Best Italian Restaurant - 2012
Legendary pizza master Chris Bianco opened this tiny neighborhood trattoria serving approachable yet stellar Italian fare in Central Phoenix in the same shopping center that, in 1994, served as the original home of his award-winning Pizzeria Bianco. Featuring a small and daily-changing menu of traditional Italian favorites, as well as Italian-American creations, the knockout flavors come courtesy of seasonal and first-rate ingredients: Breads, pasta, and cheeses are made in-house, vegetables and fruits are purchased only when in season, seafood is caught wild, and top-notch meat is free-range and natural. (Even the premium olive oil, from Pacific Sun, can be sipped like fine wine to cleanse the palate.) Bustling chefs who can be watched through an outside window, make sure the fare is unforgettable and Bianco's mother, Francesca, occasionally lends a hand with the restaurant's delectable desserts.