Pan Panzerotto is a new Puglian kitchen near the Expats.cz office in Karlín. The small space on Vitkova is unassuming but has much to offer anyone who’s in need of some Mediterraneans flavors in the face of the ongoing travel restrictions.
On recent repeat visits we sampled panzerotti, focaccia, and some to-die-for iced coffee with almond syrup, as well as cosi, fried bread dough filled with mortadella and scamorza.
We’ve also been chatting with the owner, Mauro Lovecchio, about what he believes the Czech market is lacking for in food and what he misses most about his hometown.
Where are you from and what do you miss most about your home?
I’m from Bari, South of Italy, but I’ve been living abroad most of my life. The only thing I really miss in Prague is the open horizon of the sea. I still find Prague the most balanced city to live in, among those I tried so far.
Is this your first foray into the food industry?
I graduated from the University of Naples “L’Orientale” in International Relations specializing in Middle Eastern Affairs and from Cardiff University in International Journalism. I have a very long experience in the food industry as a consumer of good Italian homey food, but when it comes to running a restaurant, I’m a total newbie.
What is your signature dish that everyone should try?
Our signature dish is one of the most traditional street foods from Apulia. The panzerotto. A fried dough pocket filled with tomato and mozzarella. On top of the traditional version, we are offering some variations such as the gorgonzola with mascarpone and walnuts, the stracciatella and mortadella, and many others, including a sweet one that my great grandmother used to make with ricotta, cinnamon, and lemon zest. We are also offering the traditional focaccia from Bari, based on a recipe from my grandmother.
Tell us a bit about how you came to be in Prague?
I first came to Prague in 2006, that time I was living in Bruxelles, and I progressively invested in the real estate market. I decided to move here when my son was born. That time we had to decide where to live between Italy, China, and Prague, where I was starting my business. The choice was easy.
Is Prague a good city for international cuisine?
I have seen Prague changing a lot since I first came here and so did the food scene. I believe now Prague is a very receptive place for different styles of cooking. Czechs are more curious to different realities and the vibrant expat community is constantly looking for something new to try or something that reminds them of their home food culture.
What sorts of food do you find missing from the Prague food scene?
Nowadays I believe it is possible to find almost anything in Prague and the quality of the offer has significantly increased. There is still space for improvement, especially when comparing it with other…
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