La Piola! Groupon! Dinner! More of a lunch place, but it was open for dinner, so we decided to give it a try.
La Piola is a little odd, in that it has a cafe/deli type atmosphere, but serves around dinnertime as well. The tables are very sparse inside, which was a little odd. However, it was bright, and quite welcoming. It was nice to see all the imported Italian food lining the walls, as well.
Our server was a little inconsistent in her service – she started by telling us that we needed to go up to the till to order, but since we were the only people in the cafe, she ended up pretty much giving us a vague form of disjointed table service. She was nice enough though, and the food came quickly (as it should, with us being the only ones there).
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I wasn’t impressed with the food.
We started with drinks: the sangria seemed like a perfect option for a sunny evening. However, it really wasn’t that great. Less fruity than it could have been, and the brandy in it just didn’t quite work with the light fruity flavours. Then we had the minestrone soup, which I have an ongoing fondness for. This soup didn’t live up to my expectations, though. Bland and oily, I was surprised that a place that prides itself on fresh ingredients was unable to make a decent minestrone.
We shared a pizza for our entree (the Stagioniale – a vegetarian pizza ), and all I can say that it was nothing special. I hate to make comparisons, but compared to Pizzeria Primastrada, the flavour of this pizza and consistency of the crust was a total letdown. It was okay – edible – but if I’m paying fourteen dollars for a pizza, it had better taste damn good. Granted, the veggies seemed fresh, but the cheese and crust were painfully mediocre.
I did have a Groupon, which made going to La Piola reasonable (and frankly, was the only reason we went in the first place). I certainly would not pay full price for the majority of La Piola’s offerings. That said, the sandwich menu seemed a little more reasonable for a lunchtime visit.
Unfortunately, my experience with La Piola wasn’t great. Our food was unremarkable, and the value just wasn’t there. But I should also say that this was my only visit, and they have many other items on the menu that could potentially be great for lunch. The sandwiches looked interesting, and were more reasonably priced; and the pasta is rumored to be quite delicious. I don’t want to discount La Piola, because they have potential as a lunch place/deli, but it certainly did not impress me for dinner.