contentfeatured-food-and-winefood and wineIssue 17

Restaurant Spotlight



“When You go out to eat, it’s really all about the food,” says DEWZ restaurant co-owner Scott Aspesi.

And there’s possibly no better food in Modesto than Dewz’ New American cuisine, made fresh from scratch with local ingredients by Executive Chef Vincent Alvarado for 18 years.

“It’s a combination of great service and Vincent’s food,” Scott said. “He has built a following like no one else in the Valley.”

Alvarado takes New American staples, adds classic French sauces, and pairs intriguing Asian spices for unique flavors that you can’t find anywhere else. The delicious food sets a benchmark that diners measure other restaurants by.

Take a bite, and it’s no surprise Dewz is consistently awarded; it’s been named Modesto’s best fine dining restaurant 6 years in a row, and one of the best 100 restaurants in America by OpenTable.

Scott admits he never expected Dewz to rise to such heights. When Scott and his mother Judy opened the restaurant 18 years ago, they named it Dewz in honor of Scott’s brother Dewayne, who passed after a tough battle with leukemia at the young age of 26. Back then, the restaurant was known for selling 50 cent scones and dollar coffee.

“We were making our money literally a dollar at a time,” Scott said.

Success came due to a steadfast devotion to the two things that Scott says matter: Great food, and giving customers a reason to come back. Part of that is great service; seven servers have been with the restaurant for 10-plus years.

But Alvarado’s food always guided the restaurant’s growth. Diners said a better wine list was needed to pair with his delicacies, so Scott listened — the restaurant now has 900-plus wines, a list recognized by Wine Spectator. A more luxurious dining room was needed, so Dewz moved to its current home — 1505 J St. — 8 years ago.

Dewz is also home to a wine shop, with a unique automated system that allows guests to sample many different vintages. The wine shop hosts bi-weekly Taste & Tapas events that pair a winemaker’s offerings with special entrees; a recent event paired Syrah with a braised lamb shank pizzeta, with a truffle cheese and broccoli-fava pesto.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Scott said.

From classic entrees like a blue cheese buttercrusted crusted New York steak, to ever-changing small plates, to amazing soups and salads at lunch and made-from-scratch in-house desserts, Dewz has something for everyone.

“There is really nowhere else to dine,” Scott said.

DEWZ is located at 1505 J St., Modesto. 

For more information, call 209.549.1101 or visit

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