Sassi: Escape to Southern Italy

Posted on: April 10th, 2011 by Amy Martin No Comments

Chef Christopher Nicosia creates homemade, Southern Italian cuisine at one of the valley’s most exquisite and breathtakingly beautiful restaurants: Sassi. The AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurant is established at an elevation of 2,500 feet where its ‘outdoor retreat’, situated on six acres, resembles an Old World Italian Villa. The interior of the restaurant is gorgeous and offers such an intimate atmosphere (perfect for a date with your loved one as it truly is an escape from the city’s busyness) and spectacular views of Pinnacle Peak.

Executive Chef Christopher Nicosia, formerly Chef de Cuisine of Constantino’s at Chiricahua Clubhouse at Desert Mountain, brings his experience in regional Italian cuisine to Sassi and his philosophy goes hand-in-hand with the restaurant – focusing on authentic, local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to his 10 years at Desert Mountain, Chef Christopher also served at Lon’s at The Hermosa.

Recently, we were invited to experience a taste of what Sassi has to offer.

Among the dishes we savored and loved:

Caprese Salad w/ Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata

Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

This Caprese Salad was like no other – the fresh, crisp sweet tomatoes were beautiful coupled with what was the star of the salad – the Burrata. We were served a heaping portion (you can never have too much burrata!) and savored every bite. A perfect beginning to a lovely meal.

We also enjoyed two pasta dishes: Squid Ink Cavatelli with Rock Shrimp Puttanesca & Orecchiette with Sassi Sausage and Rapini

Right: Squid Ink Cavatelli, Left: Orecchiette

The Squid Ink Cavatelli with Rock Shimp Puttanesca had a delightful spice and tang that was strikingly addicting. Although not a dish I would normally choose for myself (personally, I would have swayed towards the Orecchiette), I found myself coming back to this one… until it was all gone.

The Orecchiette with Sassi Sausage and Rapini had my name all over it. This was a really lovely dish combining Sassi’s sweet and spicy sausage with rapini, red pepper and Pecorino. Overall, this was my favorite, but if you are dining with a companion, I would recommend splitting both.

For dessert, we were presented a beautiful Sassi Cannoli filled with ricotta, mascarpone and Grand Marnier served with a tart, house-made cherry sorbet. The restaurant offers daily selections of sorbet flavors. They also offer house-made gelato!

Sassi’s hours are 5:30pm-9pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The Sassi Bar opens at 5 pm.

Sassi | 10455 E. Pinnacle Peak Parkway | Scottsdale, AZ | 480-502-9095 | sassi.biz

Re-cap by Amy Martin, PhoenixBites Editor in Chief

*This meal was provided to us complimentary as a part of a media invitation. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.


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About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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