Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker lives up to its hype
“Have you been to Searsucker?”
Now that Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey (Top Chef) has introduced his concept Searsucker to the Valley and its doors have been opened for few months, it seems we’ve been hearing constant buzz about the new, hip spot. About a week or so ago, I had to make a quick trip to the mall for a few items and my conversation with a sales associate turned to food and recommendations of the best Scottsdale restaurants. Immediately, there were exclamations of, “Have you been to Searsucker?”
Apparently, if you haven’t been in, you’re a nobody. But we won’t hold that against you. On a recent visit for dinner, I made sure to snap a few photos and jot down some notes… so whether you’ve experienced the menu yet or not, you’ll get a little “taste” here.
Immediately when entering, I noticed how large the space was (9,500 square feet, to be exact) and how well this swanky spot fits into the Scottsdale culinary scene. The décor is casually handsome with low lights, wood accents and mismatched chairs, and a bit rugged with a certain ‘masculine sexiness’ that I love.
I have to say something about the blue water glasses that sit at each table – they add a pop of color and vintage-y feel which corresponds to the restaurant’s logo, silkscreened onto each table’s glass water bottles. I wanted to sneak a couple of these home with me (but didn’t, of course)!
Complimentary Cheddar Puffs ($3) were delivered to my table as they were to every other table in the restaurant. These dainty-but-firm biscuits were served neatly in a pail for snacking while we grazed the menu… and they are highly addictive!
The menu is organized into seven simplistic categories: Bites, Smalls, Greens, Ocean, Ranch, Farm and ‘Ands’. From ‘Bites’, my companion and I ordered three beginners to share:
The Duck Fat Fries with tomato jam ($7) were insanely good. I almost never pass up an opportunity to try a restaurant’s fries since I’m a huge fried potato gal, so these were an easy must. Fried in duck fat, the potatoes were cut perfectly; not too thick and not too thin. They were incredibly rich, well-seasoned and super crispy. Though I swore to pace myself, I couldn’t stop at just a few and ended up devouring them all. No regrets, right? The tomato jam was subtle (don’t expect anything resembling ketchup here) with just a tiny kick, though I loved the fries all on their own.
We shared the Marrow Bone with sea salt and onion jam appetizer ($11) served two to a plate with crispy grilled bread, balsamic reduction and onion jam. Fatty and flavorful, this is one dish that mirrors heaven. A scoop of marrow with a dab of balsamic and a tiny spoonful of that delicious onion jam was an incredible three-way.
But the star of the appetizer round (as if the previous dishes could be outdone) was the Short Rib “Cali-belgique” with horseradish and fried onions ($12). So good, I’d order a couple of these in place of an entree on my next visit. This was the one dish I’ve heard consistent raves about and everyone who has visited Searsucker before me enthusiastically recommended I try it. So ridiculously tender, the short rib was drizzled with a sauce of beer and braising liquid that made my mouth water. Perched atop creamy, red mashed potatoes and garnished with crispy onions, this dish is an absolute must-order. EVERY. TIME.
For entrees, I chose a dish from the ‘Ranch’ – the Hanger “Butcher’s Steak” with watercress, BBQ, and blue fondue ($26) which was highly recommended by my server. The fresh, crisp bite of watercress and juicy tomatoes somehow lightened the dish, though the addition of rich blue cheese and housemade BBQ made it indulgent.
Sides (or ‘Ands’ as Searsucker calls them) are not to be overlooked. Order a bowl of Fried Brussels with walnuts ($6) and your life will probably be changed for the better. I’m a huge fan of Brussels sprouts and order them at every opportunity, but these were -hands down- the best I’ve ever had. Crispy charred on the outside and seasoned with balsamic, I loved the tang and sweetness and especially enjoyed the crunch of the walnuts sprinkled throughout.
For something less green, try the Fennel, Fingerlings and Yolk ($6).
Whatever you do, save room for dessert. I tried both the Donuts and Chocolate and Apple Napoleon, and although I am ordinarily a chocolate fanatic, I was completely won over by the Napoleon. Such a gorgeous plate, if I had judged it based on presentation alone it would have gotten a 10. Adding taste into the mix, it gets another 10. The combination of textures and temperatures was almost majestic and I loved its faint floral notes, crispy cinnamon sugar phyllo and soft, maple-glazed apples. It’s big enough to share, so make sure you save room… if only a teeny bit!
The bar menu offers tons of craft cocktails like the Peter Rabbit with Pimm’s #1, bruised basil, pressed lemon and pickled carrot and the Old Fashioned… King James Edition with Bulleit rye, oranges, luxardo cherries, sugar cube and nut brown ale and several infusions. You’ll find plenty of wine selections, too. I was good this particular night and sipped on a mug of hot chamomile tea. Something for everyone here, people!
Brian recently returned to TV as a judge and mentor for the new ABC show, “The Taste” where he sits alongside Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre in this reality cooking show series. Catch him on your TV on Tuesday nights at 8pm.
The restaurant is open for lunch Monday-Friday and serves dinner nightly. Enjoy brunch on Sundays. Learn more about the Scottsdale Searsucker and the menu at searsucker.com.
*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.