There are no shortages of Italian restaurants in Pittsburgh. Most of them are good and serve traditional, uncomplicated fare. Pizza, hoagies, subs, and antipasto salads are on the menus. These dishes are designed to be served to lunch customers that are in a rush, and need to get back to work quickly. Down the alley from the club is one such restaurant, Villa Reale.
Sometimes I have a chance to walk down Strawberry Way after our lunch rush. I often look through the large window that faces the alley, and amazed at the crowd inside. On this particular Saturday however, Villa Reale was a bit slow.
I stopped in to grab a small pizza on my way to work. I know what you must be thinking- why pay for food when you’re a chef? Well, sometimes there is comfort in variety, and pizza takes a long time to make from scratch.
The pepperoni pizza was good- the crust was chewy (thanks to high-gluten flour), the sauce was sweet, and the cheese mixture was tangy. I was going to take a picture of the pizza, but when you work with a hungry staff, pizza disappears quickly. Next time.
In addition to pizza, Villa Reale serves Fried Mozzarella ($4.75), Fried Ravioli ($4.75), Italian Hot Baked Hoagies ($9.95), Chicken Parm Hoagies ($8.95), Calzones (Regular $9.75, Large $12.75), Lasagna ($11.95), Baked Manicotti ($11.95), and Baked Manicotti ($11.95). Desserts include Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Zeppoli (Italian doughnuts), and Ice Cream cones.
Villa Reale serves above average Italian cuisine at a reasonable price. If you find yourself in the city during lunchtime, stop in a sample the food; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.