Piccolo is Hay J’s new “sister restaurant” serving up artisan pizza, unique salads and apps, and tasty desserts. Piccolo is more casual than Hay J’s, while still maintaining their high quality of service, ingredients, and recipes. Piccolo is a great option f you’re coming off the lake or casually dressed but still want a nice dinner out.
Like Hay J’s, they serve naturally infused water from fresh fruits and vegetables. We tried the mint, strawberry, cucumber, lime infused water. The water has subtle flavoring but it’s a great compliment to your meal and helps to cleanse the palette after each course.
Spicy Hawaiian and Italian Sausage are their most popular pizzas if you’re looking for something that’s safe, tried, and true.
We started our meal with the Burrata appetizer. This is similar to a caprese salad but served with burrata instead of mozzarella, which is a much softer version of the cheese. It is a better compliment to the Olive Oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, basil, combo. This Burrata comes served with heirloom tomatoes and buttered crostini. I instantly recognized the same tomatoes that I tried in the Tuna appetizer from Hay J’s. There’s nothing like a perfect tomato. I don’t know how they get such great tomatoes! They must not shop at Costco, like I do. They two restaurants share ingredients and they have the same chef that switches off between the two. This is a great appetizer for summer time.
Speaking of summer time… we also tried their Summer Soup. Normally the words summer and soup should never be put together, but Piccolo’s makes it work. We weren’t originally going to try this but we heard some other patrons talking about how great it was so we had to get a sample. This Summer Soup is made from Chilled tomato broth, a copious amount of summer vegetables, herbs, avocado, cream cheese squares, langoustine. This soup tasted nothing like what I was expecting. It bursting with flavor, full of chunky vegetables and spices, and cream cheese squares allow you to feel that creamy aspect while still keeping it light and cool.
They wanted to feature a new “Insalata” menu item so they brought out their Broccoli and Quinoa Salad. I would come back just for this salad. Nothing goes better with artisan pizza than a nice cool salad. The quinoa is chilled and adds a slight crunch to the arugula/broccoli mixture. This salad is topped with dried berries, toasted almonds, parmesan, and tossed in a dijon vinaigrette. There is not a lot of dressing which is preferred on a salad like this. It helps to keep the flavor light and the quinoa smooth.
The first pizza we tried was the Brasato. This is a newer menu item but it’s gaining popularity. If I see something with Huckleberry on the menu, I want it and I want it now. The pizza is made with Huckleberry bbq sauce, braised beef, bacon, shallots, provolone, mozzarella, pineapple, jalapeño, shallots, and cilantro. Normally we are opposed to pineapple on a pizza. Pizza is great. Pineapple is great. Pizza and Pineapple in the same bite, no thanks. With that said, Pizza and pineapple and huckleberry barbecue sauce WORKS. The sweet barbecue combined with the braised beef and bacon help add sweetness while cutting through the chewy pineapple with this tough meat. This was a win win win. Great topping to pizza to sauce ratio and their crust is unstoppable. They fire it fresh in their carefully tiled, teal, wood-fire oven.
I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again. If you want to know how well a pizza place can do their pizza, try their Margherita. It’s made from simple ingredients and you’ll get the best feel for their crust, sauce and cheese without being distracted by other ingredients, sauces, toppings, etc. A Margherita Pizza typically consists of tomato sauce, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Piccolo’s follows this classic recipe and they do it right.
As if we needed more food, we ended our meal with the Salted Caramel Gelato made by Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle and Piccolo’s “house-made” Tiramisu. The salted caramel gelato. Talk about flavor. Man, this stuff was strong. Lots of caramel and fresh salt sprinkled throughout. Mary Lou’s doesn’t mess around with this recipe and we are big fans. As for the Tiramisu, I love tiramisu. This tiramisu has a milder flavor than I have typically had, but it was cold and creamy and I didn’t want to share.
This is me saying, “Just try it”. (At least that’s what i’m pretending I said)
Keep eating, Spokane (Liberty Lake). And, remember to tell them we sent you!
Piccolo Artisan Pizza (21718 E Mission Ave, Liberty Lake, WA // 509.926.5900)