Voc Ristorante & Lounge

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9719 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale

Vocalist Khani Cole and her husband/manager/drummer Mike Florio have teamed up with Michael Lepore (chef-owner of the former Leccabaffi) to create Vocé, a restaurant and night club that's almost as sultry as Cole herself. The former Leccabaffi space is now a comfortable, dimly lit lounge, while Lepore's restaurant (reminiscent of the narrow, old-school Italians back East) stands to the other side of the foyer. Lepore offers a lengthy list of regional Italian dishes, many of which have been around since the days of the original Leccabaffi, and it's anything but predictable. Here, you'll find prosciutto with Pecorino-Romano and fresh pears, house-cured anchovies with celery and Parmesan, grilled octopus with lemon, hearty rigatoni alla matriciana, fabulous ossobuco, even pappardelle con cinghiale. One of my favorite dishes is gnocchetti alla Romana -- fat semolina dumplings baked with a rich, creamy blend of Gruyere and Fontina cheeses. The less expensive lounge menu features yummy snacks such as mini meatballs over Parmesan-mashed potatoes, a white pizza topped with Gorgonzola, Gruyere and sliced pears, arancini, filet mignon spiedini and gnocchi. As you might imagine, the entertainment, which usually includes Dennis Rowland and Marion Meadows as well as national (and sometimes international) acts, is fabulous. This is the Valley's classiest nightclub, hands down. Dinner M-Sat. $$-$$$