By Alison Bailin Batz
It’s safe to say the Maggiore team has been busy. The Italian-bred, family-owned restaurant group, headed by chef Joey Maggiore, has long been known for Valley staples Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant in Arcadia and Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen in Scottsdale. But in recent years, the Maggiore Group has been rapidly expanding, opening Tomaso’s When in Rome in Scottsdale, The Sicilian Butcher in North Phoenix and several Hash Kitchen locations across the Valley.
Showing no signs of slowing, Maggiore partnered with his wife, Cristina, and business partner Flora Tersigni to open The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market in early 2019.
The concept, located next to The Sicilian Butcher, features a build-your-own-cannoli bar, which is the first of its kind in the Southwest.
“It features 10 different flavored creams from which guests can choose, including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, lemon, pistachio and espresso,” Maggiore says. “For traditionalists, we will – of course – also feature the best standard, rich filling they have ever tasted.”
Guests will also be able to customize the size of their cannoli, with both standard and flavored shells offered up to a full foot-long option. Toppings run the gamut from Luxardo cherries, Italian confetti and chocolate shavings to candied almonds, preserved fruits and Nutella.
In addition to cannolis, Maggiore commissioned his cousin Giovanni La Rosa, a master pastry chef from Sicily, to develop Sicilian pastries and other seasonal desserts. Guests can expect a variety of options, including cassata, which consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese and candied fruit; sfinci, which are Italian doughnuts filled with cream; and Italian cookies.
“A true Italian-style market as well as dessert mecca, customers are also able to purchase fresh pasta by the pound, homemade sausages, and imported cured meats and cheeses,” Maggiore says.
The 1,400-square-foot space was designed by Cristina and brought to life by JTA Interiors in Northeast Phoenix. The floor stands out upon entry with stark black porcelain tiles that contrast flawlessly with the off-white brick walls and rustic sliding barn doors throughout. The lighting is a particular delight, as fixtures resembling whisks are a perfect complement to the quirky yet modern rolling pins that hang from the ceiling.
“Our hope is that our guests will walk freely between The Sicilian Butcher and The Sicilian Baker as one would walk through the markets and bistros in Sicily,” Maggiore says. “With The Sicilian Butcher boasting a similar build-your-own concept, albeit with meatballs, we also hope to, together, be the perfect stop for busy parents on the way home seeking something unique for the family each night.”
The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market, 15530 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix; 602.612.5590; www.thesicilianbaker.com.