- Leah Virbitsky
Piola - The Perfect Italian Brunch
Before coming to Piola, Blake and I never realized how much we loved a good Italian brunch. When Piola invited us in to try their brunch, we were not sure what to expect but boy, it was delicious! This well-known Italian restaurant originally from the small city of Treviso, Italy is nestled on Wilson Blvd right in the heart of Rosslyn. The atmosphere is a combination of eclectic + modern mixed with artsy European pieces and beautiful chandeliers. Guests can watch chefs make the pizza in their large wood burning pizza oven due to its proximity to the dining space. The 25ft ceilings with long hanging lamps and bright vibrant paint colors make for a vast, open and upbeat environment while current pop tunes play in the background.
Their kind generosity and enthusiastic welcome brought us directly over to the bar to kick things off! For $17.95, guests can receive bottomless drinks at Piola's "make your own" cocktail bar (pictured below). We had the option to start with Prosecco or Sangria, and make our own signature drink by adding fresh fruits (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, etc.) and any of their freshly made fruit purees. I opted for Prosecco with strawberries and kiwis, recommended by the owner, while Blake opted for Prosecco with strawberries and mango. These drinks were so very light + refreshing and the perfect way to begin.
We first dug into the Caprese di Burrata (pictured below). Piola's burrata cheese is one to go on about for days. This dish was the most perfect combination of juicy cherry tomatoes, topped with balsamic vinegar and basil served with a ball of burrata cheese plus crispy bread. Wow is all I can say! This is a must-try for brunch or dinner.
Blake ordered the Rina's Baked Eggs (seen below) which was a hearty dish of two eggs baked in Piola's Spicy Ragu tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This almost felt like breakfast lasagna but without the noodles. When the over-easy egg broke and melted into the ragu sauce, it made for the most mouthwatering sensation. To top it off, this dish is serve in a hot plate with warm focaccia bread to dip into the sauce. This entire dish cost a total of $8.00. Yes, crazy right?!
The manager then concocted more cocktails at the bar for us while we waited for the next dish to arrive. He served Blake a sweet puree blueberries blended with strawberries and Prosecco while I had a glass of Prosecco blended with strawberries pineapples, mango and apples. I personally was not a fan of either because it was too sweet and filling for me with the combination of the other dishes but Blake loved the blueberry + strawberry blend!
We then opted for the Mac’n Cheese ala Carbonara (pictured below), recommended by the owner. This dish was a creamy consistency of Cheddar & Parmesan cheese mixed with bacon and macaroni, topped with a poached egg and more crispy bacon. Personally, I couldn't handle the egg on top after having Rina's baked eggs and I prefer my mac and cheese just plain so it was a bit too rich for me. However, the bacon was a great combination for this dish to be served at brunch! If you love bacon, this is a dish to try!
We could not come to an Italian brunch without trying a pizza. We decided to stick to the "breakfast/brunch" route and order the Poldo Pizza (pictured below). The poldo pizza consists of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, sautéed spinach, bacon and a cracked egg all served on a thin, crispy crust. This pizza immediately brought us back to eating the authentic pizza in Italy. After traveling to Italy ourselves, we have a high opinion of pizza and pasta and Piola's pizza most definitely made the cut! Delicious. For me, I personally don't like egg all over my food after having it once but it makes for a great breakfast combination. I would definitely go back and try another pizza on their list next time!
What's brunch without a little dessert? We finished the incredible morning off with their Fresa y Nutella aka Nutella Pizza with Strawberries (pictured below). I think the description says enough. A crispy pizza dough smothered in Nutella + strawberries sprinkled with powdered sugar. Delectable!
My favorite dish? The Caprese di Buratta hands down. Blake's favorite? Rina's Eggs, no question! Piola in Arlington is a must-try for brunch with affordable prices and incredibly authentic Italian bites. Try it today and we promise you won't be disappointed. To find out more about Piola, visit their website!