Abondanza in the Scottsdale Desert

sassi Annual treks to a favorite place are so appealing. When Sassi is that place, I rejoice!

We approach the sprawling Italian villa suitably complemented by the desert palette.  Inside are cavernous rooms reminiscent of a past stay at a castle in Chianti.  Though we feel a bit royal inside these walls, the outside beckons.

outsassiThe stone patio is a pristine setting for unhurried dining among purple hills as dusk settles in. We contemplate the familiar, yet evolving menu of this restaurant of ten years.

We are pleased to find a bottle of red Tuscan wine from Castello Vicchiomaggio, that find from 2003 and, later, part of a vicchiomaggiohoneymoon for our eldest son and daughter-in-law.

We gather as family, with a 1 ½ year old who charms the staff.  The orecchiette with sausage and rapini, wood grilled wild shrimp, salmon and filet satisfy.  The ricotta-filled lightly fried squash blossoms taste of the sun.  The pane and olive oil delight.  Al fino, we succumb to affogato and summer berries with Amaretto cream and a flight of limoncello.

spiediniWe are pleased that the chef continues to import certain menu items from Italy.  My husband is devastated to find the buffalo mozzarella from Campagna has been replaced tonight by local burrata in his caprese.

figbruschA day later, we check in at happy hour to find there is yet no mozzarella. The offerings at this time are pleasing, though, and we dismiss the news:
* Bruschetta: roasted fig, gorgonzola and walnuts; fava puree, lemon  and pecorino; peach, Calabrese chiles, ricotta and mint
* Polpettini  braised in white wine and lemon,
* Speidino: skewered porcini-rubbed  filet on arugula with parmigiano, and
* best yet- Sicilian eggplant cakes with currants and pine nuts in marinara.
eggplantAbundance on small plates!

12 thoughts on “Abondanza in the Scottsdale Desert

  1. What a gorgeous array of Italian food offerings. Scottsdale is a beautiful place and this place will be on our next time we’re there list. It’s an amusing concept of next time having to ask “do you have rooms and do you have my cheese?”

  2. OMG, Lisa! this place really looks amazing! Who’d of thought that such a glorious replica of Italy could be found in AZ? First they got the London Bridge, now a piece of Italy for all to enjoy. I’ll definitely look up Abondanza on my next visit to Scottsdale.

  3. Scottsdale is all kinds of fun. We enjoy the desert and have visited Scottsdale a couple of times. We spent a day visiting old town Scottsdale and had a great time. Looks as if you really savored some tasty treats!

  4. “Bruschetta: roasted fig, gorgonzola and walnuts; fava puree, lemon and pecorino; peach, Calabrese chiles, ricotta and mint”

    The bruschetta alone makes me drool (and tempts me to hop on a plane here in Ecuador and head to AZ) 😉

    Likewise the ingredients are inspiring as… I recently joined a small Dinner Club here in Cuenca, Ecuador, and the theme for our first dinner is ITALIAN! I’ve already opted to bring appetizers so… hopefully I can try some of the flavors here.

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