Cask 63 — Vintage Gainey Ranch

Tie up your horses at Cask 63, the Gainey Ranch restaurant and wine bar in north Scottsdale.

On the former site of one of Scottsdale’s landmark Arabian horse ranches, the venue performs its spirituous and gustatory roles elegantly under the guidance of Executive Chef Brian Feirstein.

Choose Cask 63 American Eatery & Wine Bar, 8877 N. Scottsdale Road, to enjoy an elegant bistro environment for lunch and dinner.

Wine flights are a feature here: Select from Moscatos, Pinot Noirs and other varietals. Offered, too, is a large selection of quality wines by the glass or the bottle and innovative cocktails, aperitifs, digestifs and dessert wines such as, respectively, a Smoke and Ginger Margarita, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia and Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine.

Stop by before or after a show or shopping, snatch a quick business lunch or plan a scorching rendezvous. It’s open every day, with happy hour 4–7 p.m. daily.

Cask 63’s colorfully lit and smartly designed 6500 square feet includes areas for different needs and moods: a lounge, backlit bar separated from the other rooms by sheer curtains, the main dining room, a landscaped outdoor patio and a glass-enclosed private dining room.

“Our vision from the start was to create an inviting, and not intimating, wine and cocktail bar where we would want to hang out with our families and friends, sip good wine and enjoy great food,” says chef, a Gilbert resident with wife Jennifer, their two children and black Lab.

Brian, who oversees a kitchen staff of 15, calls the restaurant Cask 63 because 31 and ½ gallons of wine fill a cask: “Twice that is a generous amount that invites sharing,” he says.

Sharing the small plates is encouraged, with various appetizers, starters, soups and salads available to satisfy less-than-full-meal appetites. These include an outstanding Sweet Corn Potato Chowder with chives and smoked bacon, a Spinach Salad with warm bacon balsamic vinaigrette, egg, Cotija cheese, glazed almonds, tomatoes and red onion, and the Cask 63’s most popular dish, the Wild Mushroom Flatbread, worth a stop itself.

Chef prepares the latter, mixing Fontina and Parmesan cheeses, white truffle oil and balsamic vinegar reduction, wild mushrooms and onions sourced locally and then caramelized. “It’s a great mix of flavors and textures that our patrons continue to order and return for more,” he says.

A number of outstanding New American entrées have also come from his kitchen, so you can be comfortable visiting the restaurant for a full sit-down or even special-occasion dinner. Try, for instance, the Seared Georges Bank Diver Scallops, with Goose Valley wild rice and artichoke salad, bacon and grain mustard vinaigrette, and the Creekstone Farms premium Black Angus Beef Short Ribs.

Chef changes his menus seasonally, so his summer menu may include somewhat lighter variations on these winter starters and full plates. For instance, he may offer a Tomato and Vanilla Bisque for the warmer months and reprise the Corn Chowder later in the year.

A native of Phoenix and graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, chef has also worked in Philadelphia (where he was a sous at Savona Restaurant, in Aaron Burr’s Revolutionary War home) as well as executive chef locally at The Capital Grille-Biltmore and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood at DC Ranch in Scottsdale.

“At Cask 63, we’ve tried to create a fresh, seasonal menu with as many local purveyors as we can,” he says. “From what our patrons are telling us, they’re enjoying our food, our spirits and our quiet atmosphere. And that’s just what we had in mind when we opened the doors.”

Cask 63 American Eatery & Wine Bar (480) 922-5666