This was our second dining experience at Uncle Sal’s in Scottsdale AZ and the dining experience was just as great as the first. It had been several years since we had first enjoyed the fine food of Uncle Sal’s and I was anxious to see if they could live up to my expectation based on the prior experience. Our friends Fred and Basia highly recommended the restaurant both times and I quickly said yes when it came up again. Our first visit was a little on the pricey side because we were in the main dining room and selected from the dining room menu. I’ve no regrets though since the meal was greatly enjoyed by all and I was eagerly awaiting another visit. I just wish my hubby, Gus, loved Italian food as much as me which would bring me here more often.
At Thomas & Hayden Roads, Scottsdale AZ Our second visit was just as great but our dollar output was much lower. The food was just a splendid as if we were still in the main dining room. We seated ourselves on high back chairs at the bar since we did not have reservations and the only regret was the hard seats. Gus was especially sad that we were not in main dining because he has a skinny little butt and complained later to me about the seating. He would have preferred main dining even if the bar menu was not available. When dining in the bar you have choice of the full dining room menu or the more reasonable, but limited bar menu. All the seats at the bar were also full by 7pm on this Sunday evening with other wannabee’s wandering in and around looking around for a seat. We had our seats, a smile on our face and a great bartender, Johnny, giving us full attention. Feel free to order the house Chianti for your choice of wine with dinner if you are more budget minded, however, there is a great wine selection to choose from. The Chianti is a okay wine, priced reasonable and served by the glass. A freshly made house dinner salad was our starter and was bed of fresh lettuce, tomatoes and mine with a delightful house vinaigrette dressing. I ordered the Chicken Milanese especially because I had tried a recipe from Big Oven and I wanted to compare the two dishes. Sal’s Milanese was a delicate lemon sauce over a lightly breaded chicken along with Sautéed green beans. Uncle Sal’s was a much more delicate version than the one that I made and this was probably due to the light breading on the chicken. It lends truth to more is not always better. Gus ordered a Rib Eye that was to die for and so huge it covered most of the plate. I made him give me a bite and it was delicious. Cooked medium rare and then with a butter topping of parsley, oregano, garlic plus salt and pepper, it would par with Ruth Chris easily but Ruth Chris would have been three times the price. The was definitely enough for the most hearty appetite. Gus had half left which we took home and made a hot steak, mushroom and Havarti cheese on French roll the following day. In this case more was better since Gus had the pleasure of two meals and both very tasty. Basia enjoyed a Pan Seared Scallop dish from the bar menu. Her choice was priced very reasonable but they did not cut corners on preparation or quality. It was excellent, of course I had a bite! There was a nice light lemony sauce with bits of bacon for added flavor. Fred’s choice was a Meatball Calzone also from the bar menu. It was incredibly with large meatballs and lots of cheese. This was the ultimate bar-man’s meal. On a fun side, I’ve heard rumor that Uncle Sal’s was based on a mafia family opening a restaurant to go legit. Who knows for sure but it does add a little sparkle to the experience. I can just imagine that Joseph “Joe Dogs” Iannuzzi dined here or led a secret life with Uncle Sal. More to the truth, the Molinari family brought this fine cuisine to the valley of the sun in 1988. The restaurant is high action, fast paced with a clientele ranging from their 30’s to 60’s from what I observed. I would recommend to eat in the dining room where you may be more comfortable but if dollars are an issue pick the bar and let Johnny entertain you. Whether you eat in the bar or in the main dining room you will be sure to enjoy. All in all this was a great experience, great meals and I cant wait to try something new next time. Here are some samples of other dishes prepared at Sal’s and borrowed from their website; http://www.unclesalsaz.com/