{PGH Dining} Alexander's Italian Bistro

This might sound odd {or alcoholic to some}, but every once in a while I get a craving for red wine and pasta covered in red sauce. 
Each time I get that craving, I know the place I'll be having my dinner - Alexander's Italian Bistro on Liberty Ave. in Bloomfield. Again, I wax nostalgic about this place because it was out first 'real Italian' experience when we rolled into Pittsburgh last December. And, was it a good one.
Alexander's is an old-style, family-run restaurant with the typical offerings: Chicken Marsala, Veal Parmigiano, Gnocchi, Alfredo. You sit down in their rich, deep-hued dining room after passing through their rectangular-shaped bar, and are greeted with bread and butter balls sculpted to look like raspberries.
I immediately ordered my glass of red, and perused the menu. {For fun, really.}
We typically start with salads, but Husband tore into the bread like nobody's business, so I was the only salad-starter.
Per usual, I got the garden salad, which might not sound like much, but at Alexander's they treat you right. The salad comes with dried cranberries, candied walnuts, greens, onion and the option for many types of cheeses and dressings. I stuck with my blue cheese dressing, "on the side!" and dipped.
For our entrees, I knew I wanted something with a red sauce {see above}, so I mulled over the 'Pastabilities' section of the menu. You can choose from a Baker's Dozen of sauces {Aglio Olio, Pesto, White Clam and Classic Alfredo among them}, more than 10 pasta selections {including Angel Hair, Malfalda, Gluten-Free, Wheat}, and any meaty accompaniments you wish for.  It's really the best deal on the menu for the taste opportunist.
Husband threw a statement out there: "Well, I know I'm getting the Malfalda with Bolognese sauce. So, you can have some, I guess." Way to throw it down.
But, in truth, it helped me make the leap from my typical red, meaty sauce, to a new favorite dish at Alexander's: The Chicken Piccata.
A thing of beauty.
With the chicken, you get a side of pasta, so I chose the penne with pesto sauce. It turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to the tart lemon and caper butter sauce spilled over the chicken.

So delicious. Almost unbelievable.
 However, you can't forget about dessert. I'm not sure how Italian this dessert is, but we typically order the Walnut Ball. Creamy vanilla ice cream is rolled in caramel then in candied walnuts, and topped with whipped cream. This combination of cold ice cream and crunch nuts is an ideal end to a deliciously heavy pasta meal.
For Italian food that's priced well, a step above the more well-known restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere, dine at Alexander's Italian Bistro.  There's a good chance it could become your 'go-to.'

Neighborhood: Bloomfield
Good For: Old-Style Italian Food
Gems: Red Sauce, Chicken Piccata
Drawbacks: Carbing Out
Alexanders Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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