Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2001

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Italian Restaurant

It has taken owner Daniel Malventano eight years to bring his restaurant into the honest-to-goodness big leagues, but today he's making gnocchi with the best of them. Acqua e Sale has evolved from a casual bistro (with black-and-white checkerboard floors, no less), and now sports sleek cherry wood and stylish, ornately framed black-and-gold prints.

But the real revelation here is the food -- including prosciutto d'anatra (whisper-thin duck breast edged with truffle oil), black truffle-spread crostini, and buffalo mozzarella. The traditional Italian fare holds up, too, with such choices as capellini con pomodorino freschi (angel hair pasta in a tomato, basil, garlic and olive-oil sauce), or osso buco mounded over fettuccine in a deep brown vegetable sauce. Even the simplest della campagna salad is magic, a minimalist marvel of field greens and organic tomatoes tossed in olive oil and squeezed with fresh lemon.

A pretty place, plus beautiful food? To that, we say, chow bella!

Readers' Choices

Best Margarita Spot
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Mexican Restaurant
Macayo's
several Valley locations

Best Salsa
Blue Agave Oyster & Chile Bar
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Readers' Choices

Best Breakfast Spot
International House of Pancakes
several Valley locations

Best Downtown Executive Lunch
Durant's
2611 North Central
602-264-5967

Best Romantic Restaurant
The Melting Pot
8320 North Hayden, Scottsdale
480-607-1799
3626 East Ray, Ahwatukee
480-704-9206

Best Healthful Eating
Pita Jungle
1250 East Apache, Tempe
480-804-0234
1949 West Ray, Chandler
480-855-3232

Best Late-night Meal
Denny's
several Valley locations

Best Outdoor Patio
Dos Gringos
4209 North Craftsman Court, Scottsdale
480-423-3800

Best Happy Hour
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
several Valley locations

Readers' Choice

Best Bakery
Paradise Bakery
several Valley locations

Readers' Choices

Best Classic Pizza
Papa Johns
several Valley locations

Best Desserts
Cheesecake Factory
15230 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-607-0083

Best Gourmet Pizza
Pizzeria Bianco
623 East Adams
602-258-8300

Readers' Choices

Best Barbecue
Honey Bear's Bar-B-Q
5012 East Van Buren
602-273-9148
2824 North Central
602-279-7911

Best Chinese Restaurant
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
several Valley locations

Best Coffee House
Starbucks
several Valley locations

Best French Restaurant
La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe
several Valley locations

Best Greek Restaurant
Greekfest
1940 East Camelback
602-265-2990

Best Indian Restaurant
Delhi Palace
5050 East McDowell
602-244-8181
16842 North Seventh Street
602-942-4224
933 East University, Tempe
480-921-2200

Best Italian Restaurant
Olive Garden
several Valley locations

Best Japanese Restaurant
RA Sushi Bar
411 South Mill, Tempe
480-303-9800
3815 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-990-9256

Best New Restaurant
Garduo's Margarita Factory
Shops at Gainey Village
8787 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A-102, Scottsdale
480-607-9222

Best Sandwich Shop
Subway
several Valley locations

Best Seafood Restaurant
Red Lobster
several Valley locations

Best Smoothie/juice Shop
Jamba Juice
several Valley locations

Best Southwestern Restaurant
Z'Tejas Grill
several Valley locations

Best Steak Restaurant
Outback Steakhouse
several Valley locations

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Best Italian Restaurant: Acqua e Sale

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