Restaurants & Bars

Southwest Scottsdale

Review of Fiamma @ The James in Scottsdale

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Review of Fiamma @ The James in Scottsdale

TastyJon | Jan 18, 2006 11:04 PM

Hmmm.

I know this place gets great reviews in the press but I'm not so sure.

It's swank. Hip. The service is great. The patrons are swell. Decor is nice. On a chilly Tuesday night, it's pretty undercrowded and relaxed. I've heard it's a most bumping place on other nights. And the food is good. Thus one would expect a great review. I'm just not sure how that translates into value.

Maybe I'm not too refined. The meal was decent, but not for the price (for me). In short, I'm happy to go there when someone else is paying, but I'm pretty sure I can delve up similar eats at home for much, much less.

My entree was Rigatoni - the hollow, finger-sized pasta. The sauce was Bolognase, which roughly translates into "a meat sauce." Fiamma's sounded exotic... prosciutto & sausage, with locatelli pecorino cheese. The pasta was cooked great. The sauce and sausage were also bold. I didn't get a hint of prosciutto (It might have been there, but not assertive) and had to ask for cheese. Don't get me wrong... it was a great pasta dish. Yet $17 for a portion that was just enough to eat, but not enough to take home seconds? It was fist-sized.

My friend ordered the Spaghetti. It looked great, but again rather small. They do add chunks of lobster that raises the price to $23 just for this dish.

And that's my issue. And that's their perogative. I don't fault them in any way. But it just rubs me the wrong way that people pay around $20-30 for a pasta dish that can be whipped up at home for a few bucks per portion. With drinks and a dessert selection, our bill came to $130.

Oh well. It may be a personal thing - Italian food was always about simple folks using local foods and rasising them to new heights. Here we have simple Italian dishes being raised to new costs.

In short, Fiammi's food is fine. But if you don't want to spend $20 on pasta, spend $8 at Trader Joes and then use the rest for wine.

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