White Elephant

Sassi serves up swanky ambience and appetizers, but seems to fall off the (main) course

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.

A feast fit for Kubla Khan, but does Citizen Lemons approve?
Jackie Mercandetti
A feast fit for Kubla Khan, but does Citizen Lemons approve?

Location Info

Map

Sassi

10455 E. Pinnacle Peak Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: North Scottsdale

Details

Calamari: $9
Ravioli of the day: $20
Sicilian fish stew: $21
Anise panna cotta: $7

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

10455 E. Pinnacle Peak Parkway, Scottsdale

E-mail stephen.lemons@newtimes.com

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