Erin Sullivan

In Prescott, biga is more than just an Italian baking method. It’s an experience.

After creating a catering business named Senses, which focused on serving sustainable, locally sourced food, John Panza and Cassandra Hankison took over Prescott’s BiGA restaurant in 2017. They rebranded the inviting space as BiGA by Senses, with a simple goal: delivering a true farm-to-table experience that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for a talking point. “My opinion,” Panza says, “is that when you’re cooking with local food and seasonal ingredients, if it grows together, it usually goes together.”

Inside, BiGA is an unexpected combination of a trendy bar and your suburban aunt’s living room. The low ceilings and brick walls create a cozy atmosphere, and adorning those walls are original pieces by local artists — one of BiGA’s many nods to community collaboration.

But there’s more than atmosphere. BiGA also offers great service from an energized crew. And, of course, delicious food. Meals begin with a complimentary bowl of lavash, a Mediterranean-style flatbread. From there, the menu is diverse, offering everything from sandwiches and salads to chicken and fish — an impressive spread, considering that nothing comes out of a can or a box. “This is one of those places that actually source local,” a regular customer says on a Saturday afternoon. “They don’t just buy one product locally and claim their entire menu is locally sourced. It’s really authentic.”

Among the many options on BiGA’s ever-changing menu is the roasted curry cauliflower salad, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and mint yogurt. It’s a trip around the globe with each bite. And one of the chef’s specialties is the Italian sausage risotto. Deriving inspiration from his Lebanese and Italian heritage, Panza takes pride in transforming simple grains of rice into a robust entree — one that’s hard to beat.

For something different, there’s the specials menu, the team’s culinary playground. Its one-of-a-kind dishes are infused with a medley of seasonal ingredients inspired by the Prescott Farmers Market, so enjoy them while you can.

The same rings true at the bar, which features a range of seasonal cocktails. This past winter, those included the Twisted Bee — a dreamy combination of spiced honey, lemon and vodka — along with an oat-fermented vodka made in-house. The spotlight, though, remains on the food.

“The way I strive to cook,” Panza says, “is so that people feel full, satisfied, nourished — but not like they want to go home and take a nap. I just want them to feel good.”

Business Information

BiGA by Senses
623 Miller Valley Road
Prescott, AZ
United States