Good food is few and far between here on the North Shore of Kauai. So when a new restaurant opens, we have lots of reason to celebrate, especially when they are as good as Piazza!
Founded by Doug and Beatrice, owners of The Dolphin in Hanalei, and Joseph and Scott, owners of the Healthy Hut in Kilauea, Piazza opened its doors in mid-March of this year. Located in the Princeville Shopping Center and hard to miss with its pink painted exterior, the restaurant offers a casual yet sophisticated dining experience. Much attention to detail was put into the design and décor, reflective in the oversized crystal chandeliers that hang from the old barn wood ceilings. It is lively yet not overly loud, especially if you get a table on the exterior of the room. For a more social experience, you could opt to sit at the pizza bar, which opens to the exposed kitchen and stunning copper pizza oven. Additionally, there is a large community table and seating in the bar area.
The menu is a modern take on Italian food, led by the culinary artist Christophe, who served for many years as the head chef of Hanalei’s famed Bar Acuda. He brings to the table his worldly curations based on seasonal, local availability. Everything is made fresh in house daily, no pre-packaged or canned ingredients. Two of my favorites were the grilled octopus with marinated olives, cherry tomatoes, almonds, arugula, and oranges and the wild mushroom ravioli with basil pesto, roasted carrots, and pine nuts. There’s a large selection of decorated flatbreads and four different main course entrees that offer a choice of chicken, lamb, steak, or fish. I do think it’s fair to mention that the pasta dishes are rather small, but I was informed that they are intended to be considered a starter dish.
The cocktail list is quite refined, with some interesting blends of flavors and spirits. The wine list only includes selections which are organic and/or sustainably grown, my favorite being the Siduri Pinot Noir. Reservations are highly recommended although it seems that a little patience could also earn you a table.
As with all new establishments, there are growing pains. But it seems that Piazza is quickly working through these. Excited to experience more of the North Shore’s newest, and arguably its best, restaurant.