Love is in the air—and on the menu—at Scottsdale’s romantic Sassi restaurant.
It’s certainly not breaking news that Sassi restaurant in North Scottsdale is one the Valley’s most romantic dining destinations. Diners feel as if they are enjoying dinner in Southern Italy, viewing gorgeous Old World architecture—they might even catch a bride and groom snapping photos near the fountain and hear the sounds of a string quartet as they accompany the betrothed down the aisle. And with the addition of 14-year culinary veteran, Christopher Nicosia, as Sassi’s new executive chef in the fall, the Italian eats are as delicious as the sunset in the distance is lovely.
Sprawling is one way to describe Sassi. The restaurant is composed of several different dining areas for guests to choose from, including five dining rooms, a bar area and alfresco spaces that offer stunning desert views and even a sneak peek at the occasional wedding ceremony. Summer nights are the perfect time to enjoy the outdoor areas and indulge in Sassi’s caprese salad, one of the Valley’s top versions of this ubiquitous appetizer. The sizable portion of buffalo mozzarella is surrounded by a rainbow of organic heirloom tomato slices—and a few grape tomatoes sprinkled on top. Olive oil and basil top off this incredible salad.
For an even more decadent start to your meal, try the spiedino di fontina, a hot skillet featuring prosciutto-wrapped fontina cheese, roasted red peppers and an assortment of roasted olives. The dish is a delight for the taste buds as it spotlights an array of flavors and textures: salty prosciutto, creamy fontina, sweet peppers and tangy, blackened olives.
Because Sassi is like a slice of Southern Italy, its pasta should be tops—and it is. The restaurant dishes up a variety of handmade pastas, from pappardelle to cavatelli. It is the orecchiette dish that impresses the most. The pasta plate features hearty, al dente orecchiette with sausage, red peppers, rapini and pecorino cheese—a mouthwatering arrangement of sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy. Though the risotto has all the makings of a memorable dish, including porcini mushrooms, artichokes, Parmigiano Reggiano and truffle oil, the result is a bit bland.