Downtown Henderson will soon be home to a Azzurra Cucina Italiana. The upcoming Italian restaurant, while new, is also a kind of resurrection, in part, of the atmosphere and cuisine of Henderson’s now-closed Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina.
A recent story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal likens the project to “getting the band back together”: behind Azzurra is Windom Kimsey, an architect whose firm, TSK, is located near Azzurra’s location at 322 S Water Street. Kimsey was a longtime regular at Bratalian, which shuttered back in 2018, at the helm of which were chef de cuisine Alessandra Madeira and GM Walter Ciccone, who are partnering with Kimsey on the new restaurant.
“A lot of restaurants have come and gone, and there are some great restaurants in Henderson,” Kimsey told What Now on Thursday. “I’ve lived here over 30 years, and [Bratalian] was by far my favorite. It had this neighborhood feel. You’d go in and see your friends there. It was nice to have a place to connect with people. Plus, Chef Alessandra’s cooking is just spot-on. Every dish is always good, and it’s that consistency and quality that really make a difference.”
Together, Kimsey, Madeira, and Ciccone are opening Azzura, taking Bratalian as inspiration. The menu brings back favorites like Caprese salad, Chef Maderia’s pork, veal, and beef meatballs, and dishes like chicken marsala and salmon with lemon caper sauce. New dishes teased in the Review-Journal coverage include tempura cauliflower with house buffalo sauce; wagyu carpaccio with Parmesan, capers, and arugula; and squid ink linguine.
“My contribution as an architect is trying to make a nice space,” Kimsey said. “The tiles, all the materials, are from Italy, and what nobody’s seen yet is the art I had commissioned there.”
The space, Kimsey says, will feature the color blue, befitting the restaurant’s name, “but not over-the-top, bright blue.” Large windows overlook Water Street, and an intimate outdoor patio nestles under the shade of olive trees.
“And what’s important to me is the acoustics that make it so you can have a conversation. It’s a great place to take someone on a date or have a business meeting.”
The culmination of a long history of food and design homegrown in Henderson, Azzurra Cucina Italiana is expected to open in February.