A new restaurant has “popped up” this year in the Lexington Hotel in downtown Phoenix. Cycle a concept restaurant that opened in April and is expected to close in the fall provides a venue for local talent to create a unique dining experience for a limited amount of guests for one weekend only.
I personally love the idea behind Cycle and have had it on my must try list for some time now; waiting patiently for just the right chef/menu/price. So when I heard that Chef Gabriele Bertaccini of Il Tocco and Culinary Mischief was preparing a secret menu for this past weekend I knew the time had come. Bertaccini grew up in Italy and attended culinary school in Florence before coming to Phoenix where he caters private boutique parties and hosts an underground food event called Culinary Mischief.
Fast forward to this past Saturday night: We arrived slightly early for our 7:30 seating at Cycle and were able to secure a comfy booth in the limited seating restaurant. Our server explained that Chef Gabe had prepared two menus for the evening and it was recommended we each pick a different one and share. Which is exactly what we did. Good thing too since it was all so yummy.
Appetizers included a spinach and ricotta cheese crespelle that reminded me of the ones my mom used to make. And miniature meatballs served Sicilian style with pine nuts, feta and San Marzano tomatoes finished with a hint of lemon olive oil.
and Bucatini Cacio E Pepe; which means cheese and black pepper. Chef Gabe used a mix of Parmigianino and Pecorino to make a deliciously creamy sauce for the bucatini pasta; which my husband just fell in love with.
Our entrée’s included beef short ribs braised in Barolo wine that just melted in your mouth.
Also, a suckling pork loin seasoned with fennel, garlic, sage and pancetta. The pork was served over a very tasty white bean ragu. This was probably my favorite dish of the evening.
We ended this incredible meal with warm apple cake topped with a cinnamon and date gelato
and a mascarpone cheesecake topped with berries.