Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Piazza Italia - Brightleaf Square, Durham

For date night this weekend, we started with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes at Watt's Grocery. There were 3 lovely thick slices of tart, firm and juicy tomato breaded, fried and topped with a shrimp remoulade. It was garnished with fresh watercress. While it was very tasty, it felt steep for the portion size. 3 slices of tomato for $9! Nothing on the revised fall menu spoke to either of us so we settled our bill after the appetizer and headed to brightleaf square.

After quickly scanning the menu, we settled on Piazza Italia. The menu boasts that they make their own pasta fresh, daily and we'd never been there, so we figured we'd give it a try. The menu was quite expansive and they have a section where you can even customize your own pasta.

A light airy bread was served with a bulb of roasted garlic. No oil, butter, or balsamic vinegar were anywhere to be found. The bread was plain. The garlic was, well, roasted garlic. It was a little odd.

My hubby ordered a side chopped salad that was very large for a labeled "small" portion. He thoroughly enjoyed it. For our entrees, we both ordered the Rigatoni Siciliana. It consisted of grilled chicken, Italian sausage, garlic and wild mushrooms in a pomodoro cream sauce. I thought it needed a fair amount of salt and pepper, but the flavor was good. The grilled chicken was slightly dry and the sausage just had an odd texture. I don't think it was pork sausage. It resembled more the texture of turkey sausage. The portion was generous and after some table seasoning, was quite tasty.

Our server was crap. She left the dirty dishes (bread plates, salad plate, etc) on the table throughout our entire dining experience and never refilled our glasses. The bus gal, however, picked up her slack and refilled our glasses once she saw that the waitress was AWOL. The bad service wasn't enough to keep us from returning. The food was good, served hot and promptly. Next time I'd like to try a ravioli or another stuffed pasta.

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Vanessa Greenway said...

I always wanted to try their food. But as a good brazilian I'm a big fan of Chamas Brazilian Steak House, have you been there? They both belong to the same owner. I think the servers over Chamas are a nicer too. Vanessa

Jeni said...

Yes Chamas was fantastic! We went last year and sat outside (so romantic with the torches). The service was good and the food was great. It's definitely a special occasion place though due to budget!

Melanie Busbee said...

Those fried green maters sound yum-tastic. I think I'll make some!

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