From the minds behind the award-winning Cafe Monarch comes Reserve in Old Town.
Mushroom donut ravioli. FOOD PHOTO BY HARLEY BONHAM
Uberluxury dining is the goal at Old Town Scottsdale’s Reserve, a premium culinary experience that bowed in late October. The brainchild of the Lewkowicz family, Reserve serves as the elevated sister concept to its already acclaimed counterpart, Cafe Monarch. “In December 2017, we moved Cafe Monarch to our new location. We had outgrown the smaller space and found a perfect home, which happened to be directly across the street,” says owner Christian Lewkowicz. “The original location, which is now Reserve, served as a private event space for three years.” When the shutdown hit, the Lewkowicz family, including executive chef Gus Lewkowicz, was lucky enough to acquire a team of heavy-hitting culinary stars—chef de cuisine Ben Wald (an alum of the three-Michelin-starred Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, who has also studied with the legendary Alain Ducasse); sous-chef David Brito (formerly of Kai at Wild Horse Pass, Arizona’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant); and pastry chef Sarah Knoll (who honed her chops at the three-Michelin-starred Per Se in New York). “[They] inspired us to reopen our original location as an even more elevated dining experience than what Cafe Monarch has to offer,” says Christian.
Royal Osetra caviar with cucumber, gin, dill and yogurt. FOOD PHOTO BY HARLEY BONHAM
Short rib “cigar” with Swiss chard, leek, pistachio and port. FOOD PHOTO BY HARLEY BONHAM
Sweet potato pavé with maple and pecan. FOOD PHOTO BY HARLEY BONHAM
The result is an exquisite amalgamation of design, service and culinary technique. Limited to just 20 guests at a time, the experience begins with an amuse-bouche and pre-dinner cocktail in the intimate indoor lounge. “My mother and I took countless trips to many vintage stores around Arizona to piece together what is now the Reserve lounge,” shares Christian.
“It feels like you’ve stepped into another time when you walk in the door.” Beyond lies the gorgeous courtyard, where twinkling lights, greenery and well-appointed tables serve as the backdrop to the 12-course tasting menu that changes with the seasons. “Reserve features world-class ingredients and global cuisine, ranging from classic French techniques to modern American flavors to dishes inspired by Asian culture,” says Christian. “We get to showcase many different cooking styles but ultimately want our guests to experience the best-tasting food; we don’t get too attached to any specific cuisine or genre.” Advanced sommeliers, including wine director Wesam Kawa and Juliette Dottle, act as the lead servers at each table, where they help guests navigate more than 1,500 labels from every wine region throughout the world. Christian says it best: “There is nothing else like this in Arizona—unless you travel to Italy.” 6934 E. First Ave., 480.970.7682, reserveoldtown.com
Reserve’s elegant courtyard. COURTYARD PHOTO BY EVERARDO KEEME VIA PHOTO FUSION STUDIO