Beautiful Pasta, Beautiful Pizza. I Can’t Believe That This is a Chain….
First visit: September 9, 2010
Latest visit: August 21, 2012
We didn’t know that Picazzo’s is a chain when we walked in. Not only is it the very best chain we have ever been in, but it also is every bit as good as any of the very best stand-alone pizza-pasta-wine-beer restaurants we have ever been in. It compares favorably with Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria on Albuquerque’s Northwest Side, one of my top favorites (try it — tell Nicole I sent you).
For our first visit, Jane had the Pepperoni, Sausage & Ricotta Pizza — a classic combo featuring pepperoni and farm-fresh Italian sausage on a bed of organic heirloom tomato sauce, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, topped with Parmesan and Romano sprinkles. Superb. One of the best pizzas we have had anyplace.
I wanted pasta that night, and asked our lovely server, Natalie, if the kitchen could put
together a plate on Penne with Carbonara Sauce. She called Rob, the manager, over to our table and he said that they would make me anything I wanted. Penne Carbonara it is, then. Penne served on a bed of organic spinach, with Alfredo sauce, green peas and nitrate-free Applewood smoked bacon. Great version of the classic Carbonara dish, and one of the tastiest I’ve had.
This meal was so good that we returned the next night (rare for us). We sat in the bar where Rob reigns on Sundays, and continued our exploration. Jane had the Spicy Southwestern Chicken Salad — Organic romaine, fresh spinach, marinated free-range chicken breast, caramelized onions, pepperoncini, topped with organic corn and black beans, white cheddar cheese, red onions and tossed with a spicy, homemade dressing. Everything was fine except the dressing, which had a raw off taste — poor choice of spices.
I had the hit of our trip: The Wild Mushroom Penne — A sauté of light cream sauce, organic green peas, broccolini and a blend of succulent porcini, portobello and shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms added an indescribably rich, earthy flavor to this superb dish. A sure-fire winner.
I savved enough belly room for a dessert this time. Sure glad that I did.
For dessert, we succumbed to Rob’s suggestion: Eve’s Temptation. From the garden to the kitchen, Eve gives apple pie a new meaning. For starters, the Chef pre-bakes a cinnamon-infused organic crust, while separately baking organic Fuji apple slices in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon – all organic ingredients. The baked crust is then topped with those mouth-watering, baked apple slices, and drizzled with apple cinnamon sauce. This creation is served warm with a generous scoop of organic vanilla bean ice cream. This is sinfully good.
Last summer we returned to Sedona as the final place on a tour with Jane’s brother and his family. I wanted to see if this place had staying power.
Everything we had was as good or better than I remember from our first visit. Including Eve’s famous apple concoction, which capped an evening of overindulging.
Would I go back again? In a heartbeat.
Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen