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Piola

This brightly outfitted Midtown pizza place is always packed – and its patio is especially inviting in cooler weather – with good reason: The pizza has only steadily improved since it first opened. Piola, which is headquartered in Italy but which does a brisk business in Brazil, is also one of only two places in town where you can find catipury cheese (the other being Friends Pizzeria). The Salvadore comes highly recommended, with that catipury cheese melting into roasted chicken and spinach, and the Mantova – beef carpaccio with Brie, diced tomatoes and arugula – is a close runner-up. Not in a pizza mood? The restaurant also makes excellent gnocchi in-house, and its happy hour is justifiably famous for offering free bowls of the stuff alongside inexpensive Italian cocktails.

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