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Jan 29, 2014 09:08 AM

Long weekend in Phoenix/Scottsdale

My wife and I will be spending a long weekend at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch property in Scottsdale arriving 2/12 and departing 2/16. I have made reservations at The Mission, noca and Bistro Zinc. We also plan to make the commitment to the wait at Pizzeria Bianco. Have I made good choices or not? Are there restaurants that we will regret not visiting? All of these reservations can be cancelled although with the Valentines Day weekend I wanted to arrange for them as early as possible. Please comment.

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  1. All the restaurants you have picked are great. However, I would suggest that you visit pizzeria Bianca for lunch or late afternoon. It is not worth a 4 hour wait, which is what happened to us the first time. We went back for lunch, same pizzas and salads, no wait! Have a great time. Linda

    1 Reply
    1. re: Poozle

      Four-hour waits at Pizzeria Bianco tend to be the exception, not the rule, these days. With two locations serving dinner and lunch, the wait times are considerably shorter than they have been in the past.

    2. All your choices are excellent. However our favorite is T Cooks. Check it out and you might want to consider a dinner there. Atmosphere and food are always top notch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: black_lab

        Love T. Cooks but its been awhile and there is the new chef..have you been since all the new changes going on?

        I was in town a couple of weeks ago and almost headed out for drinks and apps in the bar but going back at the end of the month..want to hit up Pizzeria Bianco for lunch too.

      2. Not to be missed are Virtu and Atlas Bistro. Both at the very top of the game at this time.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jock

          Have you been to Atlas Bistro since the recent chef switch? I was lucky to have some of Chris McKinley's food before he left, but haven't been in since Michael Dei Maggi took over. Just curious about which version of Atlas you're referring to.

          1. re: hohokam

            There last night. Michael is just as good as Chris.

            IMO MIssion, NOCA and Zinc are all good but none of them are even close to Virtu and Atlas foodwise. Plus you will have better wine at a lower cost at both. Virtu's list is good and not as heavily marked up as most in the valley. Atlas has a great wine shop next door where you can pick up something good at discounted retail and open it at Atlas for $10 corkage.

            1. re: jock

              +1 for Virtu and for atlas Bistro, although no Scottsdale"scene" at either, which I think is a good thing. ANd yes, Jock has it right, both are bargains for the quality. ...did Virtu last week for intimate dinner at sunset and it was perfect. Fish for me, proscuitto-wrapped pork chop for husband (yes, I know it sounds like overkill) and the quality of the ingredients and care in prep made it a very personal meal. Root salad with exquisite local greens lightly dressed , grilled asparagus with duck egg and OMG if it is on the menu try the Octopus starter. TOo small for a pastry chef, but we still ordered a SECOND dessert. Our young part-Maltese waitress was knowledgeable, pleasant, efficient, note-perfect tone. The best service we have ever had in Scottsdale. Atlas Bistro I have no been since the most recent chef shuffle, but have heard from several that it is BETTER than it was. Hard to do. Atlas is often overlooked for its unglamorous location 5 minutes south of Olde Town, but you no doubt are renting a car, and there is plenty of parking right in front in the strip mall. Because there are so many vacancies in the building! I also agree with Jock that the other choices are all solid, but perhaps lacking in divine inspiration. Never awesome. (now off to see his other posts and learn something, as he may be completely wrong, but if so we both are as he has similar tastes to mine).

          2. I just cancelled the Bistro Zinc reservation and got a table at Virtu. Thank you all for your comments and insights. I am really looking forward to our trip for more than one reason. It is currently 10 degrees and that feels balmy compared to recent temps.

            1 Reply
            1. re: johnsont

              Of the three you chose the right one to cancel. Please report back.

            2. We are going to be in Scottsdale May 13-18th for a conference. Would love to get your feedback, as well as that from the locals about which of those recommended might work better for a group of 8-10. Generally we end up seeing all our friends who are spread across the country, and we hate to leave anyone out.