Piccolo pesto pasta

The pesto pasta and "mozzarella" knots at Piccolo are both vegan.

Piccolo is full of pleasant surprises. Known for its twists on traditional Italian fare, the rest aurant in Nixa, Missouri, is also committed to serving a wide selection of flavorful plant-based food.

Herbivores will struggle to choose between classics such as “mozzarella” knots, pesto pasta, lasagna, pizza and New York-style cheesecake – all vegan-friendly. Venture into other non-vegan parts of the menu and you’ll find unexpected Mexican influences in dishes such as the jalapeño-corn brûlée rigatoni and Italian nachos smothered in creamy Alfredo sauce.

Chef-owner Steve D'Arpino is no stranger to southwest Missouri’s Italian food scene: His father and mother, Mark and Mary Ann D'Arpino, owned and operated the now-shuttered D'Arpino's Italian Cafe in Springfield. Although he’s happily retired, Mark still stops by Piccolo every day to help prep his famous marinara sauce for dishes such as the spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant Parmesan and beef-stuffed ravioli.

Piccolo, 107 W. Aldersgate Drive, Suites 1 & 2, Nixa, Missouri, 417.374.7291, eatpiccolo.com