Piada Italian Street Food at MOA® has been entrusted to the uniquely qualified Chef Kelly Keefe. After studying law and earning degrees in economics and philosophy, Keefe chose a curious, though not surprising career path in food. (Her parents own a restaurant.)
Before joining Piada in November, Chef Keefe built her résumé managing other fast-casual eateries. With this dual background in food and high quality guest service, she was perfectly suited to join Piada’s effort to bring hospitality back to fast-casual dining. This endeavor is largely carried out by a dedicated team member whose job is to interact with people waiting in line to order, discuss the menu, answer questions, and help them customize their meal.
It’s a clever model that seems to be working well based on our two visits so far, but what about the food? Piada’s founders designed their menu around the street food they enjoyed in Rimini, Italy. “Piadas” are akin to an Italian burrito: hand-rolled dough filled with your choice of fresh ingredients like mushroom, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, dressing or sauce and your choice of meat. Hot tip: the calamari with hot peppers is Chef Keefe’s favorite piada.
“Tascas” are light sandwiches, made to order on thin dough. We can confidently report that the Farm Club tasca, with buttermilk fried chicken, pepperjack cheese, avocado, tomato and crispy pancetta, is effectively handheld happiness.
Also available are a variety of pastas and salads, all customizable, and sides like piada sticks and soup, including a wonderful lobster bisque.
Chef Keefe provided us with two kind gifts that we’re passing on to you. The first is a generous buy one, get one free offer. Buy any Piada, Pasta, or Chopped Salad and receive one FREE when you show this blog post to the cashier. This offer expires 3/31/2016.
Her second gift is her recipe for DIY pasta.
- Angel hair pasta
- Parmesan alfredo sauce*
- Crispy pancetta (or bacon)
- Tomato (diced)
- Shaved parmesan
* Sauces can be found at the grocery store but we recommend a simple homemade sauce. All you really need to make a perfect alfredo is butter, garlic, cream and parmesan.
If making alfredo sauce from scratch, begin this process 10 minutes before starting Carbonara recipe.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add angel hair pasta. Boil until al dente.
- In a warm sauté pan, add pancetta. Render until crisp.
- Add warm alfredo sauce and spinach, to sauté pan.
- Mix in pasta and heat for 1 minute
- Remove from heat. Garnish with diced tomato and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
In closing, we’d like to bring to your attention one of the quiet highlights on the menu: the Italian sodas. We imagine they’re all tasty, but we haven’t been able to pry ourselves away to try the others after we tasted the berry soda, which may be humanity’s best contribution to refreshment.