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Piola (Arlington)

Has anyone been to Piola in Rosslyn? I just tried to make a reservation and the woman who answered the phone could only say "I no speak english." She answered saying "Piola" - so I had the right number. Are they for real?

I'm hoping other chowhounds have had good experiences there....

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  1. It is a chain, which always makes me leery. The reviews I have read have been mixed.



    I have not been, so this is all clearly hearsay.

    1. I think it's good but not great. There's a good variety of pizzas. The pizzas are solid but not my favorite in the area. The amount of toppings you get can be very inconsistent and random. But there are some unusual combos you might not have thought of.

      They also have a monthly gnocchi night, which is a cool idea, even if the gnocchi itself isn't overwhelming: http://dcfud.smorgasblog.com/archives...

      1. Been three times in NoVA. I knew Piola from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and been to their branch in New York as well. It's from Italy with locations in big South American cities with Italian populations. I wouldn't call it a chain like Pizza Hut is a chain, it's more like a concept with locations in various cities.

        I like pizzas without sauce, so some of their specialties such as the Copenhagen (lox and white pizza) appeal to me. Sette Bello, up Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon, has a better bar vibe, while their pizzas are about equal to Piola's. I say try it and see if you like it. The pizza isn't New York style, just be warned.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jkosnett

          I agree with you on the chain but not a chain issue. It is, after all, an Italian chain. I think the pizza is pretty good and tastes authentic to me. They have Neopolitan style and thinner, northern Italian-style crust as well. I do find some of the topping combinations bizarre, given that it's an Italian chain. But then I see some pretty non-traditional things in Italy nowdays, too.

          Not as good as 2 Amys, but a whole lot more convenient for us NoVa residents. Far better than Pie Tanza (or however they spell it), which I don't find at all authentic.

        2. It is pretty good, but won't knock your socks off. Decent quality decent prices. Thin crust pizza with a good variety of toppings. I still prefer Faccia Luna for a good pizza in the area.

          1. Tried it yesterday. All in all, pretty good. We go to Italy almost yearly and eat a lot of pizza when we're there. Piola's is as close to authentic as I've found in the DC area, and I include Paradiso and 2 Amys in that. (And Pietanza, although that's farther down on my list, even though it boasts a wood-burning oven).

            We were feeling flush, so we went for the pricey ($16.00) prosciutto and porcini pizza. The prosciutto is paper thin and added just before serving--just as they do it in Italy. They were kinda stingy withe the porcini, but the mushrooms were flavorful. We had an arugula salad with it--very nice, with shaved parmesan in it. (BTW, not all the pies are that expensive. The basic Margherita is about half that.)

            Pleasant chap behind the bar was very helpful.

            Wish they had draft beer, though.

            I'll go again. I can't believe they've been there more than a year and I've never noticed them. The magic of Chowhounds, eh?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gonzocook

              I ate at the Piola in Buenos Aires, Argentina, so my husband and I tried out the PIOLA in Arlington. I thought it was decent, but not as good as the pizza we had in Argentina, mainly for the reason that there were not enough of the traditional combinations of meat, tomato sauce and Italian based interpretations. I think 2 Amys and Ella's over in Penn Quarter are probably better overall....

            2. Althoug I loathe the pizza here - a margherita was almost all sauce - there is quite a bit to like from Piola. I highly recomend the non-pizza items.

              A salad with tuna and white beans was perfect, in fact I didn't want it to end. Penne with salmon and a tomato cream sauce had an alluring, smoky flavor. And vitello tonnato is a good selection as well.

              Next time I go I'll try a white pizza to see if it really was the tomato sauce which killed everything on my pizza. Piola is a very good choice in this neck of the woods.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Steve

                If you go to Naples, there is less cheese on their pizza then we normally have on ours. Not that it still couldn't be too much sauce in your case, just over there its normally just a couple puds of mozarella, and a lot of red sauce and a few basil leaves, at least at most places we ate near and in Naples in Italy.

              2. I used to work across the street from Piola. It's one of the few things I miss about Rosslyn... I love their white pizzas. Some of the combos do sound strange but why not give it a try?! Smoked salmon and brie on pizza--who knew it would be so tasty. I also like the carbonara--can't go wrong with eggs and bacon.

                They have a pretty good happy hour (still true? I left the neighborhood 6 months ago). Beers and Caipirinhas on special with free snacks but kind of loud.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DCDeb

                  I just went to the happy hour and it was a lot of fun. cheap drinks, free snacks, nice bartenders.

                2. My husband and I have now gone twice -- Christmas evening and New Years evening. Both times it was great. I am from Brooklyn so am picky about pizza and I really loved it. I had the mushroom pizza. The mozzarella tastes really good. It is better than Vapiano's (which is decent) and PieTanza. Not as good as 2 Amy's or Pizza Paradiso but a lot closer to my house.