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La Piazza, Near Braddock Road Metro - Closed


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Last evening Grover and I ate at La Piazza. For those of you who don't know, La Piazza is a small Italian restaurant across from the Braddock Road metro station. All of their pasta is made in house so it's always fresh. Grover and I both decided to eat lightly (upcoming dinner at Dino tonight) so we had the meat filled ravioli in meat sauce. Dinner started with a salad of mixed greens with onion and a bit of Italian tomato accompanied by very good garlic bread. The ravioli were about 3" in diameter, filled with a very good beef and mild spice filling and were covered with a meaty red sauce. The sauce was so good that both Grover and I ended by mopping up the remaining sauce with the garlic bread. For $24 for two, a filling, satisfying, good tasting dinner.

We talked to the owner and he's planning on having a two dinners and a bottle of wine (red or white) special on Monday's and Tuesdays for $29.95. According to him, that's salad, garlic bread and any item from the menu. I'm not a big fan of the 'twofers' but the food should overcome any shortcomings of the wine.

Edited by Escoffier
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" For those of you who don't know, La Piazza is a small Italian restaurant across from the Braddock Road metro station. All of their pasta is made in house so it's always fresh. "

La Piazza is a very nice little place and the people are lovely, I would say they serve "New Jersey Italian" with an authentic twist. They have even made more authentic sauces off the menu for us at times. They create exactly what they profess to do and do it well unlike so many others who profess to be one thing and are another. Their prices are excellent too and they know what al dente means. It's on my list for many reasons. Their bread is excellent too. I have never had their fresh pasta.

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Put La Piazza in the "what took me so long" category. After hearing good things from lots of people, I was finally motivated after a conversation with my neighbor to get on over there last Saturday (it's only a few blocks from my house). Well, I've been 3 times in the last week - making up for lost time!

As already stated, the food is very good and the prices are quite reasonable. I knew it was a keeper when it exceeded my +1's very high standards for spaghetti bolognese. The sauce is full of tomato flavor, lots of meat, and not much else besides garlic and some other seasonings (the tomatoes and garlic are what I remember as the dominant flavors). The menu offers the dish with penne, but substituting spaghetti was no problem at all. It also comes with two huge (presumably homemade) meatballs. I ordered the farfalle al gorgonzola - bowtie pasta with spinach, chicken, and a creamy gorgonzola sauce. It was very good - rich but not overly sauced and with ample proportions of fresh spinach and grilled chicken.

For lunch during the week, I opted for the bucatini with meat sauce. Very similar to the spaghetti bolognese, but with bucatini, which I thought was kind of a fun pasta - hollow tubes that are slightly thicker than spaghetti. No meatballs on this dish, but I didn't miss them as there was plenty of pasta and sauce to fill me up.

Last night we got carry-out - wild mushroom ravioli (me) and chicken parmigiana (him). The ravioli were pretty big - about 5 of them in the serving - filled with a mushroom/cheese filling. They were topped with a slightly creamy tomato sauce with sliced (fresh) white mushrooms in it. Very good - the ravioli were al dente and the mushrooms in the sauce were a nice touch. The chicken parm was HUGE - a large portion of penne and marinara accompanied the two breaded chicken breasts. They weren't greasy and had plenty of the delicious marinara on top of them along with the requisite gooey melted cheese (yum). This dish could easily be shared, maybe paired with an entree salad.

All entrees are served with a simple house salad, dressed with a red wine vinaigrette (or maybe it's just vinegar - it's left me - a vinegar lover - gasping a couple of times), and topped with a slice of tomato and cucumber and some sweet marinated italian peppers. You also get a generous portion of garlic bread too! For an average of $10 an entree at dinner time you will be well-fed. There have been families, couples, cops, singles, etc. dining when I've been in - it's definitely a neighborhood 'mom and pop' and is well worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.

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I decided to take Bimbo's recommendation from this thread and give the buccatini all'amatriciana (pancetta, tomato sauce, pecorino) a try last night. It was very good, simple and filling, with a nice kick from the crushed red pepper in the dish - I asked for it spicy. A side of meatballs reminded me just how good La Piazza's meat sauce is - may have to keep it ultra-simple next time and just go for pasta and meat sauce.

For those watching their budgets (who isn't?), there is now a long list of "Cheap Eats" available for $6.99 at lunch and $9.99 at dinner (salad and garlic bread included) - available for dine-in and carry out. I don't have the list in front of me but there was a lot of variety. The one I do remember is Mezzi Rigatoni Contadina - sausage, mushrooms, onions...and some other things that sounded tasty.

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It looks like I'm the only one eating at La Piazza, based on who posts in this thread :rolleyes:

Got a couple of carry-out dishes from the 'cheap eats' menu a few nights ago and I was very happy with both. As I had hoped, the mezzi rigatoni was the wonderful short rigatoni I remember from my favorite childhood dish at Duluth, Minnesota's "The Gopher" Italian restaurant. We got the Mezzi Rigatoni Contadina and the Mezzi Rigatoni with Meat Sauce. The Contadina preparation included the items in my post above and black olives, tomatoes, and crushed red pepper. It was slightly oily, but all the elements came together to form a nice dish, with the tomatoes making a light sauce. As also mentioned above, I really like La Piazza's meat sauce - it's flavorful and hearty and worked great with the rigatoni. $9.99 is a bargain for the generous portions (there were leftovers from both) that include a fresh salad and a big piece of garlic bread.

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Unfortunately, La Piazza appears to have closed. There is notice of an SUP application for change of ownership posted on the front door and a little digging on the Alexandria website found this. Applicant says "it is basically staying the same" - we'll have to see about that.

Looks like some minor renovations are going on inside, but there is no information about when they will reopen.

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