bad enough experience to not give a restaurant a second chance?  Typically the food is most important factor, but our service was so bad that it wasn’t worth it!


12 responses to “Restaurant Review – Lidia’s

  1. sprint2thetable February 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I’m really bad… it’s rare I give a place a second chance. There are just too many delicious options to choose from to go somewhere sub-par!

  2. Bailee Morris February 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I actually always try to give a place a second try, but if it’s bad after that, I’m out.

  3. Newly Wife Healthy Life February 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I absolutely love Brio, but one time we had horrible service from our waiter. He never brought us bread (which we asked for twice), took 20 minutes to bring us one water and one iced tea ( and then never refilled it again), and didn’t check on us through the meal! I complained to the waiter because I was upset a nice lunch out with my mom wasn’t so fun. The manager was great and gave us our lunch for free, so we appreciated his kindness and still go back!

  4. Leanne @ The Skinny Architect February 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I’m sorry your service was sucky, that’s usually a deal breaker in my book. If the food is amazing I will try to give it a second chance. After two, I’m done. I’ve only been to Lidia’s twice, once a ridiculously long time ago and a second for my best friends rehearsal dinner. Thanks for the review, I’ll keep that in mind next time we’re looking for a place downtown.

  5. honeywhatscooking February 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    i’m sorry about your experience. i wonder too, when everyone around the rooms gets attention, but my party. my most recent experience was at Vermilion (indo-latin restaurant in NYC). They were nice and all, but i thought it was extremely slow, but no one was rude. If the service is slow, sometimes i’ll look past it for exceptional food, but had the service been better, i would have given the place a much higher rating. And if i encounter injustice or rudeness, i will never go back.

  6. Kris February 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Hmmm I don’t usually give second tries…..

    Sorry to hear your experience was less than par 😉 We just had a visit where we were totally forgotten about for 1 hour!!! We complained and I felt bad, but come’on your in the customer service industry people!!


  7. Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve been to the lidia’s in Kansas City but I barely remember since it was back in High School. I’m sorry you had a crappy experience, I think the wait staff can really make or break a restaurant!

  8. kristina February 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    claire, i’m sorry to hear that the service was unacceptable. even if the food is amazing, if the service is subpar you won’t see me back there. the food does look delicious although & i love your new blog design!!

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