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“Old Italian charm” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sarafino's Pasta & Pizza

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Sarafino's Pasta & Pizza
40 E Crafton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15205-2804
412-922-8911
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Ranked #275 of 1,874 restaurants in Pittsburgh
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Old Italian charm”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2012

After reading some reviews, my husband and I decided to try Sarafino's for dinner on a Saturday date night. Since other reviews mentioned that it gets crowded with long waits, we called a day before to make a reservation. They don't accept true reservations, but instead work on a call-ahead seating basis, so we called back on Saturday around 6 and got right in at 6:30 when we arrived.

It is an incredibly small restaurant in a older building. We parked on the street, but I think there may be parking on a side street or behind the building as well. It was a cooler night, but very warm in the restaurant even with the fans running. I could see it getting uncomfortably hot in the summer months without air conditioning. The tables are also very close together, which I didn't really mind...gave it a cozy feel.

The freshly baked bread and dipping oil that came out first was probably the best I've ever had. The oil had sun-dried tomato and other herbs mixed in, and it was outstanding with the fresh from the oven warm bread. We ate half of the bread loaf in record time. Next came my salad with their house balsamic dressing and fresh greens. It was also incredibly good, probably one of my favorite salads at a restaurant.

My husband had an italian sausage sandwich that came with a pasta salad. It was a large portion of sandwich, and he said it had nice flavor. He wasn't crazy about the pasta salad and found it an odd combination to pair with that sandwich, but someone who is a fan of pasta salad may like it. I had the Rita's pasta special. The penne was cooked nicely, but there was a bit too much sauce and it seemed more soupy than pasta. It had a nice flavor, but fishing for the pasta was a little annoying so I'm not sure I would get it again. I would probably try the pizza or another dish next time.

Now to address the only negative part of our visit, the service. Our waitress was probably the least personable lady I've ever seen. She never cracked a smirk, let alone a smile, and was verrrry slow at bringing us anything. Since its BYOB and I forgot the wine on the way out of the house, we had water which was never refilled and I eventually gave up. Luckily we weren't in a hurry to get out, but the speed of service and demeanor of the staff could definitely be improved on.

Overall, we had a good experience and I would return to try something new again. Hopefully it will have better service next time.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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33 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    20
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Michigan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Good food, just not our type of restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

On the positive side, the food is excellent and my hubby and we enjoyed that. On the downside, I just don’t think it was our type of restaurant. It was really loud, they sat us as a dirty table without care. I mean I understand a busy Friday night, but eating at a dirty table with old noodles on it kinda ruins your appetite. The liveliness I could deal with it made us chuckle, but not the dirty table. I think I just like the Italian restaurants I’ve been exposed to in Chicago and New York better, you still get that feeling like you’re eating in someone’s kitchen, but the service is great as well. We may have had better luck going at lunch time.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Understated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

Well, it's not called Sarafino's Pasta & Pizza - it's just called Sarafino's (Home-style Italian Cuisine). Not sure why that is the title.

It is a small place with only about 11 tables. The atmosphere is nice with family photos all around. And the food - the food - is so yum! I mean very yum! Extra Yum! Doesn't matter what you order - it's yum!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“The best of the best Italian in the 'Burgh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2012

My wife and I have been to Sarafino's on several occasions with some friends of ours. The food is extremely delicious and the portions are very generous. It is a BYOB place, which is great. Situated in a modest location, the site of which had been an old-fashioned pharmacy, it provides cozy surroundings for its patrons. Most importantly, the last thing that you will find in this place is pretention: the owner and his staff are very genuine and the food is to die for. It is without question the best Italian Restaurant in the Pittsburgh.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh PA
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Great New Years Eve Dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

We had reservations for 6 people at 8pm on New Years Eve. The owner offered us a special fixed price menu that was outstanding. Four of us opted to go with the $50.00 fixed price meal. What a great choice! The meal started with three apetizers: bruchetta, beans and greens, and a large pizza. My wife and I had tried the beans and greens during a prior visit and it was as good as before...cannelli beans, hot sausage, and greens in a savory spicy broth. The pizza was a thin crust pizza and was very good. Next they served a nice tossed salad follwed by three separate pasts dishes: penne in vodka sauce, linguini with shrimp and scallops, and baked pasta dish all served family style and all excellent. Then they provided plates of veal picata and chicken marsala family style and a lobster tail for each. All of the pasta dishes and entrees were first rate including the lobster. We finished with some fine deserts and left full and happy. We really enjoy this BYOB restaurant due to the great servce, excellent prices, and wonderful food. Try the vodka sauce its great!

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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