Sedona Restaurant: Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen

You know you’ve struck foodie gold in Sedona when you walk into a restaurant and you recognize someone at nearly every table…on a Tuesday night. Locals flock to joints with good food at reasonable prices, which is why Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen has been a hit from day one. Tucked away in West Sedona in the same spot that once housed APizza Heaven (another locals’ favorite), the restaurant has as its centerpiece a wood-fired oven that is visible from every seat in the dining room.  There’s an outdoor patio, too. And take note: The portion sizes here are substantial. Like multiple-to-go-boxes substantial.

Chef Gerardo Moceri’s menu includes eight different pizzas, calzones, gluten-free options and pastas. The mussels starter features one pound of blue-lip mussels in a garlicky, lemony, buttery sauce topped with two thick slices of warm garlic bread. The Liguria pizza sounded interesting, and so did the Lobster Mac and Cheese. The 12-inch Neopolitano pizza arrived topped with thinly sliced rosemary potatoes (yep, on a pizza), crispy prosciutto, goat cheese from nearby Fossil Creek Creamery, mozzarella and a mound of baby arugula tossed in lemon oil. Needless to say, this isn’t your traditional pizza pie, but the flavors work surprisingly well together with the crispy prosciutto and arugula adding a nice crunch. The decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese arrived in a cast-iron pot garnished with lobster in the shell and a curled slice of crisp pancetta. The dish is chock full of chunks of lobster, penne pasta, Vermont cheddar and mozzarella. It’s topped with panko bread crumbs and finished off in the aforementioned wood-fired oven, which makes the exterior crispy and the interior hot and gooey. In a word: scrumptious.

Even though we were stuffed, our charming server talked us into the Zeppole dessert. A basket of small donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar arrived at our table accompanied with Nutella and an Italian custard for dipping. As donut and Nutella fiends, we felt like we were in sugary dream. This is a second location for Gerardo’s – the original one is in Payson. Based on our dining experience and the happy din of voices around us, it would seem Sedona has welcomed the restaurant with open arms. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photo courtesy of Corter Group Marketing.

Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen, 2675 AZ-89A in West Sedona. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 3-9:30 p.m., for dinner. MC, Visa (928-862-4009) (Moderate)

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