I realize it’s been way too long since I’ve even made an attempt at blogging. But it’s hard, it’s a hard hard life.
Thankfully, I still have to eat.
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, Piesano’s should ring a name for you…it’s the pizza place that “Steinbrenner” falls in love with when George Costanza was eating a calzone from there during an office meeting. Steinbrenner refused to get food from anywhere else for a decent amount of time.
Once you get to eating Piesano’s in Gainesville, you might just feel the same way. And, because I’m such a nice person and since you haven’t heard a blog from me in forever, well, you’ll get two visits for the price of one review. HOW DO YOU LIKE DEM APPLES?!
My first visit was at lunch…I was with a group of people and we had to do an activity out there on Tower Road. Now anyone who knows Tower Road/West Gainesville knows that other than Haile Plantation and the South end of Tower (where the Publix is), there ain’t that much in terms of eateries. I just randomly Yelp’d and found Piesano’s, saw that it was good enough and took a risk.
I ordered a custom made pizza with meatballs and extra cheese, and I forget what the rest of the group ordered to be honest (oops). But we were waiting and my mind was preoccupied on other stuff at the time…and I didn’t notice that it took a little longer than I had thought until our nice waitress came out and apologized meaningfully that my order would take slightly longer because the pizza they had made for me first “didn’t look right”. They were making another pizza for me AND letting me keep the first pizza for free.
Wow. OK…but let me try the pizza. First of all, the first pizza would’ve been perfectly fine for me; it didn’t look that messed up at all, but I think they forgot the extra cheese. but I didn’t care, both pizzas were amazing…absolutely amazing. I don’t think the rest of the group complained about their food either.
Fast forward about a few months later, to about a week ago maybe. I was craving Italian food badly. But the Gainesville Italian scene quite frankly has gone kinda wonky the past few years. It held stable with Manuel’s being king of the crop, Pazza Bistro serving pastaphiles, Olive Garden serving the needs of those who like chocolate mints, and that was about it. Sure Piesano’s was around a while, but I didn’t know, so therefore it didn’t exist (kidding). But Pazza unexpectedly closed, Bella Donna fills a weird niche, and there’s really no good in-between place.
Then it came to me: Piesano’s is the place. Sort of.
After getting the blackened chicken parmesean pasta and trying my friend’s Chicken Parmesan…both of which I fell in love with, I realized that Piesano’s was the only hope to save that niche in between. Yes, its prices are somewhat akin to Olive Garden’s, but the food is vastly better. You’re not intimidated by the environment and prices like Manuel’s, but you’re not eye-tired with the familiar Olive Garden-ness of Olive Garden. And you’re not wondering “this was a hot dog place” as if you were at Bella Donna. You feel comfortable, relaxed, from beginning to end. Except the desserts were clearly not fresh and were brought in frozen. (Prove me wrong guys and I’ll give you an A+).
I rarely talk about restaurants west of I-75…I don’t think it’s right to review restaurants that are completely too far away for anyone’s own good (7+ miles from my residence). But let me tell you something….Gainesville is overrun by Mexican restaurants (both real Mexican and fake Mexican). To find something as pleasant as Piesano’s is rare, it really is. The service is admirable and the food is outstanding. It’s not fancy shmancy, but whoever said that Italian had to be fancy shmancy?
Pros: phenomenal food both day and night, keeps it simple but flavorful, reasonable prices
Cons: Dessert was clearly frozen