Family Creates an Authentic Experience at Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen

In Italian, “sfizio” refers to something you don’t need, but want.

After being out of the restaurant business for several years, chef Rocco Pezzano didn’t need to open a restaurant but was convinced by his son Marco to open Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen in north Phoenix in 2021.

“After working in restaurants for several years, I stepped away to spend more time with my family and opened a wholesale business,” Pezzano said. “I wasn’t planning to open another restaurant.”

Marco, an architecture student at Arizona State University, runs the restaurant’s social media. “There have been a lot of changes since I was in the restaurant business, especially social media, and my son helps with that,” Pezzano said. “I run the restaurant and my son brings new ideas and a younger perspective. We work very well together and complement each other. It’s the first time working with family and we are both enjoying the experience.”

Pezzano was born in Italy and had culinary training there as a young man. He moved to the U.S. in 1986 and opened several restaurants. “I put a lot of passion into what I do. I’m particular about the ingredients I use and making things from scratch in-house, like bread and pasta,” he said.

Sfizio features an open kitchen, large bar, extensive wine and cocktail list, and changing menus. Italian favorites on the menu include arancini, lasagna, several varieties of Neapolitan pizza, bruschetta and fresh pasta, including ravioli, rigatoni and gnocchi. Desserts include tiramisu, cannoli and gelato affogato. 

Pezzano’s wife and daughter also help out in the restaurant. “People like that it’s a family business,” he said. “They also appreciate the authentic Italian food and that we make everything from scratch. I’m in the restaurant every day to make sure everything is consistent and that my customers are happy.”

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About Shoshana Leon

Shoshana Leon is a culinary writer for Frontdoors Media and creator of Foodie Fo Sho.

From Frontdoors Magazine

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