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12:32 AM Thu, Sept. 20th

Chew on This: Genovese's serves Italian family style

Ready for the lunch crowd at Genovese's Italian Restaurant on Gurley Street in Prescott.

Ready for the lunch crowd at Genovese's Italian Restaurant on Gurley Street in Prescott.

If you're hungry for Italian food, but don't want to go very far, then head downtown for dinner at Genovese's Italian Restaurant. Co-owned by Catherine Giacobbe and Audrey M. Orefice, the restaurant has been in business for 19 years, and was awarded the "Best Italian Restaurant in Prescott" for three of those years.

Giacobbe said she and Orefice, who has been featured in Food Network programming, have owned Genovese's for eight years, having taken it over from the previous owners who had it for 11.

"We're both from Las Vegas, and we ran a restaurant there," Giacobbe said. "We came up here for vacation and we fell in love with this great town. I still just love this town; the people are great."

According to Giacobbe, the restaurant has very loyal regulars who have become friends, but it also has quite a few visitors. She said that during the winter, there are more local patrons, but during the summer, Genovese's will see about 75 percent tourists to 25 percent locals.

And it's not hard to see why people keep going back to Genovese's, which has an average of four out of five stars from sites like zomato.com (nine reviews), yelp.com (83 reviews) and tripadvisor.com (174 reviews).

"Delicious Italian food made to perfection... We will be returning again."

"I really like this restaurant. I have been here several times and haven't ever been disappointed."

"Great food, great staff, great atmosphere. The perfect place to eat when you're in Prescott."

"There are several good Italian restaurants in Prescott, but Genovese's is the best!"

"We are staying in town for a few days and were hoping for decent Italian food; we found way better than decent and will come back the next time we are in Prescott for sure."

According to Giacobbe, Genovese's most popular dish is the Seafood Diavolo (shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels in spicy diavolo sauce over a bed of linguini, $19.95).

Other specialties include Baked Ziti Calabria (with sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts in a creamy tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese, $14.95), Calamari Steak (lemon, butter and caper sauce, $17.95), Baked Ravioli (baked with marinara sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese, $13.95) and Angel-Hair Piccata (chicken breast over angel hair pasta, in a light lemon butter & caper sauce, $14.95).

There's also plenty of chicken and veal dishes along with the option to build your own pasta, with six choices of pasta and nine sauce choices.

Giacobbe said what she loves most about owning the restaurant with Orefice is that she's her own boss and the best thing about that is her staff.

"I've lost a lot of my family in the last few years and my staff... have truly become my family," she said. "I've got people who have been here almost as long as we have."

And some of the staff actually is family. Giacobbe said her nephew and cousin work in the restaurant and two of her cousins helped to redecorate as well.

And Giacobbe said that Genovese's has been awarded the "Best Italian Restaurant in Prescott" for the last three years, which she said is due to quality food and the chef that she "inherited" from the previous owners.

Giacobbe said she and Orefice are looking forward to the restaurant's 20th year next year and said something will be planned to celebrate.

"I don't have anything in mind right now, but you bet we're going to have a celebration," she said.

Genovese's Italian Restaurant, 217 W. Gurley St. is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They can be reached at 928-771-9032 for phone orders and reservations and found online at www.genovesesrestraunt.com

Follow Jason on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-333,3 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.