The foodie scene in Scottsdale is probably best known for its array of trendy gastropubs and wine bars. But the city also delivers when it comes to top-notch comfort food, including excellent pizza. The latest critical darling in town is Il Capo Pizzeria, a new family-owned Italian restaurant specializing in wood-fired pizza and handmade pasta.
The wood-paneled dining room and bar are sophisticated without being too stuffy, and there's a nice dog-friendly patio that's ideal for dining under the stars.
But the real star of the show is the food. The restaurant makes its own fresh mozzarella, which is featured in many of the appetizers, including the burrata. It's a hearty serving of fresh cheese and cream, served with roasted campari tomatoes, basil pesto, balsamic reduction and a sprinkling of sea salt, presented on toasted crostinis.
Another indulgent appetizer is the arancini, bite-sized croquettes stuffed with bolognese and mozzarella and served with a marinara dipping sauce.
Wood-fired pizza is the main attraction at Il Capo — Photo courtesy of Il Capo Pizzeria
For a quick lunch or dinner, there are six pizza varieties available by the slice ($4), including classic margherita and "The Boss," which comes loaded with meatballs, bell peppers, sausage, soppressata, mozzarella, roasted fennel and the house-made tomato sauce.
There's also a good selection of seafood small plates, including the fritto misto, which comes with fried shrimp, calimari, halibut, zucchini and squash.
On the wood-fired pizza menu, you'll find specialty pies like the Patate, which is topped with fingerling potatoes, pancetta, gorgonzola, mozzarella, onions and garlic. Another gourmet favorite is the Duck Prosciutto pizza, which features house-made duck prosciutto, figs, goat cheese, garlic and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil. A whole pie will run you between $10 and $14 each. There is also a build-your-own-pizza option.
Il Capo also dishes out house-made charcuterie, calzones, salads and Roman flatbread sandwiches, along with a full menu of classic pasta dishes. The gnocchi is made in house with fried eggplant, then smothered in ricotta, fresh marinara sauce and pieces of torn mozzarella.
The restaurant has a small but thoughtful selection of beer and wine, as well. Local breweries are well represented, including Four Peaks and SanTan Brewery, which are on tap. Several Arizona wines are available by the glass.
But the bar's most unique offering is the "Bubbl'ino," a fruit-infused cooler made with prosecco, an Italian sparkling white wine. It comes in a variety of flavors, including blueberry ginger, grapefruit vanilla, strawberry kiwi and mango mint - a refreshing treat on those hot desert nights.