Oro Valley has a new eatery serving breakfast and lunch. Izzi’s Café opened March 8 at 12985 N. Oracle Road, in the Rancho Vistoso Center. With its walls of huge windows and patio presenting scenic mountain views, Izzi’s offers diners a visual taste of northwest Tucson along with its American fusion fare.
What is American fusion? It’s international flavors intermingled with American favorites, said restaurant owner Alex Izzard.
“We take standard dishes and make them special,” said Izzard, from whom the eatery draws its name. “We blend American classics with French, Asian and Mediterranean influences.”
And he should know international flavors. Before moving to Oro Valley about 18 years ago, the businessman lived throughout Asia for 25 years. His work with contact lens giant Bausch & Lomb took him to Japan, Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand, among other places.
Izzard wanted to open a restaurant that served healthy and delicious foods that would appeal to Oro Valley’s business and retirement community populations. He brought in executive chef Gary Morgan, who has been cooking for Tucson diners for 30 years, including for restaurants in SaddleBrooke and the Tucson Country Club.
The love of fine food and dining runs in the family. Son Michael, while only 16, is already a skilled chef and a regular food columnist for a daily newspaper. His wife, Alice, helped by creating the Izzi’s Café menu descriptions and assembling the menus. It’s her feminine touch that diners enjoy in the fresh flowers on each table.
“Our goal is to provide customers with the highest quality cuisine at neighborhood, coffee shop prices,” said Izzard.
Izzi’s staff arrives at 4 a.m. each day to start preparing the baked goods and meats. Its foods are cooked from scratch, right down to the warm cinnamon rolls, soups and salad dressings, and the seasonal selections, including a fish dish, chosen as the daily specials.
Homemade breakfasts are served all day, everything from classic omelettes to eggs benedict. Izzi’s features three versions of the latter: the unique corned beef on grilled polenta benedict, vegetarian benedict and eggs benedict Montreal, which includes smoked salmon and a dill-caper hollandaise sauce.
Homemade lunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It includes fresh salads, a gourmet angus cheeseburger, and Izzi’s premium roast beef sandwich piled high with beef cooked fresh on premises.
Live entertainment on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. makes the weekend even more special. Izzard supports the northwest’s cultural arts scene by bringing in local performers. He also spotlights local artists by displaying a featured artist in the gallery he has created at one end of the restaurant.
“These are some of the ways we distinguish ourselves from the average,” Izzard said.
If you go
What: Izzi’s Café
Where: 12985 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley
Hours: Tues.-Sat. 6 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Performing April 24:
Jazz pianist John Hamner
Take-out, catering and seating for large groups are available. For more information, call 818-9391.