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Mar 31, 2010 07:47 PM

Piola in Mercato, Naples, FL

Four of us recently had a very nice lunch at Piola, at the east end of the main street in Naples's Mercato (Vanderbilt Beach Rd and US 41). We ordered pizza, panini, salad, and gnocchi. Everything we tried was very good, but the standouts in my opinion were the panini, which has a wonderfully thin crust baked in their pizza oven, really more like a very delicate calzone, and the gnocchi, which was amazingly light and fluffy, like little savory pillows. Yum. It just happened to be the 29th of the month, and on that date each month they offer all-you-can-eat gnocchi (for $13). This is pretty hard to beat when it's this good. Each plate is served with three excellent sauces, and the next plate (if you still have room) has another set of sauces. The restaurant is very urban and trendy, and the service was good and the prices reasonable. Recommended.

9118 Strada Place 8170, Naples, FL 34108

9118 Strada Pl, Naples, FL 34108

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  1. Well, it had to happen. It's a leap year and there is no Feb. 29th this year. So we called Piola's to ask them what they were going to do about their all-you-can-eat gnocchi special. They said it would be on the 28th - TODAY!. And the price is still $13, lunch or dinner. That's hard to beat. We'll be there.

    9118 Strada Pl, Naples, FL 34108

    1 Reply
    1. re: TomOHaver

      Unfortunately, our experience was less that satisfactory. Six of us dined at Piola on Monday, Feb. 28, the "all-you-can-eat" gnocchi day this month. The main problem was that the gnocchi service was too slow; they bring out only one serving at a time, with one sauce, and it takes 10-12 minutes before the next one is served. There are about 12 sauces, so it takes you nearly two hours to try all of them. (Last year, they were served three at a time - much better). Some sauces were better than others; the red marina sauces were relatively bland, but the white sauces were very good, especially the pink sauce, 4 cheese, and the one with bits of ham. The gnocchi itself was pretty good, but not as light and fluffy as I remembered from last year.

      The other problem were the pizzas, which three of our group ordered. Two of those had to be sent back because the porcini mushrooms were bad - tasted spoiled, actually. They were replaced quickly and without complaint, but how could they let something like that out of the kitchen? Moreover, the pizzas and the red sauces were under seasoned, in my opinion.

      The place was busy on a Monday night, with most of the tables occupied inside and out. Service was good except for the too-slow gnocchi delivery.

      I don't think we will be back.

      9118 Strada Pl, Naples, FL 34108

    2. i don't know why this place still exists. i've been there 3 times (none recent) about a yr ago and each time was worst. i went there primarily with my kids. the pizza was mediocre at best and the service was awful.
      another place that i think will not last is the deli at mercato too. each time i go there the food is less appetizing. i think whoever was in the kitchen when it first opened must have left or they are cutting back on ingredients.
      anything on Chipotle?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Zeits

        I had hopes when Stage Deli opened as I used to love the one in the Detroit suburbs. It did not travel well and I thought everything was less than great. The bread in particular was not deli-worthy and the corned beef was like it was Boars Head. I did not return. If it is that bad now, it will not survive off season.

        1. re: Zeits

          chipotle is now open at mercato
          (if u didnt already know)

          1. re: srsone

            We ate there yesterday and it's just like any other Chipotle - delicious fresh food and long lines. It's one of my favorite (gasp!) fast-food places and I'm happy to see them here. .

        2. it closed. and i for one, will not miss it....