First Taste

French Country Cooking Shines Every Tuesday Night at Posh in Scottsdale

The pâté du maison is a worthy starter at the new "Petite Posh" French bistro night at Posh in Scottsdale.
The pâté du maison is a worthy starter at the new "Petite Posh" French bistro night at Posh in Scottsdale. Patricia Escarcega
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out — and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Posh Improvisational Cuisine
Location: 7167 East Rancho Vista Drive, #111, Scottsdale
Open: The restaurant's "Petite Posh" menu debuted about a month ago
Eats: French country cooking, like your grand-mère used to make
Price: $50-$60/person

If you happen to swing by Posh Improvisational Cuisine on a Tuesday night expecting to find hot bowls of Japanese ramen, you might be surprised to see French pâté and cassoulet flowing out of the open kitchen instead.

For years, the Scottsdale fine-dining restaurant, long recognized for turning out spontaneously-devised multi-course tasting menus, hosted a popular Tuesday ramen night.


Tuesday night ramen at Posh is no longer a thing, although certainly not for lack of popularity. The concept has migrated to north Scottsdale, where Posh chef-owner Joshua Hebert opened Hot Noodles Cold Sake, a ramen restaurant, last fall.

Now that ramen night has graduated to its own space, Tuesday nights at Posh taste considerably different. The new Tuesday dinner theme is "Petite Posh," a night dedicated to classic French bistro cooking.

click to enlarge Light chatter and French music fill the room on Tuesday nights at Posh in Scottsdale. - PATRICIA ESCARCEGA
Light chatter and French music fill the room on Tuesday nights at Posh in Scottsdale.
Patricia Escarcega
French bistro night at Posh feels charming and welcoming. No reservations are required, and the restaurant's naturally dim and sleek interior feels well suited to the bistro concept. Soft music — yes, you might catch strains of Edith Piaf here and there — plays at modest levels in the background.

The compact menu is likely to evolve over time, but for the time being, expect to find the sort of rustic, well-made and timeless French country dishes that are described on the menu as "cuisine de grand-mère." It's your grandmother's cooking, in other words, if your grandmother happens to be a well-honed chef rooted in the French tradition.


A good place to start is with the pâté de maison, a richly flavored house pâté accentuated with bacon and served with vinegary elements like mustard seeds and slightly sweet cornichons. A couple of slices of baguette are provided, ideal for building small bites of the smooth, meaty pâté.

If you only have room for one small plate, though, make it the remarkable Menage a Foie. The menu describes a trio of foie gras, but on a recent visit, an order yielded four small servings of four different takes on foie gras, each one seemingly more melty and indulgent than what came before.

A seared foie gras melts with buttery, liquid-like precision; a hybrid marshmallow foie gras, dulcet and irresistible, offers a sort of roasted caramel sweetness; a torchon foie gras is similarly good, with a sort of crème brûlée sweet finish; and a sorbet foie gras is like inhaling a small dollop of intensely rich, butter ice cream.

No doubt about it, it will take at least a couple of intense workouts to burn off the fatty indulgence of this one modestly sized plate of food. But you'll dream about that marshmallow foie gras for days.

click to enlarge A bistro flatiron steak may not seem particularly exciting, but careful preparation and skillful seasoning make for a highly satisfying entree option at Posh in Scottsdale. - PATRICIA ESCARCEGA
A bistro flatiron steak may not seem particularly exciting, but careful preparation and skillful seasoning make for a highly satisfying entree option at Posh in Scottsdale.
Patricia Escarcega
There are only a few entree options, including a flatiron bistro steak cooked to a glistening medium-rare. It's served over French green beans and a meaty, buttery tangle of shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms achieve a sort of buttery intensity, and nearly rival the appeal of the nicely seasoned, garlicky slices of steak.

Coq au vin, braised in a fragrant Burgundy sauce, is full of gorgeously layered flavor. Cipollini onions add a measure of noticeably rich sweetness, and the dish achieves the comforting, rustic flavors that have made this one of the world's greatest braises. It's the sort of dish that carries over perfectly into leftover territory, the flavors deeper upon reheating.

click to enlarge Coq au vin at Posh in Scottsdale is full of rich, layered flavor. - PATRICIA ESCARCEGA
Coq au vin at Posh in Scottsdale is full of rich, layered flavor.
Patricia Escarcega
If you still have room or need for dessert after all that, you can guild the proverbial lily with a slice of the house Gâteau Victoire, a flourless chocolate cake that would no doubt make Julia Child proud. It's refined and smooth and a little decadent, but almost seems like diet food in comparison to the pure indulgence of marshmallow foie gras.

Posh's take on classic French bistro fare offers the same measure of discernment and polish that you've come to expect from the Posh team on any other night. There might not be ramen on Tuesday nights anymore, but did I mention that there is marshmallow foie gras?

click to enlarge The Gâteau Victoire, or flourless chocolate cake, at Posh in Scottsdale. - PATRICIA ESCARCEGA
The Gâteau Victoire, or flourless chocolate cake, at Posh in Scottsdale.
Patricia Escarcega

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Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.