This may be the desert, but we have some excellent Italian food in the Valley, and this week goes to show it. Check out our first cafe review in 2019 of Parma Italian Roots in north Scottsdale, where the pasta is a highlight.Or try a Roman-style pizza restaurant in Avondale now known for bringing Neapolitan pizza to the west Valley. And if you're heading in for Barrett-Jackson or otherwise traveling through Sky Harbor, Terminal 3 welcomes three new local restaurants including The Parlor.
Here's what you need to know from the food scene from the past week.
Parma Italian Roots
20831 North Scottsdale Road, #117, Scottsdale
At Parma Italian Roots, two divergent threads knot: progressive Italian cooking, and the calcified food traditions of a country with regions like that of Parma, where hard cheese has been made the same way since before the printing press. Chris Gentile, the chef who opened Parma Italian Roots on the last day of summer 2018, when he was 28 years old, can roll pasta. Since he was 24, he has been the executive chef of Double Standard, an Italian restaurant in San Diego. Parma Italian Roots is similar. Pizza. Pasta. Starters. A few mains. Starters show originality and audacity, but the pasta courses are where things get really interesting. You can count the number of restaurants in the Valley doing great pasta on two hands (or fewer). On those hands, Parma Italian Roots gets a finger.
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10210 West McDowell Road, #120, Avondale
Roman-style pizza has come to the Valley of the Sun. Here, we have a tradition of Neapolitan pizza: pies thin, small and circular, topped leanly in keeping with tradition, blazed in ovens so hot they could melt lead. Roman-style pizza is thick, square and hefty, baked cooler, maximally topped, and comparatively lawless. It can be a lot more fun. You can find Roman-style slices, snipped from pies with the surface areas of sheet cakes, at Piazza Romana in Avondale, where Justin Piazza just opened shop. You may have tasted his Neapolitan pizza at La Piazza PHX and La Piazza al Forno. With Piazza Romana, he zips two hours up the E45 from Naples to Rome. Piazza believes Roman-style pie is primed to carve into Neapolitan’s American real estate. “I’m not saying one’s better than the other,” he says. “They’re both great, and they both have their own room.” So welcome to metro Phoenix, Roman-style pizza.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Adds Three New Local Restaurants to Terminal 3
At this point, you’ve probably already heard about Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s recent renovations to the John S. McCain III Terminal 3. New local restaurant locations include The Parlor, SanTan Brewing, and Mustache Pretzels. The Parlor is a popular spot for artisan pizza and handmade pastas, plus salads, sides, and breakfast items like a wood-fired pancake with rosemary maple syrup for early travelers. Arizona’s award-winning and largest craft brewery, SanTan Brewing, now has a full-service restaurant and bar in the South Concourse. Travelers may enjoy craft and seasonal beers, or dig into pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches, breakfast items, and those irresistible Brewer’s Fries. Visitors can also show their layover who's boss with a stop at Mustache Pretzels – the award-winning, Phoenix-based pretzel company.