Marcellino Ristorante Reopens in Scottsdale's SouthBridge
|Chef Marcellino moved his restaurant, and his entire staff, to Old Town Scottsdale.|
Regulars -- and believe us, there were plenty of em'! -- worried that a Scottsdale Marcellino's would lose the cozy neighborhood feel that made the original such a big draw. They needn't have worried. The Verzinos unveiled the revamped restaurant to nearly 200 VIPs last Thursday night, and everybody was right at home.
Amber lighting makes for a romantic feel, as does the candlelight pouring out of the restaurant's semi-private dining area. There are two bars -- one a traditional bar space directly to the right of the side entrance, the other a long counter offering a front row seat to the workings of Marcellino's pride and joy, the pizza oven.
|A drool-worthy trio of gnocchi, blue cheese dumpling and pasta with meat sauce.|
Friday night, Marcellino served up miniature samples of some of the restaurant's signature offerings: grilled polenta squares, roasted red peppers, scallops in pesto sauce, a trio of handmade pastas. We were eavesdropping (for research purposes only, natch) and heard a lot of raving about the food and wine.
A VIP guest from Sur La Table (left) poses with one of Marcellino's saucy servers.
And if you were one of the three or four folks like us who didn't have a gaggle of friends in tow, Sima was there with a kind word and a European cheek-kiss. There were hugs all around, a traditional dance from Sima and Marcellino, and gorgeous vocals from the three Arizona Opera members contracted to perform Italian arias on Friday and Saturday nights. If Thursday's event is any indication of the nights to come, the new Marcellino should have a cult following in no time.
Singers from the Arizona Opera will perform on weekends.