We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order
Leave your suggestions for upcoming favorites in the comments section.
Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 43 picks daily through the rest of the summer.
Number 44: Mozzarella carozza at Aiello's Fine Italian Dining
Leave it to the Italians to turn a grilled cheese into something fancy-schmancy -- and better than the original version.
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At Aiello's, the cozy mom-and-pop Italian restaurant just north of Camelback on Central, the mozzarella carozza is a must-try dish, served up as an appetizer but truly filling enough (actually, it's flat-out decadent) to be a meal unto itself. Sure, you'll probably gorge on pasta, but not until you're already stuffed with melted mozzarella. Go ahead, be a trooper. I've never regretted any food coma that resulted from eating too much mozzarella carozza.
This is two sandwiches oozing mozzarella all over the plate, dipped in egg and sauteed until golden. They douse the whole thing in a knock-your-socks-off sauce of white wine, capers, lemon, anchovies, and onions, and the result is heavenly: acidic meets buttery, crisp meets creamy. Just thinking about it makes me want to head back there a.s.a.p. . . .
The Favorite Dishes, so far: 45: Mofongo at El Coquito 46: Sticky Toffee Pudding at St. Francis 47: Steak Frites at Metro Brasserie 48: Black Cod with Acini de Pepe at Cafe Bink 49: Steak & Egg Sliders at Lon's 50: Taco Monterrey at Pepe's Taco Villa 51: Toro Tartare at Sushi Roku 52: Fish Tacos at Barrio Cafe 53: Reuben at Matt's Big Breakfast 54: Short Ribs at J&G Steakhouse 55: Mole Poblano at Los Sombreros 56: Chicken Fried Steak at Texaz Grill 57: Carne Asada on a Potato Pancake at The Vig 58: White Flannel Hash at Orange Table 59: Butterfish Tataki at Roka Akor 60: Eggs Maximilian at Harlow's Cafe 61: Chickpea Ceviche at Bombay Spice 62: Spiced Skirt Steak at Tuck Shop 63: Rib Eye Philly at SanTan Brewing Company 64: Albacore With Black Truffle at Crudo 65: Slice at Jimmy & Joe's Pizzeria 66: Lee's Combination at Lee's Sandwiches 67: Duck Curry at Sala Thai 68: Chicken Kabab at Med Fresh Grill 69: Cheese Course at Sweet Republic 70: La Potence at Le Chalet 71: Brisket at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue 72: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup at The Roosevelt 73: Coq Au Vin at Vincent's Market Bistro 74: Cochinita Pibil Tacos at La Condesa Gourmet Taco Shop 75: Char Siu Bao at Phoenix Palace 76: Huevos Rancheros at Gallo Blanco Cafe 77: Italian Stallion at La Piazza Al Forno 78: Bourekas at Spices Mediterranean Kitchen 79: Warm Maine Lobster Salad at Modern Steak 80: Escargots En Croute at Petite Maison 81: Salumi at Quiessence 82: Okonomiyaki at Hana Japanese Eatery 83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe 84: Coronado Coney at The Main Ingredient 85: Green Chili at Rito's Mexican Takeout 86: Soup Gyoza at Sens Asian Tapas & Sake Bar 87: Pop Cho and Sweet Ginger at The Breadfruit 88: La Jawab Kadahi Gosht at The Dhaba 89: Chicken & Waffles from Lo-Lo's 90: Burrata at Humble Pie 91: Bruleed Foie Gras Torchon at Posh 92: Moroccan Nomad Stew at Chakra 4 93: Peking Duck at Gourmet House of Hong Kong 94: Mozzarella Sandwich at Pane Bianco 95: Egg White Omelette at Fez 96: Machaca From Los Dos Molinos 97: Shish Taook from Baiz Market 98: Pasties From Cornish Pasty Co. 99: Clams in Black Bean Sauce From Asian Cafe Express 100: Bruschetta From Postino