by Patte Purcell

Are you looking for something different in the desert this summer? I’m happy to report that a new Happy Hour has gotten into full swing at Pierro’s PizzaVino with ½ price food in the lounge all the time and some terrific drink specials.

If you are a fan of Mama Ginas Happy Hour food and drink specials you’ll love Pizza Vino. My favorite adorable bartender Juan Carlos aka “Crispy” from Mama Ginas brings his charming ways to Pizza Vino. “He makes the best margaritas in town,” says Melissa Zielinski their fireball manager.
Mondays you can get that margarita on special for only $3.00. How’s that for a deal? Wednesday’s special is 50% off on bottles on their extensive wine list. House wines are $5.00, well cocktails $5.50 and well martinis are $6.50.

I had the pleasure of meeting owner Piero last week when I stopped in for lunch (I’m a regular).
He filled me in on their plans including an expansion of the bar area and extension out the back by fall.


I was delighted to see the ½ priced food specials on the bar menu. I can now get my favorite Caesar Salad for only $5.90 accompanied by a warm paper wrapped crusty Italian bread tied with a string. The dipping sauces are to die for. The first (my favorite) is a delightfully light olive oil with fresh chopped garlic. The second olive oil sports a hot red pepper giving it a tantalizing bite.

Today I tried the Tuscan Kale salad. This leafy baby kale and roasted garlic masterpiece is topped with grated Pecorino Toscano, pine nuts and roasted bread crumbs and served with their lemon vinaigrette. Talk about flavorful, the softness of the cheese curls cover the top while as you go down a layer there are some fine bread crumbs, yumm! I haven’t tried their other salad the Tuscan wedge but it’s on my list. Here’s the best part, it’s $5.90, I love that price!

There is a dazzling array of antipasti and soup including an Italian Wedding Egg Zuppe with meatballs and greens and it’s only $4.90. You’ll have to try the fried baby artichokes and goat cheese or asparagus wrapped in Italian Pancetta or black mussels in marinara. There are 12 choices that range from $4 (minestrone soup) to an artisan salami board, with Italian cheese and caponata at $7.90.

It’s called “Pizza Vino” for a reason they have a delicious selection of wood fired pizzas at happy hour with pricing from $7.00 to $7.50. Choose from a selection of white sauces including “Pollo”, braised chicken, spinach, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, garlic and Romano cheese. 7 different “Rosse” red sauce pizzas include everything from “Popette” (meat balls, bell peppers, mushroom, tomatoes and mozzarella) to Prosciutto e Arugula and beyond. The crust is crackly Italian to bring the pizza lover out in anyone.

The bar pasta menu offers 3 tantalizing selections. I tried the Linguine with meat balls in marinara sauce at Juan’s suggestion. It was served in an elegant dish garnished with herbs. The meatballs were perfectly spiced and the marinara sauce rich and zesty at $6.50. I’m looking forward to trying the Rigatoni with fresh clams and mussels in a light marinara sauce and the baked Ziti ‘Pizzaiola” with tomato, garlic, capers and mozzarella cheese too.

Skewers of shrimp on a bed of spinach, Beef tenderloin on mashed potatoes or salmon skewers on spinach round out the menu at a deliciously priced $7.50 to $8.50.

Remember at Pizza Vino it’s Happy Hour all day! From 11:30 am to 11:00 pm. It’s located at 73722 El Paseo, Palm Desert.