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On the outside, Perche, some 10 minutes east of Treviso, Italy, has more the feel of an art gallery or museum than a restaurant. It's actually a 19th-century farmhouse that was remodeled extensively about a decade ago.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

On the outside, Perche, some 10 minutes east of Treviso, Italy, has more the feel of an art gallery or museum than a restaurant. It's actually a 19th-century farmhouse that was remodeled extensively about a decade ago. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

On the outside, Perche, some 10 minutes east of Treviso, Italy, has more the feel of an art gallery or museum than a restaurant. It's actually a 19th-century farmhouse that was remodeled extensively about a decade ago.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

On the outside, Perche, some 10 minutes east of Treviso, Italy, has more the feel of an art gallery or museum than a restaurant. It's actually a 19th-century farmhouse that was remodeled extensively about a decade ago. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Perche is a blend of modern and traditional outside and inside. The menu features several dishes with traditional roots that have been given modern tweaks.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

Perche is a blend of modern and traditional outside and inside. The menu features several dishes with traditional roots that have been given modern tweaks. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Diners at Perche aren't just provided with a basket of bread to sample before they get their food. They also get a couple of sauces to spread on top.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

Diners at Perche aren't just provided with a basket of bread to sample before they get their food. They also get a couple of sauces to spread on top. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

This appetizer at Perche, a restaurant near Treviso, Italy, features scallops, a variety of vegetables and bread shaped like french fries.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

This appetizer at Perche, a restaurant near Treviso, Italy, features scallops, a variety of vegetables and bread shaped like french fries. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

This ravioli dish has filling of potatoes, fish and cheese. It was one of a half-dozen first-course options at Perche.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

This ravioli dish has filling of potatoes, fish and cheese. It was one of a half-dozen first-course options at Perche. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

Linguine with a seafood sauce was a first-course option during a recent visit to Perche that mixes elements of modern and traditional Italian cuisine.

Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes

Linguine with a seafood sauce was a first-course option during a recent visit to Perche that mixes elements of modern and traditional Italian cuisine. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

There might not be a more aptly named restaurant in Italy than Perche, situated some 10 minutes east of Treviso.

In fact, co-owner Francesco Salamon says that the place basically named itself. Or, rather, it got its name from people’s reactions to it.

The modern sculpturelike structure, which looks more like a museum or art gallery than a restaurant, extends from a 19th-century farmhouse. Set along a country road near farms and factories, its construction a decade ago puzzled some travelers.

“Everybody passing by was asking: Why are you doing that?” Salamon recalls with a smile.

“Perche” is the answer Salamon gives, a word that in Italian means both “why” and “because.”

The restaurant’s name — and its exterior blend of old and new — makes sense once you see the menu and taste the food. It’s a mix of traditional Italian cuisine with some modern combinations.

The Adriatic Sea isn’t far away, and seafood is a specialty. But the menu, which changes with the seasons, contains some surprises. Besides the typical appetizers and first- and second-course selections, there’s a section featuring grilled hamburgers. Not exactly Italian.

Choose from beef, beef and pork, chicken or vegetarian. Add ingredients such as mushrooms, bacon, peppers, pickles or onions, according to your taste.

Also a bit surprising for an Italian place: thick-crust pizza. It isn’t traditional in most of the country, Salamon said, but it is more common in some areas.

Appetizers during a recent visit included seafood salad and vegetables; grilled scallops; scampi with papaya and coconut; puff pastry with mushrooms, cheese and ham; pork chops with balsamic vinegar and peppers; and cured meats with flatbread.

First-course options were linguine with seafood; risotto with prawns and cream; ravioli with potatoes, fish and cheese; ricotta pie; pappardelle pasta with eggplant and pig fat; and riccioloni pasta with pesto and tomatoes.

Second courses included grilled octopus; roasted tuna with eggplant and vegetables; a fried seafood platter; mixed fish stewed in tomato sauce; crispy fried chicken with vegetables and sweet and sour sauce; and a pastry with vegetables and cheese.

Clear away the tables and chairs and add in a few sculptures, and Perche could pass as a gallery on the inside as well as the outside. Much of the food is artistically presented, and the prices are a bit steeper than those found in most places around Aviano Air Base, about a 45-minute drive away. And yet there were more people wearing casual attire than business dress during a recent lunch.

Diners can enjoy live music on most Friday nights of the year. Salamon says that leans much more toward modern than classical.

harris.kent@stripes.com

PERCHE RISTORANTE & PIZZA

Location: Via Mezza Brusca 2 (Strada Trevisomare); Roncade, Italy. It’s about five kilometers (about three miles) from the Treviso Sud exit off the A27. Head toward Jesolo from the roundabout on the SR89. The turnoff is a bit tricky and hard to spot, especially coming from Treviso. You can turn around at the Agip gas station; it’s easier to enter from the other direction.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week and 6:30 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Sundays

Menu: In Italian and English

Dress: Casual

Prices: Appetizers 10-13 euros (about $11-14.50), first courses 10-14 euros, second courses 5-19 euros, side dishes 5 euros, hamburgers 10-14 euros

Reservations: Recommended on Saturday nights

Information: Phone: (+39) (0422) 849015, website: www.perche.tv

author picture
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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