By Molly Cerreta Smith
Lou Malnati’s, the famed Chicago pizza brand, announces its third and largest Arizona location opening at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 11 on Scottsdale Road and Chauncey Lane. This location features nearly 10,000 square feet of dining, with indoor, outdoor and group private seating options as well as a dedicated carryout area. Designed uniquely to match its location, Lou Malnati’s in Scottsdale is adorned with palm trees inside and out, and features a modern desert-style décor.
During a recent media lunch, we had the opportunity to taste some of the new location’s offerings, which boast some unique items not found on the regular menus in Chicago, such as the Buffalo Chicken Salad with watermelon as well as some of the restaurant’s time-honored family recipes and mainstays, including scratch-made pizza dough, Wisconsin cheese from the same small farm that has supplied Lou Malnati’s for more than 40 years, and California-grown tomatoes for the restaurant’s exclusive sauce
Bruschetta is one of my go-to favorite appetizers and Lou Malnati’s classic version, piled high with fresh roma tomatoes and basil, olive oil and shaved parmesan on toasted garlic rounds, did not disappoint.
As mentioned above, the Buffalo Chicken Salad features a surprisingly sweet bite with cubes of fresh watermelon that balance the spicy buffalo chicken and tangy gorgonzola cheese. I would certainly order this again.
Though pizza is the main event at Lou Malnati’s we also tried some pasta — the Penne Ala Malnati, penne noodles with cream and romano cheeses, meat sauce, and topped with mozzarella then baked to perfection.
And true to its reputation for excellent deep dish Chicago-style pizza, the Malnati Chicago Classic featuring sausage, extra cheese and vine-ripened tomato sauce on their Malnati family’s famed buttercrust, was well worth every calorie.
If you’ve saved room for dessert, I applaud you… What a feat! Though we were full beyond compare, we ordered the Tre Dolci, a sampling of the restaurant’s three signature desserts — Key Lime Pie, Tiramisu, and Chocolate Chip Pizza with ice cream and a cherry on top, of course! This is a great way to try them all and share with the table. My personal favorite was the Key Lime Pie thanks to the scrumptiously light graham cracker crust.
It’s no surprise that Chicago-born restaurants keep making their way to the Valley of the Sun — and it’s not just because of all the Illinois transplants that take up residence here. Chicago and greater Phoenix seem to have similar food scenes and culinary prowess, making this the perfect place to expand beyond the mid-west. We can thank Chicago for their latest segue into Scottsdale with Lou Malnati’s!