Photo by Debby Wolvos
I love Flagstaff. Love the weather, love NAU, love the funky stores and, most of all, love the growing food scene. Obviously, executive chef/partner Rochelle Daniel of Fat Ox in Scottsdale sees the potential there, too. She’s opening a Modern American restaurant called Atria in downtown Flag late this summer (August, if we’re lucky), moving into the intimate, airy space that most recently housed La Vetta Ristorante Italiano.
Daniel says the vibe will be elegant but approachable, the food straightforward and recognizable. That said, there will be white leather seating, natural oak butcherblock tabletops, an exposition kitchen and an eight-seat chef’s table in the main dining room. Meanwhile, the full-service bar and lounge will offer craft cocktails (made with house-made syrups and tinctures) and late afternoon bar bites.
Daniel is bringing along her chef de cuisine, Maribel Silva, and together, they will turn out seasonal, ingredient-driven dishes that highlight the produce and products of Northern Arizona. We can expect house-made pasta, fresh fish, oysters and crudo, premium steaks (including imported Wagyu) and Iberico pork pluma (a special, ultra-tender cut sourced from free-range Iberian pigs). Naturally, there will be an extensive wine list, plus rare, high-end wines by the glass.
It all sounds pretty fancy if you ask me — despite the mention of a two-fisted fried chicken sandwich — but I’m not complaining. Here is a talented young chef working on what she calls her “personal passion project,” and she has some big dreams, including a steakhouse and gastropub (right next door on Leroux Street) in the not-too-distant future.
Daniel, you may recall, competed on Food Network’s Chopped, and she was inducted in the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame in 2017. She also worked for Matt Carter at Zinc Bistro back in the day, made a name for herself at L’Auberge de Sedona and teamed up with Carter again at Fat Ox. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do!
Atria is located at 103 N. Leroux, Flagstaff. For more information, call 928-440-4377 or visit atriarestaurant.com. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 3 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m.-9 p.m.