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4:19 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

Chew On This: Like gelato? Then Fresca Café is the place to go

The Long Island panini is one of the many menu items the couple brought with them from New York.

The Long Island panini is one of the many menu items the couple brought with them from New York.

Freshness is guaranteed at Fresca Café, Prescott's newest eatery, which has been in business for four weeks. The restaurant is owned by Gianni and Francesca Lisciandrello, who came to Prescott from New York, and everything served at the restaurant is made on site. Located at 1871 E. Highway 69 inside Frontier Village, Fresca Café opens at 11 a.m. every day, closing at 7 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, 8 p.m. Wednesday, 9 p.m. Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday.

The Lisciandrellos originally traveled to Prescott to visit family. The trip turned into a move when the two fell in love with the area, Francesca said, and with the couple's background, opening a restaurant seemed like the natural choice.

"My husband always had a passion for making gelato. I worked at a bakery for four years," Francesca said. "When we moved here ... he said let's throw in some Italian-style paninis with imported meats and cheeses and here is Fresca Café."

And though Fresca Café has been open for only four weeks, many return customers have become regulars, Francesca said. People will come in for lunch to try it out and then come back with family.

The popularity is easy to see as the restaurant already has an average rating of five stars based on reviews from Facebook.com (25 votes), yelp.com (six reviews) and tripadvisor.com (six reviews).

"My wife and I have been looking for a place to get really good ice cream or gelato in the Prescott area ... and we found it!"

"I have to say that this café is a delicious gem added to Prescott."

"My parents said it's the best they've had since they went to Italy!"

"Great place for dessert."

"It's the best choice for lunch or an early light dinner."

"Everybody has been welcoming us with open arms," Francesca said, adding that the "reaction on their face when they're sampling our gelato or biting into a panini is just priceless. We run off that energy and it's just been so amazing."

How the customers express themselves after trying the food is a joy in itself, Gianni said.

The menu of Fresca Café includes salads, paninis, gelato, sorbetto, other desserts and coffees. Salads are $7.95 and paninis are $8.95. Gelato is $3.65 for a small cup, $4.65 for a medium cup, $5.65 for a large cup, $3.65 for a sugar cone, $4.65 for a waffle cone and $9 for a pint and $16 for a quart. Other desserts include New York cheesecake, tiramisu, fruit tart, cannoli, triple chocolate mousse and carrot cake.

Everything is made on site, Gianni said, and Francesca noted the freshness brings out the flavor in the gelato.

"When you're taking a lick or spoonful of our lemon sorbetto, you're actually tasting lemon, it's not artificial," Francesca said. "That goes with all our products, it's not an artificial product, and you actually taste what you get."

Not only does Gianni continually experiment with making new flavors of gelato, stating that the sky's the limit, but the two are always looking to add anything the customers want, Francesca said. Eventually, they'll add soup and they're trying to make a two-in-one combination of gelato and a panini called a Fresca Gellini.

Call Fresca Café at 928-237-9700.

By Jason Wheeler. Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.