DINING RECOMMENDATION:

PINZONE’S ITALIAN DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT
312 Fairhope Ave.
Fairhope, Al 36532
(251) 990-5535
www.italiandowntown.com

OWNERS: Mike Pinzone and Chef Scott Dumas

 

On our many trips to Fairhope, AL to visit our adult children, we were intrigued with a new building being built in the heart of downtown that was reminiscent of an Italian villa.  To our absolute delight we learned that it would be a restaurant; we love Italy and almost anything Italian.  Pinzone’s Italian Downtown Restaurant opened on April 15, 2011, and we have been patrons, whenever possible, since their opening.

Their menu is carefully designed and focused on authentically representing a wide range of Italian foods.  It begins with interesting and unique appetizers, and offers daily gourmet specials in addition to the menu.  These specials often feature filet mignon, veal, or fresh Gulf of Mexico seafood.  It also travels to well-prepared traditional Italian dishes, salads, wonderful eggplant entrees, and, of course, ends with luscious dessert offerings.  If you prefer more casual fare, there are a variety of pizzas to choose from that are made using recipes handed down from Mike Pinzone’s grandfather.  The carefully selected wines are primarily Italian or American in origin

 

 



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Pinzone’s restaurant décor is light and airy, yet it has an intimate feeling.   The white façade blends with beautiful wood and the huge, elegant double front doors lead you inside to dine.  Or, if you prefer, dine on the charming, rather extensive patio that magically imparts the feeling of a restaurant on a piazza in Rome.

Business partners Mike Pinzone and Chef Scott Dumas conceived this Italian dining experience.  Scott believes in using only the finest ingredients prepared simply to bring out the boldest flavors in his Epicurean creations without using heavy sauces that so often mask wonderful basic flavors.  As many ingredients as possible come from Italy such as his Gorgonzola cheese, pancetta, Italian sausages, and mascarpone cheese.  His meats come from the best suppliers in America; his vegetables are locally grown, when possible; and his seafood is from the Gulf Coast.

Speaking of the Gulf Coast, Scott was born and grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  As far back as he can remember, he has always been interested in cooking and cooking in that area always seems to exceptional.  Professionally, he studied for two years under two chefs at one of the large casino resorts in Biloxi, MS.  Then, after having been bitten by the “Italian Cuisine Bug” he traveled to the Tuscany region of Italy to continue his culinary studies under Italian chefs in Sienna, Florence, and Rome, Italy.

Scott can trace his family heritage back to 1643 in Rousilon, France.  This city of his ancestors provided two culinary choices for it’s residents because it is located in France, but on the very border of Italy.   Please don’t ask me how his ancestors passed down for over 350 years a passion for cooking in the Italian style!

Michael Pinzone provides all of the pizza recipes.  They are from his grandfather who lived on the island of Sicily just off the coast of the southern tip of Italy.  I think they definitely qualify as “authentic”.

 

Everyone on the wait-staff is friendly and personable, yet very professional and knowledgeable about the menu and wines.  Pinzone’s does not accept reservations.  If you should have to wait for a table because of the popularity of the restaurant, the staff will be glad to arrange beverage service that can make for a quite delightful wait.  On our last visit, son treated our party of six to dry, sparkling Prosecco.  We loved the wait!

Once a month, Chef Scott builds a special menu around four or five wines for a candlelight evening of wine and dining.  Book in advance because it is a very popular monthly event.  You may be served their signature appetizer, Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread, then a light, delicious salad followed by an entrée, perhaps, of a garlic-studded filet w/ rosemary demi-glace, then finished with a dessert featuring their imported mascarpone.  On my last visit, I chose an unbelievably tender veal chop on the bone that was heavenly, and my husband, Joe, had Filet Mignon w/ Gorgonzola cheese that was absolutely outstanding.

Treat yourself to a wonderful dining evening.  You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Italy for dinner at Rome’s famed, small dining piazza, the Campo de’ Fiori .

 

 

 

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