Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Introduces a Winning Pair with Small Plates and Big Pours. Gives Guests the Chance to Try Their Hand at Pairing Premium Wines and Steakhouse Small Plates in the Bar Area for Just $24.95

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is now offering a new way for guests to mix and match in the bar area from now until May 31, 2012. The popular steakhouse and wine bar is rolling out “Small Plates, Big Pours” – a selection of seven innovative Small Plates matched with an oversized wine pour from the Fleming’s 100 – for just $24.95 (plus tax and gratuity). Maeve Pesquera, Fleming’s Director of Wine, has chosen each of the seven Big Pour wines to pair with the flavors of the steakhouse Small Plates.
The Small Plates include: Sliced Filet Mignon, Shrimp Scampi Skewers, Petite Lamb Chops, Seared Ahi Tuna, New Bedford Scallops, Filet Mignon Skewers, and Lobster Tempura.
The Big Pours are: Penley Merlot, Paco & Lola Albariño, Cline Cashmere Red Blend, A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir, Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc, B.R. Cohn Silver Cabernet, and Silverado Chardonnay.
Guests can select one Maeve’s suggested pairings listed below or create a unique flavor combination of their own by mixing and matching their own wine and food pairs:

Sliced Filet Mignon and Penley Merlot
Beef filet, mushroom risotto and Merlot all exhibit a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth quality and harmonize well together

Shrimp Scampi Skewers and Paco & Lola Albariño
Albariño’s crisp minerality echoes the fresh ocean flavors of the shrimp, and the green apple and floral notes of the wine are a wonderful complement to the spicy chimichurri sauce

Petite Lamb Chops and Cline Cashmere Red Blend
Oak-aged red wines almost always pair well with grilled meats, and the lamb has flavor compounds that pair particularly well with the chocolate notes and hints of black pepper in this Syrah-Grenache-Mouvèdre blend

Seared Ahi Tuna and A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir
The bit of spice in this perfectly smooth Pinot Noir soothes the piquant notes of the mustard sauce served with the tuna dish

New Bedford Scallops and Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc
The fruity minerality of this refreshing Sauvignon Blanc accentuates the buttery richness of the scallops, and its citrus qualities echo the dish’s Meyer lemon-honey glaze

Filet Mignon Skewers and B.R. Cohn Silver Cabernet
Powerful foods need a powerful wine, and the full, rich flavors of this Sonoma Cabernet pair well with the robust flavors of seared beef, creamy gorgonzola and smoky bacon

Lobster Tempura and Silverado Chardonnay
The richness and sweetness of the lobster echo the rich flavors of crème brûlée and citrus found in this medium-bodied Chardonnay

“Guests could pick a pairing with a blindfold on and still would not go wrong with the seven wine selections on our Small Plates, Big Pours menu,” says Russell Skall, Fleming’s Executive Chef. “Larger groups can experiment by ordering several of the Small Plates to see who comes up with the favorite pairing of the evening,” he adds.

Skall enjoys pairing the Sliced Filet Mignon with Shitake Risotto with the Penley Merlot or the B.R. Cohn Silver Cabernet. When paired with the merlot, the filet causes the berry and plum flavors of the wine to shine, but when paired with the tighter tannins in the cabernet, new flavors evolve.
There are four Fleming’s in Phoenix at Scottsdale at Lincoln Road, North Scottsdale at DC Ranch, Peoria and Chandler. For more information or to find your nearest Fleming’s location, please visit www.FlemingsSteakhouse.com. Follow Maeve Pesquera and Chef Russell Skall on Twitter @WineMaeven and @RussellOnSteak.

FIRST ARIZONA LOCATION OF CAN’T STOP SMOKIN’ BAR-B-Q SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN CHANDLER MAY 3! Restaurant to introduce healthy dining options, wooden nickel program to benefit community

 
Prior to last week, the focus was on the 5,200-square-foot interior of the new Can’t Stop Smokin’ Bar-B-Q restaurant at 7250 W. Chandler Boulevard in Chandler, which has involved multiple truckloads of logs, all hand cut on site.  According to General Manager Nick Jaquez, this construction represents the casual, mountain feel the restaurant is incorporating, as it is now finalizing the exterior and preparing to introduce the first Arizona location of Can’t Stop Smokin’ to the East Valley May 3. 
“We look forward to introducing Can’t Stop Smokin’ and our Mountain-style barbeque, which has been crafted over the past 15 years,” said Jaquez.  “In addition to offering a new, healthy dining option for the neighborhood, we also provide business delivery and catering.  Those who live or work in the area will appreciate our carry-out options, such as our family-size dinners that include smoked barbeque chicken or a rack of ribs, with side dishes and whole pies or cobblers.”
The focus will be the restaurant’s signature, 20-foot-long hotline counter that will showcase a variety of healthy, high-quality, smoked barbeque meats, including beef, pork, chicken and turkey, all prepared fresh daily with homemade, preservative-free seasonings, and then smoked on-site for between three and 13 hours.  Each is served deli-style with a choice of Classic or Southwest Spicy barbeque sauce.  Also available: a salad bar (offering “power greens”); beef and turkey jerky; numerous side dishes beyond the standard coleslaw, baked beans and corn-on-the-cob; and desserts like homemade, pies, cookies and cobblers.
As it prepares to open, Can’t Stop Smokin’ is posting regular construction updates on its website (www.CantStopSmokin.com), and on Facebook (CantStopSmokinBBQChandler), and is finalizing the hiring of outgoing, energetic people to serve the restaurant, which will seat up to 140 guests.
“In our other restaurants, it is our team members and the service that really sets us apart,” said Conrad Studor, director of franchise development for Can’t Stop Smokin’.  “We also support the communities in which we do business, and are proud to introduce our wooden nickel program, which each month, based on specific customer input, will benefit four local community and charitable organizations.”
In New Mexico, Can’t Stop Smokin’ was recently named “Best BBQ” by Ruidoso News and “Client of the Year” by New Mexico State University in Alamogordo, N.M.  In Chandler, the new restaurant will be open seven days per week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  For more information or to learn about franchise opportunities call 888-99 SMOKIN (76654) or visit www.CantStopSmokin.com.

MOTHER’S DAY AT PHOENIX CITY GRILLE OFFERS MOUTH-WATERING WEEKEND SPECIALS PLUS SUNDAY BRUNCH, ALL IN A COMFORTABLE SETTING

If you are looking for somewhere unique to have dinner or brunch this Mother’s Day weekend, where the restaurant ambience, entrées and service leave you already wanting to return, then you are looking for Phoenix City Grille! 
Set in the Madison neighborhood of Central Phoenix at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, Phoenix City Grille is consistently recognized for its delicious menu combinations, unique daily specials and personalized, attentive service.  
In addition to its regular menu and weekend brunch, Phoenix City Grille this year will offer the following Mother’s Day specials, created by Executive Chef Rory Hewitt.  Each will be offered all weekend long (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) after 4 p.m.:
          Starters:  Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with a Raspberry White Balsamic Glaze, served with a Melon Salad with Cotija Croutons;
          Featured Entrée:  Grilled Beef Tenderloin with a Scallop and Jumbo Sea of Cortez Shrimp, served in a Smoked Tomato-Lobster Bisque with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes;
          Catch of the Day:  Pan-Seared Alaskan Halibut with a Candied Ginger-Champagne Buerre Blanc, Griddled Red Quinoa Cakes and a Shaved Fennel-Strawberry Salad.
            “Mother’s Day is always special at Phoenix City Grille,” says owner Sheldon Knapp.  “My wife, Nina, and I enjoy greeting new and familiar families every year, and recognizing each mother with a carnation.  Our customers appreciate the restaurant’s comfortable ambience and variety of private and semi-private areas to gather, plus our patio makes the day even better!”
Every day of the week Phoenix City Grille offers a full menu of American Contemporary cuisine, plus daily lunch and dinner specials, and on the weekends, brunch.  The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
For more information or to make reservations, which are highly recommended, call (602) 266-3001 or visit www.PhoenixCityGrill.com.

P.F. CHANG’S PROVIDES TAX DAY RELIEF BY REWARDING ALL CUSTOMERS WITH 15 PERCENT SAVINGS ON APRIL 17

      In celebration of the end of tax season and the extension of Tax Day to April 17, P.F. Chang’s will reward guests nationwide with a 15 percent discount on April 17. The special one-day deal encourages P.F. Chang’s diners across the country to celebrate the end of tax season with extra savings.
     “We recognize the pressure of filing taxes and want to help our guests relax on a stressful day,” said Lane Cardwell, President of the P.F. Chang’s concept. “Our Tax Relief discount is meant to show our appreciation for their business.”
     The Tax Relief promotion includes all guests of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and applies to every dine in and take-out order. On April 17 only, all food orders will be discounted 15 percent. The discount is not valid with alcoholic beverages or Happy Hour food and beverage items.
*The Tax Relief discount will be applied automatically to all applicable checks. Offer not valid on Large Party take-out or delivery and not valid with any other offers, discounts or gift card purchases.

Truffles in the Arizona desert? Help them become a reality.

   Dutchman’s Holdings, LLC has established Dutchman’s Truffiere to be the first French Perigord (tuber malenosporum) truffle orchard in Arizona. Their planting of at
least 10 acres of host seedlings will begin after land acquisition has
been finalized. With the confirmation of initial soils data, Italian white
summer Alba truffles will also be planted commercially for the first
time in North American soil.“This will allow us to bring a very rare and desirable food item to market, not just locally, but nationwide. Fresh black winter truffles are
very difficult to get here in the US. Fresh white summer truffles from
Italy are impossible to obtain because they spoil too quickly.
Eventually we’ll even produce our own truffle salt for our sister
company, go lb. salt”, stated Liz Eckburg, owner and co-founder of
Dutchman’s Truffiere. “When growing truffles, you need to follow the
vines. So we are finalizing site selection for planting in one of the
three key wine growing regions in Arizona.”
“Dutchman’s Truffiere represents a very unique venture. Not only
because of its notable crop, but also because we are utilizing
Indiegogo to secure the remaining funds necessary to establish and
successfully maintain the truffiere for the first 10 years of operation.

   This is necessary because there can be no expectation of any
saleable crop during the first decade as we work to establish the first
legacy truffle orchard in the Southwest”, stated Aaron Eckburg, cofounder.
“This is the largest crowd funded project to date and every
backer will be acknowledged as a founder of the truffiere. We see the
crowd funding platform as a great way to generate public interest for
the project and to introduce a new and emerging crop into Arizona’s
agriculture program. Most importantly, it will help preserve a unique
crop that is becoming increasingly more rare around the world.”

   Dutchman’s Truffiere is the first and only truffiere for growing French
Perigord truffles in Arizona and the greater desert Southwest. If the
white truffle part of the venture is successful they will be the first
commercial truffiere to cultivate white Alba truffles. As such, they are
pleased to announce the start of this project as a unique addition to
the Arizona agriculture and viticulture communities and economies.
Individuals interested in learning more about Dutchman’s Truffiere can
visit www.dutchmanstruffiere.com. Persons who would like to know
more about the Dutchman’s Truffiere Indiegogo crowd funding project
can visit http://t.co/6gCeXH4

BLUEWATER GRILL TO OFFER EASTER LUNCH AND BRUNCH

This Easter, Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant will offer both its regular lunch menu plus an Easter Brunch menu on Sunday featuring a variety of seafood-inspired breakfast favorites created by Executive Chef Andrew Capek. Menu items include the Bluewater Benedict, which features crab cakes served over a toasted English muffin topped with poached eggs and citrus hollandaise sauce; the Bagel and Lox, with smoked lox of Nova Scotia salmon served on a cream cheese bagel with red onion tomato, fried capers and hard-boiled eggs, or the Roasted Oysters with bacon and quail eggs. Additional items include a yogurt and seasonal berry parfait; bay shrimp ceviche, or a build-your-own omelet, plus eggs any style with bacon and sausage. Prices range from $6.50 to $14.95.
In the bar area, the restaurant will offer Mimosas and Champagne by the glass or bottle, as well as its signature Build-Your-Own Blue Ice® Bloody Mary Bar, which gives customers the chance to create their own customized version of the famous all-day cocktail using Blue Ice® vodka and their choice of 25 hot sauces from around the world.
Brunch is offered at Bluewater Grill on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and advance reservations are recommended.
Bluewater Grill is located at 1720 E. Camelback Road, on the site of the former Fish Market restaurant in central Phoenix. For more information call (602) 277-FISH (3474).

Graze Desert Grille at Zona Hotel and Suites in Scottsdale

Tucked up in the desert amongst golf courses and the growth of north Scottsdale is the 431 room Zona Hotel and Suites. To coincide with a renovation that started in the summer of 2011, they also have re-branded the restaurant that is on property calling it, Graze Desert Grille. Emphasizing the cuisine of the Southwest, Executive Chef Kevin Myers uses the ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers and using all natural ingredients. Food and Beverage director Brian Blanke will compliment the food by featuring Arizona wines, spirits and beers along with other selections. I recently had the opportunity to taste several items from the new menu to debut April 5th, 2012.

The evening started with select cocktails of our choice including Flagstaff’s High Spirits Distillery gin for Martinis.
If your a fan of corned beef hash you won’t be disappointed by the Corned Beef & Green Chile Hash that comes topped with an Sunny Side Up egg. tasty and with a hint of spice this is a good way to start your day.

I enjoyed the Duck & Brie Quesadilla that includes duck confit, caramelized apples and Brie cheese and drizzled with Balsamic vinegar. A nice combination of sweet, creamy and savory make this a unique take on the classic appetizer.

Locally grown vegetables are the stars of 2 of the salads I tasted, The Rocket Salad uses Arugula that is tossed with dried apricot,  aged Manchego cheese, pistachios and oregano dressing. The Beet Salad is complimented with Purple Haze goat cheese, baby lettuce and a hazelnut vinaigrette. Both salads are flavorful and make for a great light lunch or as a start to your dinner.

Pressed Pulled Pork Sandwich uses in house seasoned and smoked pork that comes served on a locally baked Ciabatta rolled and is topped with Arugula, sweet and sour onions and a Guajillo pepper aioli. This was one of my favorites of the evening and comes served with thick cut, crispy French fries.

Two of the entrees were tasted on this evening and I recommend both of them. If you’re in the mood for fish the pan seared Grouper should serve you well. The white, flaky fish is served over a bed of spaghetti squash, it is drizzled with smoked tomato butter and comes with braised greens that offer a nice contrast to the other ingredients. If red meat is part of your plan the Whiskey Braised Shortribs is not to be missed. Placed atop a pile of white cheddar and chive mashed potatoes, it comes with spinach from local farmers markets, an oven roasted tomato and its own juices pour over it. Tender and flavorful the meat is very good.

All courses were paired with the wines from Arizona Stronghold Vineyards with the exception of the pork sandwich which was paired with Lake Havasu City’s Mudshark Brewery’s Scorpion Amber Ale. The wines all tasted very good and were paired well with the food. National Sales Manager Paula Woosley joined us to talk about the wines and the success Arizona Stronghold and the Arizona wine industry is enjoying.

Graze Desert Grille
7677 East Princess Boulevard
Scottsdale, Arizona 85255
480.585.1000

http://grazedesertgrille.com/