A few months ago, owners Marcellino and Sima Verzino of Marcellino Ristorante announced that they were leaving their longtime home on Northern Ave. in Phoenix for classier digs in Scottsdale's SouthBridge plaza.
Regulars -- and believe us, there were plenty of em'! -- worried that a Scottsdale Marcellino's would lose the cozy neighborhood feel that made the original such a big draw. They needn't have worried. The Verzinos unveiled the revamped restaurant to nearly 200 VIPs last Thursday night, and everybody was right at home.
The new restaurant includes a few Digestif holdovers, including the partially open stainless steel kitchen and brick walls. Otherwise, the space has taken on a whole new feel. Thick red drapes contrast with the light, crisp white of the table linens.
Amber lighting makes for a romantic feel, as does the candlelight pouring out of the restaurant's semi-private dining area. There are two bars -- one a traditional bar space directly to the right of the side entrance, the other a long counter offering a front row seat to the workings of Marcellino's pride and joy, the pizza oven.
A drool-worthy trio of gnocchi, blue cheese dumpling and pasta with meat sauce.
|A drool-worthy trio of gnocchi, blue cheese dumpling and pasta with meat sauce.|
Friday night, Marcellino served up miniature samples of some of the restaurant's signature offerings: grilled polenta squares, roasted red peppers, scallops in pesto sauce, a trio of handmade pastas. We were eavesdropping (for research purposes only, natch) and heard a lot of raving about the food and wine.
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Marcellino Ristorante is currently open for dinner from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 5-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at SouthBridge, 7114 E. Stetson Dr. in Scottsdale. Look for lunch hours and a new lunch menu coming in May!