Most of us take the 29th of every month for granted; just another day, right? But February is different. Just ask a leap year baby. And at Midtown pizza joint Piola, it marks the one day each month when guests can binge on unlimited gnocchi.
On the 29th of every month, Piola's kitchen makes 10 different preparations of the potato dumplings. But the beauty is that diners can order them all—and ask for seconds—for a single price of $14.95. Think of it as a table-service buffet that's available at both lunch and dinner. And this is the last time it will happen in February for another four years. Leap year never felt so lucky—or starchy.
Origins of "Gnocchi Day" can be traced to the tale of one of Saint Pantaleon's miracles. The 29th day of the month was as a lean time, but the doctor, born in what's now Turkey, arrived that day in an Italian village. An elderly couple had nothing but some gnocchi to offer, but shared their small meal with Pantaleon. They later discovered a reward of gold coins piled under their plates.
The lucky gnocchi legend has been widely adopted by Italian restaurants around the globe, from Little Italy in New York City to the colorful patio of Piola in Houston. And for diners who haven't had a birthday in four years, there's all the more reason to eat hearty.