Chef Matt Carter has done it again. In November, Carter’s newest restaurant, Fat Ox, joined his sister restaurants Zinc Bistro, The Mission and The House Brasserie in Scottsdale. Fat Ox serves a modern take on ingredient-driven recipes of rural Italy, with hand-pulled cheeses and house-made pastas, and, to wash it all down, Italian-inspired cocktails and a world-class wine menu. Fat Ox is definitely poised to be one of the Valley’s top date spots, thanks to its handsome interior and high-end eats.
Before you even sink your teeth in, diners will be impressed by the restaurant’s good looks, which are evident before you even step foot into Fat Ox, thanks to the expansion windows. The interiors marry the sleek look of Milan with the rustic sensibilities of Arizona and Italy’s cattle country in more than 2,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor private dining space. Diners can choose a spot in the expansive dining room, at the see-and-be-seen bar or in a patio space.
To kick the meal off on a high note, the tableside caesar salad is a must. The server whips up the salad of gem lettuce, white balsamic, anchovy, tomato crouton parmesan, basil, capers and olive oil before you eyes. The burrata di bufala and steamed mussels, with nduja, fennel and tomato passata, are two other can’t-misses, and aren’t overly filling.
The house-made pasta dishes are the stars of the Fax Ox menu. Fortunately, there are seven options to choose from. The perfect fall plate–and our favorite dish–is the casoncelli. Each little shell-like piece of pasta is packed with flavor, thanks to the butternut squash, sage, amaretti, parmesan and pomegranate used in the dish. Warming, comforting, heaven-sent. For a heartier option, the rigatoni lamb verde is a unique and delicious option, with green tomato, fennel pollen and pecorino.
At $65, the 18-oz. Costata (bone-in grilled ribeye, peppers and onions) isn’t easy on the wallet, but the ribeye is velvet and will melt in your mouth. No fancy sauces or loads of ingredients needed. Just simply delicious. Pair it with a side of Fat Ox’s peppery polenta.
Don’t jet without satisfying your sweet tooth. We suggest a sinfully good affogato, espresso poured over ice cream and topped with a crown of whipped cream. (Though just about any dish on the Fat Ox dessert menu reads like a mighty happy ending.) Finished with a striped paper straw, the dessert begs for a spot on your Instagram feed and for a lasting impression on your taste buds.