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Girl About Sussex Reviews Piani Italian

By Jo White – 19 June 2020

Being furloughed and in lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to learn new skills or enhance existing ones. However, one man in Sussex has used this time to quite literally turn his passion into pizza!

piani spaghetti

Fashion designer Lino Piani, originally from the picturesque Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, has lived in Sussex for the past 20 years.

“After a long career in fashion working with the likes of Gucci, Valentino and on Saville Row, the current situation gave me the opportunity to go back to my original passion of cooking.  I haven’t been able to find a local Italian restaurant that lives up to my expectations, so I decided to use the skills learnt from my Mum and from my time working as a chef in Italy and Switzerland, to offer traditional Northern Italian cuisine”, said Lino.

“My family and friends have always enjoyed my cooking and my wife said that now was the perfect time for me to follow my dream of creating authentic Italian dishes at the right price for the people of Lindfield, West Sussex and surrounding areas”.

Piani Italian dishes range from typical homemade artisan pizza, fresh Italian pasta dishes, Italian gelato to Northern Italian dishes such as Osso Bucco.

Lino is extremely happy with the positive response his cooking has received from Sussex locals and after initially working three days a week, he is now increasing it to six days and will be offering new weekly specials.

I just had to try it out with my family, so here is our review:

piani pizza

Pleasing Prosicutto

I am a carnivore, so it was a no-brainer I was going for the prosciutto pizza, made with mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto cotto and oregano. The first bite, sat outside dining al fresco in the lovely June weather, instantly transported me back to Lake Como where I went on holiday as a child. The pizza was light and flavoursome, and the prosciutto was mouth-watering.

Cheesey Heaven

The kids just love cheese, so I wanted them to try some different ones that they wouldn’t normally have at home. They had the Quatro Formaggi Pizza with mozzarella, gorgonzola, taleggio and fontina. Our nine-year-old said “it was like taking a bite out of heaven and there are lots of different flavours in one’. Our six-year-old summed it up in just one word, “yummy!”.

Brilliant Bolognese

Don’t judge us, but we ordered a Piani Spaghetti Bolognese to try between us all too.  Made from an old family recipe from Bologna, the delicious twist on the classic dish includes tomatoes, mincemeat, red wine, carrots, celery, and penne pasta. It was a lovely touch that it came with a fresh pot of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The kids said it was the best spaghetti they had ever had and as a self-confessed Bolognese connoisseur myself, I have to agree with them.

Glorious Gelato

Piani Italian offers a selection of homemade Italian desserts including Tiramisu and Polenta Orange Cake, but we decided to try the homemade chocolate and vanilla gelatos. Move over Häagen-Daz! The gelato was incredible. Even though we have all had chocolate ice-cream plenty of times before, it was a new taste sensation for us all. The creamy cocoa flavour felt clean and fresh and not too sweet. They also make vanilla and Pistachio.

My recommendation:

It’s so important to support local businesses right now and I support Piani Italian wholeheartedly. All the dishes are reasonably priced (all pizza and pasta dishes are under £7.95) and the menu is small but perfected. There is something for everyone and they are even offering vegetarian and vegan pizzas. You can order up to 2 p.m. on the day for delivery that evening. Delivery is free and was prompt at the exact time requested.

The only bad thing is the nagging we now get from the children… “can we please have a Piani’s tonight?” Every night. Every single night.

Visit www.piani-italian.co.uk and get 15% off your first order.

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