Tag Archives: Southbridge

James Beard winner Alex Stratta joins The Herb Box

James Beard award winner and Michelin starred chef Alex Stratta brought smiles to the faces of foodies around the Phoenix area earlier this year when he announced he was returning to Phoenix after spending several years strutting his stuff in Las Vegas. The corporate job that brought him back didn’t work out the way he had planned and was short-lived. Fortunately it was culinary gold for The Herb Box who hired Stratta as Director of Culinary.

Stratta will oversee all 3 locations (Southbridge & DC Ranch in Scottsdale and The Colony in central Phoenix) menus as well as their grab and go market and catering operations. His first order of business was to roll out a new Fall dinner menu. The menus will continue to be unique and use seasonal & local ingredients with vegetables playing a major part. The dinner menu rolled out in late October and a Fall lunch menu is planned for an early November roll out.

The Herb Box owner Susan Wilcox wasn’t looking to hire for a new position but she knew of Stratta’s reputation and with the help of mutual friends the 2 were connected, Wilcox says “Alex and I had a meeting of the minds. Our passions and vision for the growth of the company perfectly aligned.”

Stratta will also focus on the kitchen’s business operations which is one of his strengths. This will include developing and training the back of the house, refine procedures, ensure menu consistency in all with all 3 locations and expand catering and the grab and go market which will maximize the long-term growth of the restaurants. While no new restaurants are planned, Wilcox is open to expansion if the right location and opportunity become available around the valley or outside of Arizona. According to Stratta, “I’m bringing the same intensity and same heart from the fine dining arena to The Herb Box.” http://www.theherbbox.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner at Marcellino Ristorante in Scottsdale

Marcellinos presentation
When Sima and Marcellino Verzino met in Rome, where Sima was a singer/performer and Marcellino was a chef, in the 1990’s they never knew they’d settle Arizona with a successful restaurant. It wasn’t until early in the 2000’s while living in New York City and owning a successful restaurant that they visited Phoenix to see friends that they knew Arizona was the place for them. Having moved to Scottsdale’s Southbridge after 7 years at the original location on Northern and 12th St. in Phoenix they couldn’t be happier with the Piazza(plaza) feel of downtown Scottsdale. Despite a downturn in the economy & the summer heat Marcellino Ristorante is still wowing tourists, snowbirds and locals, some who make the drive from their old neighborhood, with homemade pastas & sauces, fresh seafood and they hospitality one might expect when dining in Italy.

I had the chance to dine as Sima & Marcellino’s guest recently and the food, ambiance and company made it a memorable evening making me wanting more. Whether your sitting on the patio, in the dining room or at the chef’s counter your in for an fun and filling dining experience as the experienced staff delivers dishes made with Sima and Marcellino’s passion for food and friends. Since they say pictures are worth a 1,000 words I present to you a few of Marcellino’s signature dishes…Mangia! Mangia!

Atlantic Salmon tartare resting on an orange round
Atlantic Salmon tartare resting on an orange round

Hand crafted pasta duo...beef tenderloin stuffed Tortelone and Gnocchi Sorrentina
Hand crafted pasta duo…beef tenderloin stuffed Tortelone and Gnocchi Sorrentina

Pollo Saporito- Chicken sauteed with mushroom, pine nuts, sun dried and fresh tomatoes over pureed potatoes
Pollo Saporito- Chicken sauteed with mushroom, pine nuts, sun dried and fresh tomatoes over pureed potatoes

Trio of desserts including Italian Cheesecake, Tiramisu & Biscotti Di Noci
Trio of desserts including Italian Cheesecake, Tiramisu & Biscotti Di Noci

Marcellino’s Ristorante is at 7114 E Stetson Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85251.(480) 990-9500