If you haven’t made your way to Mora Italian yet like me, their new happy hour menu might convince you to head there today. Monday – Friday from 4-6 p.m. you can save some dough on pork ribs, veal meatballs, salumi & cheese and more.
For $20 choose from combos including a Rimini pizza or Salumi Board with a bottle of rose or a carafe of an Aperol Spritz.
Cocktails are also included on the new menu including Sangria & Aperol Spritz for $5, an Americano for $7 and more.
Mora Italian new summer dishes
Celebrity chef & restaurateur lends his culinary creativity to Mora Italian and is showcased in three new dishes for summer. Chef Matt Taylor and his team execute the menus in the kitchen. These new dishes are perfect for lighter and cooler summer dining.
Artichoke Soup with truffle, Parmesan bread and pignoli.
10 oz. Prime Niman Ranch NY Strip with charred potato panzanella and grilled ramp vinaigrette.
Roasted Summer Squash with smoked yogurt, Feta and neonata.
The Phoenix restaurant offers guests a modern osteria experience with Neopolitan pizzas, pasta dishes, satisfying entrees and delicious desserts. Progressive cocktails and a wine list round out the experience.
Mora Italian is at 5651 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014. (602)795-9943
Like many of us living in Arizona, I too came from somewhere else. Across the river from New York City in suburban New Jersey I grew up on take-out pizza, diner food, and bagels. Despite many New York and New Jersey transplants opening restaurants serving food from our home state those foods just taste better back east. Whenever I head back for a visit I head for my favorite foods and I was back a couple of weeks ago.
Most people wouldn’t visit these family restaurants in suburban Bergen County unless you’re visiting family or friends in the area. But if you live there or happen to be traveling through the small towns that dot the metro area they’re easy to find.
When you don’t know what you want or everybody wants something different a local diner is always a good call. So with family who flew into town we headed to to Matthews Colonial Diner in Waldwick. Wanting a char-broiled burger I opted to eat healthy knowing there would be plenty of food this week. The Beet & Goat Cheese Salad was a solid and out of the ordinary choice for me. My family knowing my eating habits gave me the “are you feeling ok” look when the word salad came out of my mouth.
Seems like Italian food reigned the week with 2 or 3 meals as we wound having pizza or pasta delivered. A favorite of my sister and her family is The Sicilian Sun in Ho-Ho-Kus. Whether we walk over to dine-in or have it delivered it rarely disappoints. Ordering take-out I went pasta free ordering Chicken Scarpello with sausage, pepperoncini, mushrooms, garlic and a touch of garlic. So good I may have to head back sooner than later to get it again.
Wednesday lunch had a group of 20 family and friends at the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern for a 4 course lunch. Lots of history at this place that was constructed in 1796. The entree course had your typical, beef, chicken and fish option along with Bolognese Tagliatelle. I had the latter, I told you there was a lot of Italian food.
In the city
A trip to New Jersey isn’t complete without a visit to New York City. Thursday I caught a ride to lower Manhattan’s Financial District to play tourist and walk off the calories I consumed.
Getting into the city early I grabbed a a quick lox, egg & tomato bagel from the Park Place location of Lenwich, a local chain of sandwich shops I’ve never experienced before. Not my typical bagel and lox combination but it gave me the fuel I needed to pound the pavement.
Meeting a friend for lunch who had little time we opted for “street meat” from a food truck nearby. The city is know for it’s food trucks and carts offering a quick and reasonably priced lunch. We went for Mediterranean food and I opted for a falafel sandwich and my friend with a chicken and rice. Filling portions for only $5 each. The weather was one of the nicer days so we opted for a park bench to eat and chat.
Back on the Jersey side
Thursday dinner had us ordering in…… pizza from Anthony Franco’s Pizzeria. A visit to Jersey wouldn’t be a visit to Jersey without a couple of pizza pies. Sausage, onions, mushrooms and more topping our pies a few slices for now and few left for later.
In between rain drops on Friday I decided to give in to my burger craving at Red Cedar Market Season Kitchen for their RCM Mushroom and Swiss burger. This busy cafe made the best burger I’ve had in a while. Made to order and cooked to my preferred medium rare and drizzled with truffle oil and served with delicious fries.
Dinner had heading to the State Line Diner, a couple of miles south of the New York state border on Route 17. So much to choose from I didn’t know what I was going with until the words “Roat Beef & Swiss Cheese Triple Decker sandwich with a side of Steak Cut Onion Rings” came out. The rare roast beef was good but I wish I hadn’t ordered the onion rings as I compared them to a hometown favorite pile from the defunct Louie’s Charcoal Pit.
A quick trip upstate to Saratoga Springs
Saturday afternoon I drove up the New York Thruway to visit a friend I met in Arizona who re-located back home to upstate New York.
Once arriving I made my way to Broadway, the main drag in Saratoga Springs, waiting for my friend to get off work. The best weather of my visit had people out & about on this late Saturday afternoon and I found Druthers Brewery for a cold Raspberry Nut Brown Ale. It hit the spot before I strolled the downtown to Congress Park to taste the spring water known for in the area.
With other friends taking the train from Boston for an overnight visit the plan was for a festive Paella dinner. After wine, a generous portion of charcuterie and realizing it was late our Paella dinner was tabled until Sunday brunch. Made from scratch with each the chicken, shrimp and chorizo cooked separately we all watched and helped prepare as we sipped on our cups of Spot Coffee, an upstate coffee roaster.
Dinner on Sunday night in Saratoga had us paying a visit to get this, a new Italian restaurant Solevo Kitchen & Social. For an appetizer we ordered the tasty Eggplant Chips drizzled with Calabrian Chili Honey and basil. My friends ordered the Sunday Sauce, rigatoni and meatballs in a San Marzano plum tomato sauce and Gnochhi with wild mushrooms, arugula, rosemary in a brown butter sauce.
After seeing several Items I’d already had that week I went with The Cortile, a mix of prosciutto, sweet peas, ground veal in a plum tomato & cream sauce with tagliatelle. Red wine and my Pinky Ring cocktail accompanied our meal and all were satisfied for our walk home.
Back to Jersey then back to Arizona
After a fun visit upstate I made my trip back down to New Jersey Monday morning. Deciding to raid my sisters cabinets and refrigerator for late lunch and early dinner I opted not to order….Italian food for dinner. Despite my best efforts to taste my niece and nephews Chicken Parmigna their like me very protective of their food. Early Tuesday I was on a plane back to my current home, Scottsdale.
More New Jersey and New York eats on my next visit east. See my Instagram for pictures of my visit @SandyWass
Hard to believe it was 9 years ago when Phoenicians fell in love with Pomo Pizzeria. Since then the original location at The Borgata has re-located up the street to Gainey Ranch, a Gilbert and downtown Phoenix location have opened and owner Stefano Fabbri has opened Mora Italian, Luna Gelateria and Meat the Ball. The pizzeria also has racked up numerous accolades for it Neapolitan style pizza.
What better way to celebrate than throwing a pizza party which is what will happen on Thursday May 9th. From 5 – 7 p.m. at the three Pomo locations the public is welcome to join the free party.
Party goers will taste dishes from their happy hour menu, Aperol spritz’s and non-alcoholic punch.
Stefano Fabbri, owner of popular Phoenix restaurants Mora Italian and Pomo Pizzeria announced he’s opening a new restaurant, Meat the Ball. The full-service restaurant will open Thursday March 21st at the Biltmore Fashion Park.
The menu will include an impressive line-up of meatballs made with sausage, veal, salmon and more. In addition to meatballs the restaurant will offer appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts.
“I’m thrilled to introduce Meat the Ball, a mini restaurant with a big personality centered on the quintessential meatball and its street food friends. We will have authentic recipes prepared with locally sourced and organic products to celebrate today’s healthy dining, Italian style,” says Fabbri.
The 1,500 square foot restaurant will look like a 50’s style diner and decorated with pop-art and a retro theme.
Meat the Ball will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Biltmore Fashion Park is at 2502 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. For more information visit their website.
The pain relieving extract from the marijuana plant, Cannabidiol (CBD) is showing up on restaurant menus and in food products. The non- psychoactive ingredient won’t get you high but will help you with physical and mental issues. Spinelli’s Pizzeria on Mill Ave. has introduced CBD infused pizza’s and 6 infused specialty cocktails.
“I truly believe in innovative forms of treating pain and mood disorders and I’m so proud we’re the first bar and restaurant in the area to offer CBD extract to our guests,” said Christopher Palma, owner of Spinelli’s Pizzeria.
Guests can add a single dose of CBD oil to any cocktail, soda, beer or slice of pizza for pizza $5. To add to a whole pizza it’s $10.
6 CBD infused specialty cocktails are available for the month of February and are described below.
The Drug Mule– Tito’s Vodka, Agwa de Bolivia, Goslings Ginger Beer, fresh mint, CBD Extract $12
CBDITO– A Tito’s vodka mojito with CBD Extract $12
Cucumber Lemonade– Hendrick’s Gin with homemade lemonade and CBD extract $12
Wake & Bake– A Jack Daniel’s cocktail infused with CBD extract that taste like waffles and syrup $9
The Caregiver’s Daughter– This fruity cocktail made is made with Southern Comfort and infused with CBD extract $9
Doobie Snack– Malibu, melon liquor, Crème de Banana, pineapple juice and CBD extract $9
Spinelli’s Pizzeria is at 420 S. Mill Ave. Tempe 85281. For more information follow Spinelli’s on Instagram and Facebook
Maggiore’s family restaurants dates back to the late 1970’s in Phoenix. Tomaso led the way with his iconic restaurant Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant at Camelback and 32nd St. and his son Joey has learned how to open successful restaurants. In mid February, Joey & Christina Maggiore and partner Flora Tersigni introduce their newest concept The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market.
The Sicilian Baker joins the groups Hash Kitchen and The Sicilian Butcher, favorites among Phoenix restaurants. The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market will be located next door to The Sicilian Butcher in Phoenix.
Build-your-own- cannoli -bar
Sign me up for the build-your-own cannoli bar along with fresh pasta, meats and cheeses from the market. Master pastry chef Giovanni La Rosa, a cousin of Maggiore is working with them from Sicily to create specialized desserts and pastries.
The signature cannoli bar will feature 10 flavored creams for customers to choose from. Mix and match and choose your cannoli shell dipped or not we can have fun here. Small to foot long shells will be available.
“This is definitely something one-of-a-kind in the United States,” said Maggiore. “We’re bringing Sicily to the footsteps of Phoenix with what we’re building next to the Tatum and Greenway location.”
The spacious restaurant designed by Cristina features black porcelain tile, sliding barn doors and colorful food cases. Smell and taste fresh cassattas, sfinci (Italian treats) from pastry chefs as you linger between the 2 concepts.
Expanding the Sicilian Baker
The Maggiore’s have their eyes on 2 additional locations for the Sicilian Baker. The will open next door to the Sicilian Butcher in Chandler and have eyes on the west valley.
The new bakeries are planning for a 2019 opening with more to follow throughout Arizona.
The Maggiore’s should open The Sicilian Butcher in Chandler(3151 W. Frye Rd.) in March 2019 with the bakery to follow.
Everything Italian will be celebrated February 23rd & 24th at the 6th Annual Italian Festival in Scottsdale. The popular 2-day festival is organized by The Italian Association of Arizona with part of the proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul. The festival returns to the “Piazza del Southbridge” along the waterfront in downtown Scottsdale.
Wine, gelato, homemade meatballs and delicious Italian food favorites will be available as you stroll among traditional Italian crafts vendors. Live music and dancing by Italian folk group A Ziarella, Di Gala, Phoenician Tenors and Sima and her All Star Trio will entertain.
Celebrity chef Marco Sciortino will be there and offer cooking demonstrations at the Galbani Cheese stage.
Tickets are $10 with children under 12 free and are available online. The festival starts Saturday & Sunday at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and 6 p.m.
2019 starts relatively quick here in Scottsdale with many of our valley’s activities kicking off. Before the PGA and MLB take the stage car enthusiasts flock to Scottsdale for 2 weeks in January. Russo & Steele start the auction season off on January 12th at Salt River Fields then Barrett- Jackson returns to north Scottsdale.
Whether you’re on your way to the auction or just bid on your dream car you need to eat and there are plenty of local restaurants on the way.
Local eateries near Russo & Steele
Within a few miles there are plenty of Scottsdale restaurants to feed all appetites.
Babbo Italian Eatery– 8840 E. Talking Stick Way. Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Fired Pie at Mountain View 9619 N. Hayden Rd. #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Ph. 480.948.0808
Pomo Pizzeria Scottsdale–8977 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Fired Pie at Fashion Square Mall. 7014 E. Camelback Rd,
Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Ph 480.874.4203
Hash Kitchen– 8777 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85253.
U.S. Egg- North Scottsdale- 7119 E. Shea Blvd. Scottsdale 85253
Headed to Barrett-Jackson
Some of the same restaurants have location further north and can accommodate those heading to Barrett-Jackson at Westworld.
Grimaldi’s at The Scottsdale Quarter.- 15147 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale. 85254
Twin Peaks– 8787 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Scottsdale 85260
BLK Live– 7301 E. Butherus Dr. Scottsdale 85260
Fired Pie at Raintree- 14740 N. Northsight Blvd. Scottsdale 85260.
Fired Pie at Zocollo Plaza– 15425 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85254.
As Phoenix restaurants fill up with New Year’s Eve reservations diners decide where to dine for a final meal of 2018. Mora Italian offers a 4 course prie fixe menu starting at 4 p.m. The Italian influenced menu offers guests a wide range of flavors from Chef Scott Conant and his culinary team. This will be the only dining option at Mora on NYE.
The modern Italian menu is as follows….
First (choice of)
Radicchio & Endives- blood orange, pignoli, black olives
I reported in May the owners of Clever Koi we’re opening Fellow Osteria and Pizzeria in Scottsdale. Today is opening day and the foodies in south Scottsdale couldn’t be happier. Fellow Osteria joins New York Bagels & Bialys and Bitters Bar and Food at Skysong at Scottsdale and McDowell Rd.
Born & Raised Hospitality partners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano realized the potential the south Scottsdale neighborhood has with the new development going on. Townhouses along McDowell Rd. and a revitalized Papago Plaza coming soon this popular neighborhood needed good dining options.
The menu was designed by chef Claudio Urciuloli of Pa’la and offers a taste of the Italian countryside. Sourcing rustic pasta grains to a garden out front the partners have gone to great lengths with this ambitious project.
The all day eatery will offer food, wine, beer and craft cocktails with coffee and ice cream from Sweet Republic.
I will be visiting Fellow Osteria next week and you can follow me on Instagram @SandyWass to see what’s up.
Fellow Osteria is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.