New restaurant alert in Tucson….Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo) has opened it’s doors.

Restaurants come and go and in Tucson a new has opened, Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo) www.soho-az.com opened about a month ago. The kitchen is led by Chef Ben Lieberman whom has been leading San Diego’s dining scene at restaurants that include Searsucker and Burlap and has also included stints in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

With creative appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees, SoHo offers lunch, Happy hour and dinner uses high quality meats and seafood for its menu that include a broad selection of sandwiches and burgers. “Each item on our menu has been carefully thought-out and perfected,” said Chef Lieberman. “Our focus is on home cooked food made from scratch. The result is entrées that are reminiscent of traditional comfort food while also celebrating a modern upscale gastro pub approach to food and service.”

Through his experience is various cuisines Lieberman enjoys showcasing the unique flavors that are created by combining ingredients in an innovative way that is perfect for SoHo. Some of those menu items include Crispy Ahi Tuna with apple kimchi, tempura asparagus & soy caramel ($18.00), Social House Extreme Burger with foie gras, fried egg, truffle aioli & provolone ($18.00), Firecracker Duck Drums with spicy hoisin bbq, green onions & sesame seeds ($10.00), Bacon & Eggs with spicy hoisin bbq, pork belly, poached egg, brioche & brown butter hollandaise ($11.00), Spiced Venison Carpaccio with pecorino, fried caper, yoke & truffle aioli ($11.00) and the Blackened Salmon Tataki with roasted sweet corn relish & horseradish whipped cream ($10.00).

To compliment the menu, there are 32 beers on tap and a distinctive wine list has been created.

Social House Kitchen & Pub (SoHo), 446 North Campbell Avenue Suite 150, in Tucson, AZ is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. (520)747-5223

Celebrate Oktoberfest at Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market with BBQ and beer from Grand Canyon Brewing Co.

Leafs turning colors, football and baseballs playoffs in full swing are just some of the things that happen in the month of October. It’s also Oktoberfest when beer is on the brain and Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market www.TomsThumbFreshMarket.com is celebrating with its 1st beer dinner on October 18th. This 4 course dinner pairs Chef Trudie’s BBQ with beers from Grand Canyon Brewing Co. The dinner is part Tom’s “101 & Bell” classes. Brian Udvardi from World Class Beverages will be on hand to discuss the beers. Guests will enjoy a four-course meal from 6:30 – 8pm. Cost for dinner is $36 per person. Pre-paid reservations are required and can be by calling or visiting the market (480-513-8186 / 9393 E. Bell Rd., Scottsdale).

Below is the pairing menu.

Artichoke-Parmesan stuffed Jalapeño wrapped in Prosciutto

Grand Canyon Pilsner

Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Pulled Pork, Chipotle Crema and Pepitas

Grand Canyon Sunset Amber

Sliced Smoked Brisket over Black Beans served with Fiesta Slaw and Jalapeño Cornbread

Grand Canyon IPA

Harvest Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Porter-Agave reduction

Grand Canyon Pumpkin Porter

Bungalow Bar & Grill is newly remodeled and has some new menu items.

During the dog days of summer old town Scottsdale’s Bungalow Bar & Grill www.bungalowbarandgrill.com embarked on some remodeling and menu changes. Adding booths and tables to the upper dining area as well as new lighting and a new sound system were just a few of the changes. Knocking out the front wall to add a roll up front wall, large screen TVs and contemporary colors were added to the 8-year-old Bungalow.

Bungalows Salmon Club

Bungalow’s Pear Salad

Some of the new menu items include a Turkey burger ($10.50), Grilled Salmon Club Sandwich ($11), Bungalow’s Pear Salad ($11) and on the dinner menu the Tempura Stuffed Chicken ($16) that is stuffed with shrimp, mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella cheese and red bell peppers and comes with rice and Mandarin Orange sauce.
Bungalow Bar & Grill is at 4360 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale AZ. 85251 (480)994-1888

Tempura stuffed chicken

Fleming’s Steakhouse Pinot Noir Smackdown

I was recently invited to taste some of the Pinot Noirs put on the new Fleming’s 100 wines by the glass list. Having gone through my Pinot Noir phase before it’s popularity skyrocketed in 2004 with the release of the movie “Sideways” it takes a lot to impress me specifically a well-balanced Pinot that is not to oaky and toasty and more fruit driven.

With 8 wines tasted 7 were from California and Oregon and 1 was from New Zealand and here is what I thought of them….

2009 Garnet from Monterey County is made from all estate grown fruit near the Santa Lucia Highlands this wine was medium in body with a hint of spice, good fruit and dry. It finished smooth and had a bit of hazelnuts and cedar.

2010 A to Z Wineworks sources their fruit from at least 16 different Oregon vineyards. It had a nice nose of berries, made like most Oregon wines in a Burgundian style emphasizing toasty oak and minerals it was drier and powerful.

The 2009 Three Saints from Santa Maria Valley was a favorite. Made from all estate grown fruit from vineyards not far from the Pacific, that leads to cool ocean breezes and a longer growing season adding complex flavors. This wine was a was big, with hints of strawberries on the nose and on the palate along with wildflower aromas.

2009 MacMurray Ranch in the Sonoma Coast area was once owned by actor Fred Macmurray of TVs “My 3 Sons”. This wine is aged in both American and European oak and has a ruby color. With easy current and berry flavors this wine was well-balanced.

The 2009 Cambria “Julia’s Vineyard” from Santa Maria Valley is a Cab drinkers Pinot as it’s full-bodied with big oak and toast is very obvious. It’s aromas of cherries and berries give way to vanilla and cinnamon ion the palate along with some earthy flavors before its long finish.

2009 Migration is made by Duckhorn Vineyards and the fruit comes from the cool climate of Anderson Valley. It’s another big Pinot and is both spicy and fruity. The acidity makes for good food pairing along with a smoky finish and dry finish this would also make a cab drinker happy.

The 2010 Belle Glos “Meiomi” sources fruit from up and down the coast in all Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties. Owned by Caymus Vineyards Wagner family, it’s made by 3rd generation winemaker and grandson of the founders Joe Wagner. This wine is medium in body, with a good fruit finish. It’s a good representation of the families traditional wine making along with 21st century innovation. Its long finish is worth savoring.

The 2010 Saint Clair “Vicar’s Choice” from Marlborough, New Zealand was the only imported Pinot and has a very old world nose and style. Known for their Sauvignon Blanc they are gaining a reputation for Pinot Noir as this wine has already garnered 2 Gold Medals. With well-balanced tannins and acidity it covers the palate with toasty oak and red cherries. A mellow finish offers up a hint of vanilla.

After tasting through these 8 Pinots I feel confident that each of their styles will pair well with any number of entrees that Fleming’s has to offer.

Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and breakfast at Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market in Scottsdale.

Fast cars and good food are just 2 of America’s favorite past times. On the morning of Saturday, Sept. 22nd the 2 come together as Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market welcomes The Ferrari Club of America Desert Region, The AZ Lamborghini Club and Scuderia Southwest. Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market has been voted one of Phoenix Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in the Valley and Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s are some of the most exotic cars made.

Local car enthusiast and collectors will cruise the Scottsdale streets to Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market Place to display their beautiful pieces of rolling art.

Gas, check. Coffee, check. Breakfast, check. Detailed Car Washes with the crew in white jump suits, check. Tom’s Thumb has everything these auto devotees could want on an early Saturday morning.

Chef Tudie has whipped up a wide variety of breakfast items to accompany the coffee bar including whole grain waffles-served with maple or agave syrup for $5.99, a BLT with apple wood smoked bacon, fried egg, crisp lettuce, fresh sliced tomatoes and aioli on lightly toasted whole grain artisan bread with shoestring fries for $7.99, Breakfast Tacos with flour tortillas, pico de gallo and a side of chipotle salsa Potato, Egg and Cheese for $4.99.

This is a great time to come and bring the whole family out to view one-of-a-kind automobiles such as the Lamborghini Countach & Diablo, the Ferrari 512TR, the Porsche 996 Twin Turbo, and many more exotics and vintage cars. These are the type of automobiles you will typically see at Barrett Jackson and Russo Steele in January!

So bring your camera and your appetite. This just the start of some of the Fall activities planned at Tom’s Thumb for your family and your car.

Saturday, September 22nd
7:30am-9:30am

Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market is at 9393 E. Bell Road on the Southwest corner of 94th and Bell in North Scottsdale. The market is open from 6 am – 10pm. Pumps are open 24 hours. Contact Tom’s online at TomsThumbFreshMarket.com and at 480-513-8186 or on Facebook (toms-thumb-fresh-market) and the Twitter (@thethumb1).