Every year or so, I have an exceptional dining experience- the service, food, and ambiance all come together to make for a perfect evening. Last Thursday, I had one of the best meals I have had in a long time.
Ristorante Arlecchino is located at 133 Camp Lane, in Mcmurray, PA. Previously a schoolhouse, the restaurant embodies comfort, and old-world charm. The main dining room is inviting and warm, with an open kitchen where you can see the talent at work.
Our table was in a separate room, in a heated, covered patio. This particular night, we had the entire room to ourselves. Our server immediately filled glasses with sparkling water, and disappeared to find us a flavorful red wine.
Oversize menus are printed daily to feature fresh, seasonal, items. Our host asked me to pick a few appetizers- no problem! Stuffed Banana Peppers ($13), Calamari ($11), and Mussels would do just fine. Halfway through our first glass of vino, the apps were served. The Banana Peppers went first- they were sweet and spicy, stuffed with a veal/pork mixture smothered with a deliciously sweet tomato sauce. Sautéed Calamari was presented sans breadcrumbs (the real way to prepare squid), with fragrant, young olive oil, garden leaves, garlic and fresh oregano. It was tender, sweet, and cooked perfectly. Everyone enjoyed the mussels as well, which were prepared with a sweet and spicy plum sauce with long hots.
The house specialty at Ristorante Arlecchino is a double-cut chop, milk-fed Wisconsin young cattle. Other entrees include, a 14-ounce South African cold-water lobster tail ($100), Center-Cut Filet Gorgonzola ($54), Seafood Diavolo (my choice-$54), Corvina Amatriciana ($46), Chilean Sea Bass ($52), and Pollo Margherita ($33). Dry aged Strip Steaks are also available.
Maccheroni (pasta) specials include Taglietelle Bolognese ($28), Bucatini Primavera ($28), and Linguini with Clam Sauce ($32).
After the appetizers were cleared, two large salads appeared, and were served family-style with fresh ground black pepper. Tangy vinaigrette covered the fresh greens, cleansing our palates for the next course. After our salad plates were cleared, and another glass of wine, the pasta course was served with another homemade, delectable red sauce.
If you’re keeping count, that’s three courses- and we still had our main dishes to look forward to.
Everyone’s interpretation of Seafood Diavolo is different- some make it too spicy, while other chef’s dishes may be too benign. This particular Diavolo had the perfect amount of heat, and heaps of fresh seafood. The African lobster tail, which sat atop the seafood bonanza was fresh, and cooked a perfect medium. Jumbo lump crabmeat, enormous prawns, sea scallops, and PEI mussels completed the dish. I thought I was too full to eat everything, but I was wrong.
After a few bottles of wine, and homemade tiramisu, we were done eating for the evening.
My dining experience at Ristorante Arlecchino was memorable. The excellent service, coupled with perfectly prepared food made for an unforgettable evening.