First Taste

Tanzy at Scottsdale Quarter

Last week, we got a first look at Tanzy, the new upscale casual Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at Scottsdale Quarter. The eatery is run by the same folks behind the new iPic luxury movie theater and is located next door to the theater on the upper level of the complex.

Tanzy makes good use of the views. The walls are largely glass and the undulating copper waves on the high ceiling give an open, airy impression. Wood, glass, water and fire elements welcome nature inside. Everything feels like one big cozy great room in an ultra-contemporary home, with the living room and modern fireplace feature up front, a bar in the middle and booths for dining at the back of the house.

For a Mediterranean restaurant, Tanzy has a young, urban vibe. It helps that the chef is only 27 years old -- and looks like he's fresh out of high school.

More on this culinary up-and-comer and a sneak peek at Tanzy's food after the jump.       

Executive Chef Geoff Baumberger is originally from the Columbus, Ohio area. He took both the educational and hands-on routes in his culinary career, studying at the Culinary Institute of America and working in the industry right out of high school. He's stoked to be running a kitchen on his own. "When this opportunity came up, I couldn't turn down the creative freedom," says Baumberger.

We last saw this young chef at Marcella's Italian Kitchen at Scottsdale Fashion Square, so it's no surprise that the deconstructed bruschetta is his favorite appetizer on Tanzy's menu. The dish includes roasted red peppers, pesto, garlic crisps and hand-pulled mozzarella that Baumberger makes from curd in Tanzy's kitchen. "I enjoy fresh mozzarella, not the stuff you get at the grocery store," he quips. Though the mozzarella had an initial plastic quality, the chewy texture and briny aftertaste were very enjoyable when eaten alone or paired with the savory peppers and fresh pesto. 

Other appetizers we sampled included tempura Brussels sprouts and a polenta cake, which was moist and topped with a delicious mix of sautéed spinach, garlic and tomato that lent more flavor to the otherwise bland polenta. The tempura was a hit, the cumin-scented batter making the veggie a hit even with die-hard veggie haters. Put some of the crispy fried sprouts in old-fashioned popcorn boxes and you've got a killer movie snack.

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden

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