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Kitchen Doors: Where We Ate This Month, August 2017
Farm & Craft
Old Town Scottsdale
While many restaurants have tried and failed to make eating healthy easy, convenient and most importantly appetizing — Old Town Scottsdale’s newest bistro-style restaurant, Farm and Craft, has it down to a science, even breaking down its menu items with four health and lifestyle categories – anti-inflammatory diet, increased probiotic levels, high antioxidant levels and reduced stress (which I definitely need in my life). I opted for the spinach and black bean bowl breakfast, and while I’m not sure if it did actually reduce my stress, it was delicious, far exceeding my expectations. I also appreciate their willingness to incorporate less healthy favorites, like nachos, flatbreads and a killer drink menu into a healthy lifestyle, with options like kombucha cocktails. In addition to the food — the atmosphere is great, with a fun and bright nature-inspired interior aesthetic and a comfortable patio right on Scottsdale Road.
As a writer, on one hand, your job is to tell a story. But on the other hand, sometimes you find something that you don’t really want to share. So, please don’t go to The Attic on Wednesday nights, when they have an awesome beer-and-a-pint special on any of their 5-6 amazing, pretzel-bun-anchored, half-pound, delicious and amazing burgers and their 25 different draft specialties. Nothing to see there. I’m sure pastrami on a burger is not your thing, nor is craft beer from breweries that aren’t represented anywhere else in Arizona. Also, they don’t have an awesome patio with an amazing view of Camelback Mountain, so don’t go there to see that. Otherwise, i’m going to have to wait in line longer for my new favorite Wednesday night activity.
Unfortunately, Arizona isn’t known for its stellar Indian food, but Marigold Maison is working on changing that with a casual dining experience that’s as educational as it is delicious. When Frontdoors was invited to try the restaurant’s traditional cuisine I learned a lot of new things, like that the chicken marsala we’ve been enjoying all these years is nothing like how it’s served back in India, and what’s even more surprising is that the traditional version is actually much, much better — trust me. Plus, the Tour of India Thai platter I enjoyed offered tastings of 10 different dishes from all across the country (and a map so I could keep track of it all!) so I practically felt like an expert by the time I left. If you try anything here, it has to be their chicken tikka masala and shrimp tandoori tikka, the naan is also not optional.
Sassi is the self-proclaimed best Italian restaurant in Scottsdale and Phoenix, and while I’m usually not a fan of such grandiose statements, I think they’ve got me on this one. Not only does Sassi have the ambience of the most luxurious castle you could imagine (and a beautiful patio to match), their food is incredible. The best part is, they’re generous enough to teach you how to make it yourself. I was lucky enough to attend one of their summer cooking classes, which end this month, and it was immediately clear to me that these are not your typical cooking classes. First of all, they’re demonstration-style, so if you’re more interested in eating and drinking with entertainment (like me), you can rest assured you won’t have labor yourself with pasta making. However, if you’re dead set on becoming an at home chef, you’ll be provided with an in-depth recipe and more than enough time to ask questions, help Chef Christopher Nicosia (who definitely has a fan club of his own) and really learn how the restaurant sets their food apart. The classes boast several repeat attendees, those that come to every class offered (or just one or two a season) for years in a row, and it’s easy to see why — the experience is engaging, unique and of course, delicious.