Engel & Voelkers

Tratto…the conundrum of simple ingredients, prepared to perfection.

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4743 N 20th St
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Having spent 20 years in the wine and restaurant business, I appreciate someone else making complicated dishes with separate elements that take time to prepare. I appreciate that work, knowing that I could do it, if I invested all that time. I come to Tratto because they achieve a consistency that I never can because I get side-tracked in prep while entertaining, or I can’t or don’t devote all the time and attention needed to get it just right.

What frustrates me and draws me to Tratto at the same time, is their simplicity of creating exquisite flavor. Using high quality ingredients, selected to play off each other, they craft simple, yet phenomenal dishes, perfectly timed and executed…in a production environment.

Their gem salad is a great example. The perfect amount of vinegar and oil to set off lettuce and cheese. Simple, yet insanely gratifying.

Their pasta dishes follow the same pattern: not over-complicated, they manage to show off the flavor and texture of the pasta, as well as the individual elements of the sauce, and become much more than the sum of the integrated parts.

Pork chops, meats and seafood…are all perfectly cooked, & beautifully caramelized when appropriate.

And what a great cocktail and wine list. Well chosen wines to complement food, with a few choices for those who want the wine front and center. Fair markups, and a few esoteric gems. I love their natural and “orange wine” choices, their generous pours, and the quality of their less expensive offerings.

If you can’t find wine here you like at a reasonable price…ask!!!! It’s there, you just don’t know all these wines…how could you. The lower priced wines may not be “supermarket wines”, and the distribution of similar wines in Arizona is pitifully bad…its a circular problem…people don’t know better so they seek out high volume wines, so many restaurants don’t take the chance and stock these lesser known gems. These guys do…so ask for guidance. I’ve carried most of the wines on the list in my store in California (where there are a lot more distributors and small production imports available), but the wines vary yearly and they always have something new from Arizona or elsewhere, so I ask for help every time.

And the cocktails. Here the ingredients tantalize, but the delivery is slightly gentle, to complement the meal.

People always say, save room for dessert…don’t…don’t miss any of the main courses that appeal to you. Just figure it out when dessert time comes.. you WILL find room. Linger over an after dinner drink and share desserts, and now…contemplate what you just experienced. Yummmm

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About the Author
John Selman is an Associate Broker, with previous experience as a certified Luxury Agent at Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, and The Agency. John consults with clients, handling the purchase and sales of their homes, dives into the hunt for a great property with the goal of achieving positive equity at close whenever possible, enthusiastically showcases a home for sale to bring out its best features, and truly loves what he gets to do every day. John moved to Engel & Voelkers to take advantage of their global reach in home and select lifestyle offerings, the experience and professionalism of their management and advisors, and E&V’s superlative marketing and support tools. Having grown up around the world, he arrived in the Valley from Canada, 35 years ago, renovated central Phoenix properties during college, and is intimate with the best neighborhoods historically, and those now on the rise. John earned his MBA in marketing from Arizona State University, with an undergraduate focus on biology, finance and computer science, and continued to pursue advanced coursework as an executive. As an e-marketing and sales executive, with stints with IBM and start-ups in San Francisco, Dallas, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York, La Jolla and LA, his regular relocation home searches provided valuable experiences, both good and bad, and led to his real estate career. John has practiced and taught the Consulting Sales process to the best sales people in business. A former #1 sales executive at IBM, and an instructor of executive education for IBM, he teaches, practices, and practically breathes the Consulting Sales Process. John honed his luxury-specific marketing skills, re-positioning and invigorating his gourmet food and wine shop in downtown Malibu, initially as a side business. As a pioneer in email marketing and blogs, he delivered wine advice and sold rare wine across the country to America’s wealthiest collector's and some of the biggest names in entertainment and business. Running his fine wine boutique, Malibu Village Wines, he consulted with auction houses, and worked with architects, cabinetmakers, contractors, and some of America’s best Realtors designing wine cellars for luxurious estates, and realized that Real Estate was what he wanted to concentrate on in his future. Expanding with a bar and restaurant, he catered to the needs of some of the world's wealthiest business people and celebrities. Having created a shop that was a social hub for the wine community, built a wine clientele around the world, and co-founded the Wine Classic for ChildHelp charity, John decided it was time to move on from technology, food and wine, and focus on real estate- his other lifestyle passion. He enthusiastically enjoys, and irreverently writes about homes, food and wine. He is passionate about all three, loves architecture, grapes, cooking, good renovation, old cars and motorcycles, his family, his Bulldog “Rugby”, and most (but not always all) of his friends. In his rare free time, he coaches paddling sports on Tempe Town Lake, strums a guitar while singing offkey, visits his favorite old ski haunts and complains of aches and pains, avoids anyone carrying a rugby ball or organizing a "tour", travels up and down the coast seeking out great food & wine, looks for water to paddle SUPs or outriggers, and laughs at his dog.

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