From the first Arizona outpost of acclaimed Nobu to celebrity chef Scott Conant’s Italian steakhouse, these Scottsdale culinary gems further cement the city’s reputation as a foodie destination. Here are six of Scottsdale’s trendiest restaurants.
As renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s first Arizona location, Nobu Scottsdale opened to much fanfare. Located in the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square, it’s a striking modern Japanese restaurant boasting soaring ceilings, luxurious finishes and a design that captures Scottsdale desert hues. You’ll find signatures such as Nobu’s black cod with miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño as well as dishes exclusive to the Scottsdale location. Be sure to ask about off-menu chef specials, which on a recent visit featured fantastic short rib braised in a miso-red wine reduction served with soba mai (Japanese buckwheat) and jalapeño salsa.
The Americano in North Scottsdale launched in early 2020 and is now so popular it has spawned a second location in Atlanta. Led by celebrity chef Scott Conant, it’s a sleek, sultry restaurant punctuated with artistic elements including local artist Peter Deise’s sculptures. An Italian-inflected steakhouse, it showcases a sophisticated menu of antipasti, steaks, handmade pasta and seafood. Start with an award-winning cocktail before feasting on Chef Conant’s signature dishes such as pasta al pomodoro or polenta cremosa before moving on to ribeye grilled over pecan and mesquite wood or olive oil-poached octopus tossed with fingerling potatoes and olives.
Francine debuted in the summer of 2020 and brought the French Riviera to Scottsdale. Owner Laurent Halasz hails from Provence (the restaurant is named for his mother), and the space instantly transports you from the desert to the South of France. Executive chef Brian Archibald helms the open kitchen and serves a vibrant French and Mediterranean-inspired menu. Alongside classics such as salad Niçoise and steak tartare are modern crowd-pleasers like roasted bone marrow adorned with pickled beech mushrooms and crab ravioli scented with saffron and fennel. You’ll also be delighted to find specialties such as côte de boeuf for two, salt-encrusted branzino and Dover sole.
Maple & Ash puts the "edge" in cutting-edge dining. From their tongue-in-cheek menu items to their expertly invented cocktails, they've delivered a bold culinary addition to Old Town's bustling restaurant scene. You can dine with friends and loved ones in the spacious dining area, or pull up to the table or cozy booth in the popular bar area. There's something for everyone, with inventive offerings from the land, sea and farm to tantalize your tastebuds. While dinner and their "I Don’t Give a F@&$" prix fixe are top draws, the weekend brunch and "Tower Hour" (a spin on Happy Hour with caviar, oysters, and a seafood tower) are also not to be missed.
Cala introduced its coastal Mediterranean menu at a prime location within the Senna House Scottsdale hotel in Old Town’s Entertainment District. Led by culinary director Beau Macmillan and executive chef Peter McQuaid, the menu draws from coastal regions of Greece, Italy, Morocco, and France. That means popular dishes like flaming saganaki, white bean hummus and matbucha (Moroccan tomato and pepper chutney) and lamb kofta skewers with dill yogurt dot almost every table. You’ll also want to dig into fantastic pizzas, pastas, steak and seafood, and seasonal specialties such as watermelon salad with passionfruit aguachile and grilled swordfish with chorizo and fregola. Cala is also known for its lively weekend scene with DJs in the evening and during brunch, when shareable cocktails reign. Giant espresso martini or pineapple margarita, anyone?
Located in Scottsdale Quarter is Etta, the second Arizona concept from What If Syndicate, which includes Maple & Ash Scottsdale. Its moniker is derived from Henrietta, which is French for “keeper of the hearth.” Thus, a wood-fired hearth anchors the restaurant, turning out beautiful pizzas and focaccia, along with fire-roasted specialties such as oysters with smoked tomato butter and a 40-ounce bone-in short rib. In addition to wood oven items, dive into dishes like pork chop Milanese and oxtail cappelletti with rosemary-cherry jus. Rounding out the menu is a stellar cocktail list, from expert Old Fashioneds to inventive tipples like A Piece of the Pie with tomato-infused gin and mushroom-washed vermouth.