Recently, I was invited for a mini staycation at Scottsdale’s FireSky Resort & Spa. And while there were plenty of highlights to speak of (an ahh-inducing Tea Tree Body Polish at Jurlique Spa; the relaxing beach-entry pool; and the cool, retro-modern rooms), my favorite part of our stay was an amazing dinner at FireSky’s signature Italian restaurant, Taggia.
We took advantage of Taggia’s serene patio, which overlooks FireSky’s lush landscaping and gorgeous pool area, where strings of white lights and tall torches light up the night sky. Though we were tempted by many of Taggia’s menu items (like a prosciutto-topped pizza, shrimp-stuffed ravioli and slow-braised short ribs paired with organic polenta), we decided to try chef James Siao’s four-course tasting menu. Our server mentioned that chef Siao does this mostly on weekends; however, it might be worth a shot to ask if he is in if you happen to stop by Taggia during the week.
Typically, the tasting menu starts with two appetizer-y dishes, followed by pasta, and then a main course. And if you’re coveting your neighbor’s dish, please remember that no two table’s tasting menus will be alike. Also, there is no pre-written menu (though do mention any allergies, etc.), so you don’t know what’s coming up next—all part of the fun.
During my visit, chef Siao started us with a shrimp and scallop duo, paired with a refreshing grapefruit slice. The grapefruit definitely kick started our taste buds for the feast ahead. Chef Siao followed that up with rabbit sausage. Though it might not read as the most delicious offering, I was quite surprised by how yummy and tender each piece was. Our third course was a creamy, lick-the-bowl risotto (our pasta course) and our final tasting menu selection was a lovely piece of halibut, which was incredibly fresh and wonderfully crisped on the outside.
Aside from the first “appetizer” course, each selection was plentiful without leaving you overstuffed—which left just enough room for dessert (please note that the tasting menu—at least on the evening that we visited—didn’t include a custom dessert). Regardless, I was delighted by the trio of gelatos (chocolate, coffee and hazelnut) that I tried as well as the bowl of fresh berries and cream. I even spied fellow diners who satisfied their sweet tooth by making s’mores fireside at one of FireSky’s many cozy, alfresco seating areas.