Durham >Piazza Italia Inc
Fresh, Flavorful and Authentic. We've visited Piazza Italia on several occasions, but preferred the gelato over the food, however, this last visit, really impressed us! Whatever they changed, great job. All pastas are made homemade on premise, tomato sauces, including the bolognese and aglia e olio was excellent. Highly recommend the chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda and basil. The veal parmesan was also impressive. Portions are plentiful, and the the full head of roasted garlic that's served with bread is unique and appreciated.
We were a party of 5 who decided to have a nice dinner at your restaurant on Thursday, April 15. We stopped by after my tour of Duke's Labor & Delivery unit, so it was around 7:30. We were quickly seated in the almost empty dining room and our waiter quickly took our drink order. Despite having to remind him to open the bottle of Pellegrino & bringing out the bread late, all seemed fine. Unbeknownst to us there were TWO LARGE GROUPS IN THE PRIVATE ROOMS. Well, that obviously put our orders at the bottom of the list. Priority went to the large groups and we waited for OVER AN HOUR watching plate, after plate, AFTER PLATE leave the kitchen & ours never arrived. Our waiter didn't bring more bread nor did he even really try to get our orders pushed up. All priority went to the big groups where the large tips were guaranteed. Near the end our waiter asked if he could do anything to help this bad experience, but frankly he should have just given us our drinks for free after having us sit there like idiots for so long. Needless to say we asked for the check and left.
We're never returning to Piazza due to this experience. A restaurant that can't handle two private groups with an almost empty main floor has serious issues. I don't appreciate having to wait for my food without a proper explanation or redeeming offers from the staff. I also find it appalling that your head waiter hovered around the kitchen ensuring food for the large parties came out rapidly while ignoring the rest of the restaurant. If a restaurant can't handle it, then for heaven's sake it should close the restaurant for the private groups or WARN OTHER PATRONS BEFORE THEY'RE DUPED INTO WAITING OVER AN HOUR FOR FOOD THAT WAS NEVER GOING TO GET COOKED. They need to reevaluate their priorities and learn to properly treat your guests and accommodate ALL of their patrons even on supposed "slow" nights. I'm sure they made a nice amount of money with those groups but by chasing other patrons away they just lost so much more.
Best italian place in Durham. Hands down the best italian place in durham. Fresh pasta and wide choice of dishes. They also have a seafood menu that puts Fishmongers to shame. Nice wine list and a great decor. They also have reasonable prices and a great 6 dollar pannini for lunch that comes out quick.
Delicious fresh pasta with many options for sauce. I have been to this restaurant twice and I look forward to going back. On my first visit I was very happy to learn that the pasta is freshly made, and my linguine with bolognese sauce was delicious. My husband?s pasta with marsala sauce made me jealous because it was so much better than what I have tried to make at home. The roasted garlic served with bread was a really nice way to start the meal. Our waitress was very pleasant and made sure to explain to us why our entrees were taking a while to come out (we didn?t think the time had been unreasonable). We went back for my birthday and had another tasty meal, gnocchi with bolognese and crab-stuffed ravioli. Our calamari appetizer was average, but the hazelnut gelato more than made up for it. The atmosphere is very nice and we were seated immediately at a table right next to a window. My only criticism would be our waiter on the second night, he seemed a little odd ? at one point he just walked away as I was speaking to him ? but overall it was a very nice meal, and I would recommend this restaurant for a casual dinner as well as a special occasion.
Its okay.. I have been to Piazza Italia twice. Both times I have enjoyed the atmosphere and the service. The food is good----it is not fabulous. I have had the build your own pasta and the lobster ravioli. Both were good but for the price I just felt like I could do better. My bill last night was 33.00. I had a beer, the brushetta (which, with the balsamic vinegar glaze, I did not like at all), the lobster pasta and the gelato. The gelato was really good. I basically would recommend this place if you are looking for good pasta---simple, good, pasta. This will not be a regular dining place for me and would not be a special dining place for me.
A great find. I've been to Piazza Italia 4 or 5 times now, and have always enjoyed the experience, so I was surprised to see lots of negative reviews on the web. True, the food is not MIND-BLOWINGLY SPECTACULAR or anything, but let's not be too snobbish about a place where 2 people can eat a nice romantic dinner for under $50!! Any time I've been there, I and the rest of my group have really enjoyed the food. I'm particularly fond of their bread (and the bulb of roasted garlic they bring you, in lieu of butter) and of the gelato, which is brilliant. My other favorite part of their menu is the option to mix and match pasta types, sauces, and toppings -- never been disappointed with that stand-by. Their calimari and seafood pasta dishes are also reliable. As for service, I've always been happy with their wait staff, but any issues other reviewers have experienced are probably just growing pains of a new restaurant. I'm lucky enough to know what great authentic Italian food tastes like, and sadly it's not available in Durham, but Piazza Italia is still one of my favorite spots to take visitors or to go on dates.
Really recommend this place, best gelato and pasta. This place is excellent; food is great, beautiful decor and best past and gelato in town. We had the risotto and rigatoni and were the best ever. We bought the pasta and cooked at home, make sure you do that, they sold for $3 something a pound and was better than any pasta we ever had here in US.
Good food, awful service.
Everything was soooooooooooooo slow. On a half-full Monday night, you would expect decent service. We spent nearly two hours there where it shouldn't have taken more than an hour. It took a long time to get food. And it was nearly impossible to pay; it was as our waiter left the country. And one of the meals delivered to our table was incorrect.
The food itself was good. I had spinach/manicotti ravioli. Rich and delicious. I, though, didn't think it was a huge portion. The gelato was good for dessert and a generous portion.
I will give it a second try I think but won't make it a third if the service stays like this.
Disappointing. This was our first and probably last visit to Piazza Italia. We went for lunch and ordered a ceasar salad, chicken marsala, and ravioli carne. We were served so-so bread with a dish of plain olive oil first. The ceasar dressing was actually pretty good. The problem was with our entrees. The chicken appeared to be boiled and was actually a little bit tough. Every time I've had this dish at other places, the chicken is usally grilled or pan seared. The sauce was really nothing more than watery chicken stock with only the tiniest hint of marsala wine. The ravioli (made in house) was supposed to have a variety of Italian meats. After noting how flat the ravoli was, we inspected a little further. Cutting open a ravioli and peeling it apart revealed only the tiniest amount of unidentifiable ground meat. When the waiter (who was very nice) came back to check on us, we mentioned these things to him. I'm not one of those typical "complainer" customers and I was a little uncomfortable about having to do it. The manager came over and didn't really say much. She did said that they were going to fix the ravioli, whatever that means. We received our check which had been discounted $3.55 (?). The chicken, which I only had a few bites of, was $16.50 and the ravioli was around $12.00. I wasn't expecting them to take anything off but I'm a little confused by the $3.55 discount. Oh well, I'm not meaning to sound too cranky, but I just paid $40.00 for lunch and I'm still hungry!
Homemade pasta & fresh gelato. Piazza Italia is a really interesting addition to the restaurant scene in durham. It is in brightleaf, and is designed to look like a little Italian village, there is a working fountain in the entryway, and they set up the kitchen so you can watch them make the pasta. We came here over a month ago when they first opened, and needless to say, they had some kinks to work out with their staff and some of their dishes. We decided to giving them another shot, and I am glad we did. They seem to have smoothed the wrinkles. First, unlike the citysearch description, they do NOT serve pizza. They are a moderately priced Italian restaurant. Their menu is comprised of traditional Italian food (lasagne, chicken parmigiana, fresh pasta) and a nice selection of appetizers. The bread is served with a roasted head of garlic which you spread. The bread had been way too doughy before, but now their bread is perfect. They have been very accommodating, making meat dishes and salads vegetarian upon request. The first time, I had fresh fettuccine with their pesto cream sauce. Very good and well done. This last time, I had fresh penne with a creamy tomato sauce with garlic and mushrooms. Also very well done. While the dessert menu is nice, I would recommend trying their gelato. They have many flavors such as strawberry basil, chocolate hazelnut and apple. Also, they sell their fresh pasta in their "store."
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