On a very wet January evening, I met my dinner companion at La Piazza Dario (in the Italian Cultural Center) to celebrate her birthday. La Piazza recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in business. In many ways, the restaurant is a throwback to the late 70s.
After we ordered, our server returned with a basket of complementary bread
This was nice bread. It was warm and soft on the inside, crusty on the outside.
The bread was accompanied by “bread sauce”
This was an olive oil tapenade with anchovies. This was savory and salty from the anchovies and the olives. Not being a fan of olives, I used this rather sparingly.
For an appetizer we ordered the calamari grigliati (grilled squid)
This is tender seasoned squid, grilled lightly, and dressed with lemon oil and served with mixed greens. This was excellent. The squid was tender, and the flavors were muted but delicate. The salad greens were fresh, crisp and lightly dressed with olive oil.
We also ordered the cannelloni “la piazza”
This was cannelloni stuffed with veal & spinach, baked in a bechamel & tomato sauce, garnished with parmesan and basil. I really liked this dish, the pasta was tender and filling was cooked just right. It was savory and meaty. The bechamel sauce was creamy and subtle (but probably could have used a little more salt). The tomato sauce was sweet with a little acidity, and the parmesan cheese over the top was nutty and savory.
And from the feature menu, we ordered a grilled double cut veal chop
This is a simple thick veal chop on the bone, dressed with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary, grilled to medium, and served with some grilled vegetables. This was a really nice steak. It was tender, savory and juicy, with a little herby spike from the rosemary.
For dessert, my companion ordered a serving of spuomoni gelati
And I ordered the tiramisu
The dining room is very rustic, but also clean and well maintained. Its a huge room (seating over 80, I’d guess), with skylights, lush red carpeting and dark wood furnishings.
Our server was pleasant, attentive and charming (the heavy italian accent and latin demeanor probably adds to that).