I was wondering if any other Hounds have checked out the new Piazza Del Panne on Palm and Herndon and what they thought of the overall experience. I've been there twice for dinner since they've opened and had an overall good experience both times.
Ambiance: Hectic when you walk in the door since the open kitchen area/take out area are right near both entrances. In the main dining area it is a bit quieter and the feel is a lot homier (e.g. darker lighting and an awesome fireplace).
Food: I've yet to branch out since both times I've ordered the same main entree, the 1/2 roast chicken served with polenta/marinara sauce and vegetables. I've been satisfied with the dish both times even thought the polenta changed (the first time it had a creamier texture and the second was more cooked and cut into shape). However, the difference between the appetizers has been night and day. The first time I had the bruschetta, which was very good with a fresh tasting pesto; but the second time I had the ceviche, which was a HUGE disappointment. For about 10 dollars I got to share 2 shrimp and 2 pieces of whitefish from a huge martini glass. I think that the appetizer should have been more seafood than the chopped vegetables. I've had the bread pudding for dessert and it was good too.
Service: The first time I had an excellent server. She was attentive and approached the table only when it was necessary. Also the food came out very hot, which is a huge plus. However, the second time the waitress committed the cardinal sin by asking if we were interested in dessert about 10 minutes after we got our entree. She hovered around the table way too much, which made conversation with my companion difficult since I didn't want to be rude and ignore the waitress. But once again the food came out hot so I can deal with a little poor service.
Overall: Piazza is right down the street from my house so when I need a decent meal or take out I feel confident that I will get good food from the restaurant. Score 4 out of 5. They also have a decent selection of gelato that I can't wait to try the next time I go to eat there.