Apparently one of the places to see and be seen in Scottsdale on a Saturday night or Sunday morning is Culinary Dropout (evidenced by the high number of groups of people asking the staff to take pictures of them, maybe the paparazzi had the night off). Drew found this restaurant through some online research and it sounded interesting to him. The concept: laid back vibe, no uniforms, comfort food. The resulting experience: a place that says it doesn't want to be fussy, but ends up being a fussy type place for hipsters to hang. Don't get me wrong, it was just right, just not the "underground, subversive, aren't we so different" place one might think.
We started with an order of house made potato chips with onion dip, some olives, and prosciutto. The chips are wonderful, but the dip tastes more like a ranch dip than onion dip. The olives and prosciutto are part of their "make your own meat and cheese platter" antipasti menu and I love this concept! They could not have picked two greater suckers for this, we could have eaten solely from this part of the menu.
I ordered the artichoke salad with asparagus, endive, and Parmesan. Let's just say this salad was divine! I love a good salad and crave them quite often. The downside to ordering this salad is that I have a new crave-able salad and no way to get it when the craving strikes! The vinaigrette on this salad makes it out of this world, but they could leave a little off because the salad gets a little soggy after it sits for a little while. Drew ordered the pork belly Cubano sandwich and was very pleased with the results. He didn't find the pork belly as salty as he was expecting.
For dessert, our server brought out their salted caramel custard, my new favorite. I haven't stopped thinking about this dessert since I had it. The dessert comes topped with house made caramel popcorn - wow! The caramel topping is the perfectly prepared caramel sauce, salted and just the right thickness. And the custard itself - sublime, creamy, not at all eggy. Oh, I need some more of that, stat!
You too can enjoy one of the carmel custards as part of Culinary Dropout's Restaurant Week menu. They have a 3 course meal for $58/couple including a glass of wine each. Sound's like the perfect date night to me! It's a great way to check out Phoenix magazine's Best New Restaurant for 2010.
Note: sorry there are no pictures to ogle. The Dropout's outdoor lighting was less than perfect for photo-taking.