The Greene House

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Kierland Commons, 15024 N. Scottsdale Road

For a light, California-inspired meal on a gorgeous day, it's pretty hard to beat The Greene House, an airy open restaurant patterned after the clean-lined California Craftsman style of architect Henry Greene. In good weather, the windows are flung open, creating an atmosphere that's darned near intoxicating. It could be said that Chef Michael Stebner's cooking philosophy follows suit, given that his Italian-inflected food is simple, straightforward, natural. He changes the menu frequently, but you can always find pretty salads (such as arugula with apples, pears, goat cheese and candied pecans), elegant artisanal cheese plates, house-made pastas and excellent fish dishes. Of course, heartier dishes (braised beef short ribs, steak) are available as well, but it's the lighter stuff you'll remember. A great rectangular bar near the entrance is the perfect place to sip a little wine, graze and watch the world go by. Lunch and dinner daily (abbreviated menu available from 2:30 to 5 p.m). $$-$$$