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Friday, February 12, 2016

Station - 4744 Liberty Ave

I've rarely had a satisfying dining experience in Bloomfield. Tessaro's is overrated. The last time I stopped by the sandwich shop there was a fist fight involving the entire restaurant and it took about two hours to get my runny omelet. Del's (now deceased) and Pleasure Bar always served their food with a great deal of Italian "gusto" but I've found the quality of the food to be very lackluster. Restaurant goers in Pittsburgh have always prized quantity and value over quality. I believe this trend is finally shifting.

Station is the brainchild of Justin Janosko. I've known Justin since he was pouring beers at Tad's on East Carson and saving up to start his catering business which would eventually springboard him into his wonderful new location in Bloomfield.

I was extremely skeptical of Station and quite worried that I would be writing a nasty review. After all, the cheapest item on the menu is the $8 chicken liver mousse and the cheapest entree is a $16 burger. By way of comparison,  $7 will get you a huge fried bologna sandwich and a side at the lovely Bob's Garage which we visited a few weeks prior.

Justin recommended I try the tagliatelle. I don't typically enjoy ordering pasta dishes at most restaurants. I generally believe that I can make pasta as well as the next guy -- I was wrong. The house made tagliatelle was perfectly textured with a wonderful thick sauce. It was very well complimented by the smoked pork shank as well as the one hour egg. (Read soft runny egg that adds a great deal of complexity to any dish.) After crushing the entire entree, I slurped the sauce like a goblin. It was really that good.

Somehow, I found myself entirely outside of my comfort zone on my visit to Station. My dear friend Ed suggested that I order the $11 chicken wings. Although this price seems criminal for just 5 chicken wings, I had no regrets. The wings were prepared in a tapioca coating and then flash fried. The resulting texture is almost too much to handle, especially when paired with the wonderful chili sauce and aerated parmesan cheese.  The wings basically seemed breaded and had a delightful crunch. I'll be going back just to get an entire order for myself. My friends PITTSBURGH TENDO REVIEW would either praise these wings or hang themselves. I really don't know which, they are kind of manic.  I would absolutely love to see their review.

My chief complaint about Station would be that some of the dishes are just a little too rich and too complicated.  I would have a hard time describing the beef tongue and the ravioli other than to call them "busy." There was just too much going on with each dish and too many competing flavors and textures. I believe that with the quality ingredients they are using some of the menu items could be simplified. I would also like to complain about the the price points, but I can't. Sometimes good food is absolutely worth the money.

Station Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato