Scottsdale: 4 Dinners, 5 lunches!
We will be spending a 4-day weekend in Scottsdale mid-December. Have been reading many Scottsdale posts and have gathered priceless info, esp. re: Cowboy Ciao, Los Sombreros, Sassi, Lon's, Roaring Fork. Will definitely plan dinner at most of these... And what about Sassi vs. Leccabaffi for Italian?
We are staying at the Four Seasons, though, and we will have a car. We are Chicago hounds looking for other not-to-be-missed spots! Any further suggestions, especially for lunch? What about our hotel restaurants - worthy?!
Thanks in advance - we can't wait to be there!
I think Leccabaffi is the better value. Comparable food quality at probably a 20-30% cheaper bill. Sassi is in an incredible setting though and if ambience is important, it would win that battle. Leccabaffi is in a non descript strip mall.
As far as other suggestions, consider Richardsons, Barrio Cafe and Pizzeria Bianco (plan accordingly for Bianco, due to its popularity and no reservations policy)
I think you will enjoy Sassi more than Leccabaffi. My last couple of visits to Leccabaffi have been mediocre at best. Sassi, on the contrary, has been excellent. I think they are comparable cost, as well. Sassi is also a beautiful facility, and close to you at the Four Seasons (you could walk there).
Another place to try in North Scottsdale near your hotel is Mosaic. The chef and restaurant have received a ton of national attention. Incredible food and overall experience. It doesn't get a ton of discussion on this board, but I've enjoyed both of my dinners there a lot.
Also, don't miss Binkley's in Cave Creek (up north of your hotel, maybe 10-15 minutes). Perhaps the best restaurant in town.
Binkley's Restaurant [Map]
6920 E. Cave Creek Rd.
Cave Creek, AZ
Just keep in mind that due to the remote location of the Four Seasons, Binkley's, Mosaic, and Sassi are the closest options. Everything else named in the original post is about 20 miles from the hotel.
You might try La Locanda for dinner. It's a bit far south (Scottsdale and Shea) and the location is nothing like the impressive Sassi, but I love the food (the squid ink pasta with seafood is wonderful as is any risotto they have on the menu) and the owner, ex-Chicagoan Gaetano Fugazzotto, is delightful.
Also in that area I like Tapino for smaller plates and the outdoor lounge is nice for a late drink if the weather is good.
For resort restaurants, the Grill at the TPC (Scottsdale Princess) is always excellent for lunch.
We'll be in Scottsdale in March with 3 other couples for 5 nights - has anyone been to La Locanda more recently? We had a nice dinner there in 2005 and I know that the group would like to return - there are some less than good reviews of the place on other sites so I'd love to hear from anyone who has been there since last November... Thanks in advance!
As a fellow Chicago Hound that travels to Phoenix every year I think you have a good list. In Phoenix I prefer to stick with the SW/TexMex food since we don't have much up in the windy city, so I'd definitely try Cowboy Ciao, Roaring Fork, Richarsons, and Los Somberos.
Tried to go to the Barrio Cafe but it was closed on the day we wanted to go. Next year...
Pizza Bianco is great but it can be a LONG wait - up to an hour or two. The time I went we shoed up early and were seated in 10 minutes and it was great, but if I had to wait 90 min for the same meal, I think I would have been a little disappointed. Maybe an early lunch on the first day before you've gotten used to the time zone.
Sea Saw is another excellent option - next door to Cowboy Ciao with same owner but a sushi/sea food theme. A very unique menu. Something different to break up the trip.
La Locanda always looks good, but with so much great Italian food in Chicago we've never made it there. Plus, with all the heavy dinners, I never have room for a big lunch.