Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Viva "La Dolce Vita" at Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport

Gulfport, Florida, home of eclectic art; funky, cozy cottages; a gorgeous beach and Pia's Trattoria! Pia's is located at 3054 Beach Boulevard South. It is an adorable building with a fabulous garden area that you can't miss.

The interior of the restaurant is absolutely wonderful! You can dine outside in the garden or in one of the rooms inside. Our party was seated in one of the private rooms. If you look at the photo of the room, the lamp and the mirror were both brought from Italy. The mirror is gorgeous.

The other room was just as beautiful. I would love to have my family all dine together in this room. It was very homey and welcoming. Pia's is a very relaxed atmosphere and I could see spending a lot of time in this room. We actually stayed in our "room" for quite a while and were not rushed and were able to enjoy our meals and the company of friends.

The main dining room is very nice and cozy. I would love to come here on a date and share some wine and pasta!

As you know, if the restroom is nice and clean, the kitchen probably is as well. This is the nicest bathroom I have seen in a while! The restroom itself is very large; that is a pleasant change from being crammed into stalls in most restaurants.

Before we even placed our orders, bread and a plate of dipping oil were delivered to the table. The bread was warm, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could have just eaten that! The oil was filled with spices and herbs. I think a couple people had dipped into this before I had a chance to take the photo!

I was undecided as to what to order as the menu was filled with many dishes that sounded simply amazing; from the Antipasto Misto to the homemade cannoli. Since there were several of us dining, I knew I would get the opportunity to see several entrees.

Ester Venouziou and Joey Goodrich both ordered the "Salmone di Capri" [smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese spread, sprinkled with a lemon pesto and served with grilled Italian garlic focaccia bread] ($10.50).

Jobi Harris first ordered the calamari (which is served authenic Italian - not fried, but sauteed in a lemon butter garlic sauce); but then decided to have one of the panini sandwiches. I am going to return to try the calamari as this is one of the few places that I know that does not fry it. The "tomaso" was Jobi's choice. This panini is turkey,gorgonzola cheese, arugula and tomatoes. ($10.50)

Finally, I ordered the "Insalata Pia." [A large bowl of greensalad with tomatoes including imprted Italian Mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese topped with a "salsa verde" dressing.

The desserts are fresh baked daily and I really wanted to taste one, but I was so full after the bread and salad. My next visit, I will limit my bread and definitely enjoy dessert.

When I was walking out, I noticed a whole new room that I had not seen before. The bar area is just as beautiful as the rest of the restaurant.

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