French cuisine lends itself to romance, conjuring up images of the Eiffel Tower and floating down the Seine in a hollowed-out baguette built for two. Fall in love with French cooking with today’s Groupon: for $19, you get $40 worth of French fare at Voltaire Restaurant in Scottsdale.
Profiled by the Phoenix New Times and lauded by other reviewers for its intimate ambiance and friendly atmosphere, Voltaire Restaurant is a family-operated foray into authentic French cuisine. The menu features entrees such as le canard a l’orange, which consists of roast duckling with orange sauce ($26), and coquilles St. Jacques, which boasts an abundance of Maine scallops smothered in truffled calvados sauce ($32). Chef David created le poulet en croute for his wife Lydia, and its sautéed chicken breast and creamed spinach are as deliciously romantic as candy hearts or wedding vows written on crepes ($25). Sides such as mushrooms ($6) or roasted fingerling potatoes ($9) effortlessly complement multifaceted meals, and Voltaire’s elegantly lit interior is ideal for silent, paperwork-heavy first dates.
Voltaire French Restaurant
Sure Voltaire French Restaurant’s executive chef David Antonelli worked in several New York eateries, but he really got his skills in the kitchen from his uncle. That family spirit must have been impressed upon the chef, because today Antonelli keeps his restaurant a family affair, running the eatery together with wife Lydia and father Martin. Together, they produce a menu of fine French-style cuisine that follows the classic formula of meat, sauce, and side. Proteins can include veal, mussels, and fine cuts of steak. Lydia recommends le poulet en croute, a chicken breast with cream of spinach baked inside a puff pastry. The recipe was created especially for her by her husband, and it is not coincidental that the pastry serves as an excellent hiding place for diamonds.
The restaurant’s servers aren’t slouches either. The highly skilled staff adds to the restaurant’s appeal by boning freshly baked fish or flambéing desserts tableside. The skill and preparation put into the menu have not gone unnoticed, earning Voltaire French Restaurant the U.S. Commerce Association’s Best of Scottsdale in the French Restaurants category for five years running.