Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chicken Picatta at Aracri's

I had a business meeting in Greentree last night, so I asked my boss if he wanted to catch dinner before we headed over to the Doubletree.  When I asked where he wanted to go, he went way out of the box and suggested an old school Italian restaurant off of Greentree Road called Aracri's.

How he heard of this place, I have no idea.  He doesn't stray out of the North Hills too much, so that made it even more puzzling.

When I got to the restaurant to meet him, it felt like I was entering a time warp back to the 1980's.  On the door of the old Tutor style building was a sticker advertising KBL with the logos for the Pirates/Pens/Steelers of that era.  Not ROOT, not Fox Sports Pittsburgh, not what was before

The interior of this place probably hasn't been touched in 30 plus years, either.  Was this place really good or popular at one time?  I'm not saying I know every restaurant in Pittsburgh, especially in the South Hills, but I have never heard anyone say, "Hey, I had a great meal at Aracri's last weekend."

I ordered the Chicken Picatta, partly to see how it compared to mine.  This one was done with mushrooms, so I was assuming the mushrooms formed some type of sauce base.  I don't like mushrooms themselves, but I like mushroom-based sauce.  They're earthy and honest and build flavor for the whole dish.

When the Picatta came out, I was struck by the gnarled pieces of chicken.  It just seemed like a cheap cut, instead of a nice pair of chicken breasts.  The dish itself was very good -- the chicken was tender, the sauce was rich, but I was missing the capers and that salty flavor.

The dinner rolls were standard and the vegetable was a dish of steamed broccoli.  Nothing spectacular.  This restaurant, if it had a heyday, has passed that peak by.

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