After closing the doors to his stellar Michael’s at the Citadel in 2007, chef
Michael DeMaria is back on the eatin’ scene with Market Street at DC Ranch’s
new friendly but fine dining destination, Heirloom.
CHEF MICHAEL DEMARIA has long been a staple on the Valley dining scene. For 10
successful years, he was at the helm of the now-defunct Michael’s at the Citadel
restaurant. Then, it seemed that DeMaria was in for another homerun with his Trattoria
M project at Centerpoint Condominiums in Tempe, though it was eventually stalled.
Now, the chef is back in Scottsdale—Market Street at DC Ranch, to be specific—
After a whirlwind, 33-day construction process, the former space of Flo’s Hong Kong
Market was transformed into the simple yet elegant Heirloom. The restaurant was
undoubtedly a labor of love: chef DeMaria did some of the tiling himself and his father
headed up the electrical work. The result is an L-shaped dining room with brick-color
walls, beautiful tiling and a glass-enclosed wine cellar and chef’s table (where diners
have an up-close-and-personal look into the kitchen). Another eye-catching element
is the centerpiece located on each dining table—a bouquet of long, skinny breadsticks.
These delicious sticks are meant to be dunked in the complimentary, individually
portioned hummus that is located at each diner’s place setting. The breadsticks are far
from overfilling and the hummus offers a slight spicy kick.
Upon looking at the ever-changing menu, it’s clear that the bill of fare at Heirloom is
arranged unlike most eateries. Instead of appetizers, entrées and desserts, the menu
is divided into courses—five of them. The intention is to order one item from two,
three or more courses (another reason for the light breadsticks instead of thick, filling
loaves). But do keep in mind that each dish is not intended to be shared à la family
style, and be prepared with all your menu selections (save dessert) during your initial
order as some of the items are a bit time-consuming to prepare.
The first course features a few small salad offerings. The heirloom tomato salad tasted
incredibly fresh and the tomatoes were plump and juicy. The white balsamic-tossed baby
spinach provided a flavorful—and, again, fresh—accompaniment. We also enjoyed the
creamy mozzarella, crowned with roasted peppers and bibb lettuce, on a crunchy grilled
crostini. The second course enlisted an incredible short rib cannelloni with caramelized
onions, bleu-taleggio fondue and beef broth. The short ribs, which were wrapped by the
pasta, were utterly silky.
The next round offered up a few seafood dishes, including the shrimp-wrapped diver
scallop with bacon-and-corn chowder. The scallop was tender and tasty, as was the
shrimp that sat on top of it. However, with just one scallop and one piece of shrimp,
though both sizable, the dish could have used at least one more of each.
As the last savory round, the fourth course had several substantial, hearty dishes, like a
prosciutto-wrapped filet of beef. We sampled the chicken and mushroom entrée, and
though it sounds simplistic, the truffle sauce made the dish quite refined. The thyme-
scented veal cutlet, topped with lump crab and asparagus, as well as the mint-scented
lamb chops, were also favorites. The menu additionally features a few carb-centric sides,
like pasta and potatoes, if your selections call for a bit more starch.
For dessert, or the fifth course, we hoped to test the much raved-about chocolate pudding
with balsamic strawberries. Unfortunately, Heirloom was fresh out of the popular dish
during our visit. However, we were more than pleased with the plate of doughnuts (though
they were more like beignets rather than traditional doughnuts) and cinnamon ice cream.
The soft-centered sweets were served warm with a light coating of sugar. But our favorite
topping on this treat? A spoonful of the sinful cinnamon ice cream.
20775 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale.
Chef: Michael DeMaria
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5:30 to 10 p.m.