The Mick Brasserie & Bar, a welcome addition to McCormick Ranch

Any restaurant that’s opened in 2020 faces more challenges than the day to day challenges associated with the restaurant industry. Open in an Arizona summer and you could be behind the eight ball even more. Those challenges haven’t seemed to put a damper on the opening of The Mick Brasserie & Bar in Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch neighborhood. The modern French inspired restaurant opened last August and on a recent Wednesday night guests seemed to be enjoying as if were 2019.

The Mick Braaerie & Bar
Pate de Campagne. All photos courtesy of Shoshana Leon

Owners John Krause and Chef Brent Menke are serving colorful, small and shareable plates that’s globally inspired and locally sourced. The menu aims to please all with vegan and vegetarian dishes along with plenty for meat and seafood lovers. The two longtime friends date back to The University of Arizona where they were fraternity brothers before both wound up in Rhode Island. Menke cooked on yachts before opening The Farm Table in northwestern Massachusetts. Krause has had several careers and this is his first foray in the restaurant business.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar menus

On my recent visit my guest and I arrived towards the end of happy hour and enjoyed glasses of house wine with our Pate de Campagne, a healthy portion of pork pate wrapped in bacon with pistachios, Shiitake mushrooms and foie gras. Served with pickled red onions, stone ground mustard, cornichons and toasted sourdough bread. A fan of wild mushrooms we ordered Wild Mushroom Napoleon which I was left to enjoy myself as my companion isn’t a fan of the earthy delights. The Bacon Tarte was plentiful and filling.

We split the Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla which we both wished we had all to our self. The pickled pineapple was unique touch to the filo wrapped duck, julienne vegetables and agrodolce. In typical European style The House Julienne Salad was brought after our meal. Chef Menke loves to say, “Food is better when shared.”

The Mick Brasserie & Bar
Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla

The Mick has an extensively researched wine and craft beer list from around the world including 50 wines by the glass and 24 beers on tap. Four retail refrigerators allow for wines and beers can be sold to take home with you. The spacious patio allows for comfortable outdoor dining while the modern art filled indoor interior offers a well-lit enjoyable dining experience.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar is at 9719 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85258. Hours are Tues.- Fri. 3 p.m. -9p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 3p.m. Brunch is served early on weekends and happy hour is from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. To view the menu and more information check their website.

 

Zuzu introduces new dinner menu from Chef Russell Lacasce

When I wrote about new executive chef Russell Lacasce taking over the kitchen at the Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant Zuzu back in Dec. I wondered what direction he would take the restaurant. I now know as Lacasce has introduced his first dinner menu since arriving at the Zuzu in January. A few restaurant bloggers and myself had the opportunity to taste several of the new menu items and speak to Lacasce and other members of his culinary team.

Zuzu Lobster Rolls

“I wanted the new menu to be very approachable, while offering dishes with complex combinations of flavors and textures that diners might not expect,” said LaCasce. “Everything is fresh and seasonal, with a strong focus on showcasing our amazing local farmers and purveyors.” Several of the Zuzu’s previous American comfort food staples are still available in the lounge.

Chef Russell Lacasce new menu items

The new menu includes dishes that perfect for sharing and include….

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare with spicy chicharones, Avocado mousse, Heirloom tomatoes, with a local Feta and shallot buttermilk dressing. This small plate tasted fresh with a hint of spice and a nice touch from the crispy chicharone.

Chef Russell Lacasce Hawaiian Ahi Tartare

The Burrata has a creamy and smooth texture and the addition of pickled strawberries & toasted pistachios give it flavors you’d be hard pressed to find on other plates of Burrata around town.

The Hokkaido Scallops comes three to a serving separated by one of the more unique ingredients I’ve found recently, fried Meyer lemon wedges. Both are served over a bed of toasted cous cous & pine nuts and drizzled with a shellfish butter. The scallops practically melt in your mouth and citrus flavor and crunch from the Panko crusted fried lemon may have made me a scallop convert. This dish is not to be missed by scallop enthusiasts.

The entrée we tasted was the item on the whole menu that raised my eye brow when I read it…..Baker’s Bacon Chop. A 20 lb. back bacon loin that is house carved, cured, smoked and honey lacquered prior to being plated. Served with green harissa, burnt orange, fresh herbs, pickled chiles and pork rinds. All I can say is WOW! A loin of crispy back bacon will give a whole new meaning to bacon. It’s also great for those who prefer gluten-free dinners.

What’s next at Zuzu

At the same time the dinner menu debuted in early May, Lacasce introduced a lounge menu and new dessert menu from pastry chef Audrey Enriquez. In coming weeks he will be rolling out new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus for diners to sink their teeth into. If his first menu is any indication of what’s to come in June we should be pick a day now, circle on the calendar and plan to check out Zuzu.

Zuzu is in the Hotel Valley Ho at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251 (480)376-2600 http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/ZuZu