For some athletes, life after sports can be a tough reality check, unless they always wanted to hawk Sketchers -- then it's a dream come true! Using a kitchen-minder making the most of his life post-UEFA Champions League, Pane Italiana Qualita.
Baker'd by super-diesel ex-AC Milan defender Rufo and backed by founding partners from both Il Fornaio and Mr. Espresso, just-opened PIQ is a modern twist on the ol' Italian cafe, with two stories of spacious wi-fi-accessible table/chair seating, an LED-lighted Shattuck Square patio, and free-to-use iPads, which're likely prototypes left during a rager for Gray Powell's 26th. Lunch/dinner vittles include by-the-slice/meter pizza like the cantaloupe/prosciutto Parma, calzones stuffed with hot salami, and paninis named after the owners' hometowns, including the Treviso (fontina cheese/prosciutto/radicchio), Perugia (Tuscan salami, provolone, arugula), and an Aversa made with red pepper, fresh mozz, and "rucola", also the only word left over from a scrapped Ricola commercial penned by an illiterate. On-the-go eats include Italian-style breads/pastries baked in two four-tiered Italian ovens, like the crispy Crostata (Ricotta cheese, fresh fruit, jam) and Budino di Ricotta, which's made with strawberries n' creme, since peaches n' cream are generally reserved for gettin' freaky in a Bentley limousine (know what I mean?).
Complementing a ton of tasty coffee options, taps're being installed as soon as this week thanks to a just-approved booze license, and'll include local brews and Italian stand-by's, also something that is a lot more comfortable to do in a nice set of Shape-ups.