DINING OUT North Valley Magazine’s managing editor, Sondra Barr, tries out different restaurants to offer you a no-holds-barred opinion about the experience—food, ambience, service, location, and whatever else strikes her. This issue, she steps inside The Vig McCormick and AZ/88.
The Vig McCormick
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7345 N. Via Paseo Del Sur dinner, The Vig serves lunch, e tried I’v e hil Scottsdale W ! and brunch favorites (480) 758-5399 dishes from each, my menu. ch un br e are on th thevig.us It’s about time a trendy eatery opened up in the Paseo Village at McCormick Ranch, which is located on the east side of Hayden Road and McCormick Parkway. Now that the Vig has been open awhile, it’s hard to believe a group of McCormick Ranch homeowners opposed the eatery’s opening up in this established community because they felt it would bring neighborhood disturbances. Instead, the Vig has brought a much-needed vibrancy to McCormick Ranch, which in the past 15 years has been stagnant in the restaurant department. The area is finally getting its groove back! Three other Vig locations attest to the concept’s success in newly hip-again locations. And if this restaurant’s crowds are any indication, it’s definitely bringing a much-needed infusion of energy to the neighborhood.
THOUGHTS ON… THE LOCATION I live about five miles away, which makes the Vig McCormick an ideal biking destination for me. It’s especially fun to get there via the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt (which is about 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area) in the early evening for a cocktail and dinner and then bike home when the sprinklers go off along the biking trail. I’m not going to deny that there’s something fun, childlike, and slightly subversive riding through the sprinklers at 10 p.m.—don’t judge, try it!
THE AMBIENCE & DÉCOR Of course, the Vig has everything a trendy urban Valley restaurant should have—large windows and doors that open up and bring the outside in; a well-misted, shaded patio complete with an outdoor fireplace—for the rare occasions you need such a thing in the Valley; comfortable seating; and the requisite dark wood accents. Meanwhile, the inviting marble bar top tempts you to sidle up and try your hand at sliding a glass down its smooth length. In a possible effort to dissuade patrons at such childish pursuits, there are tins filled with Trivial Pursuit cards at some of the tables. There is nothing better than stashing the phones and engaging in a heated round of old-school trivia over dinner. Two thumbs up for whoever added this little frivolity—although they’re not at every table. More games, please!
THE BATHROOM While my husband remains mortified that I would dare mention a restaurant’s water closet (aka loo, toilet, powder room, whatever you prefer to call it) in a dining review, I remain steadfast in my resolution to only revisit restaurants with clean bathrooms. Plus, this isn’t your typical restaurant column. The Vig keeps the, uh hum, ladies’ room clean—I can’t speak for the men’s room—hubby forbade me from peeking in. On a side note, I really like the leather-like tiling outfitting the upper portion of the bathroom walls—it looks cool.
Yes, she’s one of those people in restaurants with their smartphones, always taking photos of their food, like the ones you see here.
Sondra Barr goes out to eat—a lot. Follow her culinary journey across the Valley here and at scottsdale.org. Is there a restaurant you think she should check out? Let her know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2014 NORTHvalleymagazine.com