Virtu Honest Craft Restaurant Review
A couple of years ago in one of the travel magazines I subscribe to there was an advertisement showcasing noteworthy Scottsdale restaurants. Well, the foodie in me decided there and then that this one page listing was more than enough reason to book a trip to Scottsdale. And on my recent trip there I ended up eating at two of the six places featured (I would have done a third but after our full day trip to Sedona, I decided ordering take out was a smarter decision).
Named one of the best new restaurants in America by Esquire as well as a James Beard Foundation award nominee for best new restaurant, needless to say Chef Gio Osso is a favorite in the Scottsdale area (his culinary prowess is also famous in the Phoenix environs). Virtu is located several blocks away from the noisier and always bustling drags of Old Town Scottsdale, giving your dining experience there a much more intimate feel. It’s situated inside the Bespoke Inn Bed and Breakfast which makes it feel as though you’re dining in someone’s home. Well, to be more accurate since it’s Arizona, their gorgeous patio.
We were given the option of either dining indoors or out, and I immediately said outdoors. Now mind you, being able to dine al fresco on March 2 for these two Northern snowbirds was a real treat. It’s not hard to see why areas like Scottsdale attract so many people from cold weather states to relocate there.
One thing to keep in mind about Virtu is that their menus (both drinks and food) change frequently, sometimes even daily. So if you were to go to its website, you would see a sample seasonal menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes and ingredients Chef Osso uses. Unfortunately I was remiss in writing or photographing the full menu descriptions.
We began by ordering some fantastic sounding cocktails. I went with the Ice Queen which featured vodka, rhubarb, strawberry white balsamic shrub, fresh lemon, champagne foam, and cracked black pepper. If you’re dizzy after reading all those ingredients, so was I. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the champagne foam; there was a lot of it and that was the only thing you could initially taste. However, once I made it to the “pink layer,” I loved it. D selected the Rhone n’ Rye. This included Rye whiskey, Punt e Mes, Giffard fraise de boise, and pressed basil. The drinks weren’t cheap but they were unique and obviously tasty.
The dining menu is divided into three sections, crafty small plates (appetizer size), craft of pasta (also appetizer portion), and craft of the plate (larger portions, meant to share). Well, we did things differently, due to the fact that while traveling I can’t take leftovers home with me, so I hate to over order.
To get started we ordered a dish that consisted of grilled bread and then a burrata (fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream), mushroom, tomato mash. I absolutely adore burrata cheese and while normally I only go for mushrooms in moderation, I was happily scooping them up onto my fork.
Even though our waitress had said the pasta portions were small, that suited me just fine and I ended up ordering the Bucatini for my main course. I learned that bucatini is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The fried egg was different but a neat addition all the same and not one I would normally pair with pasta.
D has started to warm up more to duck dishes and so he ordered a smoked version that was on the menu. He loves anything with Brussels sprouts so when he saw them in the description it cinched the deal for him.
Even though I could have easily done without, we did order some dessert although thankfully just gelato (which in theory is perhaps a little bit lighter than something of the cake variety?). D chose the Salted Caramel option. It goes without saying that it was sinfully sweet.
Our meal at Virtu defined what it means to have a deluxe dining experience. Everything from the broad and innovative menu options to the ambiance to the attentive and friendly staff made our meal there wonderful. It’s not hard to see why it’s one of the most popular dining venues in Old Town Scottsdale.
Virtu Honest Craft
3701 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251