The Vig McDowell Mountain to open June 5th

After months of searching for the right location and construction Genuine Concepts is ready to open its new location of The Vig in north Scottsdale. With the McDowell Mountains serving as a backdrop the restaurant is set to open June 5th and will be the 5th location of the successful modern tavern and the 2nd in Scottsdale.

At the intersection of Bell Rd. and Thompson Peak Parkway is where excited residents and visitors will be headed to enjoy the lunch, dinner and brunch in this spacious restaurant of over 13,000 square feet indoors and out.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design

The natural desert setting and straight lined designed building was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tucker Woodbury, a partner in Genuine Concepts says “I had the pleasure of once again collaborating on the design of the property with Artie Vigil and his team atAV3 Design. We both love the simplicity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West’s iconic structure and the Usonian style of architecture it represents, which was the inspiration of the design. With a lot of help and collaboration with our development team” YAM Properties, Alexander Building Company, K&IArchitects, the City of Scottsdale and our Genuine Concepts team, we were able to bring our vision to fruition. The end result is an astonishing property and we can’t wait to show it off! “

The Vig McDowell Mountain location

The Vig McDowell Mountain’s location will satisfy all whether your coming of one of the trails of the nearby Sonoran Mountain Preserve, any of the annual events that take place such as the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction or Waste Management Golf Open Tournament. Also an idea spot for residents and visitors to come out to mix and mingle and enjoy the newest member of the community.

Community involvement

Genuine Concepts is a locally owned restaurant group and is committed to to the communities in which there restaurants are located and north Scottsdale will benefit from their new neighbors. The Vig McDowell Mountain will be making an ongoing contribution to the Sonoran Mountain Preserve with sales from its “Bitty Cocktail”. Named after the Bitty Cycling Club, 50 cents from each rum & Coke style drink will be donated to help keep the trails of the McDowell Mountain Preserve safe and maintained for its users.

VMM is located at 10199 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am & Sunday 10am-11pm

 

 

 

Zuzu introduces new dinner menu from Chef Russell Lacasce

When I wrote about new executive chef Russell Lacasce taking over the kitchen at the Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant Zuzu back in Dec. I wondered what direction he would take the restaurant. I now know as Lacasce has introduced his first dinner menu since arriving at the Zuzu in January. A few restaurant bloggers and myself had the opportunity to taste several of the new menu items and speak to Lacasce and other members of his culinary team.

Zuzu Lobster Rolls

“I wanted the new menu to be very approachable, while offering dishes with complex combinations of flavors and textures that diners might not expect,” said LaCasce. “Everything is fresh and seasonal, with a strong focus on showcasing our amazing local farmers and purveyors.” Several of the Zuzu’s previous American comfort food staples are still available in the lounge.

Chef Russell Lacasce new menu items

The new menu includes dishes that perfect for sharing and include….

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare with spicy chicharones, Avocado mousse, Heirloom tomatoes, with a local Feta and shallot buttermilk dressing. This small plate tasted fresh with a hint of spice and a nice touch from the crispy chicharone.

Chef Russell Lacasce Hawaiian Ahi Tartare

The Burrata has a creamy and smooth texture and the addition of pickled strawberries & toasted pistachios give it flavors you’d be hard pressed to find on other plates of Burrata around town.

The Hokkaido Scallops comes three to a serving separated by one of the more unique ingredients I’ve found recently, fried Meyer lemon wedges. Both are served over a bed of toasted cous cous & pine nuts and drizzled with a shellfish butter. The scallops practically melt in your mouth and citrus flavor and crunch from the Panko crusted fried lemon may have made me a scallop convert. This dish is not to be missed by scallop enthusiasts.

The entrée we tasted was the item on the whole menu that raised my eye brow when I read it…..Baker’s Bacon Chop. A 20 lb. back bacon loin that is house carved, cured, smoked and honey lacquered prior to being plated. Served with green harissa, burnt orange, fresh herbs, pickled chiles and pork rinds. All I can say is WOW! A loin of crispy back bacon will give a whole new meaning to bacon. It’s also great for those who prefer gluten-free dinners.

What’s next at Zuzu

At the same time the dinner menu debuted in early May, Lacasce introduced a lounge menu and new dessert menu from pastry chef Audrey Enriquez. In coming weeks he will be rolling out new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus for diners to sink their teeth into. If his first menu is any indication of what’s to come in June we should be pick a day now, circle on the calendar and plan to check out Zuzu.

Zuzu is in the Hotel Valley Ho at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251 (480)376-2600 http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/ZuZu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Rail and Beckett’s Table treat moms right on Mother’s Day

Are you scrambling trying to figure out where to take mom for Mother’s Day on Sunday? No sweat as Southern Rail & Beckett’s Table is offering a laid back atmosphere for mom and the family. To help put her in a relaxing mood they will be offering a complimentary glass of bubbly to the hardest working member of the family.

Mother’s Day Scottish Salmon at Southern Rail

Mother’s Day specials

In addition to the bubbly for mom, both restaurants will be serving their seasonal menus and 1/2 price bottles of Arizona wines for the whole family.

Southern Rail will be serving up a gluten-free special of Organic Scottish Salmon served a top a bed of roasted cauliflower, spinach with a dill caper roasted garlic butter for $24.

Beckett’s Table will be offering a Mother’s Day special of Pan Seared Scallops alongside of green beans, potatoes, Chorizo, spinach, almonds and a creme fraiche for $28.

Beckett’s Table will open an hour earlier at 4p.m. and Southern Rail’s Brunch starts at 11 a.m. with reservations recommended for both restaurants. Call Southern Rail at 602-200-0085 http://southernrailaz.com/ and Beckett’s Table 602-954-1700 http://beckettstable.com/

 

 

Easter weekend is hopping at The Wigwam resort

Those looking for a family friendly Easter celebration in Phoenix’s west valley have few choices when it comes to celebrating with the classic resort style brunch. Good news as the historic AAA Four-Diamond Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park is celebrating on both Saturday and Sunday April 15th & 16th.

Easter bunny breakfast at The Wigwam

Kids get ready as the Easter Bunny will be hopping in to the resort’s Aztec Ballroom on Saturday morning for a special breakfast from 8 a.m. – 11a.m. The scrumptious menu includes French Toast, mini waffles, an omelette station along with Applewood smoked bacon, Wigwam potatoes, fresh fruit and an assortment of danishes. Breakfast with the Easter Bunny is $25 for adults and $15 for kids  3-12 years old.

After breakfast head out to the resorts lawn for the Easter Eggstravaganza for Egg Roll Races, Easter Bunny Hopping Trail, egg dyeing and animals from the nearby Wildlife World Zoo. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos and other activities are planned. The Eggstravaganza is free and open to the public and runs from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Sunday Easter Brunch

Those looking for a traditional Easter Brunch buffet should head to the Wigwam Ballroom from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday where they can choose maple peppercorn glazed ham, carved pepper crusted sirloin and seared salmon. An omelette station along with pancakes and penne pasta with basil pesto and goat cheese will also be available. Reservations are required and the cost is $48 for adults, $20 for kids 3 – 12 years old and free for kids under 2 years old.

A four course brunch will be available in Litchfield’s Restaurant that will feature an appetizer course with your choice of field greens, antipasti or fresh berries. Guests can choose from Caprese Benedict, smoked salmon flatbread, shrimp & grits or Huevos Rancheros for an entrée. A dessert station with a selection of truffles, fruit tarts. macrons and other desserts will be available to end your meal. Reservations for Sunday Brunch can be made by calling (623)935-3811. For more information go to http://www.wigwamarizona.com/

 

Foodie “Nirvana” coming to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

When we hear the word “Nirvana” we automatically think of the “grunge rock” band of the 1990’s. Definitions of the word slightly vary but many consider it the “ultimate state of happiness” which is what the culinary and marketing team at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa are hoping for as they were brainstorming for a name of their new culinary festival.

Chef Todd English. All photos Courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

An exciting 4 days is planned from April 27th- 30th as festival goers will be able to mix & mingle with celebrity chefs Todd English, Robert Irvine and Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan as they team up with other visiting chefs and Phoenix area chefs, wine makers and mixologists for themed dinners, tastings and a golf tournament.

With our beautiful weather and sunsets you may want to turn the festival into a vacation and stay at Sanctuary in one of their suites, casitas or a private home. A 2 night minimum is required and rooms start $479 per night plus tax & resort fee.

Sanctuary on Camelback infinity pool courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at http://www.nirvanafoodandwine.com/ with the schedule of events below. Part of the proceeds from the festival will benefit HopeKids, an organization that provides events and support for families with a child who has cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Torch

Hosted by celebrity chef and television personality Robert Irvine and local celebrity mixologist Jason Asher, owner of Counter Intuitive and Undertow

Thursday, April 27, 7-10 p.m.; Infinity Pool and Lawn; $125 per person

Torch will kick-off the festival with a poolside Polynesian fantasy. Mixologists will compete at eight stations, as guests rub shoulders with an esteemed panel of judges to select winners of the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards.

Birds and Bubbles

Hosted by chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Todd English

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; The Views Ballroom, Lawn; $135 per person, $225 VIP

Fried chicken and Champagne come together in an inspired pairing as guest chefs put their own spin on the southern specialty, complete with side dishes and bubbly. The all-star local line-up includes Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta and Homeboy’s Hotsauce), Cullen Campbell (Crudo and Okra), Justin Beckett (Southern Rail), Jeremy Pacheco (LON’s at The Hermosa Inn), Gio Osso (Virtù at The Bespoke Inn) and Beau MacMillan. They will be joined by visiting chefs from Palm Beach, Fla.: Clay Conley (Buccan and Grato) and Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House). Festival-goers who book VIP admission enjoy personal time for 45 minutes with their favorite chefs.

American country singer/songwriter D. Vincent Williams & the Nashville Allstars, whose “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” sung by Otto James, topped the country charts in 2008, will provide live entertainment throughout the evening. His songs have also been recorded by major artists like Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and Rascal Flatts (“I’m Movin’ On”).

Master of Taste honoring Chuck Wagner

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

Chuck Wagner, owner and winemaker of Caymus Vineyards, and scion of the legendary Napa Valley vintner family, will be the guest of honor at an intimate dinner at one of Sanctuary’s elegant private estate homes.  The evening will showcase the exceptional vintages of the Wagner Family of Wine and three generations of winemaking talent. Preparing the feast will be local chefs Christopher Gross (Christopher’s and Crush), Matt Carter (Fat Ox and The Mission), Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s and Tarbell’s Tavern), and Beau MacMillan.

Golf Tournament

Saturday, April 29, 10:30 a.m. registration and 12 noon tee; Mountain Shadows; $400 per player

Each foursome will be paired with a renowned chef, star mixologist or notable sports figure at this fun-filled celebrity golf tournament being played at the long-awaited Mountain Shadows course at the base of Camelback Mountain. Plenty of food, beer and spirits will round out an unforgettable day on the links.

Best of the West

Hosted by chef/restauranteur (Mora Italian) and Chopped judge Scott Conant

Saturday, April 29, 7-10 p.m.; Praying Monk and elements restaurant; $145 per person, $225 VIP

Sanctuary’s signature restaurant, elements, and its indoor/outdoor Praying Monk venue will be the setting for Nirvana’s final evening event. More than a dozen elegant restaurant stations will be manned by celebrated chefs from throughout the West, including James Porter (Terra Farm + Manor), Samantha Sanz (Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Troon North), Sean Currid (Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails) and Beau MacMillan. VIP attendees gain early access and extra time with the chefs.

New Orleans Jazz & Bourbon Brunch

Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; elements; $85 per person

Nirvana will come to a rousing finale with a N’Awlins-style jazz brunch complete with live music and a Bourbon twist, serving up everything from étouffée to feather-light beignets at this fun sit-down event.

 

 

U.S. Egg launches “secret” menu items, get a sneak peek here.

The 1st U.S. Egg was hatched back in 1986 with the Gebran family purchasing it in 1991 and hatching 5 more locations across the valley in the last 26 years. To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the opening of the 1st restaurant U.S. Egg has unveiled a “secret menu” for its loyal customers.

Jalapeno Scramble photo courtesy of U.S. Egg

The  restaurant serves breakfast and lunch and the 8 “secret” menu items will be available all day, every day at all 6 locations. All menu items include fresh ingredients and creative flavors for its classic and unique menu items. U.S. Egg is one of the first restaurants to offer a gluten-free menu and is known for their Protein Pancake.

U.S. Egg “secret” menu items

  • Jalapeno Scramble – eggs, chorizo, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and Jack cheese. Served with hash browns and a tortilla. 11.49
  • Durango Burrito – eggs, chicken, green chilies and jack cheese. Topped with salsa and served with hash browns. 11.49
  • South Beach French Toast – French toast topped with blueberries, bananas, strawberries and fresh whipped cream. 11.49
  • Manhattan Skillet – Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, Jack cheese served on a bed of hash browns with an English muffin and two eggs. 11.49
  • Roast Beef Melt – roast beef, melted cheddar cheese, tomato and mayonnaise served on a grilled sourdough bun with a side of fries or coleslaw. 11.49
  • Hawaiian BBQ Chicken – barbeque chicken is topped with grilled pineapple and melted Swiss cheese served with fries or cole slaw. 11.49
  • BLLT – bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey served on whole wheat toast served with fries or cole slaw. 11.49
  • Southwestern Chicken Melt – chicken breast, melted cheddar cheese, green chili sauce served on a grilled sourdough bun with a side of fries or cole slaw. 11.49
    South Beach French Toast. Photos courtesy of U.S. Egg

    In addition to good food U.S. Egg recently started selling their own locally roasted signature blend Guatemalan Sunrise coffee.

To find a U.S. Egg near you visit http://www.useggrestaurant.com/

 

 

 

A garden fresh Easter brunch at The Farm at South Mountain

With St. Patrick’s Day in the rear view mirror and spring training closer to the end than the start, restaurants are now looking to Easter Sunday for more spring time fun & celebrating. The Farm at South Mountain is no different and is gearing up for its garden fresh Easter brunch on Sun. April 16th.

Considered as one of the best brunches in Phoenix, seating will be begin at 8:30 a.m. and every 15 minutes after that until 11:15 a.m. Guest will be able to enjoy over 10 buffet options that include a selection of fresh-baked pastries including Coffee Cake, Danishes and more along with The Farm’s famous Pecan French Toast, scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, salsa, vegetables and more.You can’t serve brunch without Applewood smoked bacon and country sausage.

If you prefer to eat on the lighter side several salads including Caprese and Kale & Quinoa will be available along with yogurt and granola, dried fruits and cheeses and much more.

Make sure you’re wearing your Sunday best as the Easter bunny will be there to have your photo taken. After brunch burn it off by playing one of the several yard games, stroll through the garden or the chicken coop.

This special brunch is priced at $55.95 for adults, $25.95 for children 8-12 years, $15.95 for children 2-7 years and children under 2 are free. An 8.1% sales tax & 20% production fee are extra and cancellations will not be accepted after April 12th. For more information, to view the full menu & make a reservation for the family visit http://www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com/

The Farm at South Mountain is at 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix 85042. (602)243-9081