At the urging of my co-workers, I recently paid a lunch visit to Crust Italian American Fusion in Scottsdale near Indian Bend and Hayden Roads, in the Albertson’s plaza. And my colleagues (a k a very satisfied Crust customers) were correct: Crust, well, was awesome. The smallish restaurant is quite handsome and contemporary, but incredibly comfortable–fitting for a friendly happy hour or cozy date.
We opted for front row seats to the fiery pizza oven and sat at the bar. The gentleman working behind the bar were incredibly friendly and very passionate about their pizzas and other menu items, even explaining each item in the display case. And there were quite a few. For a starter, we nibbled on the mozzarella encorozza, which was similar to a flattened, triangular mozzarella stick. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the middle–delish. We also sampled the bruschetta, piled high with sweet, finger-licking good tomatoes.
For the main event, we ordered up one of Crust’s rusticas, a superthin pizza. Again, the incredible tomatoes were the scene-stealer here and the crust was soft and scrumptious. The stuffed vegetable pizza was likewise yummy, jam-packed with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, mushrooms and broccoli. I could have eaten the crust solo, dipped in the house tomato sauce. There are plenty of Sicilian- and New York-style pizzas (you have to ask for these; New York-style isn’t on the menu) to choose from. There are also primo pastas, including a very tempting crusted mac and cheese; salads, which are geniusly served on pizza crusts; and subs. Filet mignon sliders, anyone?
For dessert, cannolis (what else?!?) Yum. Luckily, they were little so we didn’t suffer from eater’s remorse. And, since I visited at lunchtime, I refrained from ordering wine, but there are a gazillion varieties available by the glass, half-bottle and bottle. PS If you stop by during happy hour on Monday, bottles of wine are half off. Yup, Crust is officially a staff favorite. I’ll be back.
Speaking of Crust, Phoenicians will have the opportunity to give it a go once its Phoenix Convention Center location opens on Dec. 27. Crust is one of several eateries debuting in the convention center in the coming weeks, including Bistro on 3rd, City Central Coffee, Fresh Gourmet to Go, Tortillas Mexican Grill and Urban Wok (I’ll be sure to follow up with more info on these eateries later). Good news for lightrail riders, for sure. www.crustscottsdale.com.