We got an early glimpse of the new casual Italian restaurant opening at Scottsdale Fashion Square in a preview dinner last night: Marcella's Italian Kitchen.
Suffice it to say, we're still full. This is not food for the proverbial lemon-tarts-who-lunch. This is Italian food by way of the American Midwest (Marcella's was developed by Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, and both of the other outposts for this "concept" are located in the state capital, Columbus). That means lots of eggs and cream and cheese and pasta, should you care to partake in them.
And go figure: We did.
We started with an order of the melted pecorino (really amazingly perfect texture on that stuff) and the calamari, which was served with lightly breaded zucchini and aioli on the side. It was a salty, tentacley treat.
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We were reaching a food coma, so it was time to be heading home. But we did notice a few things on the way out. This is a really handsome, warm, friendly space -- better than some other dining choices at Fashion Square, which can seem dark and awkwardly laid out. And while it's not a place you'd go for a big night out or choose for a foodie destination -- hey, it's part of a national concept, which is never exactly our cuppa tea -- it's not a place to write off, either. Marcella's isn't trying too hard, and it's happy to fill you up with something rich and creamy. Nothing wrong with that, even if you aren't from the Midwest.
Marcella's officially opens for business on Monday, October 12, in the new Barney's wing of the mall. For you oldtimers dying for a profiterole (and yes, we'd recommend one or five!), that's adjacent to the Anthropologie/Sephora/Grand Lux Cafe part of Fashion Square.