Pizza Azzurro shut its doors Friday night — but only at its old location on Second Street. The favorite Napa dining spot known for its authentic, thin crust pizzas and other specialties, is moving to a new, larger space in the new Wiseman “Main Street West” Building, at 1260 Main St., on Napa’s emerging “restaurant row.” Its name is also changing just a little — it will become Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca.
Michael Gyetvan, the chef and owner of the restaurant, said he anticipates reopening during the week of Feb. 4. “We’ve enjoyed our run at our current location, but we’ve not been able to keep up with the demand,” Gyetvan said. “We’re not changing who we are, just where we are located. It’s really only about having more space, allowing us to expand our capacity, menu and hours of operation.”
Gyetvan, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, brings more than 25 years of experience to Azzurro Pizzeria and Enoteca. Prior to opening Pizza Azzurro, he worked with Bradley Ogden at One Market and the Lark Creek Inn and Michael Chiarello at Tra Vigne, Tomatina and Bistecca.
Pizza Azzurro on Second St. opened on Sept. 18, 2001, and its simple menu of pizzas, pastas and salads was an immediate hit as the lines outside the restaurant at noon often indicated.
Aside from the new location and tweak in the name, Gyetvan said what people love about Azzurro won’t change. Gyetvan is bringing his entire staff to the new location, and expects to hire additional staff to handle the expanded space and hours.
He is, however, expanding the menu with more starters, daily specials and desserts. Seasonal antipasti selections will change frequently and will include items like roasted and grilled artichoke, bruschetta with white beans, broccoli rabe and ricotta salata, roasted beets with wild arugula and goat cheese, pizzetta with roasted garlic and cambozola cheese, and local artisan salumi. Desserts will include specialties like buttermilk panna cotta with local honey, chocolate polenta cake and Straus Family organic soft serve ice cream. The wine list will continue to be domestic, but will add sparkling wine and several selections of half bottles to Azzurro’s list.
The new restaurant, with expanded kitchen space, a gas-fired oven and stylish tiles was designed by ShopWorks. Gyetvan and his wife and partner Christina Gyetvan said they wanted to keep the design simple and comfortable, with the feeling of a traditional Italian pizzeria but with a modern sensibility. In addition to an expanded wine bar, the restaurant will also feature a community table that can be reserved for large parties. Other local projects designed by Shopworks include restaurants Farm and the Boonfly Cafe at the Carneros Inn.
Azzurro Pizzeria and Enoteca’s hours will be Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 5-10:30 p.m., and Sunday 5-9:30 p.m.
Gyetvan said, “We’re serious about what we do, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” His point is proven with the Azzurro’s official motto emblazoned on their staff shirts: “Eat More Pie!”
For more information on Azzurro Pizzeria & Enoteca, call 255-5552 or visit www.azzurropizzeria.com.
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