By Alison Bailin Batz
The Valley’s many Midwest transplants and longtime locals alike are not going to want to miss Scottsdale’s latest import from Chicago: Maple & Ash.
Located on the Scottsdale Waterfront and opened in August, this modern take on the classic American steakhouse is as much a feast for the eyes as the stomach.
At more than 10,000 square feet, the space is expansive. It features eight different seating area options, some private, and can accommodate more than 300 guests. Visually, the restaurant features a combination of contemporary colors as well as rich, jewel-toned leathers and natural woods for contrast. The lounge is warm and vibrant, featuring plush seating and sleek, low-profile cocktail tables in a candle-lit atmosphere.
Draped with semi-sheer and velvet curtains, the multiple dining rooms are centered around a celebratory atrium strung with a showstopping, custom-made chandelier.
The brand itself is led by chef Danny Grant of national restaurant group What If Syndicate. He actually grew up in Scottsdale and worked at Elements at the Sancturary before moving to Chicago in the early 2000s. Grant drew national acclaim as executive chef of Ria and Balsan restaurants at the former Elysian Hotel (now Waldorf Astoria Chicago), where his menus earned him Food & Wine Magazine’s best new chef award in 2012. Grant is also the youngest U.S. chef in history to earn two Michelin stars (2011 and 2012).
Though he will work primarily from the Chicago location, Grant will collaborate with Scottsdale’s day-to-day executive chef Sean Currid. The two actually worked together at Elements years ago, and Currid also brings experience from JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn, Michael’s at the Citadel, Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician, and Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho.
At Maple & Ash, the menu features dry-aged, wood-fired steaks as well as premium seafood and shellfish, including impressive towers; a caviar menu; handmade pasta; and shareable, comfort food-focused sides such as fire-crisped shishito peppers, Yukon Gold au gratin potatoes, and mac and cheese.
The Butcher’s Reserve menu includes elevated cuts of meat, like the 8-ounce Snake River wagyu filet mignon ($128) as well as massive cuts, like the 45-day dry-aged tomahawk that clocks in at 40 ounces. There is also a special option where, for $155 per person, you can enjoy a multicourse menu dreamt up by the chef – and certainly larger portions than you might expect from a traditional chef’s tasting.
The extensive wine program is under the direction of award-winning and advanced sommelier Jason Caballero – most recently of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess – and the cocktail menu boasts 12 signature offerings, with a mix of spirit-forward, classic and modern options.
Maple & Ash is open Sunday to Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
Maple & Ash, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480.400.8888; www.mapleandash.com.