If you go to a restaurant twice on a one week vacation it has to be delicious! P’tit Soeur and Sweet Pea had told Diva #1 about Piola and their delicious homemade pizza. Piola is a franchise that began in Italy and is now in the US, Toronto, Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, Colombia, etc. It has brought authentic Italian pizza around the world. Diva #1’s Adopted Papa is from Treviso in Italy and was very happy to hear that this is where Piola pizzeria originated. Their thin crust pizza is delicious, perfectly cooked, and they use the freshest ingredients.
On both of our visits we started our meal with their fresh lemonade and their fresh pineapple and mint juice. Both juices are freshly squeezed and very refreshing for the Florida heat, but the winner was the pineapple and mint juice that was smoothie-like in texture. We also sat on their terrace on both occasions and enjoyed the great weather. Every 29th of the month, you can enjoy gnocchi in a variety of sauces and basically eat until you drop. Sweet Pea was disappointed that we had just missed this all you can eat event, she had even brought stretchy pants for the occasion!
Diva #1’s adopted parents were with us on both visits and participated in all of the gluttony. On her first visit, Adopted Mama enjoyed the Moderna pizza; she is always a simple eater and this was the pizza that truly let us evaluate the quality of the pizza. By this we mean that in its simplicity we could assess the crust, sauce and cheese. The Moderna pizza was topped with fresh arugula, diced tomatoes and shaved grana padano cheese, fresh and delicious.
P’tit Soeur loves spicy food so she was instantly intrigued by the diavola pizza; it helps that she is a little diavola (devil) herself. She kindly exchanged a slice with Diva #1 who was happy to try this delicious spicy Italian pizza. That did not deter either one of them from asking our waitress for some chili peppers or hot oil to add to this concoction. We were impressed when our waitress brought us an in house spicy olive oil: Piola packages and sells their own olio piccante with extra virgin olive oil and chili peppers. It was delicious and a nice surprise.
Piola has several crust options including pizza Napolitano which has a thicker crust or substituting white crust for a whole wheat crust for 1$ extra. Clearly none of us were interested in a whole wheat crust. Sweet Pea ordered one of their white pizzas, the Istanbul pizza, with mozzarella fior di latte and topped with sun dried tomatoes and fresh arugula. The pizza was generously topped with all the ingredients and each stood out in flavour. It was light, delicious, and fresh, making it easy to devour the whole thing while her other dinner-mates were struggling with their last piece.
Diva #1 and P’tit Soeur love mushrooms and we are slowly but surely converting Sweet Pea down the path of mushroom love. On our first visit, Diva #1 ordered the Funghi Misti which was topped with sautéed mixed mushrooms and was divine. It was not covered in simple button mushrooms but delicious porcini, Portobello, etc. On our second visit, P’tit Soeur ordered the Como which was topped with sautéed porcini mushrooms and prosciutto crudo. The amount of prosciutto was very generous and added a nice meaty bite to the pizza. Once again, we lathered our pizzas in spicy oil and ate them up. Delicious and with the freshest of ingredients, Piola’s pizzas are amazing and we hope that they open a Montreal location ASAP.
Adopted Papa ordered the Napoli pizza and didn’t want to share with the group of women that he was stuck with. He was not blessed with any sons so he is usually stuck with 3 women but now that Diva #1 has joined the family he gets even less of a reprieve from the girls. His pizza had mozzarella fior di latte, anchovies, black pitted olives and was topped with sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. He was the only full Italian in the group so if he was happy, then it must have been a fabulous pizza!
Sweet Pea and Diva #1 love to share food: we get to try new things and eat a lot! On our last visit to Piola we shared the Quattro Fromaggi pizza and the Mantova. The waitress even split it up nicely for us so it came to our table already separated and ready to eat. The four cheese pizza included gorgonzola, brie, grana padano cheese, and of course, the traditional mozzarella cheese. It was very cheesy, which we love, and you clearly tasted the strong individual cheeses. Nothing is worse than a four cheese pizza where you only taste mozzarella! Our second pizza was the Mantova which was a brie cheese pizza toped with fresh arugula, diced tomatoes and beef carpaccio. Obviously the inclusion of raw meat on a pizza excited us and we enjoyed this original pizza topping. Adopted Mama did not understand why we were eating raw meat on our pizza but we loved it!
Sweet Pea and P’tit Soeur were very excited for dessert; they ordered the Coppa Piola which they were ready to order as soon as our plane landed in Florida. It is vanilla ice cream in a delicious biscuit cup with warm chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of Farofa Doce and ground peanuts. It was as delicious as they remembered and though they were full from Piola’s large and filling pizzas, they quickly devoured this dessert. Diva #1 needed her espresso fix so she ordered an affogato. The same delicious vanilla ice cream from the Coppa Piola came in a martini glass with a shot of espresso poured on top. Perfectly melted at the bottom but not too liquidy, this dessert was marvelous.
Other dessert options included their popular nutella pizza topped with sliced strawberries. Piola offers inexpensive Italian pizza that does not skimp on ingredients or Italian flair. Piola even has a magazine and deals with food culture around the world and they host film premiers, book and magazine events and art exhibitions. It is a restaurant that embraces culture and we recommend it to anyone traveling near its many locations, now in more than ten countries.
On our last visit to Piola we returned to our condos, stuffed and ready to go to bed but not before witnessing Adopted Mama and Papa do the bump (a 1980s disco dance for those who don’t know) in their condo’s living room. Parents! Diva #1, Sweet Pea and P’tit Soeur slunk into our own condo, locked the door, added the safety latch for good measure ,and went to bed dreaming of disco music and our parents dancing/bumping and clubbing at 1234 in Montreal. *shudder*
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: Affogato, All you can Eat Gnocchi, Always on Thursdays, Arugula, Bruschetta, Carpaccio, Coppa Piola, Diavola Pizza, Florida, Franchise, Funghi, Gnocchi, Hallandale Beach, Hallandale Beach Blvd, Hallandale Beach Restaurant, Italian, Lemonade, Mozzarella, Mozzarella fior di latte, Mushrooms, Napolitano Pizza, Nutella Pizza, Olio Piccante, Pasta, Piola, Piola Florida, Piola Hallandale Beach, Pizza, Pizzeria, Prosciutto, Quatro Fromaggi, Spicy Salami, terrace, Thin Crust, Treviso, USA