I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t have a passion for food, I love all kinds, but I grew up on Italian. My nunnie is 100% Italian and most of our dinners growing up, and still are, at her house so I have high standards on Italian food. I don’t go to Olive Garden because it isn’t even close to authentic. However you would think in Pittsburgh we would have great Italian restaurants. I believe that will be my sole mission of this blog for all future blogs.
Growing up my family would go to Del’s a decent amount, but around 5 or more years ago we stopped going. Mostly because we felt there was a decline in the overall quality in the food. Listening to other customers and bloggers over the years we weren’t alone. Del’s I’m sure will always have a strong following no matter what, but I guess something took its toll along the way. Recently Del’s in Bloomfield was given national spotlight when Chef Robert Irvine and Food Network came in to help the struggling restaurant and give them new life. On Restaurant Impossible Chef Robert gave the restaurant a new look and tried to help as much as he could with the menu. He told them what he liked and didn’t like food wise and overall quality. With a little hesitation at first the owners seemed to listen and help with the changes.
I took my time to visit Del’s because I figured a lot of people would flock and want to check out the changes. So this past weekend I had a chance to visit. The place looks nice, I think the new look is very modern, it might not scream Italian but who ever said it had to? The tables aren’t very modern and reminded me of my bathroom growing up mostly because the pattern was the exact same thing!
The most important thing, the food! I started with Italian Wedding Soup. It was alright, I liked that they put chicken and meatballs in it like my family does because not many places do. That was about all I like about it. I also ordered Chicken Parm, for two reasons: 1 being it is one of my favorite meals and 2 because it was a heavy focus on Restaurant Impossible. I also received a side of penne and marinara sauce. The penne came out and it was a small side dish, didn’t look bad at first glance but when I started mixing it up I noticed how watery the sauce was. BIG turn off. The other turn off was how tasteless the sauce was, it reminded me of why I stopped coming to Del’s in the first place. Turning to the Chicken Parm I noticed that they were using 2 chicken breasts like before Restaurant Impossible came and it wasn’t the recipe Chef Robert taught them. I’m not sure if it was back to the microwave version as before because I wasn’t in the kitchen, but if it would’ve been fried like he did on the show the chicken breading would’ve been somewhat crispy and not soggy. The chicken itself wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
My mom ordered gnocchi and wasn’t happy with the meal, I took a taste and it may have been the worst gnocchi I have ever had. The texture was so gritty, not sure if they are homemade, but I dont know how my mom even got through what she ate. I can honestly say I will not be returning to Del’s any time soon. From my experience and from what I have heard of others it just doesn’t seem like they get the message, you can change the look of everything but until the quality improves that will be Del’s downfall.