BEST UPSCALE ITALIAN RESTAURANT Phoenix 2003 - Daniel's Italian Cuisine
Chef-owner Daniel Malventano has been knocking our socks off with his spectacular Italian fare for more than a decade. Sometimes it's a little hard to keep up with him, given his penchant for changing the restaurant's name (it started as Il Forno, then became Acqua e Sale, and has just been rechristened Daniel's). Who cares what he calls it, though, as long as he never stops serving up the same level of classical dishes that he travels around the world to research and perfect. There's no one else who serves succulent diver sea scallops in black truffle mousse, duck ravioli in butter-sage sauce with blood orange reduction, or our favorite class act: pork tenderloin roasted in amarone wine reduction, julienne prosciutto, sun-dried plums and crème de cassis with butternut squash-mashed potatoes and baby vegetables. Bellisima!