KOVO Modern Mediterranean to open in northeast Phoenix

Long time restaurateur Yianni Ioannou opens his new restaurant KOVO Modern Mediterranean in mid-September on the northeast corner of Shea & Tatum. Growing up in Cyprus he came to the United States and operated Greek restaurants learning all aspects of the restaurant industry.

According to Ioannou, “We are excited to bring to the Valley the simple, delicious flavors and bright spices of the Mediterranean. This area of the globe is a melting pot of cultures and culinary influences. This diversity of cuisine will be showcased at KOVO in a modern, approachable way.”

Traditional dishes at KOVO Modern Mediterranean

KOVO Modern Mediterranean will highlight traditional dishes from family recipes, Yianni’s travels throughout the region and his time in the Greek restaurants. A wood fired oven will cook pizzas and other specialties including lamb, beef and organic chicken. KOVO is Greek for “to carve” and the meats will be cooked vertically in a rotisserie style in the open kitchen.

Shared plates such as hummus, tzatziki, grilled eggplant, grilled octopus and Hallumi will be served along with cheese boards and bruschetta. Savory and sweet pastries including Spanokapita and Baklava will also be served and available for take-out.

Signature cocktails, craft beers and old and new world wines will be served.

The 4,000 square foot restaurant will have an open feel and modern design. Mediterranean tiles and ocean blue accents will highlight design features. The dining room, bar and patio has room for more than 140 guests.

Kovo Modern Mediterranean will be open 7 days a week with lunch and dinner Monday – Friday and brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is at 10625 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, Ariz., 85028. For updates and information check out http://www.kovomedi.com/

 

Much anticipated Ghost Ranch to open August 27th

One of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings of 2018 is happening as August ends when Aaron Chamblerin’s Ghost Ranch opens on the 27th. It’s been a busy year for Chamberlin having opened Taco Chelo in downtown Phoenix and Ghost Ranch’s neighbor Tempe Public Market. He also sold his central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis to focus on opening Ghost Ranch.

All photos courtesy of Ghost Ranch

Eat at Ghost Ranch

The modern Southwestern restaurant located is on the same corner as TPM at the northeast corner of Rural & Warner. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends.

The menu will focus on cuisine from northern Mexico, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico combining the culinary talents of Chamberlin and chefs Rene Andrade  & Roberto Centeno. Both chefs come to Chamberlin Hospitality from other Phoenix area restaurants and will offer dishes from their upbringing in Nogales.

Ghost Ranch
Chile Relleno

“One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of roasting chiles, and it was that smell that made me want to open up a restaurant that embodied the bold flavors of the Southwest,” said Chamberlin. “Rene and Roberto have such a deep understanding of the history, culture and flavors of the region — they are the perfect talents to help make my dream a reality.”

The menu includes red and green chile smothered enchiladas, cowboy steaks, seasonal vegetables from local farmers and grilled trout from the wood smoking grill. Seasonal soups and salads will be on the menu as well.

A beer and wine list has been carefully created as are signature cocktails made with regional ingredients and spirits.

Follow my Instagram @SandyWass as I will be headed to preview Ghost Ranch next week and will be posting from there.

Ghost Ranch is in the Landis Crossing shopping center at 1006 E. Warner Rd Tempe 85254. http://GhostRanchAZ.com.

EVO’s owner opening Breadwinner in downtown Phoenix

Nick Neuman owner of Scottsdale’s EVO has set his sights like many on downtown Phoenix with the August opening of Breadwinner. The sandwich focused hangout will be in The Churchill, the trendy retail & restaurant complex built with shipping containers on the northeast corner of 1st St & Garfield(901 N. 1st St.).

Serving lunch, dinner & weekend brunch Breadwinner will serve handcrafted sandwiches, wraps and salads of the traditional variety with Neuman’s creative twist. Expect the likes of oven roasted turkey, Cuban, Muffeletta or roast beef sandwiches or wraps ($9-$12) along with hearty side dishes, fresh salads and non-alcoholic beverages.

After guests order and pay at the counter their meal will be delivered to them at communal style dining tables in The Churhill’s courtyard.

The sense of community at The Churchill is part of the attraction to Neuman where Breadwinner employees will give 4 hours a month to community service as part of their monthly  “social rent”.

 

Chill out this summer at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

Looking to get away this summer and cool off, look no further than Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. The luxury resort in Paradise Valley offer guests several ways to chill out whether it be through exercise, food or a refreshing cocktail.

Whether you’re flying in for a few days or live here in town and want to get out of the house these escapes will make your day.

Feel good

Paddle board yoga. All photos courtesy of Jake Goodsell of EMA
  • Paddle Board Yoga                                                                                       Elevate your yoga experience with Paddle Board Yoga. Classes are held in the Infinity pool at 7 a.m. every Thursday – Sunday for just $55 per person.
  • Spa Steals                                                                                                            Guests can escape the heat at the Sanctuary Spa. The 60-minute Swedish Massage and Sanctuary Jewel Facial drop to $119 midweek and $139 weekend (regularly $175/$185). Post treatment, guests can relax in the new Women’s Quiet Room – a windowless, cocoon-like escape designed for tranquility that opened this year.  Guests that enjoy a Monday-Thursday spa treatment receive access to the spa and amenities. Included are the infinity pool, lap pool, steam room, whirlpools, relaxation lounges and fitness center—for the entire day.

The foodie in you

  • Summer in Paradise                                                                                                      Simmer down to a three-course meal by Food Network favorite Executive Chef Beau MacMillan at Elements restaurant. Available for $49 per person (plus 50 percent off select wine bottles), not including tax and gratuity from Sunday to Wednesday, June 3 through Aug. 30.
  • Lunch and Learn                                                                                                              Impress friends with new skills after a culinary lesson from Chef Carl Ruiz, Master Mixologist Tony AbouGanim and Chef Danny Grant. Lunch and dinner events will be Saturdays, Aug. 4, 11, 25 and Sept. 1.
  • Brunch at elements                                                                                              End the weekend on a high note with Sunday brunch at Elements from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Must-tries on the a la carte menu: black truffle benedict on English muffin with breakfast potatoes, nueske’s bacon, grilled asparagus and foie gras hollandaise

Resort cocktail events

Singapore Sling
  • Summer Pour                                                                                                                    Cool off at Jade Bar during The Pour (a very happy two hours) with refreshing drink specials every Monday through Friday between 4 and 6 p.m.
  • Live music and Jaded Nights                                                                                   The sounds of jazz, pop and R&B vocalists take hold at jade bar on Friday evenings from 8 to 11 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. When the sun sets, Jaded Nights begins (9 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 13-Aug. 26). Choose from food and drink specials like $9 craft cocktails, $8 Korean Wings, $10 Jade Burger or the $2.50 oyster special.
  • Saturday Mixology 101                                                                                              Perfect for a sleepy Saturday afternoon, Mixology 101 features resort mixologists sharing techniques and tastings of four innovative cocktail creations. Courses are held at noon each Saturday except Aug. 4, 11, 25 and Sept. 1. Reservations required and first timers will receive 15% off food during their class.
  • Sunday Bar Brawl                                                                                                  The heat is on for the region’s best bartenders. Sanctuary’s Bar Brawl is back for its fourth season with new additions and surprises on Sundays, July 15-Aug. 26. Details coming soon. I can tell you there will be a new chef pop-up experience, with a special happy hour menu crafted by a local celebrity chef at each Bar Brawl event. Also, each week’s Lunch & Learn celebrity will serve as a guest judge. On Friday’s, guest bartenders will create Red Bull specialty cocktails from 9 – 10:30 p.m., the guest favorite featured at Sunday’s Bar Brawl.

Sanctuary on Camelback is at 5700 E. McDonald Dr. Paradise Valley 85253. For reservations call 855-245-2051 or on-line.

 

 

Summer specials start early at Hash Kitchen

The unofficial start of summer is a week a way with Memorial Day weekend on the horizon and local restaurants are getting a head start on summer specials. Scottsdale’s Hash Kitchen is one restaurant with specials now available.

Hash Kitchen summer specials

The breakfast and lunch restaurant offers 3 specials to make the summer go by a little easier for you and your wallet.

Bloody Wednesday’s gets you 50% off all Bloody Mary’s every Wednesday’s now until October 1st. Known for their Bloody Mary Bar with over 40 toppings guests can Build Their Own Bloody Mary(BYOBM) or go with The Original or The Virgin.

“Bottomless” Mimosa’s are available every Monday-Friday(except holidays) for penny refills after you’ve bought your first at $9.  Refresh yourself with a blueberry, mango, guava, red grapefruit and other flavored Mimosas all summer long.

Mom Monday’s lets kids under 12 eat free until October 1st when mom or dad purchase an adult entrée except on holidays.

New locations planned

Today there are 2 Hash Kitchen locations in Scottsdale but later this year there are plans to open 2 more locations in Chandler and Arcadia. Scottsdale locations are at Gainey Village at 8777 N. Scottsdale Road and another at 14838 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. For more information check their website.

Cool off this summer with refreshing cocktails and wine at Zuzu

Staying cool and comfortable is at the top of the priority list for the summer months. One of the best ways is to refresh oneself is to stay hydrated and Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale has several ways to quench your thirst and keep you cool this summer.

Chilled signature cocktails, Bloody Mary’s or Mimosa’s  at the bar, frozen desserts and wine in the dining room are just a few of the ways Zuzu helps you beat the heat on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Zuzu
Show Stopper shake. All photos courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

Chill out in the Zuzu Lounge

In the Zuzu Lounge guests can enjoy craft cocktails daily including the bubbly prosecco Fizzy Lifting Drink made with Aperol, club soda, Campari infused blood orange foam and carbonated blackberry.

Looking for a more tropical cocktail then the Second Star to the Right is for you. The tiki styled drink includes two types of rum, tequila, sake, guava nectar, passion fruit puree, orange & pineapple juices and pear-lemon marmalade.

Saturday’s & Sunday’s offers a Bloody Mary + Mimosa Bar from 9:00 a.m. –  2:30 p.m. during brunch for guests to build their own drink.

Summer in the dining room

Start your dinner of with a cold dessert as Zuzu pastry chef Audrey Enriquez continues to dazzle guests with her monthly “Show Stopper” shake. The large dessert combines a variety of house made desserts for the whole table to enjoy. Cinnamon Horchata is May’s shake of the month.

Starting June 4th,  every Sunday – Thursday guests can get 1/2 all bottles of wine when you dine at Zuzu. Guest can enjoy this deal all summer thru September 16th.

Monday Night’s Chef Table continues through the summer with wine dinners. The monthly four-course dinner is prepared by executive chef Russell LaCasce and his culinary team that pairs with wines from around the world.

  • “Farmer in the House’ is the theme for the dinner on May 20th with Duncan’s Trading Company and JUSTIN Wines.
  • June 18th brings New Mexico’s Gruet Winery to Zuzu.
  • July 16th special rose dinner brings four wineries to the table. -Chateau Gassier, Ferrari-Carano, WillaKenzie and Veuve Cliquot wines will be paired & poured.

The dinners start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and are $75 per person plus tax and tip. Reservations can be made by calling 480-376-2600 or by going to their website.

 

 

 

 

Two chefs are better than one at The Market Restaurant +Bar

We’ve seen a lot of chefs combine forces as one way to share the higher costs of running a restaurant(s) these days. The latest duo to design a strategy is local chefs Jennifer Russo of The Market Restaurant + Bar at Jennifer’s and chef David Duarte. The duo started this week with a culinary commencement dinner featuring both chefs preparing dinner for their “space share” concept.

Sharing space at The Market Restaurant + Bar

The “space share” strategy will allow the two chef’s to work independently while sharing the same equipment, dining room etc.  Jennifer will continue to serve brunch, lunch and dinner her customers have been coming back for.

The Market Restaurant + Bar will be open Sat. and Sun. from 9a.m.-3p.m. for brunch, Wed. Thurs. & Fri. from 11 a.m.- 10p.m.  and the 1st & 3rd Sat. for dinner from 5p.m. – 10p.m.

Chef Duarte’s new concept

Chef David Duarte’s “Finestre Modern Gastronomy” will serve dinner at The Market on Sun, Mon,Tues. and the 2nd & 4th Sat. from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Finestre Modern Gastronomy will serve a 5, 7, or 9 course seasonal menu that can be paired with or without wine. Prices will range from $60- $225 per person based number of courses and wine pairing.

“It’s truly my honor to share the space at The Market with David. He’s a culinary genius and will offer a stellar menu that is sure to wow guests,” said Russo.

The Market Restaurant + Bar is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. #Ste. A Phoenix 85018. For more information and to make a reservation call 602-626-5050 or at http://themarketphx.com/

Hula’s Modern Tiki celebrates New Year’s Eve with all day party

With New Year’s Eve on a Sunday this year and a day off on Monday you can say good-bye to 2017 & hello to 2018 starting at 10:30 in the morning at Hula’s Modern Tiki in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Photo courtesy of Hula’s Modern Tiki

New Year’s Eve daytime

Stop in on your way home from church or a hike for Hula’s weekend brunch and all day Happy Hour. Hula’s island inspired brunch includes Eggs Benedict w/ Spam, ham and more will be served until 2:30 p.m.

Happy Hour drinks flow from 10:30 a.m. –  6p.m. with $6 signature tropical cocktails including Dark & Stormy, Zombie and the award-winning Painkiller. Sparkling wine and Mimosa’s will be $3 for day drinking.

Hula's Modern Tiki
Eggs Benedict with Spam. Photo courtesy of Hula’s Modern Tiki

Hula’s at night

Once the sun sets and 2018 gets closer by the second Hula’s continues to party the night away. The kitchen will be cooking up island favorites until 10:00 p.m.  and $3 glasses of Champagne flowing starting at 6:00 p.m.

Ring in the new year at Hula’s at midnight and you’ll be offered a complimentary Champagne toast.

Make your way to Hula’s in Scottsdale at 7213 E. 1st Ave. 85251 or in Phoenix at 4700 N. Central Ave #122 85012. For more information check their  website

 

 

Famous 48 opens in November in downtown Scottsdale

Update: With a month under their belt Famous 48 will start serving brunch on Sat. & Sun’s possibly starting this weekend Dec. 2 & 3rd.

Square One Concepts wasted no time in filling the space left vacant by Crab & Mermaid earlier this year. Realizing people in old town Scottsdale prefer tavern style regional American fare the restaurant group will be opening Famous 48 on Monday November 6th.

Famous 48
Half roasted chicken and other photos courtesy of J. Martin Harris Photography.

Once opened Famous 48 will have an ambience that balances both casual and fine dining and will celebrate the regional cuisine of the lower 48 states of the United States including BBQ, seafood, pizza and other American classic comfort foods. The tavern themed menu will serve food cooked with fresh and high quality ingredients using an artisanal approach to cooking.

Signature cocktails, craft beers from Arizona and wines will compliment the regional cuisine.

Famous 48 hours

The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in the leather booth line dining room and on the patio. Happy Hour starts early at 3p.m. til 6p.m. Mon.-Fri. and will include tasty bites to eat, premium cocktails and house wines.

Famous 48
Miso salmon

The open air patio will include fire pits and couches that will offer diners a more intimate experience.

Hours for Famous 48 will be Mon.- Fri. 11 a.m. -close, Sat. & Sun. 8a.m.- close. and weekend brunch 8a.m.- 2 p.m.

Famous 48 is at 4218 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 480-758-4994. To see the full menu got their website. Famous 48 is owned by Square One Concepts.

 

Scottsdale League for the Arts to host The Brunch Club December 2nd

Who doesn’t like sipping on champagne while eating French toast, the smell of bacon while lounging at one of the newest resorts in the valley.  Not me, that’s why I’ll be joining The Scottsdale League for the Arts for their newest fundraiser, The Brunch Club on Saturday December 2nd at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

SCottsdale League for the Arts
Photos courtesy of Jen Pruett and Landon Evans

The Brunch Club will gather starting at 11:30 a.m. and members will spend the next three hours sipping on rose, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as local restaurants will serve up tasty bites to eat including savory quiche to sweet French toast.

In between sips and bites stroll the grounds of Mountain Shadows manicured grounds with Camelback Mountain serving as you backdrop.

The Brunch Club tickets

To become a member of The Brunch Club you must be over 21 years of age and can purchase you tickets online with General Admission ticket priced at $40 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1  tickets will be $45 and $50 at the door while supplies last.

Want to get an early start while others are still waking up, early admission at 10:30 a.m. tickets are available for $65 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1 for $70 and at the door for $75.

Scottsdale League for the Arts

All net proceeds raised will go to the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts which raises money to promote the arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix area.

Money is raised through out the year by hosting fundraisers such as The Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Dinner. They have donated over $4 million dollars since 2002 to organizations such as Childsplay, Ballet Arizona and Free arts of Arizona.

Mountain Shadows Resort is at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.