I had my first visit to Rusconi's American Kitchen during Arizona Restaurant Week. Rusconi's exceeded my expectations from the first phone conversation that I had with the staff to inquire about gluten free, vegan options to the second I took my first bite of my arugula salad with thin slices of striped beets and a drizzle of mango vinaigrette dressing. No wonder it was listed as one the Best New Restaurants in the Phoenix Magazine October 2013 edition! What I loved most about this restaurant and it's staff was the "Can Do" attitude; in fact everything that I asked for they could accommodate! Owner and Chef Michael Rusconi, even came to the table to speak with us and he continued to express that preparing gluten free, vegan options in his restaurant is not a problem for his staff at all! And, after experiencing his three-course dinner meal, I have full confidence that Chef Michael can cook anything to perfection!
For the first course, I ordered Roasted Candy Striped Beets with shaved fennel, arugula, mango, and pine nuts; this course originally had a cojita cheese topping, but because I am dairy free I requested that it not be added. When this dish arrived in front of me, it was simply beautiful, and after eating this delicious beautifully plated first course, I was in anticipation of my second course. For the second course, I selected the Wood grilled Australian Sea Bass served with garlic roasted fingerlings, caramelized fennel and smoked tomato jus. Once again, Chef Michael showcased his artistic skills and making this dish sexy! Not only was this dish gorgeous, but the sea bass was perfectly grilled and succulent! As I inserted my fork into the sea bass I was I was getting excited by the second--the fish moist! For the final course, I had a delicious Passion Fruit and Coconut Panna Cotta with tropical fruit and toasted coconut, which--just like the previous courses--was beautifully plated with some sort of interesting sugar art design! I've never had a panna cotta before, but Chef Michael had earned my trust that night, and so I knew without a doubt that it was going to be amazing...and, I was right! Finally, to end my dining experience at Rusconi's American Kitchen, the jovial, friendly waiter serving us for the evening delivered the bill with a thank you card and a HUGE smile; that definitely solidified my desire to return to Rusconi's for dinner!
Rusconi's American Kitchen is located in the Phoenix (Paradise Valley Area) on the corner of Tatum Blvd and Shea. For additional information, please call 480-483-0009.