Sassi - North Scottsdale
We took the kids to the Four Seasons in Scottsdale this weekend and had a great time. They have an excellent summer special, and the hotel really goes out of its way to make the kids happy. From coyote stuffed animals at check in, cookies and candy as a welcome gift in the room, small robes for the kids, an incredible kids club (free), free food for the kids in the restaurants, etc... the kids had a great time.
Saturday night we left the kids with our babysitter and went a block away to Sassi. (We almost went to Mosaic, but decided on Sassi for something a little more casual). The facility is as beautiful as ever, and we sat in the great lounge for a drink before dinner. There is a jazz trio playing (quite good), and it was nice to relax a bit before dinner.
The restaurant did not seem overly busy, but not bad for mid-summer in north Scottsdale. We often find we enjoy the antipasti and pasta courses more than the entrees at Sassi, so we decided to share several plates.
We started with the calamari ($10) which was excellent served with celery, spicy oil, lemon zest and almonds. It was our favorite starter. We also tried the fried squash blossoms with ricotta ($10), as well as an eggplant and cheese dish. Both were good and a nice start, although nothing to write home about.
We then shared Asparaghi i Due Uove ($10) with wood roasted asparagus, local egg, lemon oil and bottarga di tonno. I broke the over easy egg yolk over the asparagus and this was a great dish.
We ordered two pastas to share. We were in NYC a few weeks ago, and ate at Lupa, an incredible little Italian restaurant owned by Mario Batali. We had eaten there about six years earlier, and it was again amazing. Just a little neighborhood place with incredible food. I think the chef at Sassi used to work there, so when we saw Orecchiette ($18) with sweet-spicy sausage, broccoli rabe and Pecorino Romano on the menu, it reminded us of the same dish we had a Lupa and loved. Unfortunately, the Sassi version was nowhere near as good. Although obviously homemade and cooked well, the orecchiette was too thick and it threw off the dish for us. It was still tasty, but just not as good as others we've tried.
We also ordered the Gnocchi al funghi ($20), ricotta gnocchi with wild mushroom ragu and more of the pecorino romano. Again, it was good, but not great, although the mushrooms were very flavorful.
Sassi has a summer wine promotion with a bunch of bottles on a $29 wine menu. I think they were all Italian wines, and the red we tried was delicious (I can't remember the name, sorry). It's a nice idea for summer, and an easy way to try some new wines.
Our waiter was excellent, friendly and professional. We had a great time and a good meal, but it was not up to previous meals I've had a Sassi. The building itself is still one of nicest in town, but the food didn't live up to the surroundings. Our bill was $100 before tip, which was ok but seemed a bit high for what we had. I'll go back to Sassi, but I must say this visit was a bit dissapointing.
10455 East Pinnacle Peak Pkwy
Thanks for the update on Sassi, Barry. It seems this place continues to get mixed reviews and that's too bad for such a beautiful location. I've only been once, last November, and had a great time, great food, great service. I've been wanting to go back but there are so many other options in the Valley now (that seem to be more consistent) that it may be awhile before I go back.
Sounds like you had a great weekend overall though! I hadn't heard about the summer special at the Four Seasons so I'll have to check that out...
Thanks for posting this..you'll remember we were torn between Sassi and Mosaic when we went up to the Four Seasons too(we had a great time at the resort as well! We did notice how many activities they had planned for kids when we were there, glad to hear they do such a good job)
I"m glad we went with Mosaic...but too bad Sassi can't get it all right. I have to say that asparagus appetizer sounds scrumptious!