Azzo's- Made for Celebrations
Sierra Lodestar 12/16/09

Foothill Flavors

Azzo’s is Made For Celebrations

By Antoinette May Herndon

Are you one of those people who privately (or not so privately) thinks their birthday should be a national holiday?

Come on, admit it. I do. Birthdays are special. Everybody should be Queen (or King) for a Day at least once in a year. When else are you entitled to say, “Hello, World. Here I am!”

When good friends, Ginger and Barry Griffin, not only remembered my birthday but wanted to celebrate it with me, I was thrilled.

My husband, Charles had only one questions: “Where?”

A matinee at the Fallon Theatre sounded festive, especially when we heard the venue was “Santa’s Holiday Bash: Sinatra’s Christmas ‘My Way’.” His way was my way—lots of nostalgia laced with smart cracks. How could I not enjoy a production that included my favorite song, “Fly Me to The Moon.”

Once we four emerged from the quaint old Fallon Theater humming and whistling, the next question was where to eat?

Ginger had an idea. There’s been a lot of buzz about Azzo’s lately, let’s try it?

It was a short, pretty drive to quaint little Jamestown where we strolled the charming streets, Ginger and I poking into stores, Barry and Charles settling the affairs of the world on a series of conveniently placed wooden benches.

Finally we were ready to throw ourselves on the mercy of Azzo’s. It was a weekend night; we had no reservation. Luckily, we were there early enough to get in.

Azzo’s, a modern bistro in a historic Main Street building, appealed to us right away. We were warmed by the casually elegant atmosphere, liked the high ceilings and stamped tin walls. The lively ambience of the rock and roll bar with its vintage posters is accented by light cream walls and dark rosewood bar and tables. A perfect spot for a perfect martini.

The adjoining dining room art is a lively hodge-podge of modern, still life and landscape paintings with studio lighting, white tablecloths and light honey wood furniture. It has a subtly mellow feeling.

Hard to believe that this polished dining spot appeared on the Jamestown scene much like an Amish barn raising. The small community rallied around Ron Azzo and his concept, helping make a dream come true. The restaurant opened in just thirty days thanks to many enthusiastic friends providing hours of hard work.

After 25 years as a master chef, Azzo teamed up three years ago with James Ablett, a young but seasoned culinary artist. Their enthusiastic staff provides excellent service with artful presentation. Together, they push the envelope with traditional Mediterranean cuisine and fresh California ingredients.

Charles and I started out by sharing a warm spinach salad with tossed figs, candied, walnuts, blue cheese ($8). It was just as wonderful as it sounds. One of those “if I have only one birthday to celebrate, may I do it eating Azzo’s spinach salad.

Ginger and Barry had the bleu

cheese salad their own choice of dressings. ($7)

For an entrée, Barry and I each selected the sautéed sole with white wine, capers and lemon over whipped potatoes. ($20) We were off in another world of our own, but then Ginger and Charles looked pretty ecstatic with their lasagna. ($16)

Table service included ice water flavored with cucumber and warm bread served with olive oil, herbs and vinegar. The menu is strong on pastas but also features large plates of such things as chicken with truffles and apricots ($21) and duck with cherry compote and pistachios. ($24)

People around us were ordering enticing sounding desserts such as chocolate decadence ($7) and almond and pear tart with Sweet Mascarpone Cream ($7), but I—the birthday girl, remember—had an even more exciting surprise. Barry and Ginger had brought a rich, chocolate cake specially for me which the Azzo’s staff obligingly served up with lots of candles.

It was a wonderful birthday and if you’ve got one coming up, let me recommend Azzo’s. It’s “just” perfect.

VITALS: Azzo’s is located at 18118 Main St., Jamestown. Phone: 984- 1173. Hours are from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 4 to 8 p.m. Sundays, Closed on Mondays. Credit cards are accepted, reservations recommended.


The bar is warm and inviting at Azzo’s

Happy diners at Azzo’s

I would love to use the name of that lovely waitress but have been trying to connect with someone to give it to me for three days.