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Amarone (Scottsdale)

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  • crsin Sep 25, 2008 11:01 PM
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Amarone is the new italian restaurant being opened by the owner of Pizza A Metro. I've noticed the name printed on the window for some time now (SE corner of 90th St. and Via Linda), and am wondering if anyone has any updates on the place, such as when it will be open?

A posting on Yelp indicated October 1st, but googling the place turns up a craigslist add for a chef that was posted this month.

So, any news? Looking forward to trying the place...

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  1. I frequent the Post Office in that center...and it looks as if they are feverishly working away....the custom doors look beautiful, I can always poke my head in and ask.......
    Hopefully the opening is soon!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ciaogal

      Glad to hear it's moving along. Let me know if you hear anything/talk to anyone.

    2. Minor update for anyone interested, who hasn't already read...sounds like it's slated to open sometime in November:

      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepub...

      1 Reply
      1. re: crsin

        they have 'now hiring' signs in the window!

      2. A friend just got hired there and told me they open on Saturday!

        I have no other details except he said the restaurant was beautiful and they had clearly put a lot of time and money into the restaurant. He also told me that the plan was to be open until midnight but I'm not sure if food will be served that late.

        6 Replies
        1. re: AnonymousWaitress

          Oh my, I can't believe I forgot to post my update! Last Friday husband drove by to check out the progress at Amarone and the owner invited him in for a look around. Husband reports that the interior is beautiful, with a large oval bar in the center where they are going to have an oyster bar. He also confirmed the opening on Saturday (11/15) for dinner, but that lunch service wouldn't begin until sometime the following week.

          We are anxiously awaiting! Unfortunately, we won't be able to go this weekend, but hopefully next week.

          1. re: MesaChow

            I too have had a peek inside and I can't wait......
            I plan on taking my Mother for a belated birthday dinner the week of the 17th......
            I hope some C' - hounder's have reported back on opening weekend!

          2. re: AnonymousWaitress

            Great, thanks for the update. I'll be around this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to give it a try. Will report back if I do.

            1. re: crsin

              Had lunch @ Amarone today!
              It was definitely worth the wait.

              The restaurant was busy w/ wine reps, contractors etc......though the wait staff had the restaurant humming and all the patrons well taken care of.

              We were seated @ a table facing the bar...which has a marble top that is lit from underneath....I bet it's beautiful in the evenings. There were 3 large flat screen tv's above the bar....that will definitely enhance the evening and happy hour crowd if they are staying open and serving late.

              Immediately after we were seated we were presented menus and asked if we wanted tap or bottled water.
              The waiter told us our bread would be out quicky...within a minute the owner of the restaurant arrived with the bread platter accompanied w/ a side of the House Copanata...which he described as celery, onion, capers and eggplant. It was delicious...drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Similar to Pizza a Metro.

              For lunch we decided to share a Caesar Salad ($2,50 to share) I ordered a penne ala Vodka my friend had the Lasagna Bolonegse.
              The Caesar like Pizza a Metro was lightly dressed w/ a hint of anchovy, parmeasan, lemon and garlic.....it was very nice.
              The entrees were the standout.....the sauce on the penne was smoky, spicy and flavorful...the pasta cooked al dente.
              The Lasagna came and it wasn't a traditional presentation...it was a large sheet of pasta stuffed w/ meat and topped w/ either a fresh mozzarella or ricotta and covered w/ a very fresh pomodoro sauce...it was terrific.
              We were both raving about how wonderful our lunch was...it's nice to have a great new addition to the neighborhood.
              We decided to finish our meal with a cannoli. Having just come back from a visit to Boston and sampling cannoli's thoughout the North End...this cannoli 'took the cake'.
              I think they must have added some almond to the filling, it was perfect!

              I made a reservation for this Thursday evening for a return visit for my Mother's Birthday.

              1. re: ciaogal

                Sounds great. Stopped by fairly late on opening night, and it was completely packed. I've never been to a restaurant on the night it opens so didn't know what to expect and, naively, thought it would be empty. We were given a 30+ min. wait, but it was late, so we moved on. Anyway, glad they're already doing well. Hope to try it soon. Report back on how the next meal goes.

                1. re: ciaogal

                  I love when you try the new places for us right away, ciaogal. Thanks for the report. I can't wait to try it.

                  Barry

            2. Four of us stopped in for dinner last night and everything was very good. We were seated in the semi private rooms they have that are separated by curtains and the restaurant was is very beautiful with the marble bar in the center. We started out with the stuffed mushrooms which were stuffed with sausage, cheese and something else in a heavy citrusy sauce. These were huge favorites at our table and there was actually a lengthy discussion over who would get the last one.

              Each of our entrees were the meatball pizza, veal carciofo, pasta carbonara, and pasta neapolitan. The pizza was amazing. I've never been to pizza a metro but if the pizza is as good there then no wonder it's so popular. My veal carciofo was perfectly cooked, tender and was served with a side of bow tie pasta with a very fresh tasting tomato sauce. The pasta carbonara was good but far too creamy for my taste and even for my boyfriend who normally loves anything cream based and calorie filled! I didn't try the pasta neapolitan but it was polished off very quickly and got good reviews.

              We also got two cannolis for dessert which were very good although a little more chocolatey than a standard cannoli, which actually was a nice change for me. I did feel although the cannoli was good it was overall pretty average.

              Overall, everything was very very good. I won't say perfect as there was certain times when water went unfilled, entrees came out a few minutes apart from each other but some of that might have been because we knew the server so maybe he was feeling a little lazy because he knew we would still tip him! Our bill came to $121.36 for the appetizer, two glasses of pinot noir, 4 entrees, and the two cannoli orders. Good value overall and I definitely want to return for another meal.

              A few random points: many of the servers are Italian which for some reason always makes me feel like I'm at a more authentic place, the pizza is NOT personal size which we did not realize until an appx. 14 inch pizza came out which was big enough for two, also many of the chefs worked at tutti santi's and that is definitely reflected in the cooking(in a good way). I'm thinking maybe a Chowhound gathering is in order for this place!

              4 Replies
              1. re: AnonymousWaitress

                AnonymouwWaitress...thanks for the review.....
                We are headed to Amarone tonight for my Mom's Birthday.....I will report back!

                1. re: ciaogal

                  Dinner last night was terrific!

                  Three of us shared 2 appetizers. We tried the stuffed mushrooms a la AnonymousWaitress...and yes they were wonderful! Rich and cheesy served on a bed of arugula.
                  We also had the fried calamari which was cooked perfectly. It was served piping hot w/ a side of warm chunky homemade marinara sauce. It disappeared quickly.

                  For entrees we ordered 3 different pastas......The 'Special', A lobster Ravioli in a brandy cream sauce ($20) The Linguini Carbonara ($15) and the penne Puttanesca ($15) along with the fresh baked bread...we were more than satisfied. The flavors in all the sauces were distinct and superb.

                  We shared a bottle of Sangiovese and were given a complimentary Tiramasu w/ a candle...compliments of the restaurant for my Mother's Birthday.
                  The service was attentive and the restauarant was bustling. We loved the high energy of the place. The owner visited our table many times to make sure all was good and to thank us again for coming in.

                  My Mother has already called this morning for directions back to the restaurant as she wants to go back w/ her friends. She couldn't thank us enough for a wonderful meal!

                  During dinner a family of 5 came in and ordered the Pizza 'a Metro' size Pizza.....it was a metre long...wow!
                  They ended up taking half home.

                  I too think this place would be fun for a 'Hound' gathering!

                  1. re: ciaogal

                    Just curious...how's the noise level? The few minutes I was there, it seemed like it might be a problem for someone wanting a quiet meal, particularly with the bar right there.

                    I don't mind noisy, but I know that this is an issue for a lot of people...

                    Nice review, thanks for the update.

                    1. re: crsin

                      It wasn't very loud at all but we were there on Wednesday night and the place was half full. I would suggest asking to sit in one of the curtained off areas if you are part of a group of 4 to help buffer the sound. There was a couple families there when I went and they were seated on the opposite side of the restaurant from the bar for that reason I'm sure.

              2. After working a little late, I stopped in to Amarone, tonight. It looks like they are doing okay, considering it is a Tuesday night, and they're still fairly new.

                I had a Caesar salad and the salmon entree. The salad was very fresh, and lightly dressed, as others have commented. I thought it could have had more flavor (garlic), but, it was above average.

                The salmon seemed to be poached in a white wine reduction with bell peppers, capers, and cream, served on a bed of fettucine. This was very solid.

                The bill came to about $33 with tax. I think it was worth it. I would go back when I have more time, and feeling more adventurous.

                3 Replies
                1. re: johnseberg

                  Went there tonight with Queen and another couple that truly loves Italian food:

                  Place was redone very nicely, two wood fired ovens are on one side, one for pizza and the other one for bread. We ended up seated in the middle of the dining room, I thought it would be noisey but it was fine.

                  First to come was a bread platter accompanied w/ a side of the House Copanata, it fantastic.

                  Two of us ordered a glass of house byog wine, Sartori, 04 $13.00@. Other two lightweights were drinking San Pelegrino (large bottle $4.50).

                  We all started with Ceasar Salad each ($6.95), it was very good, chilled, tasty and done well.

                  The entries ordered were the Pollo Affumicato, $17.00, a bow tie pasta in vodka cream sauce with smoked chicken, the Queen ordered this and thought it was a little heavy and rich for her, I thought it was perfect.

                  Another entre was the Shrimp Special with lots of seafood and pasta ($22.00), this was done very nice also, my fellow Italian foodie cleaned her plate.

                  Then two of us ordered the Veal special, came with a nice flavored red sauce, home made cheese and pasta ($24.00@), we cleaned our plates.

                  We all decided to save ourselves and passed on dessert.

                  Service was a 10, several servers have come from Casa Mia and are experienced.

                  Total bill without tip included tax was $156.00, a good deal.

                  I will be back next week to try more things on the menu. I want to try their thin crust pizza, it looked really good.

                  1. re: duck833

                    Had the pizza w/ the Meatballs along w/ a Caprese Salad last week.
                    It was fabulous. The pizza crust was perfectly done out of the wood burning oven...the meatballs were definitely homemade...seasoned lightly so they didn't overpower the sauce on the pizza. 2 of us ordered the 'medium' it was enormous.
                    The Caprese Salad was great...I don't know if they make the Mozzarella in house or not....it was very fresh and light...a nice compliment to the ripe beefsteak tomato w/ a chiffonade of basil.
                    it was all very nice!

                    1. re: ciaogal

                      He made (makes?) his own mozzarella over at Pizza a Metro, so I assume he's making it at Amarone too.

                2. Finally got around to giving Amarone a try recently. All the food was great. Had some margarita pizza, which was very nice. Thin, chewy, flavorful crust, and very fresh and well-made sauce and mozarella (I hear both are house made, to answer above post). Also had a pasta dish that was really great--very rich (cream sauce, bacon), with some great flavor: lightly smokey, touch of tomato and vodka, nicely done pasta. Service was attentive and friendly.

                  Really, the only complaint was the noise level...it was extremely loud. A packed house, packed bar, multiple large (likely drunk or well on their way to being drunk) parties, servers/bussers rushing about, and live (very loud) music, along with nothing to absorb the sound, made it very very difficult to have a conversation at a reasonable level (or that everyone could hear), or even place an order without yelling. Hopefully being in one of the nooks, out of the main dining room would dampen this a bit, but for those who aren't able to snag one, it was really (underlined) exceptionally noisy...and I'm not someone who normally cares much or is particularly sensitive to the noise level (only once it gets the point of being ridiculous). However, I've heard from others who have been recently that they had no such issue...and they sat in one of the nooks, at a less busy time (earlier or on a weekday), with no music, etc. so this sounds like an isolated observation.

                  Anyway, the food was very good, as was the service, so I'll definitely be back. A little noise never hurt anyone, I guess...

                  1. I love this place, but then again it's really close for me. This is by far the best Italian restaurant I've been to lately. I haven't finished working my way through the menu yet, though. Nice wine selection. I've only gone on "off" hours, so I haven't had problems with noise, though it is one of my pet peeves about restaurants -- they actually shoot for a high noise level (reflective surfaces, etc.) just to get the "excitement" level up sometimes. So far, the weirdest thing is the bar which, while attractive, is lit from underneath and can make you (or your date) look like something out of a horror movie.

                    1. We've been there twice with excellent results insofar as the food goes; on our second visit, the service was a bit rocky but this early in the game, one can excuse. The portions are not humongous but they are more than adequate. The meal normally begins with delicious bread served on a tray accompanied by caponata which is delicious. The menu offers many choices but is not overwhelming as so many are these days.

                      The decor and the ambiance is gorgous but the flat-screen TV's over the bar are a jarring note. Especially nice are the tables off to the side of the main dining area which have curtains separating them from other diners. I've never seen them actually used so I'm unsure whether they serve as part of the interior design or are actually a privacy device.

                      Parking is plentiful since the restaurant is a stand-alone building in a stripmall on the southwest corner of Via Linda and 90th Street.

                      Based on my two experiences there, as well as the crowd there both nights, I'd say this restaurant is "go".

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Yummye

                        Hmmm. I had a totally different experience so maybe it was just an off night when I was there. I love Pizza a Metro. Eat there all the time. At Amarone, we were seated quickly by the owner who seemed distracted. It was a weekday night--restaurant was about 2/3 full. Still winter vacation time so there were families as well as couples. Our waiter was distracted as well or perhaps not so happy that we did not order apps or drinks. We just were there for dinner. I ordered spaghetti with bolognese. Arrived cold. And I do mean cold. Someone forgot to give the already cooked pasta a hot bath before adding the sauce. Waited for someone to come by and ask how my meal was. No one. Finally flagged busboy. He took back to kitchen. Owner came by to ask why hubby was eating but I was not. I told him. He left to go to kitchen. He came back with dish. This time steaming hot but not in a good way. Had been heated in microwave. Sauce was burning hot; pasta was lukewarm. I was not in the mood for an argument or discussion so I ate my dinner. The meat sauce was very sparse on meat and just basically tomatoes. Good flavor, though. We asked for check. Owner came by to offer limoncello (everyone in the restaurant was getting one). We declined. He then offered dessert to make up for pasta debacle. We declined. Paid and left. Decided the ride to Scottsdale wasn't worth it and we'll stick to Pizza a Metro. Oh, and the decor. Give me a break. Not my style. At all. A personal thing, I guess. You either like ornate or you don't. I don't.

                        1. re: bonita

                          We, too, had a bad experience there. The caesar salad had no flavor. Even with grated cheese. It tasted like watery lettuce. Our mains were overly salty. I had a lobster ravioli and they ranged from hot to nearly cold as you ate them across the plate. I can't remember what Tara had. Overall, we were very disappointed, especially considering how expensive they are. We loved PaM, and the food here wasn't up to those standards.

                          1. re: Firenza00

                            While I enjoyed my meal there quite a bit (I thought my pasta and grilled calamari were both delicious and very well prepared/cooked), I do have to agree with bonita regarding the decor...a little too much for me, as well. I hope the food issues both of you had was just a product of the chaos of being new.

                            I'm curious how any dishes that both Amarone and Pizza a Metro share stack up against one another, for those of you who've tried at both places.

                            1. re: crsin

                              Now that I think about it, I had similar dishes at Pizza a Metro and Amarone. At PaM, I had gnocchi with vodka sauce, and at Amarone, I had penne alla vodka. Hmmm, maybe I need to branch out. Anyway, I remember telling firenza that the gnocchi with vodka sauce at PaM was one of the best I'd had. When I got penne alla vodka at Amarone, I felt like I was eating a plate of salty salt with salt sprinkled on top. And a quick word about service - while it was okay, there was one tiny incident. Right after our main courses were put down, the waiter went to sprinkle parmesan cheese on my pasta and ended spilling his entire spoonful on my arm and on the table. He didn't even acknowledge it, much less apologize. He just sprinkled the tiny bit left on his spoon on my plate. I thought that was weird. I know people spill all the time - I'm the spill queen. However, wouldn't most servers at least have brushed the cheese off the table and even my arm?

                              1. re: tara17

                                Ha, that is kind of odd. I'm not sure I'd want a server brushing cheese off of my arm, but recognizing it and apologizing would've been appropriate. I worked in a restaurant years ago and, on occasion, would make a slip and if I thought it went unnoticed, I probably wouldn't say anything out of embarassment (it was high school), but cheesing a patron's arm isn't exactly subtle enough to ignore.

                                Service, for me, was good. The server was attentive, friendly and responsive. However, it was a really busy night and it was kind of obvious she seemed a little frenzied, even though it didn't effect us.

                      2. I heard that Amarone has closed. Can anyone verify this? I'm hoping it's just a false rumor. I was just there a week ago, and there was no indication that they were expecting to shut down.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: crsin

                          Ate there last night, the place was dead but still open.

                          1. re: ronam

                            Thanks. I called, too, and they're obviously still open. Rumor: debunked.

                            I'm not sure what lead my "source" to think this. He must've driven by at an off hour without realizing it. Sorry about the confusion.