Short Orders: Treats from Tuscany

The Boston Globe : September 27, 2006

Life in the suburbs may have its perks, but fancy food shops featuring free-range boar chops, handmade pasta, and finely tuned artisinal wines haven’t generally been among them. City types may now be casting jealous glances down the Mass. Pike in the direction of Southborough, where the restaurant Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca, own by entrepreneurs Tom and Mary Prince, has leased adjacent space and opened a sweet little retail shop with good outstanding and hip enough for downtown sophisticates. Panzano Provviste e Vino is billed as a authentic Tuscan market and food shop, and the offerings are extraordinary: The beef is grass-fed and hormone-free, the bread crusty and flavorful, the wines of the small producer, estate grown variety. You can pick up rashers of chewy speck (dry-cured pork), as we did, that proved marvelous with a morning omelet; take away a lovely little Margherita pizza to finish baking at home; littles hens, partially boned, ready to roast for guests; chubby links of highly flavored homemade pork sausage to fry with peppers. By itself, Panzano may not be a reason enough for a confirmed urbanite to swap a brownstone and T pass for a split-level and a minivan — but if they ever open an oxygen bar, watch out. Panzano Provviste e Vino, The Crossings, 154 Turnpike Road (Route 9), Southborough, 508-485-8884. – Stephen Meuse