Italian restaurant delivers delectable dishes but mediocre service


Many eateries in downtown Portland are known for their delicious food and the experiences they offer to customers. Piazza Italia, a small family-owned restaurant is no exception. However, those planning a visit should know that there are a few lacking aspects that might not make them the best in the business.

As far as food goes, Piazza Italia exceeded my expectations. After looking through the good-sized list of options on the menu, I chose to order a dish dubbed “penne al pesto” for $13 dollars.  I wasn’t too sure of this decision, as I am not usually a fan of heavy pasta dishes, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. The amount of pasta I received was a perfect amount for a filling lunch without too many extra leftovers. It was well cooked and served with a light and flavorful pesto sauce that tasted even better than it looked.

Along with the pasta, I was also able to try some of the restaurant’s specialty bread. I can say that this was by far my favorite part of my meal. The crackling crust leading to a creamy and mouthwatering middle was definitely a highlight to my taste buds. One of my friends who ordered a Panini for $8.75 noted that the bread her dish came with was also exceptional.

The last part of my meal consisted of a desert plate of tiramisu. This also impressed me with its light sugary flavors, tinged with the perfect amount of bitterness and spongy texture.

No matter how good the meal was, I still can’t ignore the fact that the service was very disappointing. This became obvious just within minutes of being inside the restaurant, with one of the waiters rudely ushering us to the table rudely while answering a call on his cell phone. He then said very little to us as he handed us our menus and then went off to chat with a regular customer. I also found it slightly disrespectful when he started a conversation as he was in the middle of taking my friend’s order.

Another issue I found at Piazza Italia was its pricing. While the food was very good, it seemed to be overpriced for what we received. For a party of five, this added up fairly quickly, and we ended up paying more than we had intended. Also, it bothered me when I found that there were no prices on the desert menu. This would have been helpful to someone on a budget, but it was absent.

Overall, I would give Piazza Italia a B+. Its food measured up to the competition in the Portland area, but I would be wary of going again due to the poor service they provided.