The culinary half of this delicious dichotomy is curated by award-winning head chef Christopher Gross, while the palate behind the fermented lounge is sommelier Paola Embry. Hungry peepers can feast upon Christopher's thoroughly modern dining digs; outfitted with bright, candy-colored fixtures that accent clean geometrics and foundational earth tones. Commence proper consumption by memorizing the full dining menu, which is creatively infused with the flavors of French cuisine, tempting early appetites with first plates such as wild-mushroom soup with foie gras ($18) and escargot en croute ($14), or savory salads such as duck confit with mixed greens, Humboldt Fog cheese, and cognac-infused dried cherries ($16). Warm up every nook and cranny of your mouth in preparation for great after-dinner conversation with a plate of steamed mussels with Spanish chorizo and white wine ($16), or take a large bite of smoked truffle-infused filet mignon ($36) to avoid answering questions about your "secret club" and the only other member, your "Matthew McConaughey." For an edible that's both cozy and elegant, opt for a wood-oven pizza topped with wild mushrooms, shallots, and arugula ($12).
For owners Sal and Dina Zappone, their eponymous Italian eatery is a dream come true. The newly renovated dining room is rife with modern accents such as earthen clay tiles, solar-powered silverware, and hanging lights like glowing red roses. It’s also a family establishment through and through. While Sal helms the kitchen, garnishing homemade pastas with fresh ricotta, and loading pizzas with fresh fennel sausage and truffle oil, his young son and daughter can often be found in small aprons, advertising their favorite dishes. Diners may also pair meals with an espresso or a light Morellino wine, which offers a fruity nose easier than sticking grapes in your nostrils.
Ground Control at Verrado's founders, Sean and Tara, infuse the eatery’s casual atmosphere with a European vibe, plating a menu of gastropub delights that match with their 18 draft brews. During dinner, cherrywood bacon sneaks into creamy mac 'n' cheese ($9), beer-battered cod cozies up to hand-cut fries and homemade tartar sauce in the fish & chips ($12), and a medium-rare Angus burger ($10) tests jaw limits. Lunch promises leafy salads and packed sandwiches such as the Cowboy, loaded with layers of roast beef, bacon, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, and special sauce ($7.95). Ground Control’s kitchen also churns out egg-centric breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, two fried eggs in a bog of cheddar, beans, and tortillas ($8). Whether sipping a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale ($5) or cooling sweaty forearms against a creamy cup of gelato, diners can drink in fresh breezes on the outdoor patio. Inside, exposed-brick walls surround tables flanked by black leather chairs in an inviting and energetic loft-like atmosphere.
Early-rising chefs whisk together a breakfast lover's menu, served amid chicken-themed décor in the burgundy dining room or alfresco on the outdoor patio. A Meggsican three-egg omelet ($8.50) adds international flair to morning meals, and the fluffy casing and lobster-rich core of the laguna beach omelet ($9.25) scrumptiously awakens tongues from nightmares about pronouncing five-syllable words. Diners can satisfy doughy hankerings by noshing on six varieties of pancake ($5.50–$6.95) or the quadrilateral impressions of a belgian waffle crowned with berries and cream, cinnamon apples, or bananas and walnuts ($6.95). Lemon-infused ground sirloin, cracked pepper, and mozzarella top the house burger's exclusive ingredients list ($9.50), and a spread of sandwiches ($6.95–$8.95) trounce four city blocks of hunger when lined up end to end.
Chef Eric Osburn aims to cultivate Centurion as a place for what he calls "unpretentious fine dining." "[Almost] every dish on the menu has come from me making myself something for lunch," Osbun told ABC15's Sonoran Living. Centurion’s casual dining space features dark wood and crimson accents, and there’s an open kitchen from which the chef can lead games of I Spy while he cooks.
The menu incorporates ingredients and techniques culled from different European countries. It varies depending on what's available fresh from local farmers’ markets or from Chef Eric's own herb garden.