In the past century, culinary traditions have had to adapt to changing tastes, healthier lifestyles, and a scarcity of brontosaurus meat. Taste tradition for a modern time with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Nouvelle Italian cuisine at Arrivederci Ristorante in Scottsdale.
With a range of traditional and contemporary menu items created by an Italian-born culinary conjurer, Arrivederci Ristorante drapes dishes in homemade pastas and fresh ingredients. Complimentary fresh-baked bread and housemade pesto tempt pining tongues as the chef forges nouvelle Italian recipes that shirk preservatives and use more vegetables than their traditional counterparts, which are known for their heavy sauces and disappointing lack of technicolor. Calamari in umido ($8.95) lightly cloaks itself in a white wine before donning a zesty tomato sauce accent to prepare palates for heartier main courses, such as the rigatoni alla vodka ($11.95), draped in a pink vodka cream sauce. Eggplant parmesan takes on a tasty new transformation in the melenzana arrivederci ($15.95), which rolls up tender slices of the aubergine vegetable with spinach and four kinds of cheese before adorning it with tomato sauce au gratin atop a bed of pasta. The extensive wine list pairs fare with a bounteous variety of bouquets for an endless variety of spit-takes.
Arrivederci co-founder Franco was born in Sorrento, a seaside village in Southern Italy where he began studying Italian food. Over the next 25 years, Franco honed his craft and began imagining a health-conscious style of Italian cuisine that focuses on fresh ingredients, no preservatives, and more veggies. After being named "Master of Italian Cuisine" by the Italian Council of Chefs, Franco met his current business partner, Max, and began putting his ideas into practice.
The walls of Arrivederci's dining room are covered with sketched murals and stenciled roman lettering, leading first-time visitors to wonder if the entire restaurant was crafted in an artist's studio. Earthen clay tiles guide the eye to a wooden bar with painted accents of wreaths, angels, and full wine glasses that tempt the hands of the gullible. White tablecloths boast thinly sliced salmon and beef carpaccios, twirled and rolled pasta dishes, and veal and chicken entrees in delicate wine sauces. After finishing off a wine bottle in the cozy sun porch, guests can get a closer look at the dining room's murals, which feature traditional Roman scenes of chiseled gladiators drinking tea and dishing the latest tunic trends.