GUEST(S): Andy Butterworth, Linda Fessenden, Erik Tanouye
ORDER: 2 slices of an individual Rio de Janeiro, 1 slice of a Pizza Piola
PIZZA REPORT: Ambitious and unique. Piola offers its own take on traditional pizza along with an attempt on a new take. The more traditional pie (pictured above on left) is the Pizza Piola. Notice the slightly charred crispy edges indicative of the brick oven it was cooked in. On top of that lays the basil leaves, a mixture of fresh mozzarella and regular shredded mozzarella and the occasional sun dried tomato. I am not sure the reason the sun dried tomatoes were used so sparingly but, personally, I preferred it. I find sun dried tomatoes can provide a taste that is too over powering. When my slice only had one, I nodded in the chef's general direction and smiled (he was busy making another pizza). The pizza I ate more of, the Rio de Janeiro was recommended by the waitress when I inquired about the "signature dish". She mentioned that Piola was one of the few places to get a pizza that used a Brazilian cheese called catupiry. While I admire their effort, I understand why catupiry is generally not used on pizza. It looks like fresh mozzarella cheese but tastes like a rich cream cheese. The consistency of the cheese is very thick and mushy which is also distracts from the taste of the seasoned chicken, scant tomato sauce, and aforementioned brick oven crust.
ATMOSPHERE: The 25' ceilings, abstract art, kaleidoscope lamps, cylindrical brick oven tucked in the corner, and a purple lounge room clued me in that this may be one of those places that is classified as "trendy". I classify it as "a good place to take a date". The fact the acoustics are not the best gives you good reason to move your chair a bit closer. Oh, and you won't be distracted by the large flat panel TV screen. When it wasn't "searching for a signal' it was tuned into the World's Strongest Man competition. Side note: those guys sure can lift some big tires! Overall, I think Pizza Piola is a very creative and interesting place. I would go back but not for the catupiry.
VERDICT: 3 out of 5
MISC.: Andy Butterworth, Linda Fessenden, Erik Tanouye and I talked about (/to) Michael Caine, The Prestige, Cider House Rules, and English food.