John Selman The Agency

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 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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