Over Rated. Don't bother. I heard a lot about the food and was looking forward to a nice meal and evening. However, that didn’t happen. It’s hard for me to understand how people rated this place so highly? The restaurant is very small so plan on waiting even if you have reservations. The restaurant is incredibly loud as well. Also don’t go here unless you want to put up with pretentious customers and a rude host. The worst part was that the food was bland and disappointing.
Best Italian in Pittsburgh (and the salad rocks too!). I live in Indiana, PA and make the hour-plus drive to Shadyside at least monthly to enjoy the fabulous Italian eatery that is Girasole. I've been dining there, and taking friends both local and from out of town, since the place opened, and the response from everyone is always the same--"What a fine restaurant!" We love Girasole not only for the impeccable service, the divine salad, the delicious and original menu items, which are always served searingly hot, and the incredible consistency in all these factors. It may be a bit crowded and too loud on the busier nights, but the food is worth it. It's definitely one of the finest restaurants in Pittsburgh. The city is very fortunate to have a restaurant like Girasole.
Will never return.
My wife and I were celebrating with some collegues of hers from out of town and decided to have dinner at Girasole. The dinner we had was a little overpriced, and rather bland to be honest (Carne). We also ordered wine, some tiramisu for dessert and espresso.
We hadn't been finished with our dessert for 15 minutes and were having a nice conversation with our guests when the owner started tapping on my shoulder and said, "Sir it's been two hours, other people are waiting." I felt it was a bit rude after we had just spent $160, but we got up to leave anyways. I happened to notice that there were two vacant tables right next to ours, and another by the door, making a total of 8 open seats, but whatever, he can run his restaurant any way he wants.
On the way out the door my wife told the owner that he was being rude, and he repeated "It's been two hours", and she replied, "Well it's still rude", to which he said, "Well too bad"
I went back in and told the owner I did not appreciate him talking my wife in that manner and he denied saying anything wrong, and again told me that we had "Been there for two hours, and he had other people to seat." So I informed him that it's too bad we were there for two hours, we just spent $160 in his place, and it took at least 45 minutes before we even got our dinner. He vehemently denied it took that long for us to get our food, but said, "If that's the way you feel, here I'll pay for half your dinner." As he took out a rather large role of money from his pocket. I told him to keep his money, we're just never coming back.
It was embarrassing inviting people from out of town for dinner and then get hustled out like that. Wine, dinner, dessert, and then espresso, that is about two hours right there. I guess Girasole prefers their customers to go talk at Starbucks across the street. Just eat and then pay, that should be their motto.
Girasole - Shadyside's Best!.
I love Girasole! It's one of those hidden gems in Shadyside, and if you can find it, you'll love it.
I've never seen a proprietor as happy to see his customers as Mr. Girasole, and I think he's been there every single time I've gone...and he's remembered me every time!
The menu is small, but I've loved everything I've tried there, from the house salad (served with gorgonzola, chick peas & sunflower seeds - YUM!) to the fish & meat specials to fall favorites like pumpkin ravioli, and my very favorite, the polenta. It comes with their amazing tomato sauce and fresh mozzerella melted on top. I'm hungry just thinking about it! They're happy to accomodate special requests, and I love their sauce like no other.
I've been there for brunch (and bellinis) with girlfriends, on a date with my boyfriend, and when my grandparents are in town, it's their favorite lunch spot, too. It's hard to find a restaurant that will please so many people.
One warning - on Saturday nights, you can expect a wait, even if you have a reservation, but it's well worth it.
Best restaurant in Shadyside.
What surprised me was the steak - while I've been a huge fan of Girasole for nearly 4 years, I'd stuck to some of the basics - the wonderful salad and the occasional fish special. Last time I was in, they had a filet special with risotto and grilled peppers. It was far and away better than anything I've ever had at the Capital Grille, Morton's or Ruth's Chris. Now it's October, which means pumpkin ravioli. You can't go wrong with Girasole.
And I gotta agree with Jimmy 'Pie' Girasole - he's a welcoming guy who remembers his customers and treats them as though they were part of his own family. Stand up guy all around.
One of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh, period..
I started going to Girasole years ago, was hooked by their veal osso buco, came back for the pasta, tasted the pumpkin sage ravioli, and have been a regular ever since. A small, cozy dive off of Walnut Street, the atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date (though I have always been more interested in the food.) Even on the most crowded nights, the owner is always accomodating and friendly with his patrons. It is not unusual for Mr. Girasole to greet you with a hug, and he seems genuinely interested that you have a wonderful meal.
However, my most laudatory comments on this gem are reserved for its Italian cuisine. Every part of the meal is spectacular - from the salads with their signature sunflower vinaigrette, to the fantastic pastas and nightly specials (again, the veal osso buco is especially memorable), and finally the desserts (lemon cake, gelato, tiramisu: they are all incredible).
I cannot praise this restaurant enough, and I hope that you have the occasion to make it down to Shadyside to become a regular, too.
worst customer service ever!. I recently made a Girasole reservation for 11 for my wife's birthday. Upon arriving at the restaurant we found we had one table for 7 and another for 4. Upon complaining to the owner, I was told we were welcome to go elsewhere. When I said he shouldn't have taken a larger reservation than he could sit together, he told me I wouldn't be able to talk to everyone at a table that large anyway. So, I guess I'm better off sitting with me back to some of my guests! We stayed because we'd never get a walk-in sitting anywhere else with a group that large, but none of us will ever go back to Girasole again. I guess the owner has the luxury of abusing his patrons, because that's sure how we all felt. My worst restaurant experience anywhere ever!
One of Pittsburgh's best italian restaurants!. Girsole offers a great atmosphere, wonderful food with a seasonal menu, and friendly staff. It is located in the heart of Shadyside on a quaint street right off of Walnut Street. Excellent house salads followed by a delicious array of pastas to choose from, as well as other entrees. You can BYOB too.
Great, healthy Italian food at reasonable prices. Girasole is a wonderful, small, downstairs, stone-walled restaurant in Shadyside. I've only been there at lunchtime and it's a great deal. Most lunch entrees are under $9, and all come with fresh bread and an absolutely wonderful house salad that could be a nice lunch in and of themselves. The food is simple but creative Italian with lots of vegetarian options (not so much there for vegans, though), and the menu changes with each season. The whole wheat fettucine with pesto, chard and white beans is outstanding, as are all the pastas (everybody seems to order the spinach ravioli, but I haven't tried it yet). Lunch portions are very generous and I've heard the dinner portions are enormous. The owner is usually around, and service is friendly, relaxed, professional and great with kids. For the same price as a blah lunch at Olive Garden, TGI Friday's or any number of overrated Pittsburgh institutions like Gullifty's and Jimmy Tsang's, you can have a really great, hearty, healthy and flavorful lunch at our locally-owned little Girasole. (One note, though, even though it's a pretty, romantic room, the acoustics are such that, at least at lunchtime, the restaurant is quite noisy. Not the place for intimate conversations, but fine for regular ones.).
Not up to par. If I had written this review a year ago I would have raved. The only con would have been the weekend wait due to the no res. policy -- and forget about large parties! Keep it to a max of 4 people unless you intend to go for a very early or a very late dinner. With this said, I returned to Girasole last week and they have done some redorating. The atmosphere is still very quaint. The food on the other hand wasn't as good as it has been in the past. The food presentation and flavor was severly lacking. Fortunately, their brushetta and house salad were still well prepared. Quite frankly, I don't want to pay $50 plus for two for something that I don't thoroughly enjoy. As I have been a loyal patron for years, I will try it again, but one more strike and they're done for me. There are far too many places to eat in Pittsburgh....
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