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Jan 8, 2008 01:54 PM

High-End Italian - Biltmore/S.Scottsdale area?

Hi all... looking for a higher-end (price not an issue) Italian restaurant in the Biltmore or South Scottsdale area. It is a business dinner, so not looking for super "sceney" place - just good food and good wine to go with it. Attire business casual - no jeans - looking to impress.

Any suggestions welcome! :) Also, if you have another place to recommend outside these areas, happy to take those as well.

Many thanks...

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  1. I think that you will be VERY impressed by Daniel's, just west of 44th Street on Camelback. It's excellent food in an elegant atmosphere and it's consistently at the top of its game.

    Daniel's Italian Cuisine
    4225 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ

    2 Replies
    1. re: ejs1492

      Thanks - have heard of Daniel's but have not been yet. Appreciate the recommendation. :)

      1. re: tinkerbelle

        I went to Daniel's with three friends last weekend... None of us liked it. We all enjoyed our first courses, then we all thought our pastas were mediocre, a bit bland actually. The wine list was pretty brief and the two bottles we ordered were not that good. The decor is what I would call "old school". Reminds me of Italian restaurants in the midwest. I think we were one of only four or five tables that night (Saturday). Service was lackluster. Our server was not particularly warm or friendly, but not polished and professional either. He didn't have much wine knowledge. Every time we asked a question about a wine, he just steered us toward a more expensive bottle. So, to recap, Daniel's didn't impress (us, anyway) on food, ambience, or service.

        While it is not Italian, I highly recommend Tarbell's for an impressive business dinner.

    2. Marcellino Ristorante in North Central Phoenix is my favorite high-end Italian and is not far from the Biltmore area. Some of your fellow customers may be in jeans -- that's true just about everywhere these days, but if your group is dressed a bit more sharply they'll fit right in.

      I've enjoyed Daniel's in the past, but have not been in a long time.

      Marcellino Ristorante
      7114 E. Stetson Dr. 85251, Old Town Scottsdale, AZ 85251

      2 Replies
        1. re: silverbear

          Totally agree on the jeans! Funny how a collared shirt and jeans is now the new business casual! ;) I live in North Central Phx, so even if we don't end up here for the business dinner, I am sure to try another time. Thanks for the information.

        2. Marcellino is FABULOUS. I'd recommend that, and then, my all time fav, Avanti. Authentic, and impressive in every manner.

          1. I'll second Daniels and Marcellinos both are excellent. In South Scottsdale, I always recommend the Italian Grotto right in Old Town. Amazingly good.

            Italian Grotto
            3915 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

            5 Replies
            1. re: kmarg

              i know people occasionally say they really like the italian grotto, but i had one of those "so bad that wild horses and a billion bucks couldn't get you back through the door" experiences with them....

              1. re: hzp

                Y'know, I've never been there, but ... I've noticed a recent flurry of posts on Italian Grotto ,,, I've lived here 25 years, driven by it hundreds, thousands of times, I know lots of people into food, and yet .. in spite of visibility equal to or better than Pink Pony, Sugar Bowl, Bandera and other places in the same area, even on the same side of the street -- from 1983 through late 2007, I never heard a peep about Italian Grotto nor read even one review, and I try to read them all. I have never met anyone who has eaten there or even mentioned it. Why is that? If it were a hidden gem, wouldn't we have heard? If it were awful, wouldn't someone had metioned it? Is it another Uncle Sal's? No one dares to say anything?

                1. re: misohungrychewlow

                  oh, I dare:) honestly, the service was so insultingly bad and offensive that I can't even remember how the food was.

                  I took my grandmother there about 5 years ago, in the late afternoon. who remembers what we ordered, but my grandmother asked for something (bread? water? who remembers) and they owner and waiter made fun of her.... loudly. repeatedly. we grabbed the check and left, and on the check, specifically left a 0.00 tip, and then on the other side of the bill, politely explained why. its the only time in my life i've done that, but who insults a 75 yr old woman?
                  few weeks later, i get my visa statement, and they had CHANGED the bill to reflect a 20$ tip. luckily, i still had the original, and VISA simply corrected it for me.

                  so- perhaps they're serving the manna of the gds in italian grotto (though i don't remember it)... but I wouldn't go back.

                  1. re: hzp

                    Having eaten there myself several times in the past couple of years, I have never had that kind of experience. Service has been quircky on occassion but always profesional and timely. We've been there as a couple, with out of towners, and with group of friends. No older ladies however. The food was always above average, chicken picatta, marsala, salads, and plenty of bread. Sorry you had a bad experience, but I don't think it is representative. And lot's of places don't get mentioned here frequently that are quite good. I don't have stock in the place, but I do enjoy eating there.

                    1. re: kmarg

                      like i said, don't even remember the food, but to be honest, this wasn't about service.... this went far beyond (insulting someone and then forging a receipt?), i stop caring what the food is like. even if its not representative.... sometimes it only takes once.

                      someone here recently wrote a bad review of vincents, a place i absolutely adore. we've never had bad service there, and i quite enjoy the place. but their rendition of what happened, even though i've never had that service, really made me stop and wonder if i want to frequent a place that would treat someone the way they described.

                      i'm glad you haven't received that treatment from italian grotto, and that you enjoy it. however, i will always mention it when someone talks about the place. it was THAT bad.

            2. We have eaten at Tomaso's in Ahwatukee numerous times and have great things to say about this restaurant. I suspect the Scottsdale location is just as great.

              We also highly recommend Tarbell's since our first dining experience (service, food, etc.) there was divine. We definitely would return and make a special trip to boot (even if the prices were a little up there).

              As for Italian Grotto... Our experience was just okay, (not bad but not exceptional). We went there for dinner with no reservations and had not heard about this restaurant before we stopped in at the last minute. We were in the area to see a chow so we weren't being particularly picky and didn't have any preconceived notions and dove in with an open mind. The service was not the best (our server brought out bread quite a while after we ordered then forgot our salads but he bought us their delicious tiramisu dessert as a consolation after dinner). When we got our entrees one of the dishes was disappointingly small and actually only warm not piping hot. I don't know that anyone else in the restaurant had bad service that night. It was rather crowded so we chalked up the less than exceptional service to the restaurant being busy. The prices were a little high but we expected it since we were in Scottsdale. We wouldn't make a special trip to Scottsdale to go back there but might consider it if we were already in the area and I had my gift certificate in hand. But I'm curious now to see if anyone has had any trouble using gift certificates at Italian Grotto. I don't want to return there and get bad service because of the gift certificate. I could just write off my gift certificate as a total loss and go someplace else altogether. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: aiko949

                Just to clarify, Tomaso's has locations in Chandler and the east side of Phoenix, but not in Ahwatukee or Scottsdale. There was once another Tomaso's restaurant on Scottsdale Road near Bell. It was about 100 feet inside Phoenix but probably had a Scottsdale address. Regardless, it closed years ago. The closest currently existing Tomaso's location for the OP's needs is at 32nd St & Camelback in Phoenix.

                Tomaso Chandler
                7131 W Ray Rd Ste 25, Chandler, AZ 85226

                3225 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018