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Aug 16, 2006 01:32 PM

Sassi - Scottsdale

I have wanted to see this $10 million dollar restaurant since it opened some 2-3-years ago and enjoy some of the cuisine mastered by Chef Wade Moises. He is much heralded by virtue of his previous association wuth Mario Batali in New York. Dear hubby agreed as he is a lover of great food, but more of the "meat and potatoes" type as in a great medium rare charred steak at Capital Grille. It is quite a drive for most of us here in the Valley, but I digress. We arrive at 5:30 and clearly they have barely opened. The Hostess is pleasant and polite, though not overly thrilled. Hubby immediately thinks it's because he is wearing dress shorts and a collared shirt. It is August 15th here, a Tuesday night and 5:30. I beg to disagree. Please note he always wears long pants in cooler weather, on weekend nights and at a later dining hour. We are taken to a table in outer Mongolia, but our server is imediately there and very pleasant and accomodating since I mention to him this is our first experience. We each order a Belvedere vodka and I opt for the antefetti platter of Italian meats and hubby gets the coal oven fired calamari. The basket of bread now before us is non-descript to say the least and when the apps arrive, we are extremely underwhelmed. The "platter" of meat is 1 EXTREMELY thin slice of importd proscuitto, 1 EXTREMELY thin slice of domestic proscuitto, 1 slice of head cheese and 1 tiny slice of some other meat. The calamari is in a small bowl with shredded lettuce and very little calamari which has never seen a coal fired oven.Each app is $10.00. At this point, I realize this is not going to work and I am loathe to pay even more money for this experience. I politely tell the waiter that WE have made a mistake in our choice of restaurants and we would like the check. I praise him and indicte he has been wonderful, it just isn't our type of food. The check arrives and we have been charged $12.00 EACH for our Belvedere vodkas on the rocks. These are not some fancy, fussed up cocktails at that price, whch I understand, but nothing more than vodka on ice. With tax, our bill is almost $50.00 and we know we will still be starving and broke even if we chose to carry out the rest of the evening there. The Manager comes over and is very apologetic and offers to comp our bill which is a, too late, but professional touch.. We never allow that as we're not out for a free anything. Not only do we pay the bill, but leave 20% tip for the server as he certainly had no blame for the food or lack, thereof. We are in the habit of trying new restaurants and dining out frequently. We also spend considerable amounts at fine restaurants, but a rip-off is a rip-off, period. The Manager begs us to return and give them another chance - not a chance.

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  1. Yeah, we were disappointed with Sassi, too, when we went last year. The service was very nice, but everything was way overpriced - to the point of feeling like we'd been ripped off. At the bar, the bartender asked if we'd like some olives with our drinks. Figuring it was just a bar snack that she hadn't yet put out, we said sure. Hmmph. It was this fancy-schmancy dish of olives and toasts and it cost us $17.

    Here's my old review from that one visit.

    1. I went two years ago when it was new on the birthday of a family member.

      I can't even remember a thing about it, if that tells you just how memorable the experience was. There are restaurants that I can recall every last detail of for years because they're that good and solid for me. Not Sassi.

      At least you got out before the damage to your wallet was too great.


      1. Wow. Thank you for a thorough review. Sassi has been on my list of "place to try" but I will take it off now. I hate that ripped off feeling! I may drive up there and look around, but no eats for me :)

        1. Sounds like based on your review and the initial responses, I might be in the minority here, but I thought I should reply. I had a completely different experience at Sassi.

          First I will say, your comments about cost are spot on. I set a new personal record for money spent for two people on a dinner. This was a couple of years back, but I recall it was close to $250 with tax and tip! Where I differ from your opinion is the value I got for that money.

          Here was my experience. First we were greeted by the hostess very warmly and throughout the night the entire staff was incredibly gracious and professional. Now I was wearing long pants so maybe I was in a different demographic then you, but then again I was visiting one of the valleys high end restaraunts and it was my wife and I's 20th wedding anniversary, so shorts didn't seem appropriate and since my only exposure to the heat was to walk from the Valet to the front door of the restaraunt, I didn't see any issue with dressing appropriately for the occasion.

          We asked for a nice location since it was our anniversary and the staff responded by putting us at a window that overlooked the beautiful garden and allowed us a view of the stunning sunset!

          Like I said it was a couple of years ago, so I can't remember the details of what we ordered, but I do remember we loved every bite of it. Your description of the proscuitto though rang a bell as I do remember having that has an appetizer and we loved it. I might be wrong, but isn't that the way proscuitto is supposed to be served?

          Anyway, my reply isn't so much for the original poster as it is for others considering going to Sassi. I recommended it to a friend that was going to propose to his girlfriend and they commented later that there couldn't have been a better place for this memory. I agree it is pricey, possibly over priced, but it was my experience that it was worth the money for me.

          Billy Bob