Top-notch pitchers cannot live on fastballs alone: to excel, they need a changeup, a breaking pitch, and a brushback, for putting the fear of god into any six-year-old nieces foolish enough to lean over the frisbee signifying a plate. For an Italian spot throwing culinary curve balls, hit Tre Bistro.
From the owners of La Loggia, who wanted to buttress traditional Italian fare with their own international faves (all at a lower price point), the industrial-loft-feeling Tre is decked with metallic floor tiles, patina'd walls, and high-backed orange banquettes, and uses Italian cuisine as a starting point, occasionally mixing it with Asian and South American flavors, known in foodie circles as ItalAsian-ito. Apps and small plates start classic Italian, with stuff like Vinnie's slow-cooked meatballs, then veer off the boot-en path with gnocchi made w/ Parmigiano that're fried after boiling, then treated with a truffle aioli and crispy noodles; wood-oven pizza with toppings like figs and Catupiry cheese from Brazil; and US-honoring burgers (either beef or chunky blue crab) with toppings like balsamic caramelized onions, maple bacon, and Canadian cheddar -- the second-most-popular Canadian cheese, although there's no way it's catching Bryan Adams. Entrees're diverse as well, with continental-ness like pan-seared lamb chops w/ espresso demi glaze, and lobster & Champagne risotto, but get international with stuff like a fish stew from northern Brazil called Moqueca, which throws together white fish, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and clams with coconut milk broth, toasted coconut, and rice; and a classic gnocchi with fresh oranges and orange ginger sauce, who also tented your Bugle Boys more than pigtail Mary Ann sauce.
Tre's also got a $12 brunch (served weekends from 9 to 4) that comes with a comp mimosa, bloody, or sangria, and offers choices like French toast w/ dulce de leche sauce and maple bacon, and a dish with fresh fruit, yogurt, granola parfait, and a side of banana bread with house-made raspberry preserves called Princesa, a name you'll revoke from your niece when she charges the mound with that bat.