410-1, DongShan Rd, Sec 1
Hours: 11 am-2 pm
(to 2:30 weekends),
5-8 pm (open 8:30 pm weekends)
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
This pizzeria, located before the Dakeng Scenic Area traffic circle, is one of the more intriguing recent Taichung dining additions. Taiwanese owner Mr. Chen Hung-ren and his Italian chef/partner Matteo Roberto Caiaffa first bumped into each other 10 years ago while on vacation in Goa, India. Palio Pizza (named after the famed annual Palio di Siena horse race) is the result of that long friendship, much to the benefit of local diners, who can enjoy tasty, authentic Italian thin-crust pizzas made in an equally-authentic wood-burning pizza oven. There is also Lasagne (NT$240) and various spaghettis will soon be added to the menu. The simply-decorated eatery has a spacious area for about 40 customers, who can also opt for take-out. --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Andy Tsao
A. Palio's eight 12-inch pizza varieties include the pictured Zingara Tuna, Capers and Olives (NT$230), Salami (NT$250), and the seafood Frutti-Di-Mare (NT$260), which can be enjoyed with Italy's Peroni Nastro Azzuro beer (NT$90) or an Italian wine, like the Campagnola Soave Classico (NT$750/bottle, NT$200/glass). Other current pizza types include Margherita (cheese/tomato), Funghi, and Pugliese, with more to be added.
B. Diners can watch as Matteo and Mr. Jian prepare their pizzas side by side, tossing the dough into the air Italian-style. Milan native Matteo says that after much experimentation here, he has come up with a dough that is superior to over 50% of pizzas one might try in his native Italy.
C. Matteo places a pizza into Palio's authentic wood-burning oven, which was carefully constructed by visiting Italian friends over three weeks. Its 400-degree Celsius temperatures bake a pizza in only two to three minutes.