The new Agave del Scottsdale restaurant is now open and brings its interpretation of Mexican-style cuisine to diners in the valley. The restaurant, which opened on June 6, serves upscale Mexican fare inspired by places like Puebla, Veracruz, Cancun, and Oaxaca.
The restaurant emphasizes the quality of the food, explains General Manager Hector Soto. Everything is made from scratch, often using ingredients sourced from Mexico like Eightlacoche, a Mexican corn truffle.
And don’t expect to see canned or frozen food in the kitchen: Soto says the restaurant is committed to keeping everything fresh.
“Every day we have eight people in the back who prepare, cook, peel the peppers (and) chop the onions (and) the tomatoes,” says Soto.
What to try in Agave del Scottsdale
The Agave del Scottsdale menu runs the gamut of traditional Mexican fare, but the mole is remarkable, according to Soto. It takes around 12 hours to prepare the sauce, which includes ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and four different peppers.
“It has to have all the ingredients to have these delicious flavors and colors, smells, everything,” Soto says.
Diners can choose from Poblano Don Manuel, a traditional-style mole served over chicken; the Mole Verde Dona Carmelita, a tomatillo and avocado mole served with pork; or enchiladas served with the sauce.
The salbuts served with the cochinita pibil are also a highlight. It takes almost two days to marinate the pork to the right tenderness, Soto says.
Other menu options include ceviche, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and a selection of vegetarian options. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, diners can also enjoy Mexican brunches, including chilaquiles and huevo rancheros.
Beverage menu includes a tequila cart
While some restaurants serve salsa and guacamole at the table, Agave del Scottsdale is taking the trend in a different direction.
At the restaurant, customers can try specialty tequilas from a cart that moves from table to table. Soto says this is another way to bring Mexican traditions to the restaurant, as Mexican restaurants sometimes offer a similar experience.
“We tried to bring this idea to do something different,” Soto says.
The drink menu offers more than 20 types of tequila, as well as 10 margaritas made with fresh ingredients such as watermelon and blackberries. Soto recommends that customers try the tamarindo margarita, which includes a rimmed glass of tagin for a spicy kick.
But the drink menu isn’t just tequila. The restaurant has gin lovers covered with a variety of specialty drinks featuring the Clear Mind.
Daily happy hour, extended terrace
At Agave del Scottsdale, happy hour isn’t just for the work week. Restaurant offers happy hour food and drink daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Every Tuesday, diners can also take advantage of the taco deals for Taco Tuesday.
In order to create more space for customers to take advantage of the happy hour offers, the owners of the restaurant decided to expand the patio.
One of the main drivers of the restaurant terrace expansion was the aperitif seating, says Soto. The owners have removed the walls from the space, which once housed the Butters Restaurant, to expand the patio. The new outdoor space now accommodates 25 tables. The restaurant can accommodate 150 guests in total.
The menu will change according to the seasons
Over time, menu options may change to further highlight Mexico’s diverse cuisine. Each Mexican state has its own collection of dishes that showcase its unique flavors, so there’s no shortage of dishes to bring to guests, Soto says.
“I can have five menus here with all of these dishes,” Soto says, adding that restaurateurs have chosen to keep the opening menu simple with more familiar dishes, but might start offering more specialty dishes later.
Possible seasonal menu changes could highlight seasonal foods, such as chilli en nogada – poblano peppers stuffed with meat and served with a creamy nut sauce – in the fall.
Agave del Scottsdale
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Details: 8390 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale. 480-248-6901, agavedelscottsdale.com.