If you’re looking for a taste of Italy on Henderson’s Water Street, look no further than the newly opened Azzurra Cucina Italiana. This sleek and inviting restaurant is the brainchild of Windom Kimsey, a local architect with a passion for good food and great design. Together with his wife, Annelisa Polk, Kimsey has created a truly unforgettable dining experience, showcasing classic Italian dishes prepared with expert skill and served in a chic and stylish space.
Featuring the talents of celebrated chef Alessandra Madeira and a creative cocktail menu, Azzurra is the perfect place to indulge your culinary cravings and enjoy a night out with friends. We recently caught up with Kimsey and Azzurra General Manager Walter Ciccone about the restaurant and what diners can expect from Azzurra Cucina Italiana.
From the moment you step through the doors, you’re meant to be transported to a truly unique Italian experience. “Azzurra’s design is inspired by interiors of Italian restaurants in Milan—clean lines and materials sourced from Italy,” Windom told us. “Azzurra was designed to be an intimate dining experience—a space that the customer is to be comfortable in, like going to a dinner party in someone’s home!”
The space is designed for an intimate meal and an individual experience that’s unlike any other in Henderson. “Azzurra is not large or cavernous. It has few tables, and customers tend to interact between tables,” Windom said of the space. “Typically, customers know someone else that is dining there; we have a lot of regulars! From the moment you walk in the door and are guided to the table by Walter (the manager), customers can expect excellent and attentive service – true hospitality.”
The restaurant prioritizes sustainable practices throughout its operations, allowing Azzurra to have a more positive impact on the local community in which it resides. “Running a restaurant as small as Azzurra definitely allows us better control waste,” Walter explained. “Having fresh produce delivered daily helps because each product, like vegetables and fruits, is not only fresh but used the same day. Every ingredient on our menu has multiple purposes; extra meat and chicken are reused for stocks and sauces, leaving us with maybe 1% waste. We use only recycled paper containers for our to-go items and leftovers. We don’t use plastic.”
“Chef Alessandra picks our fresh produce from farmers’ markets and small distributors and has it delivered daily to ensure freshness. We source our meats directly from the best meat company in the USA – Allen Brothers from Chicago. We also have a small garden next to Azzurra where we proudly grow fresh herbs like sage, mint, rosemary and oregano that we pick and use every day. Doesn’t get any fresher than that!”
No matter what you order, there’s a great pairing in store for you. “I personally created a wine list with our menu in mind,” Walter said of the wine pairings. “We’ve been working and developing our menu and perfect wines to accompany each dish!”
“One of our most popular signature dishes at Azzurra is definitely our Pork Chop Agrodolce. We use an old recipe from the Campania region, created in the early 1500s. It is a beautiful 16oz pan-seared pork chop in white wine sauce and topped with a perfect combination of sweet and spicy cherry peppers. It’s a dish for every season, a dish that is a must for our first-time diners.”
Locals have been loving the taste of Italy at Azzurra Cucina Italiana. “The success of Azzurra has been really overwhelming for me, Chef Alessandra, owner Windom Kimsey and all our employees – there is not just ONE specific occasion,” Walter told us. “We see how the community and our customers appreciate what Azzurra has to offer every day! We have customers who will dine with us more than three times a week, so we know we’re doing something right!”