With a vibrant-yet-classy atmosphere, a vast wine selection, and a plethora of prime cuts and seafood, Mastro’s Restaurants’ flagship location in Scottsdale is still pretty tough to beat for a special occasion.
Originally launched as Drinkwater’s City Hall (before acquired by Mastros Restaurants in 2007), Mastro’s City Hall is still the most popular steakhouse in town. The place manages to somehow embody both a classic and a modern steakhouse, and offers a refined dining room with striking recessed light fixtures, and a happening lounge featuring wonderful live music. (On a Friday or Saturday night the latter is packed full of well-dressed grown-ups who appreciate a classy cocktail experience, many of whom are regulars the staff all seems to know by name.)
If you have ever been to a Mastro’s restaurant, then you know what you should expect at City Hall. The menu is an encompassing blend of high-end cuts of meat like filets, New York strips, porterhouses, tomahawks, rib-eyes, and even-pricier Wagyu options. But then you also have an array of freshly flown-in seafood (their seafood tower and Dungeness cocktail are pretty much unequaled in the Valley), as well as some terrific sashimi and sushi options for greater variety than the traditional seafood.
Everything is always prepared to your exact specifications, and delivered in an environment that feels as though it justifies the price tag when the bill comes. Some dishes, like the beef carpaccio, are the best of their kind in town. The same can be said for the wine selection, a massive array of bottles for any budget. Their signature dessert, the famed butter cake, is just as indulgent, balanced, and delicious the fiftieth time you try it as it was on the first. And for my money, they still make the best Manhattan you can find in the Valley.
Part of what has made the Mastro’s brand so successful as they have expanded across the country is the uniformly excellent fine dining experience that their restaurants provide. And that is no different at City Hall. Anniversary? Birthday? Friends or family in town? If you want to play it safe, you take them here and little chance they have anything less than a wonderful evening.
Now I must confess to being a City Hall regular, one of the aforementioned crowd who knows many of the staff (like the delightful maître d’ Shelby) by name. What draws me back time and time again is that reliably wonderful experience. I know that everything from my steak to that Manhattan to the friendly nature of the staff will be exactly what I come to expect. So even though there are more options than ever available today — including two, Steak 44 and the newly opened Ocean 44, from the Mastro brothers themselves — when asked which steakhouse to visit in town, I still cannot help but give City Hall the edge. The food, wine, location, and atmosphere are still too hard to ignore.
And so even though it might not quite live up to its once untouchable standards, Mastro’s City Hall remains the best steakhouse in town.
To see the complete menu and make reservations, visit mastrosrestaurants.com.
|About Author Ty Fahlman
The former Managing Editor of Jetset Magazine, Ty Fahlman has earned a stellar reputation for his probing, introspective interviews of celebrities, as well as his in-depth profiles of resorts, restaurants, and destinations. With over 150 articles published, Ty has ghostwritten for New York Times bestselling authors and celebrities, and given thoughtful and in-depth profiles and interviews of dozens of A-List celebrities including Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Leonardo DiCaprio. He currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona but travels as much as he can.