Italian Cuisine

This video features Gigi, the owner of Arrivederci Italian Cuisine in Scottsdale, Arizona. She talks about her history of working at Arrivederci and eventually taking over the restaurant during the pandemic. Gigi highlights the homemade Italian dishes at Arrivederci, including gnocchi, lasagna, chicken parmesan, cavatelli, veal piccata, tiramisu, cannoli, and more. She emphasizes the love and care that goes into the food, sharing family recipes from Sicily. The host, Scott, samples several dishes and cocktails. He praises Gigi’s hospitality and encourages viewers to visit, especially during ongoing construction in the area.

Gigi took over Arrivederci during the pandemic and persevered through hard times. Her personality and homemade Italian cooking shine at this local restaurant. She aims to make guests feel at home, like they’re in their grandmother’s kitchen. Arrivederci offers an authentic taste of Sicily in Scottsdale.

Interview Transcript

– [Scott] Hey, gang. Scott, with the Scott Gaertner Group. And we are back in the La Mirada Shopping Center. That’s the northeast corner of Pinnacle Peak and Pima. Remember, there’s some construction there. So we’re trying to help all the vendors in this neighborhood. But we’re at Arrivederci Italian cuisine. We’re going to go in and meet Gigi. Wait till you meet this lady. The real deal from Sicily. Come on inside and meet her. By the way, great outdoor dining here too. So, it’s going to be awesome.

– Gigi, Buongiorno!

– [Gigi] Buongiorno, come stai?

– I’m with ya.

– Welcome. Va molto bene!

– Molto bene.

– Si. Welcome.

– Thank you very much.

– Welcome to Arrivederci on Pinnacle Peak in Pima. This is Arrivederci by Gigi.

– Oh, we are so happy to be here. Thank you for having us.

– You’re welcome. Yes. Yes, assolutamente means absolutely.

– I love it.

– In Italian. Yes.

– Well tell us a little bit about the history and how you got into it.

– So I used to work for Arrivederci a long time ago. The actual owner name was Franco. I used to be an hostess for him. I became a manager. I became everything. I used to do everything for him. He opened up this place November, 2018. And of course, in 2020 March, Covid hit.

– We all know what happened then.

– Absolutely. Well, I became part owner with him because he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. So he said to me, do you want to be part owner? You take care of it. And I said, you know, why not? So I left my other job to be a full-time here. And then unfortunately, I became part owner in June and then he passed away in December. And then in January, 2021, I took over fully. So I’ve been here struggling by myself and I’m very positive. While knowing that everything is going to work good. I love customer. They come in, they become family to me. And when they come in they say, Gigi, we love you. We come here for you. And it makes me feel good. And the food also, of course, you know. But I’m very happy to be here ’cause I am from Sicily. I was born and raised there. And I bring some Sicilian food here at the table. And it’s wonderful because everything that I make is what my grandma, what my parents taught me. And I want everybody to taste a little bit of that, you know. And that’s why we’re doing this. To put the word out there, that we’re here. we’re in the back of a shopping center where no one sees us. So please come in and visit us at Arrivederci Pinnacle Peak, Pima, by Gigi. And enjoy some of our meals.

– Oh, that’s great. And we make so much of it in house here too.

– Absolutely. We make our gnocchi, we make lasagna. All our meats are made here. Cut, pound. The cannolis’ are homemade. I make the shells itself. If you ever want to see it the day that I make it you’re more welcome to come in and help me and make it with me. I love it. But yes, everything is homemade. The meatballs are to die for, also. So I need you to come in and try. Our meals are very, it’s very, very good.

– Yeah and we’re at La Miarada here. As we mentioned out front that, you know a little bit of construction issues. That’s south, rather northeast corner of Pinnacle Peak and Pima. If you’re coming south, that’s a bit of a headache. If you come down Pinnacle Peak, it’s easy. But now’s an easy time to get in here. Easier to get tables, that kind of a thing. So we think that you should come down here. But let’s talk a little bit about your food. In fact, maybe let’s go look at some of the food, huh?

– Absolutely.

– Come on, let’s go back here.

– Absolutely. Come on in.

– Now we’re in here with Gigi, by the way. I may have to get another videographer ’cause he will not do smell-o-vision. But if you guys were here you would not be believe the aromas. Honest to God, you got to come here just for that. It’s insane. But Gigi, oh, and then- What’s this?

– That’s my signature martini. I made that up.

– Yeah.

– Yeah. Vodka. Orange vodka. Lemoncello. A little bit of here and there. My, yeah.

– What’s it, what is cheers, in Italian?

– Salute!

– Salute.

– Uh huh. It’s my special martini.

– That’s good.

– Is it?

– Of course. That’s not real alcohol. We wouldn’t do that in a video. Okay.

– Absolutely not.

– Well, tell us about this. What do you got in front of you there?

– Okay, so this is Pollo Marsala. It’s freshly made every single day with mushrooms, Marsala sauce, some spaghetti. Of course, we don’t make the homemade spaghetti. We don’t have a machine to make that. But we buy the best from Italy, and some vegetables. It a beautiful dish.

– How about this?

– That’s Pollo parmigiana, chicken parmigiana. With penne pasta, with melted provolone. We didn’t use a lot of mozzarella. We use provolone because I think it’s got more taste to it.

– Oh, I love that. Yes. When he set that one down that’s when I first got the smell-o-vision. Boom! It was great.

– [Gigi] Yes.

– This one looks like lasagna. This looks better than what I get at Costco. And then I put in the microwave

– Oh forget about the Costco.

– [Scott] Okay.

– Forget it. You don’t want to eat frozen lasagna. You want to eat my lasagna. It’s freshly made. The pasta is freshly made. We got bolognese sauce in there. Fresh provolone and of course some fresh mozzarella in the middle. And it’s a special sauce that we make for that. So

– That’s a favorite of mine.

– You’ve got to come in and try our lasagna. It is a signature one. Very, very good.

– I’m looking forward to that one.

– Yes.

– Now what do we got here?

– [Gigi] Now that one is a homemade Cavatelli. Not everybody makes that. It is a lot of work on those Cavatelli. It’s a pasta and you roll it up, and then you cut it and then you carve it on that one. It’s carved and then it’s made, Sicilian style. We use a lot of eggplant.

– [Scott] Okay.

– [Gigi] And cherry tomatoes and basil. And then

– It looks like sausage.

– And some sausage.

– I’m a sausage guy.

– And you can try that. It is very good. And of course we use some white wine with it.

– Perfect.

– Yes.

– Anything to get booze in there.

– Absolutely. Very good.

– What do we have here?

– And then this one is the veal piccata. And of course we pound our veal, very careful every day with homemade fettuccine.

– [Scott] Oh nice.

– [Gigi] With a white wine and lemon sauce. And it’s got capers, artichoke hearts and of course fresh vegetables.

– That makes sense.

– Yes. Then we also have Choca Misu. It is tiramisu, but it’s got some Belgium chocolate on it. So it tastes kind of better with chocolate.

– [Scott] It looks beautiful.

– It’s Lady fingers with marscapone cheese. And it’s very, very good. You need to come and try ours. I think a lot of people make it. But everybody makes it a little different.

– Yeah. Yeah.

– But we use the actual marscapone cheese. We don’t like that junk Philadelphia cheese. No, this is the the real thing.

– I can’t wait to try that one.

– And then of course, this is my homemade cannolis. This is cannoli shell made by me. It takes me for about 150. It takes me about five hours to do it.

– [Scott] Wow.

– [Gigi] ‘Cause I make it on my own. I just come in early in the morning and I make it.

– These are Gigi Cannolis.

– Absolutely. Gigi Cannolis. They’re made with white wine.

– Oh, nice. Of course.

– Yeah. Absolutely. A lot of people, maybe they make it with coffee or I use white wine and it’s very good.

– [Scott] I like that.

– And then we have our ricotta cream made with chocolate chips, to perfection. You just have to come in and try it. Because even if we tell you. You listening to me right now, oh, this is a good cannoli. But if you don’t try it you really don’t know what it tastes like. And when you dig in with your fork or your spoon into that cannoli, it is, it just melts it.

– [Scott] Oh.

– In your mouth. It just breaks it so easy and melts it in your mouth. It’s really good.

– I don’t want to do it. But I will demonstrate that for you guys. I’ll take one for the team.

– Yes. And then this is our chocolate tartufo that we do make. And we use chocolate of coarse and some vanilla in the middle. And then we use Belgium chocolate on the outside.

– [Scott] Nice.

– [Gigi] So it is, and then some nice aromas that when you try it, it’s really, really good. So

– Anything chocolate is with me.

– Yes.

– And what have we here? Another fake drink.

– Yes. That is espresso martini, a la Gigi.

– [Scott] Oh, a la Gigi.

– Yes.

– Salute!

– Salute.

– Whoa, that’s good. I could have this in the morning.

– Absolutely.

– [Scott] It’s perfect.

– Oh, yes. I love that. I, you know, one- I remember about four or five years ago I went to a place, I don’t mention no names. Downtown. And I wanted to try an espresso martini. I think it was the worst I’ve ever had.

– [Scott] Really?

– Yes. I didn’t enjoy it. So when I came back I start creating how I want to do my own espresso martini. And I came out to that. And it’s the best ’cause my customer love that drinks. But we have a lot of different martinis here so you can pick and choose. We have a beautiful variety and I can’t wait for everyone to come in and try our meals, our drinks. And we have a wonderful variety of wines from Italy. And of course there’s a few from California, of course.

– But really, Gigi, this has been so great, that you I could tell it’s got your heart in everything here. I can’t believe you had the courage to take this on in Covid.

– Yes.

– But you have and you’re here surviving. It’s awesome. And people are going to come and they’re going to love this. So you guys should come down, meet Gigi. Try this out. I’m going to do a little bit of the food now. Gigi, Buongiorno. Thank you for having us.

– Oh. Prego, prego. It’s, thank you. You’re welcome.

– That’s what it’s like though. All you feel here is welcome and love.

– Si.

– Gigi is really, really the whole experience.

– So all the things that I know today. That I make in here at Arrivederci, it’s made with love. So when you come in here. Ask for Gigi and just feel like home. It’s like walking in your grandma or in your mom’s kitchen. You are not just going into a restaurant. So I love all my customer that come here. And everything that you eat in here is made with love. And you will feel it too when you start eating it. So I love everyone. Thank you so much. And please, please come in and tell everyone else from Gigi Arrivederci Pinnacle Peak.

– Oh, that’s so perfect. I love it

– Graci.

– All right, gang, I hope that gave you a little bit of sense of the love that she is cooking into this place. Gigi is a special lady. The food is truly amazing. We’re right here across from Raven Gastro Pub. Remember, Arrivederci is only open for dinner. I think, open at four o’clock, something like that. But really, really, this is in the area where they’re still having some construction issues. Come on up here, meet Gigi, fall in love with this place. Don’t skip the cannolis. Hey, and if you’re coming up here, call me. I’ll meet you up here. Thanks for listening.

About Scott Gaertner

Scott Gaertner

Scott Gaertner

Since 1984 Scott’s real estate career has always been committed to exceptional results and his business philosophy has always been “If you want extraordinary results, find out what the ordinary do – and then don’t do it!” Consequently his career has been a trail of astonishing successes created from ground-breaking methods.

His first year in real estate selling new homes for a large builder, Scott sold 101 homes and became the first recipient of the Arizona Homebuilders Association’s “Most Net Units Sold Award.” The Association created the award that year because they said nobody had ever heard of that many homes being sold in one year before! Later, due to his continued successes, he became the first recipient of the Homebuilder’s Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

In the resale home business, Scott continued his innovative trends by opening Scottsdale’s first real estate company devoted solely to representing real estate buyers. This pioneering event in 1990 was long before most had ever heard of the term “buyer’s agency” or considered buyer representation. After years of teaching classes and bringing much needed media exposure to the cause, buyer’s agency has become the accepted standard of practice. That cause complete, Scott moved on to a more traditional role with Keller Williams Northeast Realty. But of course, not in an ordinary way . . .

Shunning the conventional wisdom in resale real estate that says “Specialize in everything!” Scott adopted one small corner of the Scottsdale market to call his own. Using typically unconventional marketing methods and strategies, he became the dominant agent in one zip code of Scottsdale North. Dominant not only in numbers of sales, but in pricing successes for his clients.

By 2018, Scott’s techniques have proven so successful that he is now guaranteeing his results, and expanding his business to a much larger market in the North Valley.