Published by Angie. Last Updated on January 16, 2024.
Disclaimer: Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.
Della Terra in Zelienople is an Italian restaurant serving pizzas and pastas with equal prowess. One glance at the menu here and you'll likely want one of everything, which we highly encourage. From traditional and familiar Italian flavors to plates with a few twists, everything we tried was satisfying and delicious.
The delightful food was enhanced by excellent service and stunning mid-century decor.
The decor instantly caught our eye upon walking in the door. Several of the features from the building's history as a bank remain in place like the super tall ceilings and the bank vault door that leads from the dining room to the kitchen. But what I couldn't stop staring at the whole meal were the 1940s-style chandeliers – simply amazing!
Suffice it to say, Della Terra has quickly become a favorite of ours in our local Italian dining scene.
Della Terra Offers a Menu Where We Want Everything
As we scanned the menu and sipped on a Rainy Season Negroni (mezcal, campari, byrrh, and banana – pleasantly smokey with just a hint of banana), we quickly realized we wanted nearly every dish on it.
Comforting appetizers like garlic bread and greens and beans shared space with meatballs and mussels ndjua. The pasta portion of the menu really caught our attention, with rich seasonal dishes like lamb tagliatelle and cavatelli with sausage and roasted squash.
Then we got to the pizza portion of the menu with classics like a margherita and a white mushroom. The entree section was small in comparison, with just chicken scarpariello and a bass puttanesca – which also sounded delicious, but alas we had choices to make.
We had looked at the menu before dining here and agreed with each other that we would take a look around the dining room at the pizzas coming out and make a judgment call on if we were going to go the pizza route or the pasta route. Well, one glance at our neighbors' thin crust, wood-fired, puffy-edged, leopard-spotted pies and we knew we had to get pizza. But the flavors of the pastas on the menu sounded so intriguing we couldn't abandon the pastas.
To start with we had to try the meatballs, made from a pork and beef blend, served over polenta, and topped with tomato sauce. These meatballs were truly some of the moistest we've ever had, and perfectly seasoned. The creamy polenta and acidity the tomato sauce really tied everything together.
I had also wanted to try the garlic bread as it was described as naturally leavened and topped with garlic, parmesan, and burrata, but Jeremy argued that that sounded basically like pizza and we should just get a pie instead.
This turned out to be a smart move- we tried the bianca pie with a blend of cheeses (fresh mozzarella, ricotta, fontina, bleu), chili powder, fried kale, and honey. This pie was simply addictive with its sweet-spicy dance, richness and gooiness from the cheese blend, and the touch of bitterness from the kale. The dough had a great depth of flavor from the natural leavening and a beautiful thin, crispness.
At this point our pasta dishes came out- yes, dishes, as in more than one. Luckily the guests had departed from our neighboring table and our servers amusingly pulled over their table to house the massive amount of food that was raining down upon us.
We had a good laugh with them about the ridiculous amount of food we had ordered, but they agreed that it was the best way to experience Della Terra. We enjoyed that the servers were enthusiastic about the menu and seemed genuinely proud to work there.
The pasta dishes we tried were the ravioli saltimbocca filled with roasted chicken and fontina in a sage, prosciutto, and brown butter marsala sauce. It was rich and luxurious, with nice texture from the crispy bits of prosciutto.
The other pasta dish we tried was the paccheri polpo, with large tube-shaped pasta, octopus, chorizo, capers, tomato, smoked paprika, and herbs. This dish had an amazing, interesting balance of flavors – it was smokey from the chorizo and paprika, with a hit of brininess from the capers. And the octopus was cooked perfectly, tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
Somehow we managed to save room for dessert, a creamy panna cotta topped with a crunchy, nutty sesame brittle. The other desserts also sounded fantastic but due to my nut allergy we couldn't partake (cannoli, tiramisu, and an apple calzone).
Della Terra is an absolute delight of a restaurant, with welcoming service, interesting pastas, well-executed pizzas with naturally leavened dough packed with flavor, all in an impossibly beautiful and classy old bank building. This one is worth the drive from Pittsburgh, and we are already planning on how we can make Della Terra a regular spot in our rotation!
Della Terra is located at 100 N Main Street in Zelienople, PA.