We all know Scottsdale knows how to throw a party and apparently Scottsdale knows how to throw a restaurant opening, too. Saturday night Searsucker, the new restaurant from Top Chef Brian Malarkey, wined and dined a crowd of guests for an official grand opening in true red carpet style -- really, there was a red carpet.
The "new-American" cuisine included variations of classics like shrimp n' grits and surf and turf, all of which could be washed down with the selection of creative, handmade cocktails. Executive chef Steve "Chops" Smith kept the trays of finger food flowing for a house packed with Scottsdale's finest.
Searsucker comes to the Valley by way of San Diego, where Malarkey owns not only the original Searsucker location, but also four other fabric-named dining spots. The San Diego Searsucker location, in the heart of the Gas Lamp District downtown, has become quite a buzz spot since opening in 2010. Malarkey named Smith, formerly associated with Kelly's at Southbridge, his executive chef in early October, saying he would give the chef space to "direct his own vibe" with the new menu.
The 9,500-square-foot Scottsdale Searscuker, located in the former lobby of the Camelback Tower office building next to Scottsdale Fashion Square, featured high ceilings and a casual-but-chic (and certainly trendy) atmosphere, a place to seen and be seen. Leather couches and oversize chairs created comfortable spaces where guests can lounge and sip on one of the worth-the-wait cocktails from the bar. A DJ played music while guests chatted and generally, partied it up.
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The event featured two cocktails as well as wine and champagne. The Indian Summer, a Searsucker take on an apple martini with pear flavored Grey Goose and freshly pressed apple juice. Even for a non-martini drinker, it went down easy. The second drink, a version of a Pimm's Cup with basil, lemon and pickled carrot fared just as well if not better.
Roaming servers hoisted trays filled with miniature versions of menu items as well as a few special bites created specifically for the event. From scallops to caprese bruscetta the small plates gave guests a taste of the upscale but still approachable cuisine the restaurant will offer. Known for playful but accessible fare, the beautiful bites appeared to live up to the guests' expectations. They certainly weren't turning any of it away.
Searsucker, which has been soft open to the public since late October, serves lunch and dinner as well as happy hour and Sunday brunch. For more information visit the Searsucker website or Searsucker Scottsdale Facebook page.