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The kickoff of summer in Pittsburgh is marked by many events, be it through the traditional solstice or simply numerous outdoor experiences.
One relatively new event is a smaller one, but focuses on all things limoncello and ‘cello spirits at Vallozzi's. This is the Festa di Limoncello, and is designed to kick off summer with a trip to the Amalfi coast of Italy.
We were guest of Vallozzi's for this one in 2019, and share what the event is like below!
What is Included at the Festa di Limoncello?
On the surface, the price of the Festa di Limoncello is quite high ($75 in advance in 2019, $100 at the door). But admission to this event includes two ‘cello cocktails, unlimited samples from roughly a dozen housemade cellos of various flavors, a pizza and Italian dessert buffet, as well as a seafood grill station.
The ‘cello cocktails that are offered are a selection of pre-made cocktails based on your preferred which included raspberry, pineapple, orange, watermelon, and more with additional spirits and liquors mixed in to balance out the drinks. While a bit small, the cocktails ended up being rather delicious options to showcase flavored ‘cellos in cocktail format, which we can certainly appreciate.
That being said, as far as spirits are concerned, the highlight of the limoncello festival was the multiple ‘cello tasting stations which offered roughly a dozen flavor infused samples to try. These included those as traditional as lemon or Sorrento lemon (a personal favorite), to raspberry, plum, mixed berry, fig (the winner of the day), and even pistachio!
As such, those who love infused ‘cellos would be best suited for this event, because you could truly taste your way around the ‘cello stations and get a better appreciation for this versatile spirit style.
On the food front, the Festa di Limoncello highlighted some Italian favorites including Vallozzi's own pizza, pasta, as well as an outdoor seafood grill station that offered an assortment of shrimp, mussels, clams, and octopus with mixed vegetables. The line for this one was quite long as it was arguably the best food of the day, but moved rather rapidly considering everything was being grilled right in front of you.
One of the highlights of the dessert table, apart from limoncello cakes and other housemade options, was cordials from a519 chocolate- a popular chocolatier in Pittsburgh known for their unique and visually stunning truffles.
During this event, the chocolate company created a limoncello inspired truffle (naturally) as well as an olive oil-inspired truffle that was our favorite of the day. Considering these truffles often run $2 each at the best of times, well, you can safely say that we got our value in the sheer volume we ate at this event alone.
While this event is still priced at a somewhat high amount for what you get, it is targeted especially for those who are big fans of limoncello and other infused ‘cello creations. Vallozzi's did a good job with crowd size for this event (again, likely by design via the price point) which made for a rather nice experience in getting as many samples of alcohol and food that you could stomach.
As such, we quite enjoyed this start-of-summer celebration!
The Festa di Limoncello typically takes place at Vallozzi's on a select Saturday each June. The restaurant is located at 220 Fifth Avenue downtown. We were guests of Vallozzi's during 2019's Festa di Limoncello, but as always all opinions are our own.