A very unassuming restaurant, nicely away from the bars and bustle of Carson street, Dish is one of my favorite Pittsburgh restaurants. Tucked away among residential housing, you could walk by here and not even realize that this restaurant exists. The building was initially built as a tavern in 1885. As you enter, a small cozy bar sits to the left with a few tables on the other side. The restaurant itself is also very small but warm and comfortable.
Even though the bar is usually diners waiting on tables, don't hesitate to stop for a drink and try an appetizer to get the flavor of the place. Because they are so busy, you need to make reservations early so the first couple of visits I ended up at the bar. The wine list largely favors regional Italian selections, and the Boyd and Blair Potato vodka, olive juice and mountain gorgonzola stuffed olives is a good choice.
My go-to appetizer is the grilled calamari, served with sautéed spinach, lemon, parsley and extra virgin. This isn't typical fried calamari. It's grilled until slightly blackened and flavored with a squirt of lemon. The flavor is phenomenal! Another good appitizer choice is the mushroom bruschetta, described as: Bruschetta ai Funghi Sautéed portobello, shiitake, cremini mushrooms and fresh basil. Served on grilled ciabatta bread.
While the menu changes daily, if you are lucky they might have the pan roasted breast of duck in a red currant demiglace served with grilled mushroom polenta and a julienne of sauteed Brussels sprouts...Wow.
Dish is located at 117 South 17th Street, on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Be aware, finding the place can be difficult, and so can parking. While it's not on Carson street, it's not a long walk from there, so take the first space you find!