Here’s another brunch spot for you to try out: Piola! The one we go to is the location in Arlington (an easy walk from the Rosslyn metro stop, FYI). I’ve heard that there’s one in D.C. but have yet to try that location. The only difference I’ve heard about is that the one in D.C. is bottomless brunch where as the Arlington location, because of VA liquor laws cannot technically do “bottomless”. But Piola, and a lot of other restaurants, get around this by allowing you to add endless drinks from a select menu for $1 ea. Which in some cases I actually prefer because it means if you’re not in the drinking mood, you don’t feel pressured into drinking because it’s included in the price tag. I mean, I’m sure it is, but somehow it gives you that illusion. And considering this past time we visited we had gone out in Arlington, starting with Fuegos and their margaritas, I actually didn’t really need too much alcohol that morning.
While we’re on the subject of drinks, they have a fair few, the typical bloody mary, mimosas, bellinis, and a Rossini–basically a bellini but with strawberries instead of peach. And, for those who don’t want to water down their alcohol–a glass of straight up prosecco is also available on that $1 menu. I appreciate the dropping of pretense. Sometimes if you wanna drink in the morning, you want to drink~! Those are the drinks I remember, though I want to say there are a few more that I might have missed.
Now, onto the other good stuff–the pizza! Piola is a one-price, all-you-can-eat with two sections on the brunch menu. The first is a pasta section, with things like pesto pasta, mac ‘n cheese, gnocchi, etc. These are all good, and their mac ‘n cheese is top notch I’ll say!
But what we really go for is the pizzas! They’re personal pizzas, cut into 4 slices, so I really recommend going with 4 people. It’s perfect to mix and match and try each others’ pizzas. And when you find one you like, then you can always order another one for the table–or for yourself! They have some crazy interesting combinations, like carbonara pizza, and fritata pizza, and chorizo breakfast pizza. Honestly, while I like trying all the different kinds of pizza, my two favorite are the margherita pizza and white pizza, because, well, CHEESE. And for anyone who knows me, that should just about sum it up.
They also have a dessert pizza, which I actually have yet to try. Which leads me to explain a little bit of inconsistency in our trips to this Piola. We’ve gone on a weekend two times, and had vastly different experiences. The first time we went, we arrived at opening on a Sunday and it worked out super well, because about an hour later the place was PACKED. And they were running slow and behind because they were short-staffed that day. So while the beginning of our meal was great, it went steadily downhill with waiter attention, and even when we ordered the dessert pizza and spent 15 minutes waiting for it, it never made it to the table. The staff was very apologetic, and it worked out in the end because we probably shouldn’t have stuffed more pizza into our bellies, but I walked away thinking it was always CRAZY busy.
This time when we went, we made sure to get there close to opening again, pre-empting the crowd. It was a Saturday this time, but literally there were 2 other tables seated the ENTIRE time were there. It was bizarre, completely empty, and not at all what I was expecting from last time. I wonder if it’s a Sunday vs. Saturday thing, or what, but it was honestly a little eerie to go from packed full to the brim to only three tables in the entire restaurant that were filled. I guess we’ll chalk it up to the fact that Sunday is typically “brunch day” in D.C., but if you go early, you shouldn’t have to worry either way! I’d love to hear your experiences on whether it was busy or not if you decide to check it out!
Overall 4 out of 5 chips (read: stars). Definitely a place we come back to every once in a while out of enjoyment, but minus a chip for inconsistency of service.
1550 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209