Last night Haute Living Phoenix attended the VIP opening of Local Bistro, officially opening today in North Scottsdale. With Executive Chef Andrea Volpi at the helm, the kitchen presented guests with a sampling of the Italian, French and Spanish-style fare they plan to serve.
The restaurant has stylishly minimalistic decor — one wall entirely of brick made a statement — with a cozy atmosphere, wine bottle racks lining the walls and a chalkboard above the bar. Centerpieces were small glass vases containing tiny greenery or pebbles and a tea candle.
To start, we tried the “Soup of the Moment,” made with garbanzo, pancetta, fresh herbs, roasted garlic, truffle oil and focaccia croutons. A deeply satisfying choice, it was big on flavor and huge on comfort. The arugula salad with grilled pears, toasted marcona almonds, goat cheese and lemon oil also successfully whetted the palate. Other available starters for guests included a farm salad, with mixed greens, shaved carrots, toasted walnuts, dijon vinaigrette and rustic croutons, as well as a caesar salad, with homemade dressing, grana padano and rustic croutons.
Main courses, called “big plates,” showed off some variety; guests had their choice of wild mushroom pizza (wild mushrooms, fontina, truffle oil and arugula), pappardella bolognese (veal, pork, beef and a light tomato ragu), risotto primavera or grilled salmon. We sampled the risotto, made with carnaroli rice, wood-grilled veggies and balsamic prosecco reduction. The rice was perfectly cooked and the reduction to die for, although our green beans could have used a teensy bit more time on the grill. The grilled salmon served with bearnaise sauce was wonderfully flaky, with buttery, seasoned flavor throughout, and the generous helpings of grilled veggies and smooth mashed potatoes were hearty sides.
Available libations for the evening included the basil gimlet, made of vodka, basil, lime and agave, and the cucumber collins cocktail, made with organic cucumber vodka, lemon, cucumber and soda, as well as cakebread chardonnay and cakebread merlot by the glass.
We’re looking forward to trying much more at Local Bistro in the future, such as the a la carte brunch menu, wood-fired pizzas, dessert cocktails, and meatier dishes such as the Angus burger on an artisanal bun with Asiago, zinfandel-braised onions and mayo. For a glimpse of the full menus at Local Bistro, see the Menu page on the restaurant’s site here.
Hats off to chef Volpi — we can’t wait to return!
Local Bistro is located at 20581 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale