I was so excited last night because we were planning to meet our friends Derek & Lorena for dinner at one of our favorite spots for good beer (and food), North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock. Unfortunately, I found out too late that they don't take reservations, and I didn't realize they didn't realize it was a popular place and there would be a wait, so when they ended up having to bring their (young) kids, they really couldn't wait over an hour for a table. So I checked my phone nav for another local restaurant that might sound like there wouldn't be a wait, and we found an Italian restaurant called Luigi's just up the street.

There wasn't a line, so that looked promising, and although the atmosphere was kind of family-diner-like, we thought maybe that boded well for getting something the kids would like. But some people leaving when we came in said "Good luck getting waited on"; they were actually leaving after having waited too long for service. But we still figured it would be quicker than driving around looking for somewhere else (since the next nearest promising place on my phone was 7 miles away). We were seated right away, but it's true that it was quite a while between sightings of our waitress.

The sign said it was the "Finest Restaurant in Slippery Rock", but I would beg to differ, especially when they're 3 blocks from North Country Brewing, which attracts crowds from all over Western PA.

But really the menu was pretty interesting for a family Italian restaurant, and the food wasn't bad. I chose chicken/ricotta stuffed ravioli in rosemary/tomato/garlic/butter sauce, which was a good idea, but the execution left something to be desired. I think I'll try making it at home, but I think I'll roast (or something) the chicken before chopping it for the filling, to add some flavor, which theirs lacked. And I'll use fresh rosemary rather than dried as they did (it was pretty spiky), and I'll wait for summer tomatoes rather than January grocery-store tasteless tomatoes. I think then it would be quite a tasty dish! Everyone else thought their dinners were OK, too, but only just. The kids had chicken tenders & fries, which apparently is what they always have, and which I don't know that they could have gotten at North Country anyway.

Ah well, we'll try going again another time when the kids can either stay home with someone or when it isn't already late and they're so hungry. And of course, we did enjoy being with our friends, and then they came back to our house after dinner, to sample some homebrews (espresso stout, and the last bottle of Tripel), so that was fun.

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