Table Talk Restaurant Review

Pasta Brioni

Italian Restaurant - Scottsdale

If you’ve ever eaten at a family-run Italian restaurant back East, you’ll appreciate what Pasta Brioni is all about. From the second you walk in the door to this Scottsdale establishment, the management and wait staff treat you like family – in fact, it seems that there are so many regulars at Pasta Brioni that many of them may be family. Rich wood paneling and a gorgeous wood bar, white linen tables, stained glass lights and Rat Pack music playing all add to this incredibly inviting ambiance.

Tables at Brioni are nicely spaced, making it a great place for an intimate dinner for two or for a gathering of friends. The bar room tables are for those looking for a bit livelier experience.

Servers appear immediately – all are charming, friendly and must be sons, brothers or cousins of the owners. A very nice touch at Brioni – a wonderful bruschetta with fresh tomato topping served as a complimentary “amuse buche” (tease the mouth). Beyond the standard menu, your server will deliver a white board chock full of appetizer and entrée specials. Some of these specials are almost always on there due to their popularity; others are created on a whim by the chef. Order yourself a glass of wine either from the very acceptable by-the-glass list or from the extensive cellar list and then start perusing the menu and the board.

We started our meal with a cold poached artichoke, artfully presented with a light yet satisfying lemon aioli. Perfect on a hot Phoenix night. After that, we had a great twist on an Italian favorite – carpaccio, but made with ahi tuna. Served atop a bed of field greens and drizzled with a dijonaise sauce, it went beautifully with the artichoke.

For our main course, the decision-making was hard – one of the chicken specials, linguini with white clam sauce, kick it up a notch with pasta all’ arribiata or go for the seafood? We ended up diving into plates of the spinach ricotta dumplings. Good choice. Imagine oversized potato gnocchi stuffed with a filling of spinach and ricotta cheese. These delicate pillows bursting with flavor are surrounded by a “just made a few minutes ago” fresh tomato basil sauce. The light, summery sauce was so excellent we asked for more bread to make sure we sopped up every last morsel.

Desserts included the Italian restaurant staples, as well as some more unique offerings – crème brulee, tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake and rum-soaked babas. All go great with Brioni’s strongly brewed coffee. Sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself – you’re among family.

Good to know: Brioni To Go offers some of their most popular dishes on a walk-in or call-ahead basis.

What to wear: typical Scottsdale-casual – polo shirts for men, resort dress for women.

Must haves: pasta e fagioli soup, Dante salad, spinach and ricotta dumplings.

Pasta Brioni
4416 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale (480) 994-0028