Since chef Robert McGrath called it quits last October, things have been rather quiet at Renegade Canteen, the upscale restaurant in North Scottsdale -- until now.
Owners John Rosso and Steven Goodhue have selected Donald Fawcett as the establishment's new executive chef. Originally from the Midwest, Fawcett's last two gigs, at Prado and Cuoco Pazzo, were as a sous chef under chef Peter DeRuvo. (DeRuvo left both restaurants in under nine months and now plans to focus on writing a cookbook, exploring a new restaurant concept, and connecting with nonprofit causes.)
"The Renegade name couldn't be a better fit for my style of cooking," says Fawcett, who plans on perfecting a new menu of regional American comfort food. "Here, fresh and perfect is both homey yet edgy with my touch."
Here are some dishes diners can expect from Fawcett's new menu.
For lunch, look for dishes like a Sangria Salad with apples, grapes, citrus supremes, Arizona baby greens, and goat cheese with a cabernet-raspberry vinaigrette; salmon with prosciutto, baby greens, tomato, and aioli; and barbecue pork sliders on jalapeño-cheddar brioche. Lunch dishes are $9 to $12.
Chef Fawcett's dinner menu features appetizers like wild mushroom gnocci and entrees including pork osso bucco with white bean cassoulet, braised beets, green beans, and spiced jus and Dr Pepper Braised Beef Short Rib with chili cheese grits and asparagus.
The Big Burger, a McGrath creation originally from his restaurant Roaring Fork will stay on both Renegade's lunch and dinner menus.
Here's hoping Fawcett can re-energize Renegade's menu. On my visits, just prior to McGrath's departure, several dishes didn't live up to the restaurant's name.