The emergence of Hush as one of the most exciting places to eat in metro Phoenix is the product of many melding influences. Like Chef Dom Ruggiero's signature oxtail-centric riff on a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, molten with cheese and showered with soulful giardiniera, all the elements here come together harmoniously. First, there's Charles Barber, captain of the classic-leaning cocktail program and the genuine general manager highly visible at the front of the long, warm, rectangular dining room. Then there's the room itself: intimate, filled with cordial chatter and nostalgic rock, cooking sounds and smells washing out from a wide-open kitchen. It all primes you for Ruggiero's food. The chef, formerly of La Grande Orange-owned restaurants like Chelsea's Kitchen (and lately of the tiny Carefree butcher The Meat Market), cooks New American food with finesse, character, and soul. There are the crab-perfumed hushpuppies to start, plus grilled slab bacon, a cauliflower steak with harissa that will haunt your daydreams, and a chicken liver mousse with seeming miles of depth. The menu changes a lot, sure, but what doesn't change is the kitchen's stunning facility with vegetables, fish, and meat. Being a butcher, Ruggiero can nail a flatiron steak. Being a barbecue guy, he can smoke mean beef ribs. But being a Renaissance man in the kitchen, he can plate glorious swordfish steaks or ceviche, plus simple plant-driven dishes like hard-cheese-showered snap peas that honor their name. New Normal: Reservations are required and can be made via Tock. Call ahead for larger parties and takeout orders.
- Price: $$$
- Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.
- Reservations: Required
- Call restaurant to order/pay
- Curbside pickup