Specialty – Italian sandwiches
Before opening Per Zoot, owner Matt Swint worked at Rotolo’s Pizzeria but his passion for Italian food extends back to a childhood spent in an Italian neighborhood in the East side of Cleveland.
Matt’s been working on the Per Zoot concept for sometime – originally he was planning to open a truck serving Italian flatbreads called piadinas, but after Piada opened he went back to the drawing board looking for another idea he could put his own mark on. After finding a recipe for tigelles, another style of Italian bread, the concept was set.
A tigelle is a round bread disc similar in size to an English muffin with a crisp exterior and soft inside. Matt described it as a cross between an English muffin and a biscuit… which, after trying it, isn’t a bad description overall. Historically tigelles have also been known as ‘crescentines’ and tigelle refers to the press used to cook the bread. They are most commonly associated with Modena.
In addition to the sandwiches listed on the menu (above), the special was a prosciutto (a very traditional filling), mozzarella and arugula tigelle. The sandwich was served with a side of nicely dressed and properly cooked green beans.
We also tried Per Zoot’s signature sandwich – Arista (Italian pork loin) with roasted onions served on a tigelle. This sandwich was accompanied by some lightly dressed arugula. We enjoyed the sandwich but thought the pork could have benefited from a touch more salt. The photo below gives you a better idea of the tigelle bread.
Possibly our favorite sandwich was the polpette sandwich di casa, a meatball sandwich with red sauce and mozzarella on soft house made focaccia. The meatballs were juicy and flavorful and falling apart. There was just enough sauce for flavor, but not enough to make the sandwich overly soggy, and a generous amount of cheese.
The menu will be changing with different specials and seasonal ingredients. Matt said that he will be adding salads to the menu and when the weather gets cold again he’ll be serving soup too. A sandwich and a drink was $7, and chips are also available.
Per Zoot will be at different locations for lunch next week, follow them on twitter for updates. Their home base will be outside Robbie’s Hobbies in Clintonville (just North of Henderson on High Street).