Gio Osso Will Open Virtù Honest Craft in Scottsdale June 7, with Grand Opening June 13
Foodists who know and love Gio Osso -- the edgy executive chef at Estate House before it closed in 2010 -- have been saying for years now: "Gio really ought to have his own place, something small and intimate, where he can do his own thing." And sometimes, dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
Courtesy of SALT Gio Osso
Gio Osso is back in the saddle, and he plans a soft opening for his small and intimate new restaurant -- Virtù Honest Craft -- located in the Bespoke Inn (3701 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, 480-946-3477) on Friday, June 7 as well as a grand opening the following Thursday, June 13. Here's what else you need to know.
When it comes to describing the food he'll be crafting at Virtù, Osso rejects the notion of labels, which create boundaries. Although his menu will hover around the cuisines and dishes of the Mediterranean -- including France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco -- Osso wants the freedom to add an Asian ingredient, sauce or preparation if the mood strikes him. So it's probably safest to say Virtù will be a Mediterranean-inflected New American restaurant or as Osso himself describes it -- "Van Halen meets Mozart: a loud symphony with attitude on a plate."
Buchanan Virtù and patio
Courtesy of SALT Bone marrow with parsley salad and toast
Osso will offer two or three hand-made pastas each day, as well as house-made sausages, crudo and house-made naan with some sort of "spread, dip or chunky thing" to go with it. He promises the menu will be fluid, getting tweaked at whim to keep things fresh for the customers and fun for himself and his crew.
We can expect dishes such as spaghettini with lamb ragu, English peas and Pecorino; braised oxtails with buttered morels, peppered parsnip puree, English peas and gremolata; rustic bone marrow with parsley salad and toast; and Spanish mackerel with Iberico Jamon, harissa chickpeas and tomato bread. Prices stay affordable, ranging between $11 and $18.
Meanwhile, Osso has hired mixologist Clint Spotleson to run the bar. Spotleson -- whose resume includes Jade Bar and Mabel's on Main -- says he did lots of classic cocktails at Mabel's but views his new gig as a chance to branch out and play with flavors.