It's the hip, slightly rebellious younger sibling of the classic "Italian family restaurant," with a sweet place in a Midtown highrise and a generous dose of daring creativity.It's the hip, slightly rebellious younger sibling of the classic "Italian family restaurant," with a sweet place in a Midtown highrise and a generous dose of daring creativity. While that younger sibling, Piola, is armed with the authentic Italian family recipe book, it's got enough spunk to give those recipes a creative update or even an international twist. One thing should be made clear: this is not the place you go for a vat of lasagna accompanied with accordion music and gastric pain. Piola is the place you go to enjoy cocktails and a slice of something deliciously different in a sleek, cool space; We suppose you could say that Piola is a bit like a fascinating Italian exchange student straight from Trevisino, but living it up in Midtown; delighting Atlantans with its globetrotting style and air of European culture, but can still whip out a damn good rendition of the family penne cividale recipe when you're invited over for dinner. Consider yourself invited.
We love that while Piola is definitely an authentic Italian restaurant, it's not afraid to infuse a few other cultural flavors into its food, instead of steadfastly clinging to tried-and-true, familiar dishes. Case in point: the Rio de Janeiro pizza, which spotlights a unique Brazilian cheese, catupiry, that can be rather hard for Americans to find on their own. And it really is like no other cheese I've tasted before: creamy, soft, a little tart, rich, and absolutely perfect sitting atop a classic thin-crust pie made of Piola's homemade dough. The inspiration for a Brazilian pizza came to Piola by way of Sao Paolo, where one of the restaurant's founding brothers lived for a spell. Why, yes, we will vicariously live through the well-traveled by having another slice, thanks!
But Piola doesn't get too big for its jetsetting britches -- er, pantaloni -- without making sure that the real reason they're there, the delicious Italian food, is up to snuff. And my oh my, is it ever. We're not talking Hormel pepperoni and "pizza cheese," friends. This is the stuff that makes greasy, dim pizza halls toss and turn in the night. Premium mozzarella fior di latte, Parma ham aged for 24 months, carpaccio... no, Piola doesn't skimp when it comes to ingredients. Authentic, simple, hip, and energetic: the perfect match for Midtown, and the perfect match for our bellies.
Rio de Janeiro Pizza, $14.50
Margherita Pizza, $9
Toscanini Insalate, $13.50
Spaghetti alla Crudaiola, $10
Carpaccio Aida, $10.50
Open 7 days a week, noon til late