Mangia! Mangia!

The Dishes: Risotto Tuto Mare – Arborio, rice, baby clams, calamari, crab, sea scallops, sautéed shrimp in tomato, white wine & saffron brodetto $24 Branzino (known as Mediterranean sea-bass)- Grilled whole, wood oven-roasted Roma tomatoes, broccoli, lentils, chorizo $29 Braciola Di Vietello – 12 oz. grilled veal chop, rapini, heirloom vegetables, creamy white polenta, porcini demi $29
The Place: Spiga Cucina Italiana
The Location: 7500 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 513-9000

By: Erik Merkow

Last night we visited Spiga Cucina Italiana and got to spend a little time with owner and restauranteur Fernando Esteves. Lucky Arizona, Fernando has brought an incredible combination of Italian and Portuguese inspired culinary creations to Scottsdale. Fernando was in business for 21 years in the heart of Toronto where on any given night you could possibly run into Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp in his restaurant. The canvas Fernando created with the decor of Spiga is absolutely spectacular! Each room has a unique feel with the combination of reclaimed wood, bricks and a very cool glass wine cellar featured as you walk into the restaurant. The patio is, without a doubt, one of the best in the valley and will continue as a hot spot throughout our wonderful summer months. With an extremely high end misting system it is sure to keep the temperature down 25 degrees.

We were so happy to try a few dishes and loved every one of them. First, we had a platter which was a different take on their charcuterie board by adding some prongs, a spectacular grilled Morocan octopus (this is a must try!), and house-cured salmon (again a must try!). This platter is perfect for two, a bottle of wine and a patio table with a beautiful sunset.

We were then presented three dishes, Risotto Tuto Mare, Grilled Veal Chop, and a beautiful Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass). The risotto dish was de-lish! The seafood was a perfect combination of grilled shrimp, scallops, muscles, baby calamari, baby clams and crab. This was a perfectly created potpourri of the ocean’s best tastes! Next, was the grilled veal chop which was grilled to perfection and resting on top of a mouthwatering mound of mashed potatoes and kale. The last dish, was a beautifully grilled Branzino, which is prepared by placing the Mediterranean seasoning into the belly of the fish (get in my belly!). This dish was so flavorful and again cooked to perfection!

The icing on top of this awesome meal was literally one of the best tiramisu we’ve ever devoured. The intent was to simply try it…but we practically licked the plate clean! We couldn’t take enough pictures of this magical creation (see our Instagram)

Chef Marc Martinez is delivering the vision, as well as infusing creations into this fantastic restaurant. We are soooooo happy Fernando was compelled to conceive this, from the heart menu and open this beautifully designed restaurant here in Scottsdale.

Manga Mangia…and lots of it at Spiga!

eat + drink + share

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Erik Merkow
Founder and CEO at Az Food & Wine
Erik: a father, writer, son, photographer, corporate guy, friend, brother, and foodie wine guy

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  1. Maria Ochoa

    Way to go son!!! So proud of you!! I have had the privilege to eat some of your delicious unforgettable dishes! What can I say without my heart bursting with pride other than your dream has come true!!!! Love you!!!

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