Dinner with friends at Taggia at FireSky Resort in Scottsdale

Recently I had the opportunity to dine with friends at Taggia, the Coastal Italian Cuisine restaurant, www.taggiascottsdale.com located inside FireSky Resort and Spa just north of downtown Scottsdale. Under the guidance of executive chef Massimo De Francesca, a Toronto native, we dined on a tasting menu of selected dishes which were all beautifully presented and all had unique flavors and a combination of flavors not usually found in Italian cuisine. These are a few of my favorites.

Right out of the gate I was impressed with the Shrimp Escabeche and it’s use of coconut and lobster oil. Served with watercress and sliced red onion these shrimp were perfectly cooked and the coconut offered a tropical flavor which showcased Chef Massimo’s outside the box thinking.

Shrimp Escabeche
Shrimp Escabeche

Cod Fritters don’t exactly scream Italian but made me scream “I want more” as the salt cod was served a top a smear of chipolte aioli which served as a nice contrast to the fried Cod giving it a hint of spice. Several cubes of hearts of palm are served offering a cool and crisp flavor.

Cod Fritters with chipolte aioli & heart of palms
Cod Fritters with chipolte aioli & heart of palms

Since it is Italian inspired, a pasta course was served and the tender Gnocchi was served in a soy-brown butter and tossed with chorizo, crab and English peas. Upon first reading it on the menu and the ingredients I thought to myself it was a twist on surf and turf with the use of crab and chorizo. Both almost melted in my mouth with the help of the soy-brown butter.

Gnocchi with crab, chorizo and English peas
Gnocchi with crab, chorizo and English peas

Palate refreshers were offered before our final course along with carefully selected wines chosen by restaurant manager Brian Blanke which included Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio from Collio, Italy for the early courses. Arizona Stronghold “Dayden” pink wine which is a blend of Zinfandel & Tempranillo from Cochise County in southern Arizona was poured for the middle courses of Duck Carpaccio, Veal and Gnocchi. The 06 Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico Riserva was poured giving it the chance to breathe as it was paired with the final course.

Arizona Stronghold "Dayden" pink wine
Arizona Stronghold “Dayden” pink wine

The final plate before dessert was Coulette, which is a part of the beef sirloin that offers a soft and sweet flavor. Paired with bone marrow and over a bed of braised escarole it came served with fingerlings potatoes and cipolline onions offering a sweet taste. A rich flavor along with the juices of the beef made for a decadent beef course.


Dessert was served in 2 parts the first being Sabayon which is a foamy, mousse like dessert that was served strawberries and blackberries. Traditional bread pudding was then served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream along with house made limoncello which made for an excellent way to end one of the better meals served in recent memory.

A goodie bag was given to each invitee on our way out and I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my favorite desserts, a pair of mini cannolis. A return visit is in the future as the food and hospitality were very welcoming and delicious.

Bread pudding
Bread pudding

Taggia is opened 7 days a week serving
Breakfast 7:30am -10:30am Daily
Lunch 11:30am -2:30pm Daily
Dinner 5:30pm -9:00pm Sunday & Monday
5:30pm -10:00pm Tuesday – Saturday

Lounge opens at 11:00am daily.

Taggia & FireSky Resort and Spa is located 4925 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.424.6095

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Sandy Wasserman

I've been in and around the the Phoenix wine and restaurant for over 17 years. I've seen and learned a lot and now I'm sharing it for the world to see.

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