Providine Goes (back) to Pittsburgh, part 2

I don't generally like to write about restaurants that I only dine at once, but given the lack of bits here recently, and the likelihood of getting back to Bistro 19 in Mount Lebanon any time soon, I thought it would be good to practice my typing. (eating is always pretty well practiced)

Bistro 19 is an upscale restaurant on the main drag of Mount Lebanon, just south of Pittsburgh offering America fusion cuisine. An extensive wine list is available, categorized not just by color or type, but also by dominant flavor characteristics, such as spicy and bold, refreshing, etc. We opted for an inexpensive Spanish Rioja.

Salads were a mix of interesting and standard. For the slightly unusual, a pear and beet salad was offered and good, well balanced with a not overly sweet vinaigrette and candied walnuts. Other salads that we tried were the Caesar, spinach and mixed green salads.

Many items on the menu are locally sourced, where possible, but the menu does not maintain a slavish adherence to this, offering tilapia, basa, shrimp and other items from outside the area. I chose the Black Tiger Shrimp entree, which were butterflied and "stuffed". Served with an excellent Risotto, creamy and flavorful, that coupled extremely well with the rich wilted spinach and sauce of the base of the dish. I thought the shrimp and stuffing to be somewhat bland, with the rest of the dish being excellently prepared and thought out to provide very complementary flavors.

My companions ordered the duck breast entree, pumpkin ravioli and crab cakes. While no one was willing to let me taste their dishes, everyone was extremely happy with their entrees. I could see that the crab cakes were compose primarily of lump crab meat, with very little filler added to their very generous sizes. Easily 3 inches across and over an inch thick and served with smashed potatoes.'

While dessert was on offer, with such options as pumpkin creme brulee, with a pumpkin pie waiting at home, we gave these selections a miss.

Salads; $5, Entrees: $15-$30, Wine: $8-$14/glass, $30+ per bottle.

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