Chef Michael DeMaria's Tempe restaurants, Trattoria M and Aroma Market, might be facing delayed openings, but Heirloom, his new spot at North Scottsdale's DC Ranch, is coming together really quickly. Opening night is next Tuesday, January 27.
"We took over the Flo's space and demoed it a month ago, over the holidays," he tells me. (Check out his latest behind-the-scenes podcast.)
Eighty-five-seat Heirloom, co-owned by DeMaria and Brandon Maxwell, will have a relaxed, contemporary atmosphere, with wine storage doubling as room dividers, a six-person "owner's table" where guests can get a view of the kitchen, and a soundtrack of '80s and '90s rock.
As for the seasonal American menu, which will change every month, DeMaria says his goal was to make it healthy and a good value. That means carefully sourced produce from local farms, organic meats, and smaller individual portions, with dishes topping out at $18.
"The idea was to take $50 and see what you could get for that," he says. "For somebody like me, four courses would be just over $50. But my wife would probably do two to three courses."
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Instead of the traditional menu format of soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees, Heirloom's menu is separated into four courses. The main ingredient of each dish -- say, "beets" or "duck" -- is listed along the lefthand side, as an easy shorthand for the customer to browse favorites, followed by the lengthier description of the dish. At the bottom, there's a box listing "next month's harvest," a glimpse of what will appear on the next menu.
The latest version of the menu ( Chef Michael_Heirloom_January Menu Final.pdf), which will continue through February, includes tomato-braised and chorizo-stuffed calamari in stewed northern white beans; bacon-seared Arctic char on cauliflower puree with scallion and bacon gremolata; thyme-scented veal cutlet with lump crab, asparagus, and Bearnaise; and prosciutto-wrapped filet of beef with sliced garlic and tiny beech mushrooms. There are also several desserts, such as warm gingerbread tart with apples and cider sabayon, and Concord grape jelly-layered blondie with peanut butter-marshmallow ice cream. Wines by the glass will range from $8 to $28 (for Silver Oak Cab).
Heirloom will be open for dinner nightly, from 5 p.m. until close.