In the morning, would you? Yes, yes you would. Or at least you should. Chef Cory Oppold – well-known for winning Chopped on the Food Network as well as for his decades of culinary creativity at Atlas Bistro, Binkley’s and L ’Auberge de Sedona – recently unveiled his new concept in Morning Would in Central Scottsdale, and it is a bucket-list brunch experience on a whole other level.
During the pandemic, Oppold developed a cryogenic means to create a multi-course fine dining experience called Simmer Down that guests could pick up and easily create at home. Those innovative courses were just the beginning. By 2021, in addition to Simmer Down, he started doing in-home and special event dining, focused on unforgettable and artfully plated courses getting more elaborate and adventurous with every booking. And in early 2022, this led to a private dinner that would change the course of Arizona’s culinary landscape forever.
During that dinner, Oppold connected with two guests, Brett and Christian Pezzuto, who would become his partners in Course, which opened earlier this year and is making national headlines for its prix-fixe menus that play on flavors, whimsy and comfort food inspirations. The eatery, which features nearly 1,900 square feet inside with a 625-sq.-ft. patio covered in greenery to evoke a secret garden feel, is the culmination of every single course that has inspired Oppold throughout his career. Light and bright when entering, the design is modern and simple with a neutral wood palate so that the dishes may serve as the art.
But Course is only the beginning. While open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Oppold flips the script and converts Course to a bucket-list brunch restaurant called Morning Would.
If Course is the elegant, refined adult in the food family, then Morning Would is the wisecracking, cooler-then-he/she-should-be younger sibling. For some reason, Macaulay Culkin keeps coming to mind, as much for his wisecracking in Home Alone and Uncle Buck as for the music playing during service. It is all 80’s and 90’s hits, and it is pretty tough not to start singing along with the rest of the staff and guests when Boyz II Men, Salt-N-Pepa, George Michael and Madonna come on.
Just like the music evokes a retro vibe and nostalgia, so does the menu, but in a very unexpected way. Prix-fixe like Course, the experience takes guests through several eye-poppingly cool courses that look like works of art but taste like comfort classics for $75 per person. The menu changes as often as every eight weeks, and a new menu was recently launched. It always starts with a plate of one-bite snacks. The current menu boasts plays on the biscuit and gravy, breakfast sausage and frittata for this course. Next, served in separate courses, are versions of green eggs and ham (do not miss Oppold’s “ham jam” here), eggs benedict with sous vide eggs and chilaquiles with tortilla-infused savory pudding. Between courses, there are often supplemental enhancements. Right now, during this slew of courses, there is a caviar enhancement for those who love the salty delicacies from the sea.
Before getting into the sweets, Oppold and his team bring out one last savory dish in an inspired take on corned beef and hash with Tillamook cheddar fondue that will make tastebuds nearly explode.
Done? Not by a longshot. There are two formal sweet courses after – beignets with apple butter and cinnamon and pumpkin spice panna cotta with white chocolate mousse that is served like milk and cereal, complete with a mini cereal box that has a toy inside – as well as some final surprises for those who still have space.
Items like bottomless mimosas and Aperol spritz towers (made with aperitivo, peach, basil, saffron liqueur and prosecco, no less!) are available for a supplemental charge. There is also an ever-changing wine and cocktail menu under the leadership of award-winning sommelier Nicholas Padua, beloved for the program he put together at The Americano as well as with Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Tarbell’s Tavern and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale before that.
Reservations for all experiences are strongly recommended. For more information, visit www.courserestaurantaz.com.
7366 E. Shea Blvd. Ste. 106
Scottsdale, AZ 85260