PRESCOTT - Catherine Giacobbe and Audrey Orefice, who formerly managed restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip, went for a walk in downtown Prescott years ago.
"Audrey and I came up here on vacation," Giacobbe said. "Her aunt and cousin own a home here, and we just fell in love with this little town."
The two women, both New Yorkers of Sicilian extraction, bought a home in a subdivision in Prescott Valley nine years ago.
Two years later, they bought Genovese's, which opened in 1996 and was for sale.
"We thought it would be a nice, little restaurant to own," Giacobbe said.
Giacobbe and Orefice divide duties at Genovese's, which is open for lunch and dinner.
Orefice is the executive chef. And while she did not graduate from a culinary school, she paid her dues, Giacobbe said.
Giacobbe said Orefice has appeared on Food Network programs.
"I'm the general manager," Giacobbe continued. "The kitchen is Audrey's domain. I work in there too. I'm not as good at sauté as Audrey is."
Orefice said, "It is my passion. I had a knack for it growing up."
Giacobbe said Genovese's serves a mixture of northern and southern Italian dishes.
"We have the best Italian food in town," Giacobbe said. "We buy quality food. We serve the highest quality, and our wait staff is fabulous."
Giacobbe continued, "We bring back the true, traditional cuisine from our ancestors in Sicily around our family table."
Like other restaurants, Genovese's cooks meals according to order from the customers.
"If someone has specific dietary needs, we try to accommodate everybody," Giacobbe said with a hearty laugh."
Diners at Genovese's have a choice of a wide selection of entrees, and may order dinner entrees throughout the day.
The wait staff serves lunches from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The selection of antipasti dishes for lunch starts with a cup of soup at $2.95. The priciest dishes are combo antipasti (hot) and antipasto (cold) for $13.95.
Lunch specialty salads cost $9.95 and $10.95 and come with plain or garlic bread and a choice of dressing, unless specified. All salads also come over a bed of fresh, crisp romaine lettuce, unless specified.
The house specialties for lunch range from $6.95 for spaghetti with marinara sauce to $12.95 for calamari steak. The house specialty entrees come with soup or salad, and garlic bread.
Baked Italian sandwiches range in price from $7.95 to $10.95, and patrons may order a half sandwich with soup or salad for $6.95.
Genovese's serves early bird dishes from 3 to 5:30 p.m. They range in price from $8.95 for spaghetti to $11.95 for chicken alba and broiled sausage and peppers. Early bird specials come with soup or salad and garlic bread.
The regular dinner menu includes antipasti dishes, build-your-own pasta, chicken, veal specialties and specialty pizzas.
The priciest dishes or veal plates, peaking at $22.95 for veal and chicken luccia.
Chicken Parmesan dishes are popular with diners, Giacobbe said.
" I would probably say it is because it is Italian comfort food," she said. "Not only do you get the chicken Parmesan, so you also get a side of pasta, so you get the best of both worlds."