Casual Italian @ Piola

Pizza chains are no rare sighting in the city of Toronto, but I’m glad that there is finally one from our beloved Italy – Piola.  Located at the base of the Bohemian Embassy condo complex, it is sure to become a family favourite on nights when mom just doesn’t feel like cooking!

Their Monday Night Mixer features sangria pitchers for $25 which are sure to be popular on hot summer days, especially if you can nab a seat on their outdoor patio.

A fellow Cancerian and I were celebrating each other’s respective birthdays when I decided to check out Piola.  The décor is quirky, and the staff are as international as the pizza chain itself.

The entrance features a display of canned tomatoes as well as Piola’s in-house lifestyle magazine which showcases literary and artwork from around the world.

I opted for a Green Fruit Caipirinha ($9) made of Brazilian Cachaca (a fermented sugarcane liquor) with fresh muddled kiwi, green grapes, mint and sugar served over ice.  It was not overly sweet, and a very refreshing summer drink.

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We shared the Contadina pizza ($16) which was topped with Mozzarella, Italian sausage, grilled Belgian endive and smoked mozzarella.  The ‘zzas here are thin crust, extremely crispy and tasted yummy. For those of you who want to add a little fibre in to your diet, the crusts can be made whole wheat for an additional $1.50.

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The pasta was equally appetizing as we feasted on one of my all-time favourite types of pasta, Pappardelle Alfredone ($14).  I just love the eggy-ness of a fresh pappardelle!  This one was dressed with mushrooms, ham, Grana Padano cheese and heavy creamIt had just the right amount of sauce and just the right amount of salt.  Delish!

panna cotta

For dessert I opted for the Pannacotta ($7), which was velvety smooth and creamy with a homemade red fruit sauce.  The birthday boy ordered a classic Tiramisu ($7.50) which was also good.

tiramisu

Piola is a no-fuss, casual Italian eatery with a quirky ambiance.  The servers are all very energetic and entertaining and the price point is quite reasonable.  I’m definitely coming back on a Monday night to enjoy more delicious eats and a pitcher of sangria!

Piola, 1165 Queen Street West, 416-477-4652, piola.it

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