A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Thursday, May 24


Italian/South American pizzeria Piola has been Scoboco's default casual restaurant in the Union Square area for a couple of years now (copying Debbie and her daughters, of course). The attractions are many: reliably tasty and satisfying food; varied, inexpensive menu; fun, design-y decor; fast and friendly service. With many combinations of people and on various occasions, both lunch and dinner, I've pretty much always enjoyed the foldy, nicely-balanced, thin-crusted pizzas, the generous, dress-your-own salads, and the hearty pastas.

Anyway, someone told me recently that, despite living in the neighborhood, he had never been to Piola, thinking that the place "looked too cool to actually have good food", so I thought maybe a post was in order... and last Saturday's apres-movie meal with Bo and Co provided the perfect opportunity.

As usual, we ordered a few things and shared. The menu lists nearly 50 pizza varieties; right now we're hooked on the Rio de Janiero, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella along with chunks of grilled chicken, melted catupiry cheese (this stuff is fabulously rich and creamy) and flecks of fresh parsley. Another go-to choice of ours is the D'annunzio salad, a huge bowl of mixed greens, tomatoes, corn, bean sprouts, hearts of palm, mozzarella, avocado and hard-boiled egg.

I have less experience with Piola's pastas, but again, it seems like you can't go too badly wrong here. In fact, on this night, it was Bo's favorite part of the meal, a hefty serving of Penne Cividale, with its tomatoes (which, honestly, were a little on the unripe side), Parmesan, rosemary and chewy strips of Parma ham. All of it was more than enough food for the three of us, and all of it costs under $40... including my only real must-order item on the menu, the refreshing and uniquely uplifting GuaranĂ¡ soda.

Piola is located on 12th Street, just west of Broadway. It's open from 12 until 12 every day. With its high ceilings and music, it can definitely get pretty loud.

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Anonymous Debbie said...

AND you forgot to mention that if you like gnocchi, following the Italian and Argentinean tradition, the 29th of every month is all-you-can-eat gnocchi night, complete with green and red cards to flip over on your table to indicate "keep serving me, please" or "please stop, I've had enough." Totally fun and delish.

11:55 PM, May 24, 2007


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