Now Open

Now Open: Solid, Elevated Comfort Food in North Scottsdale

Chris Malloy
The dinner crowd starts to arrive at Raven.
Raven Gastropub, an eatery now open in North Scottsdale in the space once home to Lamp Cafe, is cooking its own brand of slightly elevated comfort food. The place claims to serve "American comfort food." Though the menu won't revolutionize gastronomy, there are some solid plates to be eaten here.

The menu includes somewhat eclectic, elevated pub food (Cuban sandwiches, panzanella, chicken souvlaki), and safe, entree-sized comfort foods (beef short ribs with orzo, cheese-and-bacon-stuffed chicken breast).

The former category contains a wealth of sandwiches. Vegetable pita. Pulled pork. That kind of thing. Reuben, club, and roasted turkey with Brie sandwiches can be ordered by the half sandwich.The fish sandwich here is surprisingly enjoyable, with a light, lacy fry and a cloud-light brioche bun bringing some elegance – but not too much – to this humble sandwich that will vaporize memories of that brown matter from the drive-thru.

click to enlarge Chicken souvlaki swaddled in a pita. - CHRIS MALLOY
Chicken souvlaki swaddled in a pita.
Chris Malloy
To start, aside from the usual suspects (sliders, wings), you can nab fried pickles, bourbon-glazed pork belly, and salmon satay.

Burgers have nice real estate on the Raven menu. Some get interesting. One has pulled pork, candied bacon, and pork belly on top. Another features peanut butter and jelly.

click to enlarge Overhead of a fish sandwich - CHRIS MALLOY
Overhead of a fish sandwich
Chris Malloy
Entrees get serious, but still mess around some.

There is a $17 "grown up mac-n-cheese" built on cavatappi and panko bread crumbs. Other entrees include beef short rib, flank steak with chimichurri, shrimp scampi, and fish and chips.

This neck of North Scottsdale needs more worthwhile sit-down food options. Raven looks to draw some of the hungering crowds.

click to enlarge The outside of Raven Gastropub. - CHRIS MALLOY
The outside of Raven Gastropub.
Chris Malloy
Raven Gastropub. 8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite B1, Scottsdale; 480-219-9334.
Daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.