Escapist tendencies: Go to Scottsdale, eat, and pretend you're here.

Mediterranean vacation

With balmy weather like this, all I need is a nice glass o' vino and some stellar antipasti to feel like I'm relaxing on the Riviera. So lucky me -- and you, if you love Italian food -- for next week's debut of Taggia, a new fine dining spot at Scottsdale's Caleo Resort.

Headed by executive chef Claudio Urciuoli, an Italian native whose resume includes stints at Osteria del Circo at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, The Four Seasons in Newport Beach, and La Brea Bakery in L.A., Taggia will spotlight coastal Italian cuisine with local, organic produce, pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and fresh seafood flown in straight from Italy.

I got a sneak peek at the menu, and I'm already hungry for the Dungeness crab salad, with red grapefruit, frisee, and crimson gold apples; rigatoni with Genovese-style veal ragu; and braised lamb shank with Sardinian fregola and seasonal vegetables.

Taggia's set to open on the 12th, with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

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