East Indian School is really hoppin' right now. Along with last week's openings (Maui Dog and Loving Hut
) and another spot coming soon (Beckett's Table), the latest debut isVatra Grillhouse
(at the southeast corner of Indian School and 56th Street).
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"The name Vatra means "fire" in a number of Slavic languages," says corporate manager Andy Miller, who came up with the concept along with partner Anndee Rickey. "It's not Slavic food, though. We just thought it was a cool word that fits with our concept." Mike Grzegorek is the operating partner.
Wood-fired dishes from the grill and oven make up the bulk of chef Christian Movassaghi's menu, including a caprese salad with chargrilled tomatoes, a Caesar with charred hearts of romaine, Neapolitan pizzas, steaks and skewered meats, and marinated Moroccan chicken.
"We used to be the purple building," Miller says of the restaurant's locale, a well-known spot on Indian School that's been vacant for four years. It was a longstanding auto shop, and opened in 1961 as a gas station. Miller says they renovated the existing shell to feature "great Camelback Mountain views," a full bar, and a patio.
Vatra is open for lunch and dinner. Call 480-994-5656 for details.