Piola- Hallendale Beach, FL

Remember the time that the Hunger Games premiered?! Well I do. I was one of those people who went to the midnight showing. Here’s my reasoning. I was supposed to be leaving Friday morning to fly out of the country for the week, so I would hear all the hype about the movie and miss out on the experience. Therefore, I declared I must see it Thursday at midnight. I got in touch with my temp Floridian friend, Rachel, who is at PA school near Miami. I left work in West Palm Beach to meet her and our friend Jodi, who was visiting, and we had a pre-movie meal before the show.Piola is a pizzeria located in a strip mall in Aventura, FL. It must be a Florida thing, but good restaurants are often stuck in a strip mall. Oh well. It was ladies night, so one glass of wine was free with each entrée. The menu was expansive & overwhelming. There were at least 30 pizzas to choose from, and a handful of appetizers and salads. We settled on two pizzas and an order of gnocchi for the night.

The first pizza we tasted was the Regina Margherita. It came from the Neapolitan section of the menu: “Our version of the traditional Neapolitan style with more dough than our regular pizza and thicker edges. With tomato sauce.” The pizza had mozzarella fior di latte and fresh basil. The girls were a bit skeptical when I suggested it because they didn’t see the difference between this gem and a regular margherita. Needless to say, it was fabulous. The fior di latte cheese spots were awesome and everyone loved the crust. The edges don’t look as cooked as they could have been, but I suspect it is because they were preserving the cheese on top.
The next pizza was the Ortomisto sans peppers: Eggplant, spinach, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes. Of course, the heavily topped pizza was quite different from the simple Regina Margherita. I enjoyed all the toppings, but ultimately, a pie like this is simply a vehicle for many vegetables to enter your system:). The execution was great, and the pizza didn’t lose its integrity with a heavy amount of toppings.
And how could I forget, my new favorite friend, Gnocchi. I am on a Gnocchi kick, and can’t stop eating those lovely potato dumplings. This dish was awesome, but I haven’t had a gnocchi that didn’t satisfy me yet. Perhaps I’m too easy to please.

We had a filling pizza dinner and LOVED the hunger games premiere.

[Piola has a handful of locations around the country and also in Italy, South America, Turkey, Honduras, & Canada. How cool!]
Piola on Urbanspoon

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