Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Better and Better Every Time: Piazza Italia

Last night, after many a trip to Southpoint, my friends said it was my turn to pick a place to eat. When you are looking for a restaurant that will be acceptable to those who can't tolerate spicy or exotic food and yet will be satisfying to those who can't stand bland, Piazza Italia is an excellent place to go. In fact, I've been there three times now and it's been more and more impressive to me with every visit. It's also comparatively affordable.

First, they serve their roasted garlic, which you scoop directly out of the sliced whole head to spread on bread. If you love garlic as much as I do, which is unlikely, you will find that garlic prepared this way is the ultimate condiment. Our waiter also offered either butter or olive oil, in case anyone was feeling less adventurous.

I ordered the Mezzaluna di Pesce, which was salmon and crab ravoli in a lobster cream sauce. The sauce had large chunks of lobster, including an entire claw. The sauce also had small pieces of apple, which added a wonderful and delicate flavor to the dish. This entree is simply incredible, for only $14.

I also had to photograph KD's dish, because I thought it was really beautiful.

As I've mentioned previously, Piazza Italia has an in-house gelato store. For $6.50 you can have a large serving in a lovely glass right at your table. I recommend going to the actual store in the back, where you can get the same serving in a plastic cup for a dollar less and you can taste the flavors before you order. In fact, you might just want to get the more than adequately sized small serving for only $2. I was still able to order two flavors, pineapple and coconut, in the small size, which was perfect. It's much quieter in the gelato store, too.

You'd think that my friends might want me to pick the restaurant more often. No, now they want to eat at Piazza Italia every time instead. I won't complain.

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