Zio Casual Italian

At the end of a long school week, nothing sounds quite as good as a cozy Italian restaurant and good red wine with the girls.  So when this Friday rolled around that’s exactly what we did.  Zio is a casual Italian restaurant off Providence road in the Eastover neighborhood.  And neighborhood is just what Zio’s is; there is nothing stuffy or pretentious about this place.  The staff is friendly, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the place smells like your Grandma’s lasagna.  Except it’s their Italian Grandmother’s lasagna.

We started off with an inexpensive bottle of Santa Cristina Sangiovese and were in love with this wine for both the taste and the price.

Very fruit forward wine and complemented the Italian flavors perfectly.  We got 2 bottles.  Woops.

And a flatbread appetizer with prosciutto, roasted pear, ricotta, parmesan, smoked gouda, and arugula.

The combination of the salty proscuitto and sweet pears was delicious!

Loved the pears so much that we shared a Roasted Pear Salad with Gorgonzola, sugar roasted pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette.

The pecans were roasted and dusted in powdered sugar.  I’ve never thought to use powdered sugar before and will definitely be switching from regular sugar to powdered!

And if you haven’t noticed I have been on a huge pizza kick.   I think it’s my go-to comfort food.  Gooey cheese, chewy crispy crust, and fresh toppings.  Yum.

We tried the Naples with chunky tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and romano cheese, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.  While it’s not true Neopolitan style pizza like Pizzeria Orso, it is delicious.  The crust was thin and crispy, the tomatoes had great flavor, and the pie was topped with the perfect amount of melted cheese and fresh basil.  Nothing crazy, simplicity at its best.

We ended the evening with more wine, more talking, a piece of chocolate cake which disappeared before I could even take a picture of it, and deciding that Zio needs to be a regular thing.  It’s the perfect place to call “your” restaurant.  It’s the type of place that you feel like you belong there even though it’s your first time.  It’s the type of place where the staff knows their customers by name and hopefully soon they’ll know ours!

I highly recommend checking Zio out for a casual, friendly, and delicious Italian meal.  I can’t wait to get back to try some of their homemade pastas, grilled pizzas, and probably more Sangiovese.


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