By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
With the starters so top-notch, what are we to make of the generally disappointing primi and secondi, the "first" and "second" courses? Most of the pastas, whether shells stuffed with lamb, baked rigatoni, or beef and butter ravioli, could be bested by some of the better neighborhood Eye-tie spots in town. And in the case of that rigatoni, even some ready-to-microwave pasta dishes, such as those under the brand name Michael Angelo's, are superior.
The Sicilian fish stew known as cuscusu and the spalla di maiale, pork shoulder atop a bed of braised fennel, both seemed unbearably lacking in any culinary kick. The bistecca vecchio fidele, rib eye in a sweet tomato-marmalade-balsamic chutney, was an improvement, but more for the sauce than the steak. Thankfully, the desserts ended each of my trips to Sassi on high notes, the anise panna cotta and the semifreddo, half-frozen triangles of fig and almond custard rolled in crushed nuts, being my preferred postprandial treats. Whether or not W.R. Hearst would have approved is unknowable, but Citizen Lemons would like to see the entrees improved before his recommendation is granted sans reservations.
10455 E. Pinnacle Peak Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Region: North Scottsdale
480.502.9095. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 5:30p.m. to 10p.m.; Friday and Saturdays, 5:30p.m. to 11 p.m.; Closed Mondays