G/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central.
Tel: 2851 2281
The vibe: La Piola, an Italian restaurant and bar, brings the taste of the Piedmont region to Lyndhurst Terrace. 'Piola', according to the establishment's website, means 'tavern' in the Piedmont dialect. The decor (right) meshes old-world charm with new-world conveniences: the brick walls, wooden tables and chairs are juxtaposed with a modern wine refrigerator and a warmly lit, tiled bar area which opens onto the street.
The drinks: there's an extensive wine list (mostly by the bottle, with select varietals by the glass starting at HK$65). The cocktail list features an eclectic range of spirits and flavours. The Mint Breath (HK$82) is a refreshing mixture of kiwi, green apple schnapps, vodka, pineapple juice and apple juice topped off with a mint garnish, while the Lily Drizzle (HK$82) is a sweet concoction of vodka, green apple schnapps, lemon grass syrup, pineapple juice and fresh lychee. If you're looking for a classic drink, there are cosmopolitans, mojitos and caipirinhas on offer (all HK$78). Beers include Tsing Tao Lager (HK$48), Stella Artois (HK$50), Peroni (HK$55) and Moretti (HK$58).
The verdict: the location on Lyndhurst Terrace provides just enough distance from the unruly elbow-to-elbow action on Wyndham Street, but there's still the delicious possibility of bumping into friends and acquaintances while having a tipple.