Chef and owner Cullen Campbell has transformed his award-winning restaurant Crudo to Bar Pesce. The change takes place today with a new menu inspired by the modern Italian Crudo’s known for and Vietnamese, Japanese and South American cuisine.
Campbell has always wanted a fish focused restaurant (pesce is Italian for “fish”) and feels now is the time.
“After six incredible years, I’m excited to introduce all-new flavors and amazing new dishes here at Bar Pesce,” Cullen Campbell says. “While we’ll always be rooted in modern Italian, we’ll now be bringing the best coastal cuisine from around the world to the heart of Phoenix.”
On the menu at Bar Pesce
Some things haven’t changed including Campbell’s commitment to using farm fresh ingredients and culinary traditions with modern twists. Fresh handmade pastas will still be available and meats & seafood will continue to be grilled over local pecan wood.
Crab Mi Roll is a new appetizer, Swordfish Belly and Steak Fiorentina will be a few of the new additions.
Head Bartender Kyle Landry has created a new cocktail menu with 10 cocktails. Cocktails include Less Is More a.k.a. baby Irish Coffee and Adam’s Apple made with tequila, apple, lemon, jalapeño, apple bitters and sugar. Cocktails are available in both the restaurant and adjacent cocktail lounge.
A new global wine list is available to compliment the menu and will be stored in a new wine cellar.
An exciting new look includes partitions to break-up the dining room along with new contemporary lighting. Guests will also notice new table settings and gold-hued wall paper.
Bar Pesce is open Tues. – Sat. from 5-10 p.m. and is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.
Plenty of Mexican food can be found around Phoenix but not many fine dining Mexican food options. One of the best is La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess which offers a new look and menu. One of the things that has not changed is the history and heritage of the restaurant.
According to General Manager Jack Miller, “The leadership at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is committed to making sure the heritage and history of this local dining landmark is honored while bringing the design and menu forward. We are determined to make sure La Hacienda continues to be the top ranked Mexican restaurant in Arizona for another generation.”
Authentic dishes at La Hacienda
Influencing the menu comes when chef Richard Sandoval and chef Forest Hamrick visit their families and new restaurants in Mexico. Popular dishes including Lobster Tacos, Filet a la Parilla and table side guacamole returned when La Hacienda re-opened in late September. New dishes include Short Rib Barbacoa and Pescado Zarandeado, a barbecued Sea Bass with charred aioli, heirloom tomato and avocado.
Make sure you try the trio of Sweet Corn Tamales, the sweet spicy mole is “lick the plate” worthy.
Another new attraction are the 21 new specialty cocktails that have been introduced. All use less than four ingredients to highlight a specific flavor. “Smoked Cocktails” highlight the new cocktail menu that use Mezcal to give it the smoky flavor. La Hacienda features over 150 tequilas and a growing selection of Mezcal all picked by Tequila Goddess Katie Schnurr.
A new look and expansion
The exciting new menu is compliments the new look of La Hacienda created by Judith Testani. Testani is a local designer with her own firm, Testani Design. Testani says “The goal for the re-design of La Hacienda was to align the interior of the restaurant with the sophisticated palette of the chef and menu.”
An expanded lounge and bar allows guests to gather and offer communal dining at high top tables. Tequila bottles are on the new display shelf across from the agave wall crafted by a local artist.
Large light fixtures drop from the ceiling are new as is furniture and accessories from Mexico. Guests will notice light-colored stucco walls, detailed blacked steel and renovated restrooms.
Guest can dine at La Hacienda daily at 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Sun. – Thurs. and 10 p.m. on Fri. & Sat. To view the menu and more information view their website.
TEXAZ Grill owner Steve Freidkin has been serving food in Arizona for over 30 years but he’s loyal to his home state of Texas. So much so he serves up Lone Star State favorites year round at his restaurant known for Chicken Fried Steak. Once a year he adds to the menu dishes made famous at the Texas State Fair. Guests can enjoy this years Texas State Fair Fare menu daily from September 28- October 21st.
This year’s dishes include a cocktail and 2 fair favorites both with a little history lesson of their origins.
“Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog” ($6)
As perfected by vaudevillians Neil and Carl Fletcher of Dallas, TX, “Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dog” has been a State Fair of Texas staple since 1942. Two Corny Dogs served with a bag of Frito’s.
Frito Pie ($5.50)
Said to be invented in the 1930’s by Daisy Dean Doolin, mother of the founder of the Frito-Lay Company, this dish is a Texas original. TEXAZ Grill’s version features its homemade chili presented in a small bag of Fritos corn chips, topped with onions, cheese and served with a plastic spoon-now that’s authentic!
Cotton Candy Lemonade ($7)
Everyone’s favorite spun sugar in liquid form! The cocktail is made with cotton candy vodka, lemonade, Blue Curacao and garnished with a lemon slice. For the adults who are kids at heart!
Phoenix restaurant The Gladly celebrates its 5th anniversary and will offer fans 5 days of food and drink specials to celebrate. Kicking off Monday September 10th guests will be able to enjoy the popular Chopped Salad for $1 followed by these special below.
Monday, Sept. 10 – Enjoy $1 Original Chopped Salads (dine-in only; dinner service only; limit one per table).
Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Enjoy 50-percent off all draft cocktails including The Gladly Manhattan, Moscow Mule, Spiced Daiquiri, Penicillin, Thai Margarita and Aperol Spritz.
Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Enjoy $1 oysters during happy hour and dinner service.
Thursday, Sept. 13 – Enjoy $10 bottles of rosé.
Friday, Sept. 14 – Enjoy a special, signature dish from The Gladly’s Scottsdale sister restaurant, Citizen Public House, for one night only.
If you can’t make in during the week, stop in anytime during the month for a celebratory cocktail for only $5 created just for the anniversary.
“This is our way of saying thanks to the community, and to those who came through our doors over the last five years,” said co-owner Andrew Fritz. “We can’t wait for you to see what’s in store for the future.”
Old town Scottsdale’s RnR restaurant is back starting today at 5p.m. after 7 weeks of refreshing and renovating. A Grand Opening party is tonight with a 1 cent hosted bar from 5-7 p.m., extended Happy Hour from 7-11 p.m. and 20% all food from 5-11 p.m.
New food menus of scratch made comfort classics will make their debut with new salads, sandwiches and old favorites. The popular weekend brunch returns Saturday’s & Sunday’s from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
A new Happy Hour menu with 10 items at $6 will is available Monday- Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. along with new weekly specials.
Exciting new cocktails were created including the Absolut Mega Mule that is 128 oz. and needs a minimum of 4 people to order. For weekend brunch guests can enjoy a new Mimosa Tower and Mimosa flights of guava, cranberry, orange and pineapple.
As part of the renovation new giant LED TVs were installed and are visible from any seat in the restaurant. A new 36 seat island bar is situated from the inside to the patio with new roll-up glass garage doors. New booths were added to the upstairs balcony for a view of Scottsdale Rd. great for people watching.
It’s been 3 years since the closing of Phoenix favorite Havana Cafe by owner BJ Hernandez and fans of her Latin style cuisine were wondering if we’d ever taste her food again. Thank god Hernandez is back in the kitchen as co-owner of the recently opened The Latin Kitchen in Mesa with her recipe book dusted off and cooking.
The Latin Kitchen dishes
Hernandez will be serving her popular made from scratch Cuban cuisine along with Latin American dishes that regulars of Hernandez’s cooking will recognize along with new dishes. Fans will smile with the return of her signature Cuban sandwich, empanadas, Ropa Vieja and more from here ever-changing menu.
Lighter and hearty dishes are also available taking into consideration people’s dietary needs including gluten-free wraps and salads.
Don’t worry dessert will be served including Flan, Tres Leches and Lime Tart. After a successful lobster dinner recently special dinners are planned including a pig roast, “Havana Nights” and Paella dinner.
A full bar is available that will feature Latin inspired cocktails such as the Mojito, sangria and other classic cocktails.
New to Mesa
Why Mesa after the success in north Scottsdale and along the Camelback Corridor in Phoenix Hernadez says “Originally I started looking in Scottsdale, but the rents were too high for what I wanted to do, a casual place where you could eat delicious, healthy and authentic food at a great price.” She then partnered with restaurant industry veteran Elisa Nolan to get the new restaurant opened.
Near the Tempe border The Latin Kitchen seats 115 up to people in two dining rooms and the bar. Currently serving only lunch Hernandez will serve dinner once the summer comes to an end.
The Latin Kitchen is close to the Loop 101 at 540 W. Broadway in Mesa. For more information call 480-306-7266 or check out their website.
Scottsdale’s Crust neighborhood Italian eatery closed the doors on the original location on Indian Bend recently. Come August owner Michael Merendino opens the flagship restaurant a mile up Hayden Rd. to 3,500 square foot location in the hip Mercado de Lago retail center.
The larger, state of-the-art location will offer guests a welcoming atmosphere as they enjoy the same delicious east coast Italian food Crust has offered over the years. An outdoor patio is expected to be popular as is the 25 seat bar where diners will enjoy an extensive wine and beer list from around the world along with a hand crafted cocktail menu.
Merendino will continue to be community minded with the Crust Cares program and thanks the community for their continued support.
If you can’t wait for the new Scottsdale location to open check out their downtown Chandler location at 10 San Marcos Pl. 85225.
Crust will be at 8300 N. Hayden Rd. Suite F101. Scottsdale 85258. For more information see their website.
The Rafter Room opened this weekend offering guests a rum and tequila focused cocktail list. The newest cocktail hideaway is upstairs in the loft of Tempe’s Social Hall which opened in January. With the completion of The Rafter Room the two-story facility offers guests over 10,000 square feet of space perfect for happy hour and hanging out.
The Rafter Room design
The Rafter Room was designed Camila Gibbs and offers ” a moodier, edgier evolution” compared to downstairs. The converted barn has triple vaulted ceilings, vintage voting booth lights, patina walls and a raised stage for presentations and live music. According to co-owner Mike Kenney “The space has an industrial, secret hideaway type of vibe that really sets it apart from the restaurant down below.”
Social Hall cocktail and food offerings
The Latin inspired menu downstairs will be available upstairs with Pork Belly Street Tacos, Chicano Steak Frites and Huevos Rancheros and more. “Expect an elevated tequila and rum bar program, small-batch and barrel-aged spirits, among other offerings,” said Kenney.
The cocktail program was created to compliment the menu of Social Hall.
Social Hall is at 715 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe 85281. 480-747-3851. For more information see their website.
Restaurants around the valley are shifting gears to lighter and seasonal focused menus with the arrival of summer. Gilbert’s Nico Heirloom Kitchen recently shifted into their summer menu with the addition of 6 dishes from owner and chef Gio Osso.
With an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients including fruits and vegetables these are then new menu items.
Stone Fruit Panzanella – Peach, apricot, cherry, arugula, chevre, day old bread and vanilla balsamic.
Heirloom Grain Salad – Farro, quinoa, blueberry, apply, almonds with white balsamic.
Salmon Croquette with capers and Calabrian chile aioli.
Flat Iron Steak – Cocoa-lavender rub, summer squash hash, charred spring onion and blueberry demi.
Fruite de Mare – Chef’s fresh catch, tomato and white wine.
Summer Dining Experiences
Nico will host a series of “Summer Dining Experiences” with the first scheduled for this Thursday June 14th. The “Gin & Bear It” dinner will pair a 4- course dinner with gin cocktails. The dinner will start at 6:30 and cost $45 ++ per person.
Update: Shortly after I posted this I was informed that due to supply issues this event is being postponed. I hope to have a new date for you in next couple of days.
Negroni Week is coming to an end and one restaurant is ending it in world record-setting style. The Sicilian Butcher will set the record for the Largest Barrel Aged Negroni by combing 3 ingredients into a 500 liter barrel.
Making the World’s Largest Negroni
On Sunday June 10th from 2-4 p.m. customers are invited to witness history as a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to witness the filling of the barrel.
Sheldon Wiley, Beverage Director of The Maggiore Group will use 14 cases each of three Italian spirits, Carpano Antica Formula, Malfy Gin Originale and Campari. Once combined the barrel will hold approximately 132 gallons, 504 bottles and 16,722 ounces of the cocktail.
Wiley currently hold the world record as The World’s Fastest Bartender and holder of two other world records.
The Sicilian Butcher gives back
Once tapped The Sicilian Butcher will be selling Negroni’s for $5 with 25% of sales being donated to CORE(Children of Restaurant Employees). CORE, a non-profit helps to support children of food and beverage service employees going through life altering circumstances.
The Sicilian Butcher is at 15530 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85032. For more information see their website.