Sicilian Butcher in Phoenix
Sicilian Butcher, a little taste of Sicily on the corner of Tatum and Greenway near Walgreens, where Modern Grove used to be. The patio is simple and inviting featuring a cozy fireplace, while the inside dining space is surrounded by white brick walls and the Sicilian Butcher Emblem, hand painted by the bar immediately catches your eye and gives the space an edgy feel.
New Food in Town
My first visit to Sicilian Butcher, I was excited about the possibility of a new food choice in the area. In this neighborhood, there are a lot of chain restaurants. What it really needs are new neighborhood restaurants. When I heard about Sicilian Butcher, I had high hopes. I loved the name, and the vibe of the place. The name brings to the imagination a concept that has the best, most succulent cuts of meats, with vegetable sides as entree options. The hostess greeted us warmly and guided us to a four top table with a bench seat. This was nice as it is a pet peeve of mine when a restaurant has plenty of available seating and the host sits you at a tiny table. It’s nice to spread out and to have the opportunity to sit on the same side together when there is only a half booth.
My first glance at the menu was disappointing. The main dinner menu is essentially a “Build Your Own Pasta.” The meat cuts they are famous for are different types of meatballs. I was saddened by the choices as I don’t love to eat a ton of carbohydrates. There are so many things wrong with a build your own pasta bar. When is it ever a good idea to blindly mix and match sauces, proteins and veggies together willy nilly. I suppose it could be nice to have things done your own way, but when I am going out to dinner, I want a chef to come up with the perfect combination of flavors, that have been tested and listed as the best dishes to order. I don’t want to think too much, I just want good food, and ultimately isn’t that a big part of what we are paying for?
We settled on sharing a salad and dinner entree. Our salad was the Frase and I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was! It had large parmesan slices, fresh veggies and a perfect amount of vinaigrette. Our dinner entree was the Spaghetti and Meatballs. You could taste the quality of the homemade noodles. The sauce was rich and the meatballs were moist. If I am in for a carb dump then I’d indulge in some bread, but I was disappointed by the thin crunchy breadsticks at the table. Bread with olive oil would be a better addition, and more what I would expect. Although what we had was good, I could not help but think how phenomenal this place would be, if they took the initiative to put together a world class menu. They could do a few pasta dishes, and dinners with select cut meats and veggies.
I wanted to try more items on the menu before writing this review. I was especially interested in their Happy Hour. So I paid Sicilian Butcher another visit on a rainy afternoon. Due to the rain, all seating had been moved inside and a few small two top tables took up most of the bar area. Upon arrival, we were told that happy hour is in fact “All Day, Every Day” but is limited to the bar only. The bar happened to be packed, which meant we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of Happy Hour. The manager kindly extended the happy hour prices to us, as we were there to write a review. This was going above and beyond for us and I am so happy they did, their Happy Hour menu is incredible.
Appetizers and Meatballs
We chose the Cazzilli, Mozzarella Caprese Board, Sausage Meatball and vegetarian Meatball, Eggplant Parmesan. It felt like minutes later when our food arrived. We dove into the Cazzilli which resembled a thick mozzarella stick with potato, and pancetta. It had a crunchy exterior, soft interior and side of tomato herb sauce. The Mozzarella Caprese Board was my favorite. For only $9, you can’t beat it. The presentation was outstanding as it was prepared on a wood platter. The crunchy grilled bread was the perfect pairing to the hefty slices of fresh mozzarella and Burrata. We finished with our meatballs and crazy enough, we were wowed by the Eggplant Ball. It’s obviously made with fresh eggplant and baked which makes all the difference. Dressed in marinara sauce, it’s soft and crunchy without too much breading. It was so wonderful that it left little to say about the Sausage Meatball.
Overall, the quality of food is top notch. It is easy to tell that they only use the best and freshest ingredients in their offerings. The staff has been great with both visits and have gone above and beyond. I was extremely happy with Happy Hour menu and highly recommend you give Sicilian Butcher a try. Grab a seat at the bar when you can! The ambiance paired with the food is sure to leave you with something to remember.