Best Upscale Italian Restaurant - 2008
Just glancing at Sassi's dramatic entranceway, with its gurgling fountains, elegant lighting, and rustic courtyard leading to a heavy wooden door, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was an over-the-top private estate or, perhaps, even a resort.
Indeed, this restaurant takes "destination dining" quite literally, not only because it's located in the most scenic northern stretch of Scottsdale, with lovely views of Pinnacle Peak, but also because the property itself transports customers to the Mediterranean. Inside, luxurious furnishings in a series of rooms only add to the feeling that this might not be a restaurant at all, but perhaps a mansion belonging to some aristocratic gourmand who happens to enjoy 24-month gran reserve prosciutto, handmade orechiette with sausage, grilled free-range veal chops, and nice bottles of Italian wine whenever the mood strikes.
Yes, this place is pure fantasy fodder, but luckily folks with a taste for artisanal cheeses, fresh pasta, local produce, and premium meats can live the dream, too — as long as they're willing to spend real money for it.