Thursday, August 30, 2012

More on the Overhaul of NoRTH Modern Italian Cuisine

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I received an enormous press release today about the renovations going down at NoRTH Modern Italian Cuisine, which we mentioned yesterday. The gist of it is that NoRTH is getting a more casual feel - apparently the theme is "Tuscan farmhouse," which I can't quite wrap my head around - and a new menu.

And although it will still be called North, it looks like they might stop doing that weird thing where they leave the "o" in lowercase while capitalizing the rest of the name. Hallelujah!

I will post this behemoth of a press release here and you can peruse it at will. I started yawning after the third paragraph, but I'm sure fans of the restaurant will want to know all about it.

Tucson, Ariz. - August 30, 2012 - On September 4, NoRTH Modern Italian will temporarily close and emerge a few weeks later on September 19 as North Fattoria Italiana, complete with a new design, experience and menu — a modern take on a warm, friendly Tuscan farmhouse.

Fattoria means farm in Italian - a locale where food is handcrafted. “Made from scratch” is a main ingredient at North Fattoria Italiana, a theme abundantly found on the menu in savory pastas and pizzas — two cornerstones of the approachable menu.

“North Fattoria Italiana has a very different feel and is a complete departure from our original restaurant. Since we opened the first NoRTH nine years ago, the concept has evolved. Tucson is a friends and family town. We are very excited to bring a new experience centered around house-made, fresh food to Tucson, as well as place we hope the community will use to come together every day,” said Sam Fox, founder and CEO of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

The completely new interior of North Fattoria Italiana will be a comfortable blend of repurposed wood, galvanized metals, and brick. An expansive, spirited red metal hood will highlight the open kitchen. Fresh, handcrafted food is the focus on the menu and also in the restaurant: a Berkel salumi slicer and home-made Pasta Table take center stage, right in front of the exhibition kitchen. A series of cascading windows in the bar area will open to the outside patio complete with bar seating. The patios will be shaded with boldly striped awnings and citrus trees. Red metal garden chairs, misters, heaters and fire pits will create a relaxing space for friends and family. A large fireplace on the back patio will welcome guests for cool weather gatherings.

Fox Restaurant Concepts Executive Chef Christopher Curtiss crafted North Fattoria Italiana’s menu based on his interpretation of traditional Italian cuisine. A native of Northern California, Curtiss started cooking at 14. He honed his craft over nine years in some of the most forward-thinking kitchens in San Francisco, earning a reputation for his style of inspired, seasonal cuisine. A family move brought Chef Curtiss to Arizona, and before joining Fox Restaurant Concepts, he gained culinary nods and attention at the AAA Four Diamond, James Beard nominated Restaurant Noca. “I like to cook food that’s honest, simple and balanced, letting the ingredients speak for themselves,” says Chef Curtiss. Continually evolving his craft and style of cuisine, Curtiss enjoys sharing his passion for food and wine, and is excited to welcome the community to North Fattoria Italiana.


There is nothing more pleasing than watching food be prepared, and North Fattoria Italiana delivers that experience. With pizza and pastas being the heart and soul of the menu, the Pasta Table is where all the pasta and the pizza dough is made from scratch, all day long. "On a slow day, we may make thirty to forty pounds of pasta," says Chef Curtiss. Guests will enjoy the show of hand-tossing pizza and the forming of pasta for their dishes. The pastas are flavorful as well as creatively constructed, as in the Ricotta Gnocchi featuring beef short ribs, arugula, and horseradish crema ($18), the Gigli with pesto, pine nuts, and crispy capers ($14), and the Tagliatelle with bolognese and grana padano ($16).

The stone-fired artisan pizzas offer everything from a classic margherita ($13) to approachable yet adventurous pizzas including The Pig, adorned with pepperoni, soppressata, salami and house-made sausage ($15), and the Patata with guanciale, fingerling potatoes, farm egg, garlic confit, and basil ($14).

Adjacent to the Pasta Table stands the Berkel salumi slicer, adding another fun element to the North Fattoria Italiana experience. Berkel is the "Maestro" of slicers. Hand-cranked, it produces a perfect slice with each pass of the precision-sharp blade. The thinnest pieces of meat can be cut, producing a fluffy mound of meat, like the La Quercia prosciutto ($8). "These hand-cured meats are beautifully marbled," says John Steen, North's Regional Manager. "The slow, hand-cranked method of the Berkel slicer keeps the consistency of the meat as it was traditionally meant to be enjoyed." The Salumi selection is sliced to order, with offerings including Fra Mani soppressata ($6), and Calabrese spicy salami ($5). Diners can add hand-cut cheeses including Gorgonzola dolce ($5), robiola ($6) and crescenza ($4). Tasty additions include spiced nuts ($2), and castelvetrano olives ($3).

The Insalate selection pleases every palate with seasonal vegetables ($10), Heirloom beets ($11), and a Hanger steak salad ($17). Sandwiches are pure comfort, with Panini’s - soppresata, salami, mortadella, roasted peppers, provolone ($10), Roasted pork loin, and of course, a magnificent Fox-style burger - grilled onions, robiola, roasted tomato, arugula, aioli ($11).


In addition to separate lunch and dinner menus, North Fattoria Italiana will begin serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00am - 4:00pm. The weekend menu will incorporate a sampling of salads, pizza, antipasti, salumi, pasta, and sandwiches from lunch and dinner, plus a selection of breakfast dishes, including Egg Panini - with pork belly, roasted tomato, lettuce, aioli, and grilled bread ($10) and Baked Cinnamon Panettone topped with vanilla maple syrup ($8).


North Fattoria Italiana's Happy Hour is refreshing and wonderfully simple. In a relaxed, Italian style, the Happy Hour menu is short and sweet, giving more time to enjoy friends rather than deciphering a complicated drink menu. Aside from outstanding values on draft beer ($3), bottles ($4), cheap cans ($2), well drinks ($4), a glass of red or white wine ($4), and liters of Sangria ($18), North Fattoria Italiana has created a new concept - the Bottle and Board. Regan Jasper, Master Sommelier and Vice President of Hospitality and Beverage has procured palette-pleasing red and white wine to be offered on tap and served in signature glass bottles. A liter of wine accompanies a salad, pizza, or Chef's Board - a great deal for two ($22). Happy Hour also becomes more relaxed with extended hours: 3-7pm Monday through Friday, reverse Happy Hour 10pm - midnight Friday and Saturday, and all day Sunday - perfect for a leisurely day at La Encantada.


North Fattoria Italiana is located at La Encantada, 2995 East Skyline Drive, Tucson, AZ 84718.


Lunch - daily from 11am to 4pm
Dinner Sunday -Thursday from 4pm to 10pm and Friday - Saturday from 4pm to 11pm
Happy Hour - Monday - Friday from 3pm to 7pm and Friday - Saturday from 10pm to12am (includes bar food menu), and Sunday all day
Brunch - Saturday - Sunday from 10am to 4pm

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