New Restaurant Alert

Family-Owned Modern Oysterbar Chophouse Opens Friday in Scottsdale

Christopher Cashak
The desert sun doesn’t usually bring about thoughts of freshly shucked oysters and seafood towers, but Modern Oysterbar Chophouse in Scottsdale will be giving Arizonians a taste of the sea. They'll be bringing some of the finest crab legs, lobsters, and mussels to the Valley at their expected opening at 4 p.m. for cocktails and 5 p.m. for dinner service, this Friday, February 1.

Although the area has many upscale steakhouses, including Mastro’s Ocean Club and Steak 44, Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is hoping to make a unique imprint on the Phoenix food scene by being one of the few family-owned steak and seafood restaurants. Restaurateurs Cat and Randy Frankel, along with Frank Schneider, created the refined Modern Oysterbar Chophouse, which is located on North Scottsdale Road in the space formerly occupied by Sonata’s Restaurant.

Upon arrival, guests can expect an immediate attraction to the 12-seat oyster bar adorned with seashell lights and the dimly lit dining room traced with European wood. Splashed with organic tones of blue and gray, and sprinkled with chandeliers, the space will feature an additional 14-seat bar along with the traditional dining tables and a patio ideal for sports viewing or cozying up by the fire.

Executive chef Michael Bouwens, formerly of Vincent’s on Camelback, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, Roaring Fork, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and Capitol Grill (just to name a few), will be returning to his steakhouse roots.

With the hopes of modernizing traditional steakhouse dishes with the advantage of being privately owned, Bouwens says, “It’s going to be elevated, not corporate. It’s going to be bright and vibrant … it will be something different to add to the steakhouse scene.”

[image-4] Meats will be flown in from distributors in Chicago and Colorado, allowing guests to have access to traditional wet- and dry-aged prime steak favorites — in addition to unique cuts of lamb and a 28-day aged Tomahawk pork rib-eye.

“We want something sleek, sexy, and different,” says Dylan Frankel, formerly of The Mission, Zinc Bistro, and Square One Concepts, who will serve as the beverage director.

Guests can expect a similar modern twist to the cocktail menu. For example, the old fashioned will include Buffalo Trace libation, chocolate and angostura bitters, and drizzles of maple-bacon bourbon caramel. With a uniquely smoky finish, Frankel recommends it be paired with the rib-eye.

For something lighter and more refreshing, Frankel suggests The Columbo — cocktail made with Russel’s Reserve six-year-old rye, Malabar liqueur, simple syrup, and lemon. All is shaken and garnished with a lemon peel and could be an ideal accompaniment to a dozen oysters.

Be sure to follow their concept through dessert, as in-house pastry chef Sam Frankel will provide the finishing indulgences. A few highlights include an elevated butterscotch crème brulee and a bacon French toast bread pudding, which will feature the same maple-bacon bourbon caramel used in the Old Fashioned. Partnerships with local vendors, including Sweet Republic artisan ice cream, will also be available to top off your meal.

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is located at 10050 North Scottsdale Road, #127, Scottsdale. For more information, see the Modern Oysterbar Chophouse website, or visit their Facebook or Instagram pages for updates.
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Olivia Lee is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner with a bachelor of science in nursing, a bachelor of arts in English, and a doctor of nursing practice degrees — all from Fairfield University. Olivia enjoys sharing her love for food and living a balanced lifestyle with a broader audience through past contributions to WAG Magazine and the Career Girl Daily blog. She is currently attending Northwestern University for a master of science in journalism with a focus on food writing.