An early evening downpour and a distinct absence of street parking didn’t dampen the spirits of the media folks invited to sample menu items from the brand-new Piola Famosi Per La Pizza in Midtown Tuesday night.
For starters, there is plenty of two-hour free parking for the neighborhood eatery in the garage on Crescent Avenue, around the corner from Piola’s 11th and Peachtree Street address.
Inside, Piola’s owners (who operate locations around the globe) were faced with the happy dilemma of having a packed house for Tuesday afternoon’s Brazil 2 to 1 win over North Korea in their World Cup opener while anticipating 100 media types for a Tuesday night tasting.
By the way, Piola’s bartenders are poised to offer up free celebratory caipirinhas each time either Brazil or Italy scores a goal during the month-long international sporting event.
Among the menu items receiving early raves: a pillowy gnocchi legnano lavishly coated with mozzarella, brie, gorgonzola and parmesan cheeses and a fettuccine al ragu in a fresh tomato sauce with diced beef.
Piola reps told Dish they briefly contemplated locating their inaugural Atlanta branch in Buckhead but felt the walkable neighborhood vibe of Midtown better suited their casual culinary mission.
For gnocchi lovers, the 29th of each month will prove popular at Piola. Cribbing from an ancient Italian tradition, the restaurant offers all you can eat gnocchi served in a variety of sauces on the date each month.
Piola also offers free appetizers at the bar each weekday from 5 to 8 p.m. and in a delightful stab at creating an international art gallery, rotates paintings every three months at each of its locations in the U.S., Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Turkey and Honduras.