Takeout review: Morcilla | Restaurant Reviews | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Takeout review: Morcilla

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
CP Photo: Maggie Weaver
When dining rooms closed in March, Pittsburgh chefs had to rethink the restaurant experience. Half of the draw to dining out is the atmosphere that comes along with it, but without tables to fill, chefs were forced to figure out a way for diners to take the restaurant experience home. Some restaurants transformed their beloved dishes into DIY kits, while others, like Morcilla in Lawrenceville, created a menu of family-sized heat-and-serve meals.

The traditional Spanish tapas eatery has kept its dining room closed, even in the green phase. Its curbside pick-up menu, featuring a larger, multi-course family meal, along with á la carte options, came about in mid-May after a two-month closure.

Morcilla’s menu changes weekly, but always features a family feast. This package covers everything you would expect from the restaurant: small tapas, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. Á la carte dishes often include another side, some of co-owner and head chef Justin Severino’s charcuterie, and to-go cocktails.

The week I ordered from Morcilla, I created my own courses out of the á la carte options: a half-roast chicken, roasted broccolini with romesco, charcuterie, and its conserva kit, a mix of snacks.

Everything was simple and ready-to-go when I picked up my curbside order from the restaurant. An instruction sheet laid out the basics of reheating and suggested sauce pairings. When finished, the dishes looked — even with my haphazard plating — almost restaurant-worthy.

True to traditional coursing, I broke into the smaller plates and snacks first. The charcuterie had every flavor, from nutty to spicy, complete with an extra kick of heat from a few guindilla peppers. The conserva, a mix of pleasantly floral marcona almonds, warm-spiced pickled veggies, citrus and olive oil marinated manchego cheese, and garlicky olives, paired well with the rich meats, full of acidic flavors that cut right through the summer heat. Broccilini came next, roasted and accompanied by a slightly smoky red pepper sauce.

The chicken stole the show, beautifully moist and full of flavor. A peppery taste from the skin seeped through every bit of the meat, matching well with a citrusy salsa verde and creamy pimentón aioli. The duo of sauces were a wonderfully light partner to the chicken, giving the dish — which I usually think of as a wintery one — a summertime feel.

If you find yourself missing the experience of dining out, heat-and-serve dishes or family feasts from Morcilla are the perfect remedy.

Morcilla. 3519 Butler St., Lawrenceville. morcillapittsburgh.com

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