Pubblico Italian Eatery

Reviewed By: Leslie & Andy
Andy's middle daughter, Rachel, is off in California attending her first year of college.   We wanted to have a nice dinner and invite family to join us because she's in town for the weekend.  So, because I'm an excellent planner, I waited until late Sunday morning to find a dinner reservation for the evening.  Luckily, we happened upon Pubblico Italian Eatery, located right next door to Ruth's Chris at Scottsdale and Indian Bend.  What a gem!

Ambience:  The interior is tastefully decorated in a sort of retro-contemporary-eclectic design.  The wallpaper is a lovely textured silver containing a baroque design and the room is dotted with red leather booths. The hanging light fixtures were a funky collection of gray circles. Some drinks are served in coupe cocktail glasses--stemmed glasses, picture a 1920's era champagne glass--rather than the usual lowball glasses which adds a touch of vintage class.  The music was a little loud, but didn't hinder conversation. Our group of six had a lively conversation and we could hear our waiter just fine.

Quality:  We started out with bruschetta--Caprese and the Brie Apple Walnut--the toast points were a nice, thick Italian bread topped by a lovely apple walnut relish piled high on creamy, melted Brie or you can never go wrong with the classic combination of melty mozzarella with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic dressing. As we perused the menu, our cousin Laura and I laughed because the Lobster Ravioli comes with a side of seafood.  (The Short Rib raviolis come with a side of tenderloin.  Meat with a side of meat.) I decided to chance it and ordered the Lobster Ravioli because I like a little seafood with my seafood.  This was not a mistake.  The ravioli are made in-house; large half circle shaped pillows stuffed with lobster.  Tossed in a creamy sauce and served with a perfectly seared scallop and two extra large shrimp. Next to me arrived an Arugula Salad that could feed four people.  The arugula was tossed in a nice vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. The pizzas are thin crust with nice housemade sauce and fresh ingredients. Our desserts were Bread Pudding, Tiramisu, and Creme Brulee--all of which were passed around the table and enjoyed by everyone.

Service:  Our server was on point--friendly, informative, and efficient.  Easily answered any questions we had, very well versed in the menu, and easily heard over the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. Servers were very professional, utilizing proper serving etiquette--serve from the left, remove from the right--and refreshingly no food auctioning, which is a rarity in even the nicest of restaurants.  I know I sound old school, but I just hate to have a nice conversation interrupted with "WHO HAD THE FISH??" It's pretty easy to assign seat numbers to a table and keep track of orders based on the seat numbers. Almost all modern day POS systems require you to enter orders based on table numbers and seat numbers...  But I digress... There was no food auctioning and all the classic steps of service were followed which makes me love the restaurant that much more.

Value: The entree prices were mid-range.  My particular choice was the second most expensive on the menu at $32.  The most expensive is the Cioppino at $48, but it includes lobster and a veritable cornucopia of other shellfish and seafood.  The pastas are moderately priced. The happy hour menu boasts $4 off cocktails which piqued my interest, but in looking at cocktail prices ($10-$12), you'd still end up with a solid check, even at happy hour.  However taking into account the service, serving sizes, and tastiness of the food--not to mention the crafted cocktails, beer, and wine list--you could balance out your order and tailor your check to fit your budget. I believe it was worth the price for the great evening that was had by all.

In the end I'd say Pubblico Italian Eatery is worth checking out.  I was abundantly impressed with the service alone, but add to that the delicious food and great mood of the restaurant. We were all surprised that the restaurant is right there, hidden in plain sight, and none of us had visited it yet.  We really enjoyed all aspects of our meal and have absolutely added it to our list of favorites.  There are two locations, we visited the Scottsdale location, but there is another in Phoenix.  You should check them out! Note, they also have a great patio which we did not utilize since we did not know about when making our reservation.