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Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca

Author: Julie Fadda
April, 2011 Issue

Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca
1260 Main St.
Napa
(707) 255-5552
www.azzurropizzeria.com
Italian Cuisine
Lunch and dinner daily
Entrées (dinner): $11.95-$15.95
Great wine list

Owners Michael and Christina Gyetvan opened Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca’s original location (called Pizza Azzurro) in 2001 and moved to their current spot, complete with a new name and expanded menu, in 2008. The newer digs have an exposed ceiling, light fixtures made of wine bottles, some bench seating, a fun selection of upbeat music on the sound system, an open kitchen and a large wine bar. The feeling is open and airy, with lots of lively chatter, large windows along the exterior and a mirrored wall to further expand the feeling of the space. It’s entirely family friendly and a great gathering place for friends and associates.

We started with a Roederer Brut Rosé and Moose Drool brown ale (had to pick it just because of the name) from the extensive wine and beer list. Both went great with our food choices. I also noticed D-Cubed Cellars Napa Zinfandel on the list, which is one of my all-time favorites, especially with this type of food.

Chef de cuisine Steven Hurn (pictured) works with seasonal ingredients for daily specials and a regularly changing menu. Visiting mid-winter, we started with a Dungeness crab salad (plenty of fresh, sweet crab) with endive, mixed winter greens and grapefruit and orange segments lightly dressed with lemon vinaigrette. Next was a savory, earthy arugula salad with sliced apples, thin-shaved aged jack cheese and whole pine nuts.

Next we went for a couple antipasti selections (there are many to choose from, from house-marinated olives to salumi to roasted cauliflower). The filling, roasted golden beets were topped with creamy, crumbled goat cheese and a tiny bit of shaved fresh mint. But the absolutely flavorful gamberi (grilled shrimp, perfectly cooked) was a stand out, well spiced with wonderful heat and served with white cannelloni beans, crumbled sausage, a small amount of arugula and a brothy, hearty mirepoix.

The place is known for its thin-crust pizzas. There are both seasonal and regular offerings, from a traditional margherita to chicken sausage to the more seasonal butternut squash, sage and ricotta. We tried the funghi, a year-round item that’s rich with plenty of roasted button and cremini mushrooms, topped with shaved Taleggio cheese, as well as some olive oil and roasted garlic puree. The crust was golden crisp and had cheese baked into it.

Dessert was Straus Family vanilla ice cream with house made caramel sauce (yum) and sea salt (a customer favorite). We also tried the house-made brownie with Gittard chocolate sauce. It had a crisp exterior and dense interior with whipped cream on top and fresh, raw walnuts on the side. Couple this with some huge lattés and we were good to go.

 

 

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