That’s the Spirit
Drinking local has become, well, spiritual. Bottoms up! Plus, The Nino’s Pizza family opens and upscale Italian restaurant in Dover.
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Welcome to the Family
The folks of Nino’s Pizza fame open an upscale Italian eatery in the state capital. It’s time to gather around the fountain.
Change is good. At least, it is for the owners of Piazza Mia Italian Bar & Grill (492 S. Red Haven Lane, Dover, 387-1870, piazzamia.com), Dover’s newest upscale Italian eatery.
Piazza springs from the family that brought us Nino’s Pizza, the delicious yet humble pizzeria chain whose nine locations stretch from West Chester, Pa., to Smyrna.
But Piazza represents something new altogether. The orange-hued walls give way to hip lighting fixtures, and a glowing light mural of the Roman Trevi Fountain illuminates Italian landscape mosaics on tabletops. In the center of the dining room, an ornate fountain feature makes a striking centerpiece.
“The town in Italy our family is from is called Mola di Bari and it’s famous for its piazza,” says owner Gaetano Diomede. “It’s like the town gathering place for couples, friends, family. So for our restaurant we wanted our customers to circle around the fountain. We’re saying be our family; be our friends.”
Piazza Mia diverges from Nino’s in the menu department, too. House favorites include pan-seared scallops with risotto, filet Oscar and broiled mahi mahi. There’s a full service bar replete with flatscreen TVs, a traditional brick pizza oven, and a gelato bar for desserts.
“I think people in Dover are sick and tired of the chain restaurants,” Diomede says. “Customers like that we’re family owned and operated and that food is made fresh to order.”
General manager Nick Pesce says the area seemed ripe for the picking. “Change, something new, something exciting. That’s what we were going for.”
So far, the locals have noticed.
“The comment cards we get make us laugh,” Diomede says. “One said our food was better than what they had in Italy. Another just said it felt like his Nonna was in our kitchen.” —Matt Amis