Italy Invades Pinecrest with Piola Italian Restaurant

In 1986, two brothers started Piola restaurant in Treviso, Italy. It’s now an international franchise in 36 locations, eleven of which are in the United States. Piola, which translates to “meeting place”, is quickly becoming a foodie favorite since opening June 6th in Pinecrest’s Suniland Shopping Center.

This contemporary Italian eatery specializing in pizza is bristling with energy. From its pop modern décor to its full-service bar to its open kitchen where you can see dough being thrown, there is something for everyone.

The artsy walls and neon glow are freshly sophisticated. They even created a franchise staple ‘patio’ of sorts, by incorporating tables behind an always-open Plexiglas garage door.

In the works for a year, this Piola is owned by Italian-born restaurateurs Giampiero Jade and Mirko Marmai.

“We are so happy to be in Pinecrest. There’s no place quite like this and the reception has been incredible. Our opening here broke all Piola records worldwide for the best start,” boasted Jade.

For the article, my family enjoyed a variety of dishes from the menu. We tried both a white pizza (the Salvador, with pulled chicken breast, catupiry cheese & spinach) and a traditional pie (the Carbonara, with eggs, bacon and parmesan cheese). We also tasted bruschetta, some meatballs and a chicken parmiggiana. All of it was fresh, light and delicious. My normally picky son actually deemed this to be his new favorite pizza place. Not an easy rank to achieve! The only slight disappointment was the pappardelle bolognese, which just didn’t burst with as much flavor as the rest.

The service was friendly, attentive and each dish arrived quickly and piping hot. The portions were generous and plate presentation was impressive, especially the pizzas which poured over the already large serving plates. Patrons Jason and Elyssa Bloom brought their 4-month old. “We think this place is great. With wine and beer, a pizza and chicken dish, and dessert we got wonderful food and atmosphere for a fair price.”

The menu has 41 varieties of pizza and a full selection of traditional meals and pastas. The desserts were all amazing too. Besides the international selection of wine and beer, I suggest you try the fresh pineapple and mint juice. It was a real treat.

Co-owner Marmai added, “This is real authentic Italian food, and with the high level of success Piola has in Brazil, we’ve incorporated some of their flavorings and ingredients as well.”

Prices are reasonable across the board. Pizzas are $10-$17. Meals are $11-$19.

There are a few special programs of note. During the week, students K-12 can get a $5 margherita pizza. Come to dine between 4-5 pm where all pizzas are $6 and between 5-6 pm they are $7. Ladies night is Thursday where with the purchase of an entrée you get unlimited wine.

Piola does take-out as well. Check out the full menu at You can make reservations or order at 786-732-6790. Their address is 11421 S. Dixie Highway. Hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday 11 am to midnight and Friday-Saturday 11 am to 1 am.