Pioneering? …Nobody said it would be easy!
1974-1976 Avanti of Phoenix and Scottsdale are opened and they are an immediate success! The first restaurants to offer European inspired cuisine like, Escargot, Octopus salad, Carpaccio and Fresh made Italian Pasta (it was known as spaghetti in those days). The Avanti partners found the desert a challenging place to finding the ingredients needed for their dishes and went to the extreme of flying in fresh East Coast seafood daily and growing their own herbs and some produce (a habit that continues even today)! Almost 25 years old, Avanti Restaurants continue to be a Valley tradition still owned by two to the original partners, Angelo Livi from Florence, Italy and Benito Mellino from Sorrento, Italy.
1976 Avanti Catering debuts with the Grand Opening of the New Scottsdale Air Park Cessna & Piper airplane dealership. Today catering events range from intimate parties that are supervised personally by the owner’s to large events like: Super Bowl XXX, The Barrett Jackson Antique Car Show, The Phoenix Open and The Arabian Horse Show.
The Go-Go 80’s!
1983 The Avanti partnership opens a splashy, contemporary café called PREGO (meaning welcome, you’re welcome). A favorite hang-out for the local jet set crowd, models, powerful business icons, sports figures and celebrities. The concept PREGO takes off! The Avanti partnership is the first to offer up scale casual dining in the Phoenix area. A place you could wear blue jeans at, drink champagne and eat a wood fired gourmet pizza. Later this concept was sold.
1983 Avanti of La Jolla opens. By popular demand the Phoenix market asks for an Avanti in California. The sleepy beach community of La Jolla is the third Avanti location. At this time La Jolla offers only hamburger and pizza joints. Avanti is the first to introduce fine continental dining to this area. The success is overwhelming and soon Avanti is the spot not only for vacationing Phoenicians, but Californians, the Hollywood set, and sports celebrities. A young unknown by the name of Tom Cruise visits regularly, pretty cool even then. This restaurant was later sold to one of the original partners.
Movin’ on to the 90’s
1990-1995 Avanti Trattoria at the Pointe Hilton opens. The largest Avanti to open yet! A two story, 10,000 square foot building offering dining, dancing and outdoor terraces with roaming downtown city views. The concept caters to diners as a one-stop eat and party spot. After having a gourmet meal upstairs in the dining room you could dance the night away downstairs in the nightclub or a couple could enjoy a quiet after dinner drink on the terrace. The menu offered contemporary dishes that were home style in concept like: Grilled Polenta, Mashed Potatoes, Risotto, Bruschetta and a bottle of infused olive oil on each table for guest to dip their bread into. Restaurant is closed due to change in management of Hilton Hotels.
1996 Avanti has garnered numerous awards and accolades throughout its history including America’s Top Table Award from Gourmet Magazine.
The New Millennium!
2000-2006 Avanti enters the 21st century with newly remodeled and updated interiors. In 2001, Avanti Scottsdale sold and today, Angelo Livi continues to run Avanti Phoenix. Catering has expanded with 3 cater trucks and a staff of over 20 employees.
The new millennium has brought many positive changes and accolades for Avanti – Chef Angelo Livi won a Culinary Achievement Award in 2006 and was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.
This successful establishment continues to grow and evolve over the years and we welcome you to join us in celebrating over 35 scrumptious years in the valley of the sun!
2009 Avanti celebrates their 35 year Anniversary!
Come Help Us Celebrate! Call for events and current specials… 602-956-0900