2602 W Deer Valley Road, Phoenix, AZ 85027
We visited Times Square Deer Valley on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful, kinda-Spring day, the kind that just begs for a car ride. So we decided to take a short jaunt through the hills, look at the big houses on Deer Valley road set against the hillside (these things were HUGE, I’m telling ya!), until we hit the I-17 northbound, then got off on the next exit.
A short jog from the freeway exit and we get to the restaurant. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s clean and inviting. The interior had some old-world Italian charm to it with the lamps and the furnishings. Our waiter for the afternoon was a young man by the name of Mack. Honestly, Mack himself made the visit worth the drive. He was a very personable young man of 19, who had been working at the restaurant for a while and had worked his way up from a bus boy. He knew the menu and the restaurant, and handled himself well.
So let’s get right to it. The Caesar salad would have been a 5-star salad, had it not been for the normal, shaker-style parmesan cheese on top of the salad. It had great dressing, the greens were crisp and the croutons tasted like they were baked the night before. They were light and crunchy, with a good blend of Italian seasonings, not hard at all. If there had been shaved parmesan on top of the salad, this would have been a 5-star salad.
The bruschetta was delicious! The flavors of the tomatoes and the balsamic saved this from being a 3-star dish. While the toast points underneath were very flavorful, it hadn’t been toasted long enough to compensate for the moisture from the tomatoes and the balsamic, so it was a bit soggy. In addition to that, it was a bit lacking on the basil. All in all, a tasty and flavorful dish and I would recommend trying it.
My wife had the meat Ravioli and I had the Tortellini. Served with the meal, were 2 large slices of garlic bread. It’s VERY hard to mess up garlic bread, so based on the review of the croutons, you know it had to be really good! The Ravioli was well done. It was a meat ravioli, covered in marinara, with a brown and bubbly layer of cheese on top. The flavors were good and married will together. My tortellini was served in a tomato-based peppery cream sauce. I’m not exactly sure what kind of sauce it was, but Oh MY!, was it good! It had chunks of chicken and whole slices of mushrooms in it as well. We took the leftovers home (there was so much, we both had half of ours left) and left them in the refrigerator to marinate in their own sauce! Everyone knows that Italian food the next day is better the second day anyway, after all the flavors have had a chance to marry together and soak into the pasta. It didn’t disappoint. I’ll give the Ravioli a 4 out of 5 and the Tortellini a 4.5 out of 5.
I took a cannoli home with me to eat at home, together with a good glass of red wine. The mascarpone was some of the creamiest I’ve ever eaten, sweet but not too sweet, and the shell was perfectly crispy. All in all, a 5 out of 5 on the dessert scale.
Overall, this was a great little place to go for a nice, relaxing lunch. The ambiance was average (3.75 out of 5), the food was delicious (4.5 out of 5) and the service was great (5 out of 5)! Definitely recommend trying it at least once, but it will go on our permanent rotation.