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Dine the Valley

Tommy V’s is a Much-Hyped Crowd Pleaser

Crab Cakes

If you’re heading into Old Town Scottsdale on Indian School Road, it’s unlikely you’ve missed Tommy V’s. The long, modern building off the side of the street is an eye catcher, with a cobalt blue sign and sleek, gray paint.

On top of being physically attractive, I’ve heard great things about the Italian-meets-New American joint that’s been topping the Scottsdale restaurant review list on Yelp.

We arrived on a Saturday night to an unexpectedly half-full restaurant. Based on the reviews I expected Tommy V’s to be hoppin’, but it was actually pretty mellow. A small jazz band was setting up, tapping their cymbals and tuning up an upright bass, and we were sat in a small table in the corner near the large, wall-length window that runs along the back side of the restaurant. It was a lovely scene.

We ordered a glass of wine from our server, who, while friendly, seemed to want to chat at every opportunity. He was a bit of a lingerer, hanging around the table a good 15 seconds after the ordering conversation was done. It’s a small annoyance to overlook though, especially because the food had some hype to live up to.

For appetizers, we went with the crab cake special and pancetta wrapped prawns from the menu. The crab cakes were delicious, though you could barely taste the crab. Deep fried rather than traditionally pan fried, they were mixed with enough mayo to kill the crab flavor. However, they went down easy with the basil aioli that accompanied them.

The pancetta wrapped prawns were the biggest miss of the night for me. Though they were served with a generous and flavorful bed of arugula, gorgonzola and fig balsamic jelly, the prawns themselves lacked any flavor besides salt. And boy, were they salty. We made the bussers that were refilling water glasses work hard for their money.

We were off to a mediocre start until we ordered our entrees. My boyfriend went with the fettuccini Bolognese, a specialty he’s perfected at home but yet to try in a restaurant, and I ordered up the filet mignon, because hey, it’s date night.

The Bolognese was complex and tasty, rife with deep vegetable undertones and savory meat flavor. It was creamier than the lower calorie version the boyfriend makes at home, and I have to say it trumped his recipe. (Sorry, Andy!)

I mistakenly ordered my filet mignon cooked to medium, which I realize is a cardinal sin. I meant to order it medium rare, but while ordering, in the moment my brain stuttered and I quickly squeaked out “medium.” Still, my steak was like absolute butter. The melt-in-your-mouth flavors were kicked up a notch a cheese crust (which wasn’t so much a crust as it was a topping) and contrasting pasta with spinach and simple red tomato sauce.

Despite the prawn starter misstep, it’s easy to see why Tommy V’s had such rave reviews. There was only one course left to tackle, and we weren’t leaving here without it—dessert. We indulged in a rich chocolate mousse cake that certainly lived up to expectations. It was chocolaty and creamy, topped with chocolate shavings. There weren’t many flavors beyond simple chocolate and cream, but we didn’t expect anything different.

After all of that decadence, I finished my glass of wine and complained the whole way home about being far too full. Once I got home, I did some squats for good measure, but I would do it over again in an instant.

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen and Bar

7303 E. Indian School Rd.,

Scottsdale 85251

(480) 427-2264

www.tommyvscottsdale.com