Cafe Reviews

Renegade by MOD in North Scottsdale: The Valley's Biggest Risk-Taker of a Restaurant

Renegade by MOD is the daring new restaurant from chef Michael O'Dowd, whose decade at Kai earned the restaurant AAA five-diamond and Forbes Travel Guide five-star acclaim.

Breaking free of his corporate chains last fall, O'Dowd is now a first-time restaurateur as well as a celebrated chef. And at his North Scottsdale restaurant, which he runs with friend and partner Ed Leclere, O'Dowd's taking adventurous diners on an exotic, decidedly un-Kai-like ride, blending his playfully bold yet sophisticated dishes with an edgy atmosphere and ample amounts of rock 'n' roll.

It's risky business to be sure. But in this case, the culinary risks reap big rewards.

See also: Republica Empanada in Mesa - A New Take on Latin American Comfort Food

Here's an excerpt from this week's review:

"You'll want O'Dowd's re-imagined (very re-imagined) version of panzanella, the Tuscan salad of bread and tomatoes. More or less fine-dining know-how by way of Alice in Wonderland, at least a dozen ingredients -- like slices of perfectly prepared rare New York strip, sweet tomato jam, powdered spices, jumbo soft croutons topped with goat cheese marbles, and even a scratch-made oil and vinegar that might be the best you've ever tasted -- are artfully arranged on a plate to mix and match as you please. And given that its countless flavor combinations are equally as stellar as its parts, this dish might be the Valley's most convincing reason to play with your food."

Hungry for more? Read my full review of Renegade by MOD.

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