Cask 63 - Scottsdale
Visited Cask 63 last week for dinner, the restaurant that took over the Bloom space in Gainey Village. At 6pm, the bar was packed, thankfully I had reservations. The restaurant slowly filled up around 7pm. I ordered the Small White wine flight, which was a steal at $8 for 3 wines from Oregon, Italy & California. The pretzel bread brought to the table with three different butters (all very good, with my favorite being the mustard) was absolutely delicious. I ordered the trout almondine which was a good-sized portion. It was cooked perfectly, with crispy skin (my only complaint was that the skin was very salty, even for a salt fanatic like myself, but I could overlook it). I ordered the s'mores for dessert, recommended by the server, which consisted of two warm brownies, graham crackers, homemade marshmallow, and peanut butter ice cream. Perfect way to end a really great meal - and the price was very reasonable, under $40. Service was attentive and Jerry, the general manager, stopped by tables to check if everyone was happy. I was really pleased with this new restaurant and can't wait until I can get back there!
We love happy hours for several reasons, so we checked out Cask 63 last weekend. Yes, we we there 5-6 PM on a Saturday, but still a bit surprised to see all patrons besides us were aged 60 and above. I don't go out to Gainey Ranch area very much, maybe that's to be expected in that neighborhood? Nothing against seniors but a mix of age ranges would probably make the place more lively. It'd probably be different at a different time of the evening.
We did enjoy talking with the bartenders who seem to know what they are doing overall. They told us they'd prefer to do a more hardcore mixology drink menu, but their patrons don't readily accept it, so they've had to tone it down a notch or two. They are conscious of ingredients and seem to be doing mostly quality liquor and doing as much stuff in house as possible when it comes to juices and flavorings. I had a pretty good mojito, but the cosmopolitan was way too sweet and we like them on the sweet side. They have a bourbon drink called a Ward 8 that was fantastic, though. I'd guess its equal parts bourbon to lemon juice and then housemade grenadine and flamed orange zest to sweeten and add another layer of citrus flavor. It was really good, served up in a martini glass. Too bad they use Wild Turkey in it, but it was still really good. I immediately went home and tried to recreate it pretty successfully using Maker's Mark. These go down really easily, something about the combination of lots of lemon juice and bourbon that is delicious to me. This drink is a lot sweeter than a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, which I find a bit too strong for my tastes. So its definitely not a drink for everyone.
The food was not too bad, either, with the highlight being the wild mushroom flatbread with fontina, balsamic, carmelized onions and truffle oil. All flavors listed were discernible and balanced and the crust was nice. Nothing else on the happy hour menu was grabbing us, so we had the wild mushroom bisque, kinda overkill to have two mushroom apps and nothing else, but it was also full-flavored, if just a bit thick in texture, but that made it hearty and filling.
All in all, a nice place to hit up. Decor is sleek and modern, they are ingredients- focused and seem to know what they are doing. Prices are pretty reasonable, as well. If you talk to the bartenders when they are not too busy, I'd guess they'd have an interest in making some off-menu classic cocktails.
8877 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253