Those who have had the pleasure of feasting upon a real Italian pizza in Italy know that despite delicious diversions in America, nothing can compare to the true Italian taste.
Luckily, in 1986, Italians in Treviso, Italy came to the same conclusion when they attempted to redefine the Italian pizzeria in their own special way. They dubbed their creation “Piola.”
Now, 22 years later, Piola has spread across the world, from the heart of Italy to the bottom of South America in Argentina. For local residents, a Piola restaurant has also sprung up only a few blocks away from the Rosslyn Metro station, right across the Key Bridge.
As you would expect, Piola has earned its reputable name in the restaurant world for its pizza. Each Piola pizza has a distinct Italian influence that could only come from the birthplace of the pizza. Piola’s main strengths lie in thin-crust, oven-fired pizzas. However, they strive to create many variations on the typical tomato-and-cheese pizza, with over 50 choices of pizzas for customers to choose from.
Start with a traditional Italian appetizer — the ever-popular Bruschetta ($5.50). The bruschetta — home-baked bread loaded with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil — often begins an Italian meal for customers at the restaurant and it's easy to see why. Piola’s bruschetta redefines what bruschetta should taste like. The tomatoes on the bread have a particular sweetness to them, which, combined with the baked bread, assaults taste buds in all the right ways.
Piola’s reputation for their pizza prowess is very legitimately earned. The pizzas come sliced in four equal quarter slices, yet only the strong-of-stomach will be able to finish the entire pizza in one sitting.
The Carbonara Pizza ($12), a thin-crust selection with tomato sauce, mozzarella, bacon, egg and Parmesan cheese, seems to affirm the “Pizza Bagel” theory of making a delicious combination between breakfast foods and pizza. Each ingredient is deliciously fresh, combining to make a particularly enjoyable pie. For those looking towards the more traditional pizzas, Piola also offers the Margherita ($8.95) with just tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, or the Diavola, known as a pepperoni pizza to the non-Italian crowd.
Despite offering traditional forms of pizza, the restaurant also specializes in its creativity when it comes to pizza combinations. The Rio de Janiero ($14), consisting of tomato sauce, mozzarella, chicken, catupiry cheese and parsley is a favorite at Piola. The catupiry cheese is a heavy Brazilian cheese melted onto the pizza that tastes slightly like an alfredo sauce. Whatever the exact taste may be, a mixture of the Rio de Janiero and the Carbonara made for an extremely satisfying — and filling — meal. The restaurant also offers pizzas such as the Honolulu ($12), traditionally known as a Hawaiian pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham and pineapple, or the Brooklyn, a combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, broccoli, cheese, chicken and Gorgonzola cheese.
Piola revels in its Italian heritage, evident from the entire ambiance in the restaurant. Our particular server happened to be of Italian descent, as were most of the chefs and servers in the restaurant. The restaurant also features a bar at the front, with happy hour specials running from 4:30 – 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Overall, the experience of Piola can make you forget about the cold winter, and make you feel like you’ve taken a long trip abroad to Italy once you sit down for a delicious Italian pizza.
1550 Wilson Blvd.
Rosslyn, VA 22209
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.