"We have a lot that we're proud of and to share with Tucson."
After being in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years, owner and chef Bruno Girardi thought he was ready to retire, but it turns out that the more time he spent away from the kitchen, the more he missed it. In turn, the downtown area between Stone and Church Avenue has been missing the scent and tastes of authentic Italian food.
The wait will soon be over because Perché No Italian Bistro is opening soon in the former Caffé Milano spot at 46 W. Congress St. by the end of September 2021.
“We have had to wait a lot longer for equipment and supplies since many things are on backorder,” said Bruno and his wife Krissy Girardi. “We are hoping to open by the end of this month, but we’re still waiting on our liquor license and some smaller, but very important, items like silverware. Once we get our license we’ll hire and train our staff and open as soon as possible.”
Last year, the Girardis moved to Tucson from the state of Washington and are quickly turning the Perche’ No — meaning why not? — into a family-run restaurant. Once they moved to the Old Pueblo, other members of the family soon followed.
“Not only will we both be working there, but a lot of our family will be as well,” said Bruno Girardi. “Eight members of our extended family have joined us in Tucson since we moved here last year and started bragging about how much we love it. So, when you come to dine at Perche’ No, you’ll probably be greeted by ‘Nonna’ or one of our other many family members.”
As far as dishes go, they’ve got a lot to be proud of and they’re excited to share all of them.
“We have a good blend of both traditional and contemporary Italian dishes and we’re always updating our specials with new and exciting choices,” said Krissy Girardi. “The yumminess doesn’t stop at dinner either. Bruno makes our tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and creme caramel in-house and we will also have Italian sorbet served in the fruit itself.”
Menu favorites include:
- Penne al’Alce – Penne pasta tossed in a creamy tomato sauce with sliced elk sausage
- Penne Mango – Penne pasta tossed with grilled chicken breast, onions, garlic, spinach, and diced mangos in a sweet and sour cream sauce topped with feta cheese
- Ravioli di Zucca – Roasted butternut squash filled ravioli served with baby spinach and goat cheese in a browned butter and sage sauce
- Vitello Saltimbocca – Veal Scaloppini sauteed with prosciutto and sage in white wine sauce and topped with melted mozzarella cheese, served with polenta and vegetables
- Asiago Crusted Ling Cod – Asiago cheese crusted ling cod lightly fried and served on asparagus with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce and tomatoes, over a bed of linguine alfredo
When it comes to the name of the bistro, Perche’ No, it came about in a non-traditional way. After selling their restaurant a few years, they started to long for the joy and happiness that feeding others brings, but they were sort of fed an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.
“When we found the old Caffe Milano space, we fell in love with it right away,” said Krissy Girardi. “You might not know this, but we speak Italian to each other most of the time. It was during one of these conversations that we said to each other ‘why not’ — or ‘perche’ no’ — about opening another restaurant.”
Stay tuned for an opening date but expect it to be before the end of September 2021.