1129 Nw Johnson St
Portland, OR 97209

Piazza Italia

Neighborhoods: Pearl
Cuisine: Deli, European, Vegetarian

Offer Available!
11 / 20
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TheTripChick photo


 Seattle, WA

I want to move to Portland to be near Piazza Italia!

After my first bite of bucatini all’amatriciana, I was plotting my move to Portland to be near this restaurant. No, I am not kidding.

We fell in love with bucatini all’amatriciana when we were visiting Rome recently, to the point where the restaurant that served it became our neighborhood spot while we were in town. It was that good. When we returned to the US, I promptly found bucatini and got to work recreating the sauce as it blew us away with it’s simple, yet amazingly savory and luscious taste and texture. As an aside, I’m still perfecting my recipe.

So, imagine my delight when I was searching for a good place to try in the Pearl and I came across a fellow Yelper’s review of their bucatini…oh boy, we must try this place! We made a reservation for that evening.

On leaving our cab, we were immediately greeted on the sidewalk by a gentleman asking if we had reservations. Yes, we did! We were seated at a two-top adjacent to the bar…I’m sure they didn’t mean it this way, but it was a onus for me to be seated near the menu station as I am a dessert-a-holic and the dessert menu was within reach!!! Muahahahaha. I love being able to plot dinner choices with an eye toward dessert.

I had no idea prior to entering Piazza Italia, but yes, Virginia, there IS an all-futbol-all-the-time channel. Actually, pretty cool in combination with the futbol jerseys hanging from the ceiling. Even cooler, everyone there that night appeared to be fluent in Italian. Fantastic. I am HOME!

We decided to split everything and ordered the Gino’s salad, mushroom bruschetta (cannot remember the exact name) and bucatini all’amatriciana with a notion of saving room for dessert. Gino’s salad came out first. It was a wonderful combination, and yet the peanuts in there kind of took away from the overall taste. Not to knock Gino’s tastes, it was just different that I expected (which is my bad).

Next up, the bucatini. The kitchen was nice enough to split the portion and we each dug in. As soon as the first bite hit the tongue, the talking ceased. And nirvana was attained. Mama mia.

The mushroom bruschetta never appeared, and after savoring the salad and pasta honestly wasn’t all that missed (not to say that I won’t be back to try it later…). So, after overhearing the server sing the praises of the hazelnut gelato at the table next to ours, we went with that for dessert. OH. MY. Love in a sundae glass. I am surprised the hubs and I didn’t end up spoon-fencing over the last little bites of gelato. He was quite the gentleman and my new name became Hoover. After basking in the glow of amazing pasta, we decided then and there that we needed to come back to Piazza Italia. We made a reservation for the following evening with our server, and left feeling truly blissful.

Next night, we’re back and we manage to nab a window side table. Knowing that we were ordering the bucatini all’amatriciana again, we plotted our second dish. After smelling and hearing of the pesto dish from the night before, we went with that. However, first things first. We started with a caprese salad this time and while the Roma tomatoes weren’t in season, the mozzarella and basil were delicious and carried the tomatoes. Okay, on to the main event. Since we ordered two pastas, we had to make a choice when they hit the table. Hubs nabbed the amatriciana and I got the penne with pesto. Not such a bad deal, as it turned out. The pesto was absolutely amazing. We both kept alternating bites between amatriciana and pesto and back, until all the pasta was gone and we moved to Plan B and used the bread to sop up ALL of the sauce. We were clean-plate-clubbers that night! Amazing, amazing stuff.

I want to move to Portland to be near Piazza Italia. That, or move to Rome, and Portland just seems much closer. :)

Deli Good for groups Dinner
Mon-Sat 11:30AM - 03:30PM
Mon-Sat 05:00PM - 10:00PM
Sun 12:00PM - 09:00PM
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Piazza Italia  Restaurant Reviews

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Piazza Italia is located near the cities of Alameda Beaumont Wilshire and Hillsdale.
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