During St. Augustine’s 450th celebration, longtime friends and Italian natives Stefano Braganti and Luca Bonafante wandered the streets of the city and lamented the lack of their favorite Italian street food – piadina. A few dinners with their new friend Hezi Mena later and the Pizza Dina project was born.
The owners shared a love of high quality, but simple food and that commitment is clear in every dish. They consistently abide by their “Rule of Five” – every dish, from the flatbread sandwiches to the pizzas, from the salads to the desserts, is made from scratch with five ingredients or less. It’s that simplicity that keeps their guests coming back.
And vegetarians, you’re about to rejoice. Their piadina – the flatbread sandwiches – can be customized with any number of purely vegetarian ingredients, but the culinary creators have already found their own amazing combination. They call it the Verdiana. It contains Scamorza, zucchini, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and a balsamic glaze. Scamorza is a cow’s milk cheese that – like all the other meats and cheeses in the restaurant – is imported directly from Italy. The veggies are locally sourced from farms in North Florida and South Georgia. You can hardly get better than that.
For a simple flatbread with only five ingredients, the Verdiana has an amazing variety of flavor. Scamorza is piquant and milky and envelops each ingredient in a creamy cocoon when it melts. The vegetables burst with flavor and give a slight, but not completely firm crunch that assures you of their freshness. The balsamic glaze is just the tangy cherry on top.
The feel of Pizza Dina and all its dishes is simple and authentic. Close your eyes while you eat and you’ll be transported to the streets of Imperia. Piadina like the Verdiana are the perfect meeting of two worlds – the cheese expertise of the Italians and the delicacy of local Florida produce.
The restaurant is open seven days a week and now offers delivery through ZipIt.