- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
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- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
North (15024 N. Scottsdale Road, 480/948-2055, www.foxrc.com, 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $8–17) at Kierland Commons offers a unique twist on northern Italian cuisine. The urban, loft-like design perfectly reflects the light, modern dishes. Guests can enjoy traditional antipasti and thin-crust pizzas or select from a variety of “plates of the day.” Expect your rosemary chicken or braised duck risotto to be served alongside fresh, organic vegetables in satisfying portions. The wine-savvy servers can suggest a bottle of vino to round out your meal.
The entire staff at family-owned Ristorante Giuseppe (13610 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480/991-4792, 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $10–30) makes you feel welcome. Start with the amazingly fresh bruschetta. Then move on to one of the delicious entrées that are named after family members, one of whom could very likely be your server (Franco claims you’ll dream about him after eating his namesake dish). The menu may seem daunting due to its lack of descriptions, so when in doubt, ask. However, ordering one of their famous meatballs is a must. At the end of the night, you might end up enjoying a glass of wine with the server. The cash-only restaurant is BYOB, but there isn’t a corkage fee.
Sassi (10455 Pinnacle Peak Pkwy, 480/502-9095, www.sassi.biz, 5:30–10 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $15–38) means “rocks” in Italian, a reference to its Pinnacle Peak location, but its food and service are anything but rocky. The southern Italian cuisine has been updated and re-imagined, earning praise from magazines and foodies alike. The gran reserva prosciutto from Parma and Sicilian-style eggplant baked with mozzarella antipasti are followed by pastas that range from hearty to subtle and delicate. Entrées include a wood-grilled filet and fresh halibut with olives, capers, and fingerling potatoes. Try to dine on the patio at sunset for the complete Sassi experience.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition