Fine wine and dining experiences come in many forms, from cozy home-like settings to fresh and fancy urban settings. Cask 63, located in Scottsdale’s Gainey Ranch district, is the later. The owners of Cask 63 American Eatery and Wine Bar purchased an existing restaurant from Fox Restaurants Concepts in late 2011, quickly reworked the menu and restaurant and had it up and running by January 2012.
The mood of the restaurant is modern and hip, and minimalist, which helps keep your attention on the amazing food created by Brian Feirstein, co owner and executive chef. During my dining experience I was visited by General Manager and Owner Jerry Tingle and we chatted for a while about how Cask 63 came to be and about what they are attempting to achieve. One of the interesting things to note, is that although the restaurant has it’s own vision and concept of what it wants to be, Jerry and Brian are very much in tune with what their customers want. Jerry can be found mingling with customers most nights, searching for suggestions on ways to improve the experience. I find it a nice touch when the owner visits your table and asks for your opinion on things.
For an appetizer I had oysters of the day paired with Perrier Jouet Champagne. For a main course I had Australian lamb chops. These were double bone-in, which gives you a much bigger juicier portion than single bone. As a fan of lamb, and all grilled meats, I have to say this was one of the best incarnations of this dish I have ever had. Although I do like ‘gamey” tasting lamb dishes, this dish was not gamey and I could have easily mistook it for beef. It was delicious. I paired this with a rather unusual wine…Vall Llach Embruix – Priorat from Spain. This was a very interesting wine. It was described to me as the perfect wine for people who like Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot. Full bodied, smooth, with dark ripe fruit and hints of spice.
As far as the wine goes at Cask 63, you will find many of the standard high end favorites that seem to be prerequisites at wine bars seeking to endear themselves to wine aficionados. You will find all the well known Napa greats like Silver Oak, Caymus, Far Niente, and Joseph Phelps Insignia. I was happy to see some of my favorite and less well known wines including Ladera Howell Mountain and Justin Isosceles. Including bubbles the wine list boasts almost 100 names varying in price from $7.50 a glass all the way up to Hundred Acre’s Kayle Morgan Vineyard for $490 a bottle.
Weekly Wine Journal Restaurant Rating: 90 points