Branson's Tour Guide

An evening in Branson at La Piazza

 By Daniel Eslinger
One of the things I enjoy about Branson is that there are so many restaurants in such a small area.  Recently my friend Nan (of Classic Creations), asked if I had tried the new restaurant, La Piazza Ristorante Italiano located at the other end of her building. 

When I said I hadn't, she told me that I really needed to do so.  The next time we spoke, she asked again. When I said no, Nan said, "If you like good Italian food, you'll love it.  They make everything fresh for each table."  Then she added,  "Other places taste like dog food when compared to them."  I remember thinking to myself, "dog food?" 

Little Hacienda (Branson Location)
A little time went by and I met owner, Fidel Gomez.  We sat and talked about his new endeavor at another of his restaurants, Little Hacienda (next to IMAX on Shepherd Of The Hills Expressway).  Little Hacienda is an established favorite in Branson with a second location in Hollister.   

I asked him what makes La Piazza different than other restaurants in Branson.  He replied, "We make everything fresh.  Our chef makes it all from scratch.  If you order Fettuccini Alfredo, the sauce is made just for you.  We don't have a big pot and dip out of it all day...  we don't heat up frozen food from boxes."

This caught my attention right away since I enjoy good homemade food.  He continued, "Our food is fresh. It tastes different - it taste good."  I didn't get the sense that he was bragging or belittling anyone, just proud of what he is offering Branson diners.  

Mr. Gomez then went on to invite me to bring my family in for dinner so I "could understand" what he was talking about and experience it myself.  He didn't have to twist my harm.  I said, "How about later this week?!?"

The first thing I noticed upon entering was that our hostess had a friendly smile and kind eyes.  As she showed us to our table we passed by the illuminated bar that had both a modern and elegant look.  It was downlit with a wash of blue light.  

After we were seated our waiter welcomes us and proceeded to tell us about the menu and the large selection of wines.  He did all of this in a friendly and easygoing manner.  We liked him right away.

Noticing that we had children, he let us know that even though there was no child's menu, they could make something just for them.  He added, "...if they want spaghetti we can do a smaller portion or if chicken strips would be better, our chef will cut the chicken into strips, batter them and..."  I thought to myself, "Mr. Gomez was right!  Nothing's heated up or from a box here!"   

I started with a Caesar Salad and noted the hand cut croutons, freshly made dressing and the crispness of the lettuce.  It was delicious and a sign of what would come next.     
(Trivia:  Did you know that the original Caesar Salad may have originated in Tijuana, Mexico?)

When our entrĂ©e's arrived they were mouthwatering to say the least.  Nan and Fidel were right!  I could taste the difference in the pasta and the sauces.  

The seafood was fresh, the chicken was very good, the giant meatballs were not only huge but very flavorful and the lasagna was both light and filling. 

As a testimony to the lightness of the meal, we went to see the new Kirby Van Burch Show immediately after our meal and no one had the sluggishness that Italian Food sometimes leaves one with.   

We finished things off with the quintessential Italian dessert, Tiramisu.  Once again Chef Garcia did not disappoint!  

I would sum up our experience by saying, I have enjoyed some very good Italian Cuisine in my travels.  La Piazza is on par with the best of them. Their prices are below what you would expect to pay and their service and attention to detail is terrific.  If you enjoy good food and a nice atmosphere.  La Piazza is the place for you!  

In case you are wondering, La Piazza is not (yet anyway) a client of Branson's Tour Guide and I have not been paid for this sparkling revue - I just like the place!

(A few of the folks I met while dinning at La Piazza)

For more information, you can find La Piazza on Facebook by clicking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had dinner there after Nan at Classic Creations by Nan told us about it too!

It was very, very good. We will be going back the next time we are in town!