Cowboy Ciao opened February 12, 1997, and it was well into 1998 before information operators stopped telling callers we didn’t exist because they tried Chow instead of Ciao. Too clever for our own good? Maybe clever isn’t the best choice of word (stubborn is probably a better fit), but surely we’ve retained a sense of irreverence this whole time. Cowboy Ciao began as a neighborhood joint with wine-friendly fare focused on Italy, Mexico and the American Southwest and an eclectic wine list of 88 selections. It has evolved into a ‘Big City’ restaurant featuring a Modern American menu with Southwest accents and Global influences, sporting an internationally-acclaimed wine list hovering around 2000 selections. In the almost two decades since (man, that’s a lot of Stetson Chopped Salads), Ciao has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades (honestly, too many to count) (hey, it’s only bragging if you can’t back it up) from sources local (“Best Example of Food as Sex”, Phoenix Magazine, honoring the Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry, the only dish remaining from the original menu; “Best Dessert Menu in Town (if not the Galaxy!)” the Phoenix New Times; “Best Place to Eat, Drink, & Be Merry”, Arizona Republic); national (“Top 12 Bars in Arizona”, Thrillist.com; “Most Innovative Wine List”, National Restaurant Association; “If cowboys were connoisseurs, they’d drop by here after the last roundup”, Esquire Magazine; “Hot spot for the hip with seriously good food; a spaghetti western with a happy ending.” Zagat Guide), and international (“Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale is a first-rate restaurant and wine destination”, London Times; “Cowboy Ciao is a don’t miss dining adventure”, Der Spiegel). Oh, speaking of awards, Cowboy Ciao at Sky Harbor won “Best New Airport Restaurant” from Entrepreneur Magazine shortly after opening in 2013. Over the years, we’ve hosted many luminaries of the political (Senator John McCain, Hillary Clinton), sports (Charles Barkley, Danica Patrick), music (Eddie Van Halen, Nils Lofgren), and entertainment fields (George Clooney, Hugh Laurie), as well as several shiny stars that light up the worlds of restaurants (Jacques Pepin, Stephanie Izard, Ming Tsai) and wine (Charles Smith, Raj Parr, Master Sommelier Laura Williamson).
Through it all, our goal has remained simple: thrill each guest every visit with a memorable entertainment experience.