Last Updated on by Angie
DiAnoia's is an Italian restaurant with an adorable Italian cafe vibe and is located in the Strip District.
During the week they serve an amazing lunch and dinner, but on Sundays? Sundays are for brunch. We'd heard lots of good things about their brunch, so we luckily snagged a somewhat hard to get reservation and checked it out.
We loved it so much we made a return trip for dinner and share our thoughts on both in this full review! But first, we have to start with brunch.
DiAnoia's is an Adorable Spot in the Strip District
First of all, can I just say we absolutely love this space? The navy blue tiled bar showcases a beautiful La Marzocco espresso machine, and Italian cafe chairs and chandeliers made from colorful glass bottles add to the vibe.
The brunch menu features a spread of traditional brunch items with Italian twists.
If you're in a savory mood there's dishes like eggs in purgatory, steak florentine, or breakfast pizzas, or if you're going to the sweet side check out the lemon and ricotta pancakes, the Italian “French” toast, or the fried dough stuffed with Nutella.
Brunch isn't Brunch Without Cocktails and Donuts
Naturally, we had to sample the brunch cocktails as well as the espresso offerings. The cocktails like the Aperol spritz hit the spot and were served in classic orange crystal glasses, while the darker roasted and robust espresso got us going for the day.
We started with zeppole which are Italian donuts. Four round donuts a bit larger in size than regular donut holes appeared in front of us and our eyes widened. Covered in powdered sugar, these donuts had a crunchy fried coating that revealed a creamy yet light interior.
The table behind us was doing a family-style meal and had a massive bowl of these beauties – we almost stole it.
A Large Array of Brunch Favorites
We soon enjoyed the vegetarian frittata, a decently sized square of light and fluffy eggs mixed with a mashup of delicious veggies like onions, peppers, and mushrooms. On top of the frittata was a nice layer of melty, golden brown provolone cheese, a thin layer of marinara sauce, and an arugula and roasted red pepper salad.
We appreciated the freshness of the salad on top and thought this was an overall delightful and healthy brunch option.
The prosciutto eggs benedict was the star of our meal. A buttery, toasty English muffin was the base for prosciutto, poached eggs, creamed spinach, and hollandaise.
Despite the richness of the individual components, the overall dish managed to come across as not too heavy, thanks to the hint of lemon in the hollandaise. Home fried potatoes with a crispy outside and creamy inside were served on the side. Pro tip: order a side of the delicious chili mayo for dipping.
A Return Visit to DiAnoia's For Dinner
Dinner at DiAnoia's is equally enchanting. We went at the height of tomato season and the whole menu was just exploding with seasonal goodies like the tomato tripoline pasta and summer risotto with corn and tomatoes.
The complimentary housemade focaccia was a great way to start the meal with two different flavors (poppy seed and tomato) and olive oil and balsamic at the bottom of the dish perfect for dipping.
The panzanella appetizer called our name, and it didn't disappoint. Starting with cubes of oil-soaked focaccia, this shareable salad also had a mix of roasted zucchini, little balls of fresh mozarella, roasted red peppers, roasted red onions, and a balsamic dressing. There was a great depth of flavor from the roasted veggies and the focaccia had just the right amount of sponginess.
We also tried the heirloom tomato salad with whipped mascarpone spread on the bottom of the plate and thin slices of crisp cucumber and chunks of juicy tomatoes on top. This dish was so simple and yet mind-blowingly delicious.
Ask About Seasonal Entrees
For our entrees we decided on the seasonal tomato tripiline with its thick ribbons of curly-edged pasta that did an excellent job of clining to the butter and olive oil-based sauce. There was a delightful garlic flavor in the background, but the tomatoes were front and center. It's hard to think of a more pleasing way to eat fresh, local summer tomatoes.
DiAnoia's gnocchi bowl has become something of an internet sensation, and we knew we also had to try it. The house made bread bowl is soft and tender and it's filled with melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi pillows that are covered in a rich, creamy, cheesy tomato sauce. It sounds so heavy and yet it didn't feel heavy when we were eating it – as evidenced by us clearing about about three-fourths of the portion. This thing is massive but delicious and worth the hype.
You've been warned.
Just as with breakfast, the service was excellent, from recommending dishes and wine to go with them, to the timing, to the overall pleasantness. DiAnoia's is so perfectly Italian: high quality ingredients in seemingly simple dishes create sensuous flavors.
We can't wait to return to this charming spot for dinner. In the meantime we'll be dreaming about zeppole, espresso, and that gnocchi bowl!
DiAnoia's is located at 2549 Penn Avenue in the Strip District.
For more things to do in the neighborhood, check out our guide to the Strip District!
Help us out! When visiting local businesses or attractions, be sure to say you found them on Discover the Burgh!
Looking for a Pittsburgh hotel? Check out our favorites below!
- Hampton Inn - Free parking in Downtown/Strip District
- Embassy Suites - Stellar views in many rooms, all from high floors
- Sheraton Pittsburgh - Excellent city view in river view rooms
- Hotel Monaco - A great value option Downtown (and dogs stay free)