It’s only been a few weeks since our latest trip to Scottsdale and I’m already dreaming of when we can go back again. And by go back again, I mean to The Sicilian Butcher.
I was, at first, hesitant to try this place. The few critic reviews I found online didn’t have many positive things to say but we decided to trust the Yelp reviews instead and we’re SO glad we did. The harsh critiques were not at all in line with our experience. Service was friendly, we were seated right away, and the atmosphere was lively (perfect for dining with a 4 year old and a baby).
What We Ordered – Starters:
Cured Meat & Cheese Board – variety of sliced, cured meat, hard and soft cheeses, fig jam plus, crusty bread and other treats like spicy pickled fennel and spicy citrus olives (the olives were a group favorite!).
Pana Cunzatu (bruschetta board) – If there is a theme to The Sicilian Butcher’s menu it is (1) meat and (2) design-your-own. When ordering the Pana Cunzatu, you choose from a list of tasty combinations to customize your own bruschetta board (4 slices total). All of the options sounded delicious but we choose the following and they were excellent!
fig jam + ricotta + pistachio crumble + balsamic drizzle
creamy burrata + tomato jam + fried basil
wild mushroom + goat cheese + fried leeks + truffle essense
whipped goat cheese + roasted peppers + herb pesto
What We Ordered – Mains:
For mains we all went for the craft meatballs – you choose your meatball, choose your sauce and choose your base. Indecisive people beware, there are a LOT of different combinations from which to choose. Ten different types of meatballs, ten different sauces and and twelve “bottoms” like pastas, polenta and gnocchi. You do the math.
Our typically loud group was silent for a bit while we each pondered our unique order, and then changed our minds, and then changed our minds again. I don’t think you can go wrong, though (each of us thought our meatball or sauce was the best). Here’s what we ordered:
Tomaso’s Sicilian + Picchio Pacchio + Pappardelle – This one had the most flavorful meatball with a mix of veal, beef and pork along with pine nuts, raisins, garlic and pecorino. The sauce was fresh and bright with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, butter and e.v.o.o.
Pork N’duja + Arrabiatta + Paccheri – If you like thing spicy, this one is perfect! The meatball was a mix of ground pork, n’duja (a spicy, spreadable sausage), roasted peppers, caramelized onions and provolone. The sauce was a classic Arrabiatta with San Marzano tomato, garlic, basil and Calabrian chili.
Tony’s Steak + Truffle Mushroom + Campanelle – This combo was so good! The meatball was crafted with ground brisket, rib eye, roasted garlic, caramelized onions and provolone. The truffle mushroom sauce with wild mushrooms and cream was flavorful without being overpowering.
Uncle Arthur’s Sausage + Sunday Sugo + Papardelle – Not our favorite meatball (very good, just a bit dryer than others), but the sauce with veal, beef, pork and mirepoix was fantastic.
Roll Yourself Out of There Like a Giant Meatball and Then..
Stuffed and satisfied, we paid our bill and started to head out to the car only to be quickly reminded by our 4-year-old that he had been promised dessert. Raise your hand if you, like me, occasionally (read: often) bribe your child to get them to behave in restaurants?
Anyway, we walked into Butcher’s neighboring bakery, The Sicilian Baker aka “I’ve died and gone to cannoli heaven”. Continuing with the design-your-own theme, their cannoli bar offers a variety of fillings from traditional cream to lemon to nutella. We got one to share with half-pistachio and half-oreo. I have to admit this was my first time eating a cannoli but we were impressed and I can definitely see what all the hype is about when it comes to this place.
Dear Sicilian Butcher, please expand to California! 🙏