Bravo Bistro offers a local, neighborhood feel even though it is located in the heart of busy Scottsdale. Bravo Bistro is located on Scottsdale Road just north of 5th Avenue. Parking is available on the side streets and valet parking is also available for a small fee.
Bravo Bistro is a very charming place to go to for dinner. This restaurant is very quaint and offers an Italian-like feel, with life-like paintings on the walls. The dress is nice casual/business casual. The noise level is moderate and would be a fine date place as well as for special occasions. Don’t be surprised to see some regulars though; with the neighborhood feel there are many locals that make Bravo Bistro a regular place.
As soon as we reached the door we were welcomed by the Host and Co-Owner Steve Marks, who made us feel right at home. Marks was extremely friendly and I felt like we were long lost friends. Steve has co-owned Bravo Bistro for 13 years. During that time, Bravo Bistro has been granted several awards, including “Best New Restaurant In Scottsdale.” Prior to Bravo Bistro, Steve managed another Italian restaurant, where he met Tony Hamati, who would become the other co-owner and the chef of Bravo Bistro. Interestingly, Chef Hamati started his career as sous-chef at the Royal Palace of Jordan. Here at Bravo Bistro, Chef Hamati combines his background of Lebanese and Jordanian cuisine with Steve’s Italian background to come up with a unique style of flavors. The cuisine at Bravo Bistro is Mediterranean-Italian.
We were seated immediately. Although, there isn’t a lot of seating inside Bravo Bistro, patio seating is also an option. For private parties, the upstairs lounge is an alternative. This private lounge has a capacity of sixty people, and has been used for events such as birthdays, wedding receptions, and business meetings. Bravo Bistro also caters and has an extensive catering menu.
Shortly, hummus with pita was brought to the table. The hummus had a nice flavor, especially when the pita to accompany it was hot. I find that sometimes hummus is made with too much lemon juice causing a tart taste. This hummus had just the right amount of lemon juice and was not sour. It had the right combination of cooked mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. To my surprise, they kept bringing us more and more hummus and pita until our food came out.
For starters, I ordered the Butter Lettuce Salad. It was very creative and reminded me of a lettuce wrap. Pears, walnuts, and gorgonzola were on top of full leaves of lettuce, which I cut up to mix all the ingredients together. The dressing was a light, creamy vinaigrette and complimented the gorgonzola very well. This salad was very good.
There is a lot of variety on the menu. The server kept emphasizing that everything on the menu is fresh. They pride themselves on having fish flown in daily, serving prime meats, using locally grown organic produce and homemade pasta. They make everything from scratch and use only the finest ingredients. Bravo Bistro also has a full bar and has a good selection of American and imported wines. Soon the restaurant will offer a Light Fare Menu, which will be a great option for diners looking for smaller portions with smaller prices.
I ordered the special, which was a Mixed Grill – three different kinds of fish (salmon, mahi-mahi, and escolar) with vegetables. Among our party we also ordered the pasta special, Seafood Ravioli, and the Veal Ossobuco, Every dish came out looking very appetizing.
The Mixed Grill had good-sized portions of salmon, mahi-mahi, and escolar. Each fish was flaky, cooked perfectly, and did not have a strong fishy taste. This dish was a very healthy option because it was grilled and wasn’t doused in butter or other fattening sauces. I could taste the purity of each fish; the preparation let the fish flavors speak for themselves. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the vegetables even more, especially the carrots, which were cooked perfectly—not too hard and not too soggy. I could taste the essence of the carrot—sometimes carrots do not have a strong carrot flavor but these definitely had a great carrot flavor and were not overpowering either.
The Veal Ossobuco arrived on a large plate with a huge portion of bone-in veal shank served on saffron risotto with a braised vegetable demi-glace sauce. The veal was very tender and juicy but the best part was being able to suck on the veal bone to get all the marrow and flavor out. This was a real treat; I don't recall the last time I was able to do this. The veal was topped with a vegetable demi-glace sauce that had a deep meaty flavor. The risotto was rich and creamy with a nice saffron taste. This dish was excellent.
The highlight of the night was the Seafood Ravioli. This wasn’t your traditional small ravioli. On the platter there were two large stuffed raviolis almost the size of tennis balls. Not only did this dish look impressive, it was impressive. Wow! I have never had pasta that tasted so amazing! Prior to tasting this, I had not been able to tell the difference between homemade and store-bought pasta, but I definitely could tell the difference here. The pasta was cooked al dente, which gave the perfect texture and retained the great pasta taste. The ravioli was stuffed with spinach and a mix of seafood, topped with a light lemon cream sauce. This dish was absolutely delicious. It was extremely fresh and flavorful. I know what I’m ordering the next time I visit Bravo Bistro. This dish is a must have.
Bravo Bistro is a great place. It is locally owned and operated with dishes made from scratch using only fine quality ingredients. The dishes are unique with different mixes of spices. The service was very attentive and the staff was very friendly. I can’t wait to go back there again.