Sam Stezo knows Chinese food has a misunderstood reputation. It’s one he’s been passionate about changing at his Gilbert restaurant for nearly a decade. His Gilbert restaurant, Dragon Wok, serves Fine Chinese Dining with a warm and inviting ambience. This is the first perception of what Fine Chinese Dining really means. It is quickly followed with a menu of healthy and authentic Chinese cuisine.
Stezo, affectionately known as “Dragon Sam,” has taken traditional, secret family recipes and added modern, contemporary touches to his offerings of Chinese food and specialty dishes. His meals represent a value in quality and taste unmatched by other restaurants in the East Valley.
Sam’s father is a grand master chef from Hong Kong, and he learned about the connection between ingredients, food and life early on.
“Chinese cuisine has always been about balance – eating for your health, the season, even your mood,” he explains. “But today, there are so many versions of Chinese food out there that the balance and connection has been lost. I hope I can educate more diners about what our authentic Chinese dishes are meant to be, and help them re-establish that balance.”
Sam starts with a traditional Chinese menu with dishes like Mongolian Beef, Kung Pao Shrimp & Chicken, General Spicy Chicken and Beer & Broccolli. But diners know the difference Dragon Wok represents after just one bite. The taste and flavors are not smothered in sauce, but actually work in unison with each other to deliver a truly traditional taste.
This is the heart behind Dragon Wok’s definition of Chinese dining, and why his customers loyally return again and again – no matter where they live.
|Happy hour selections
“Cooking is like an art. It is like being a musician. We all have the same notes to work with and the same ingredients, but is it my job to combine them into something beautiful that the diner can enjoy,” says Sam.
He does this with top quality ingredients and a variety of herbs and spices that bring out the flavors with minimal calories. For example, he uses lemon and lime to cut cholesterol and fat; chrysanthemum, licorice and teas for one-of-a-kind accents; and garlic and ginger in just the right amounts. All vegetables are steamed and cooked in a wok rather than sautéed in heavy oils.
Stezo emphasizes that it’s not the herb and spices individually that make his dishes good, but the blending of all the ingredients together. And in Chinese tradition, when he knows his customers, he can customize dishes to help them be healthier over time.
“I’m not a doctor,” he jokes. “But what you eat is what you are. When my guests say they are they are looking to be healthy in one way or another, I take what I know about them and their tastes to blend our sauces, herbs and spices into dishes they enjoy. It helps them be healthier over time and to have a healthier life.”
Dragon Wok offers daily lunch specials from 11am – 3pm during the week and 12-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Prices range from $6.95 – $8.25. Dinner entrees range from $7.99 – $16.99 and are often served family style. During Happy Hour from 4 – 9 pm there are $5 cocktails, $5 sake bombers, $3 beers and $4 house wines plus half off the second appetizer.
Dragon Wok also offers take out and catering. Contact Dragon Wok at 480-782-6889
|pot stickers, orange chicken and beef skewers.
|Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant is located at 727 W. Ray Road, #B1, in Gilbert. Menus and specials are available online at dragonwok.biz or get updates from Facebook (facebook.com/dragonwokAZ) and Twitter (@dragonwok)