Daniel Scordato, Owner of Posto Sano Foods, located at 6370 N. Campbell Ave. #160.

To celebrate a friend’s birthday recently, I treated him to carry out at the new restaurant Posto Sano Foods (located at 6370 N. Campbell Ave., #160, kitty corner from La Encantada,) under the leadership of award-winning chef and restaurateur Daniel Scordato. After a memorable lunch of chicken meatballs in marinara sauce, caramelized brussels sprouts and Roman pizza, we knew that we wouldn’t wait for another special occasion to enjoy PSF light Italian fare. Although the great majority of orders are still takeout, the good news is that the new restaurant has been open since mid-May for limited dine-in and patio seating.

The name Posto Sano means “healthy place” in Italian. A variety of salads, sandwiches. healthful plates and more are on the menu.

The son of parents who owned the old Scordato’s, an elegant Italian restaurant on West Speedway, Daniel Scordato was recruited to work in the kitchen at age 14. Starting with salads and antipasti, he chopped, sliced and diced under the watchful eyes of two older brothers and a sister. Scordato happily recalled, “I knew then that I wanted to have a career working with food.” And what an amazing career it’s been!

Scordato opened his first restaurant Daniel’s in 1986 and in 1993 Vivace’s on Grant, where high-end Italian fare with an American twist was served. Moving to a larger venue in St. Philips’ Plaza in 2001 afforded him the chance to add dining al fresco. By 2014, this chef-entrepreneur was ready to expand Vivace to his crown jewel, a 9000 square foot venue with a more spacious kitchen at 6440 N. Campbell Ave, in the former Anthony’s in the Foothills. In addition to its famed Italian cuisine, served at both lunch and dinner, Vivace offers guests magnificent views of the Rincons and Catalinas and in the evening twinkling city lights.

At Posto Sano Foods, his latest venture, Scordato will be cooking, along with his nephew, chef Justin Fitzsimons. He will also continue as owner and executive chef of Vivace. With a present 60+-hours weekly work schedule, he’s glad the two restaurants are only a few hundred yards apart.

I was intrigued by Scordato’s story and was eager to ask him a few questions.

  • What do you love about being executive chef of your own restaurant?

I can create new dishes and put them on the menu. I’m also able to tweak menu selections for individual needs and tastes. And I love Italian food, with its varied cuisines from many regions in Italy.

  • Do you have a signature dish?

I created crab stuffed chicken breast, served at Vivace.

  • How does a person become a great chef?

You can’t really learn how to be a chef. The most important thing is to have a feel for creating dishes…in other words a natural bent and love for it.

  • What foods are always in your kitchen at home?

Chicken, eggs, vegetables (primarily broccoli and cauliflower) and olive oil. With these staples, I can always whip up a quick meal.

  • What is your definition of healthy food?

Food that is good, pure, high quality and unprocessed. But diner beware, it may not necessarily be low in calories!

  • During your brief leisure hours, how do you unwind?

I love to visit other restaurants for dinner, relax and have others cook for me!

PSF maintains strict socially distanced protocol both indoors and on the spacious patio, that features a working fireplace, heaters and spectacular mountain views. All servers wear masks and other measures are in place to promote the health of diners. That’s what you would expect from a restaurant named “Posto Sano,” right?

Scordato invites everyone to stop by PSF, where he looks forward to wishing you Buon Appetito!

Posto Sano Foods is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For further information on PSF, visit postosano.com or call (520) 638-6182.

Barbara Russek, a local freelance writer, welcomes comments at Babette2@comcast.net.

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