One of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Scottsdale is Cowboy Ciao, beloved by locals and visitors since 1997. They serve up delicious, modern American cuisine with Southwestern flavors and global influences, in an eclectic atmosphere.
For appetizers, the Pork Barbacoa is slow cooked and so tender, and the Buffalo Carpaccio is rolled in a red chile and cumin dry rub, seared and served with mizuna dressed in orange oil pickled shallots, smoky aioli and brioche points. So yummy! No visit to Cowboy Ciao is complete without the famous Stetson Chopped Salad, prepared tableside. The combination of ingredients is a bit different, but it works. Smoky and salty salmon, sweet corn, crunchy pepitas, peppery arugula, and couscous are all tossed with a creamy pesto buttermilk dressing.
I enjoyed the “Cure for the Common Salmon”, a half-pound of grilled salmon atop a chilled orzo arugula salad tossed in lemon and red chili with avocado, cherry tomatoes, pickled shallots, and spiced fried corn kernels. The “Oh, Canada Peanut Butter Bar” was the perfect finish, with graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, peanuts, brown sugar, homemade peanut butter and mascarpone, served with chocolate-covered banana ice cream.
The wine list is extensive (they have over 2,000) and includes a lot of boutique wines. Chef Lester Gonzalez crafts the food menu around this amazing collection. Through it all, according to owner Peter Kasperski, their goal has remained simple: thrill each guest every visit with a memorable entertainment experience.
Cowboy Ciao is at 7133 E. Stetson Drive, open daily for lunch and dinner.