Later this year, one of the most famous Italian chefs in the country and one of the most famous Italian chefs in the Valley will come together to open Mora Italian, a modern osteria in central Phoenix. The restaurant comes from chef Scott Conant of Impero Caffè in New York and Scarpetta in Miami, and Las Vegas and Pomo Pizzeria owner/chef Stefano Fabbri.
Phoenix diners are probably familiar with Fabbri's Pomo Pizzeria restaurants, which have locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Glendale, but food lovers all over the country will recognize Conant — if not for his handful of successful restaurants and cookbooks, then for his frequent appearances on shows such as Food Network's Chopped.
The duo's project will be located at 5651 North Seventh Street, just south of Montebello Avenue and across the street from Fox Restaurant Concept's Culinary Dropout at The Yard. The restaurant will be all new construction with the project being led by LGE Designs Build — the same firm behind restaurants including Stock and Stable at The Colony, Pomo Pizzeria in Gilbert, Barrio Queen in Gilbert, and Steak 44 in Phoenix. Aiming to create a neighborhood vibe, the restaurant will offer a modern design with urban street art and live music on weekends.
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As far as the food, a spokesperson for the restaurant says Pomo Pizzeria's signature Neapolitan-style pies will have a place on the menu, along with other wood-fired fare. The restaurant's website promises "a strong line up of sharable plates, handmade pastas, and dynamic craft cocktails."
Of course, Valley diners may be wary of yet another celebrity chef-driven restaurant, since past attempts to bring big-name talent — like Top Chef Brian Malarkey — have failed. For example, Malarkey's Searsucker restaurant, which opened in Scottsdale in late 2012, shuttered after just over a year. Conant, however, isn't just flying in to open a restaurant and leave. The chef has purchased a house in the Valley, and will be relocating his family here to focus on Mora Italian.
Mora Italian is expected to open in December. For more information, visit the Mora Italian website.