Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen is bringing organic Italian dining to Central Phoenix foodies hungry for a healthier restaurant experience.

“We have been looking in the area for years,” says Picazzo’s founder Rick Freedman. “The owners at Esplanade came to us and really thought that our concept would be a great fit. Especially since we are local and organic. We are very excited to finally be here.”

Picazzo’s Camelback Esplanade location is the restaurant’s ninth in Arizona. It will feature pizza, pasta, salad, and appetizers, part of an organic menu eight months in the making since the restaurant’s health-conscious overhaul in 2009, with many items gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly.

Favorites include baked barbecue maple chicken wings; the Berry-Licious salad, made with strawberries, French feta, and homemade organic berry-balsamic dressing; whole wheat and quinoa pastas, such as the Avocado Delish; and over 30 gourmet pizzas, with toppings ranging from locally made chorizo to smoked mozzarella to peppadew and countless build-your-own creations.

Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen in the Camelback Esplanade is the first Picazzo’s restaurant to open at 7 a.m. on weekdays, tailored for the morning business crowd in search of organic espresso or other specialty coffees and frozen drinks. Free WiFi will be available.

In addition to its daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings, OHH!, the organic happy hour at Picazzo’s, runs each day from 3–7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3–6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The half-price organic happy hour menu includes cocktails such as the Ginger’s Hot, made with organic agave nectar, fresh ginger, and Corazon Reposado Tequila; vegan wines; individual pizzas with wheat or gluten-free crust; and appetizers such as preservative-free wings.

Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen was founded in 2002 and has nine restaurants throughout Arizona.

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