The kitchen at Virtù in Scottsdale has only been open a few short months. But already, the restaurant has made national headlines. Chef Gio Osso's small, charming cafe - tucked inside the Bespoke Inn in Old Town Scottsdale - recently made waves by earning a spot on Esquire Magazine's list of best new restaurants in America. One taste of the food here, and it's not hard to see why.
Virtu in Scottsdale was recently named one of the best new restaurants in America by "Esquire Magazine" — Photo courtesy of Virtu
At Virtù (named after the Machiavellian term for achieving excellence), the Mediterranean-inspired menu changes almost weekly. You'll find hand-made pastas, fresh seafood dishes and new spins on old favorites. The atmosphere is casual, with a touch of fine dining. The intimate dining room seats 26 guests, so reservations are highly recommended.
Chef Gio's menu is inspired by his Mediterranean roots and global influences picked up during his travels. The chef's diverse culinary influences are reflected in the expansive menu.
For starters, try the grilled octopus, which is cooked tender and served with fennel, arugula, lemon chick peas and calabrese chile butter. For a fresh and light starter, opt for the beet and butternut squash salad. It's topped with crunchy candied pecans and served with a dollop of refreshing chamomile yogurt.
The entree menu is equally creative. Try Chef Gio's take on duck confit, or as it's known at Virtù, Duck Confit Cannelloni. It's served with luxardo cherry and hazelnuts with a rich mascarpone crema. For a hearty dinner, you certainly can't go wrong with the pork rib chop. It's served with a purple and sweet potato gratin, braised fennel and a cranberry gastrique that complements the pork rib.
For something lighter, try the naked scallops. They're perfectly seared and served with butternut squash, bacon-infused caramelized onion and a white chocolate beurre blanc.
Now, if you still have room after all that, don't miss the dessert menu. The bread pudding is luscious and rich. It's served with nicciola ice cream, a white chocolate amaretto sauce, red plums and amarena cherry. Another great option is the house-made mascarpone ice cream. It's served with sweet and tangy balsamic red wine figs and an amaretti crumble.
If you're a fan of hand-crafted cocktails, you won't want to miss the Virtù starter kit. It's made with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Plymouth gin, grapefruit bitters and bitter lemon soda. For a drink that marries Southwestern and Continental spirits, try the French-Mexican War. It's made with Maison Rouge cognac, Del Maguey Vida mezcal, orange and lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and mole bitters. It's a complex drink that combines sweet and sour to perfection.