A Friday night out with friends in the city is always a good time, especially if you decide to explore an area you’ve never visited before. My friends and I did just that when we went to the hip neighborhood of Lawrenceville, which is not too far from Downtown Pittsburgh. The place is very easy to get around, with little cafés here and there, along with a few vintage stores and cool hangout spots. My friends and I were looking for a place to get dinner when we stumbled upon a Greek restaurant called Pastitsio. It was a small place, but with a classy and comfortable setup. Friends and couples were sitting at the tables next to us, all socializing and having a good time. The entire restaurant gave off a good vibe.

When our very cordial waiter came to give my friends and me our menus, he went through all of the meals in each category of the menu to describe their taste and how everything was cooked. I specifically appreciated having the option of choosing the lunch or dinner version of each meal, with the only difference being the prices, and the fact that you can get two sides instead of one for the dinner portion. After the waiter finished showing us our meal options, my friends and I ordered our food, which took about 15 minutes to reach us.

First came the appetizers: hummus and pita bread, Greek meatballs, and spanakopita. My friends and I really enjoyed the hummus, which had this meaty texture to it that very much complemented the warm pita bread. The meatballs were actually complimentary for the restaurant’s happy hour, and were served with tzatziki sauce along with another spicy sauce. The spanakopita, however, was probably our favorite appetizer: small squares of spinach and feta cheese wrapped in flaky phyllo dough. The combination, along with some herbs mixed in, just went so well together.

When my friends and I got to our main courses, we were just as satisfied with the taste and presentation. A few of us ordered the lamb souvlakia, which was a dish with marinated pieces of lamb and rice, while others ordered the roasted vegetable pita and pastitsio, a sweet casserole made with beef and noodles. Everything was presented nicely on white glass plates and the vibrant colors of the ingredients in each dish made the entire presentation very aesthetically pleasing to look at.

All of our meals were seasoned perfectly and tasted very unique, where some of them had lightly salty and sour flavors. Even the water tasted great (I think they put mint in it or something). Not to mention, we were told that all the food was made with the freshest ingredients. My friends and I all enjoyed the entire experience of eating at Pastitsio, where we were able to both explore more of a food culture and catch up with each other at the same time.