First Taste: Marcella's Italian Kitchen In Scottsdale

Categories: First Taste

 

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Marcella's Spaghetti Carbonara -- with pasta, eggs, and bacon, how can you go wrong?
We got an early glimpse of the new casual Italian restaurant opening at Scottsdale Fashion Square in a preview dinner last night: Marcella's Italian Kitchen.

Suffice it to say, we're still full. This is not food for the proverbial lemon-tarts-who-lunch. This is Italian food by way of the American Midwest (Marcella's was developed by Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, and both of the other outposts for this "concept" are located in the state capital, Columbus). That means lots of eggs and cream and cheese and pasta, should you care to partake in them.

And go figure: We did.

We started with an order of the melted pecorino (really amazingly perfect texture on that stuff) and the calamari, which was served with lightly breaded zucchini and aioli on the side. It was a salty, tentacley treat.

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After that, it was time for some salads. Unlike the local, independent restaurants we're used to, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has no problem providing an affordable plate of greens. Our caesar was just $3.95, yet practically a meal in itself. We also enjoyed the refreshingly crisp apple salad, which for just a few dollars more was a killer combination of greens, Granny Smiths, gorgonzola, walnuts, and a lovely sherry vinaigrette.

 

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Again, this thing could have been a meal. But what can we say? We're from Ohio, too -- so we kept eating.

We tried a shellfish risotto, which was rich and just a bit fishy. We also partook in a spaghetti carbonara. We've been obsessed with this rich breakfast-foody pasta for months now, and we have to admit, Marcella's was one of the best we've had. Lightly flaked with parmesan, decked with thick-cut bacon, and topped by a perfectly laid egg, it was loaded with calories but oh so very worth it.

By this point, you might assume they needed a wheelbarrow to get us home, but we actually had a few bites left in us. What to do but gorge ourselves on profiteroles? We all agreed this was our favorite dish on the menu -- a study in contrasts of cool and warm, silky and crispy, chocolatey and ... okay, chocolatey. Yum!

 

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We were reaching a food coma, so it was time to be heading home. But we did notice a few things on the way out. This is a really handsome, warm, friendly space -- better than some other dining choices at Fashion Square, which can seem dark and awkwardly laid out. And while it's not a place you'd go for a big night out or choose for a foodie destination -- hey, it's part of a national concept, which is never exactly our cuppa tea -- it's not a place to write off, either. Marcella's isn't trying too hard, and it's happy to fill you up with something rich and creamy. Nothing wrong with that, even if you aren't from the Midwest.  

​Marcella's officially opens for business on Monday, October 12, in the new Barney's wing of the mall. For you oldtimers dying for a profiterole (and yes, we'd recommend one or five!), that's adjacent to the Anthropologie/Sephora/Grand Lux Cafe part of Fashion Square.

Location Info

Marcella's Italian Kitchen - CLOSED

7014 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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