The bruschetta (choose 4 out of 6 for $12) could be a winner with a bread upgrade – the tasteless baguette doesn’t do the toppings justice. We sampled date and goat cheese (tastes better than it looks), smoked salmon and capers (generous), tomato and basil with balsamic (average) and roast beef gussied up with horseradish aioli (the best of the bunch).
The brick oven churns out a decent pizza (choose from a dozen plate-size options or create your own) with a crisp-then-chewy crust. The Margherita ($11) is smeared with a bland tomato sauce and topped with house-made mozzarella and basil leaves wilted and darkened from too much heat. The Milano ($13) suffers from the same tomato sauce but is given a flavorful fillip from pepperoni, chunky Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions.
Panini ($7-$9) come on toasted ciabatta with a choice of addictive house-made chips, French fries or a balsamic-dressed green salad. The sausage and peppers ($9) is messy but delicious, and the Sicilian tuna ($9) shines with oil-packed tuna, red onion, tomato and mozzarella.
We upgraded broccoli raab and angel hair pasta ($11) with sliced Italian sausage ($3), but spaghetti and meatballs ($12) was better, thanks to tender meatballs and a lusty tomato sauce. Eggplant parmigiana ($13) is memorable: sliced thin, battered, fried, stacked high and covered with mozzarella and sweet, garlicky tomato sauce.
Desserts include tiramisu ($6), cheesecake ($7), nondescript mini-cannoli (two for $4 or a full order for $7), and zeppole ($6), which is not the traditionally fried doughnut balls rolled in sugar but squares of deep-fried puff pastry doused with powdered sugar and served with industrial chocolate syrup and raspberry jam.
Stone & Vine Urban Italian
Address: 9343 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 4 p.m.
to 11 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Highlights: Bruschetta (4 for $12), Margherita pizza ($11), spaghetti and
meatballs ($12), eggplant parmigiana ($13)
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