John Selman The Agency

D’Avanti Enoteca : Sadly, it’s Closed-Italian Comfort Food in Paradise Valley / Scottsdale

6316 N. Scottsdale Rd.


Having been a little underwhelmed by Mia Francesca at DC Ranch, and hearing that the old Quilted Bear restaurant spot at Lincolnand Scottsdale was to be occupied by another of Francesca’s corporate concepts, I admit I wasn’t very excited to visit D’Avanti a week before their grand opening. I’m glad I was practically dragged inside, as it has become a go-to spot for reliable food.

I popped back in this week, craving two of my favorite staples: Truffled Egg Toast, and their Sea Urchin and Crab Linguine.

I first experienced Truffled Egg Toast a decade ago at James Denton’s Ino Café and Bar in Greenwich Village, and it is his creation, described in many cookbooks, that everyone copies. It is fabulous. I love it.

But James, these guys do it better. While Ino was resting on its laurels with their standard, D’Avanti decided that a much thicker piece of really great bread would be a better stage to showcase the players, and they were right. And, Ino is often heavy handed with the truffle oil, while so far, D’Avanti always gets it right. Who knew that a recipe consisting of a slice of grilled bread with the edges covered with melted Gruyere (or in this case Fontina), a depression for two just-cooked egg yolks, a drizzle of truffle oil before the stirring of those yolks, and a sprinkle of grilled asparagus bites, could lend itself to so many permutations. I’m just glad D’Avanti’s Peter DeRuvo gets it right. (as an aside…I also had the cauliflower and the pate…both winners and the pate is a key bargain buy).

The Riccio di Mare e Granchio is another of several standouts. For someone who used to sit on the dock in Santa Barbara watching friends come in with their urchin catch, this dish of linguine, sea urchin and crab is heaven sent. Chef DeRuvo hits a perfect balance to let the subtle notes shine through.

It’s not free, but the prices for these thoughtfully executed dishes, are low enough that I am surprised you can still get a seat for dinner. To top it off, the GM has great wine industry experience, and has a carefully selected list of great buys under $30, and some real standouts in the $40-50 range. Go ahead, ask for him, and ask him what he likes. On the rare occasion he isn’t there, and you want a great buy in a big red, order one of his Montepulciano picks. Of course they also have some crisp white gems and this time, a yummy rose sparkler. You can’t go wrong.

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About the Author
John Selman is a happy real estate broker/realtor at The Agency. He is a refugee from the Tech World, incuding Big Blue,, CadData, CU2Americas, and a former Managing Member of Barrel Wine Bars LLC, Malibu Village Wines LLC, and WineProGroup. He enthusiastically enjoys and irreverently writes, about food, wine, and homes. He is passionate about all three as well as grapes, good renovation, architecture, his family, his very needy Bulldog-Rugby, and most (but not always all) of his friends. John works with his customers buying and selling normal homes as well as Luxury Properties at The Agency, and loves what he gets to do every day. In his free time, he coaches paddling sports on Tempe Town Lake, occasionally visits his favorite old ski haunts and complains of aches and pains, avoids anyone carrying a rugby ball, travels up and down the coast seeking out great food & wine, looks for water to paddle SUP or outriggers, and laughs at his dog.

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