Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine

Opened Aug. 28, Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine serves “upscale-yet-approachable” cuisine, like short rib grilled cheese, baked creamy pasta with baby scallops, and crispy chicken bahn mi.

While most families hunkered down at the start of the pandemic, one San Francisco-based family of four made the bold move to not only relocate to Scottsdale, but also open their own restaurant.

Husband-and-wife business partners Anthony and Anna Barr opened Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine on Aug. 28 at the Mercado at Scottsdale Ranch.

“We are so excited to bring our upscale-yet-approachable cuisine to the diners of Scottsdale,” says co-founder Anna Barr. 

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine’s menu features elevated appetizers, like sweet corn and wild mushroom tamale with cumin crema and avocado salsa, and stuffed cheese and bacon tater tots.

Sandwiches shine at Gabriella’s, too — particularly the short rib grilled cheese with white cheddar on sourdough bread; Gabriella’s Crispy Chicken Bahn Mi with pickled vegetables, roasted jalapeno and cilantro aioli; and their dungeness crab and lobster roll.

Patrons can also choose from pastas, like Gabriella’s pasta with lemon sage marinated grilled chicken and broccolini, garden peas and white wine.

Decadent entrees include the grilled New York steak with wild mushrooms and red wine demi served with garlic smashed potatoes and garden vegetables, and the grilled fresh catch with celeriac root puree, baby garden vegetables, maple lardons and orange miso glaze.

In addition to vegan and vegetarian items, like Impossible Burger sloppy Joe sliders topped with Daiya cheese, Gabriella’s also offers weekly specials such as Tomahawk Tuesdays and Fried Chicken Fridays.

“We take much pride in every dish that comes out of our kitchen,” Anna said.

The concept for the restaurant was inspired by the couple’s combined experience building two of San Francisco’s most sought-after corporate catering and event planning companies, Fork & Spoon Productions and Above & Beyond Catering.

Anthony was also executive chef for more than 15 years, using fresh, sustainable ingredients in “new and delectable ways.”

When the pandemic hit, however, large events and wedding were getting canceled and Anthony and Anna were forced to lay off 50 staff members.

After realizing they needed a fresh start, they visited Scottsdale for the first time in April and immediately fell in love with the area.

Located where Basilico Italian Restaurant once sat, Gabriella’s intimate, comfortable dining space is limited to 40 guests.

Its large patio, however, can seat up to 60. 

“We’re dedicated to, and passionate about, creating memorable experiences through a welcoming atmosphere, spectacular service, and exceptional food,” Anna said.