Autostrada - review (N Scottsdale)
After much delay, Autostrada is finally open, surprisingly with little fanfare. The couple we were meeting had trouble finding the new Italian osteria in DC Ranch. Apart from a large red "A" vinyl on the doors, there was no other signage. It's located at the intersection across from The Armitage.
The menu is simple and straightforward at very palatable prices - nothing is over $18. Food is encouraged to be shared family style. All of which sounds like a great concept in a recessionary environment.
None of the antipasti piqued our interest so we jumped straight to the pastas. Fettuccine with scallops and mushrooms ($17) and orchiette with pork sugo and peas. The marscapone sauce on the fettucine was deliciously creamy although a touch heavy handed. The pork sugo was a bit too sweet and the dish just fell flat for us.
For the main, we shared the roasted sea bass with fennel and tomato ($16) and NY strip steak (pre-sliced for easy sharing) on potato and sunchoke puree. Both were solid dishes. Steak had great flavor but oddly it was not sliced across the grain and had a little gristle.
Our favorites were the contorni (aka sides). The tiella - baked layers of eggplant, zucchini & tomato topped with parmesan was packed with flavor. The baby artichokes were fried to a nice crisp on the outside contrasting nicely with the tender interior.
For dessert, we chose vanilla bean panna cotta with sliced strawberries and the marscapone tart with poached pears and spiced walnuts. Again both were solid dishes.
The interior has an industrial cool vibe to it with a long metal bench running along the wall and a stainless steel walled kitchen that runs across, separated by glass so you can get a full view of the action from most of the dining room. There is an equal if not greater number of seating outdoors including tables for up to 8.
Autostrada serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is Chef Aaron May of Sol y Sombra, Over Easy and The Lodge fame's latest dining destination.
20825 N Pima Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
A couple of nights ago, we were in the area and looking to try something new, so we headed to Autostrada for dinner. Overall, I was pretty impressed. We kept it simple and each ordered a pasta or entree and ate it ourselves. I had the cauliflower soup (with truffle/"lemon cream"), which I though was excellent. I'm normally fairly indifferent to cauliflower, but the first bite of this creamy and rich soup surprised me by the amount of flavor. I would've been happy with more truffle (who wouldn't?), as it had a fairly light presence in the soup, but what there was--combined with the lemon--tasted fantastic. Had a bite or two off of the cheese plate, which seemed like a nice spread. For pasta, I had the orcchiette w/pork sugo that heleny mentions above. I really enjoyed the dish. Unlike heleny, I didn't detect much sweetness aside from the peas, so maybe they tweaked the recipe since January. Heard good reports on the bucatini and shrimp & polenta at the table.
It was a very good, casual meal, and I'd absolutely head back for the food. I found everything to be a great value and, had I not seen the menu beforehand, would've easily expected it all to have been considerably more expensive. I'm excited to go back, especially to give breakfast a try, and to taste the great-sounding torchio.