James Beard Award-winning Chef Alex Stratta, a name many local foodies will recognize, opened his new restaurant, Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen. Located at 8260 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale, Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen will present a culinary concept that is quite personal to Chef Stratta — and one that developed out of a health experience that led him to create his own natural and delicious take on cooking with fresh, seasonal and whole foods. Inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, Stratta’s natural approach to cooking and eating is the ideal concept to present to Valley diners who seek delicious culinary experiences that also fuel a healthy lifestyle.
A longtime name in the Valley, Chef Stratta’s impressive resume includes opening the Phoenician in the late 1980s and heading up the kitchens of other local luxury resorts including the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia and the famed Arizona Biltmore. Stratta has also led his own restaurant before — in the late 1990s he opened Alex at the Wynn along the Las Vegas Strip, which earned two Michelin stars. Stratta returned to the Valley four years ago with the intent to open a concept outside of the hotel industry.
Though Stratta may have been at the top of his career game, his health was suffering. After being diagnosed with colon cancer, Stratta took a personal approach to wellness to not only overcome the disease but also to lose more than 100 pounds during the journey to regain his health. He decided to take his passion for cooking and develop a restaurant based upon his newfound approach to eating more natural whole foods. Stratta felt a desire to share the foundation of his healthful lifestyle with local and visiting diners that seek a nutritious meal in an upscale yet quick-casual atmosphere. And Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen was born.
His passion and understanding of Mediterranean cooking is evident in the menu, where he applies his culinary chops to create an approachable, vibrant selection of dishes that are inherently natural, fresh and delicious. Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen features a variety of dishes that are naturally dairy-free and/or gluten-free as well as vegetarian options, making it easy (and enjoyable!) for those with varying dietary needs and preferences to dine together without limitation.
Menu choices include selections broken down into categories such as “To Share or Not to Share,” “Greens,” “Grains,” “Proteins,” and of course, “Sweets.” Examples of “To Share or Not to Share” starters include the Vegetable and Potato Frittata; Whipped Ricotta Cheese and Walnut Romesco; and Baked Artichoke, Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip.
“Greens” options include Beets and Apples with roasted golden beets, arugula, caramelized apples, goat cheese cracker, pistachio and balsamic crunch; and Mistral with Moroccan-spiced eggplant, Tuscan kale, Turkish apricots, Marcona almonds, spicy chickpeas and pickled red onion; and “Grains” include dishes such as the Cali Coast featuring toasted quinoa, purple yams, rainbow cauliflower, avocado, Marcona almonds and Medjool dates; the Vegetable Pistou Soup with seasonal vegetables, white beans, Israeli cous cous, San Marzano tomato, Tuscan kale and a pesto drizzle; and the Terra with green lentils, wild mushrooms, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and spiced purple yams.
Guests can choose from a variety of “Proteins” choices including Alaskan Sterling Salmon, Impossible Kabab, PNW Black Cod, Grilled Haloumi Cheese, Free Range Chicken Breast, Crispy European Sea Bass, Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom, and Char-Grilled Strip Steak. Diners can also customize their meal with a selection of inspired sauces such as Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette, Moroccan Spice Tahini, Chimichurri made with cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, olive oil and toasted cumin; and more. To round out the menu, “Sweets” include Pistachio Baklava, Warm Walnut-Date Cake, and Goat Cheese and Honey Panna Cotta.
Further showcasing Stratta’s culinary mastery, each dish is artfully plated and visually dynamic — with a rainbow of hues made possibly by colorful combinations of fresh, whole foods. The restaurant’s quick-serve concept allows diners to come in, order, and take their meal on the go, or sit and relax while enjoying a nutritious and visually stunning meal in an upscale yet inviting environment. To learn more, visit http://www.strattalifestylekitchen.com
By Molly Cerreta Smith
Photos Courtesy of Joanie Simon