THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC – A lauded Scottsdale gourmet wine and pizza eatery plans to open its second location in Buckeye.
Grazie Pizzeria Winebar plans to open in May across the street from Bashas’ on Main Street in Verrado, a master-planned community in Buckeye.
Residents are jumping for joy.
“One woman said she’s doing cartwheels in the street,” Verrado resident Stephanie Lang said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled. There’s no other restaurant we’d rather have in here.”
Lang makes a weekly trek to Scottsdale to eat out and regularly ventures out to
Litchfield Park and downtown Phoenix.
“That’s one of the things the West Valley has been missing,” she said. “It’s food.”
Verrado does have a smoothie shop and the Raven Grill up the street. Lang says she like to see a coffee shop next.
Grazie’s owners Maurizio and Sandi Cristiani were attracted to the Southwest Valley for its high growth rate. The pair also liked the “lifestyle” in Verrado. The community bills itself as a “hometown” and centers around a pedestrian-friendly Main Street.
And Intrawest plans to build an 800- to 900-unit resort near the base of the White Tank Mountains next to Verrado’s golf course.
“Our intention is not to duplicate Grazie at Verrado, but to give the new location many of the elements we feel have brought us success, such as fresh food, a wide variety of Italian wines, a warm and welcoming atmosphere and an overall fun dining experience,” Maurizio Cristiani said. “I think of the new restaurant as a brother to the original Grazie, similar but with its own unique attitude and quirks.”
Grazie’s owners are longtime friends of some directors of Scottsdale-based DMB
Associates Inc., Verrado’s developer. The restaurateurs wanted to open a second location and the fit seemed right, Cristiani said.
Grazie has received praise from locals along with national attention. Frommer’s travel guide describes it as “sophisticated and full of contemporary art . . . a place to share a couple of designer pizzas from the wood-fired oven and sip Italian wines.”
The Scottsdale menu includes Cinque Formaggi pizza (mozzarella, gorgonzola, provolone, ricotta, parmigiano, basil, olive oil); Spiedini al Forno (marinated beef tenderloin shish kabab with onions and bell peppers); and Dolce Della Casa (sweet calzone filled with chocolate hazelnut and banana topped with vanilla ice cream).
Bon Appetit magazine said it’s “the kind of restaurant everybody wants.