Tag Archives: dessert

Rusconi’s American Kitchen tempts us with Summer Dinner Menu

No beating around the cactus, its June and summer has hit the Phoenix area pretty quickly. As much as we lament the hot summer months a few good things make life easier for us locals. As we stick around and sweat it out there is less traffic on the road, no waiting for a table at our favorite restaurants and restaurants doing what it takes to get our butts in their seats. Rusconi’s American Kitchen is wooing us with a Summer Dinner menu that offers 3 courses & glass of red or white wine for only $44.00 per guest.

This Summer 2017 Feature Menu is available through August in addition to their daily dinner menu. The Summer dinner menu is as follows…..

Course One (choice of)

wild arugula with cotija cheese 

shaved watermelon radish, beets, chardonnay vinaigrette

chilled pea soup with house smoked salmon

crema and tiny croutons

 

Course Two (choice of)

pecan wood grilled loin of lamb

mild roasted pepper grits, small carrots and American goat cheese

pecan wood grilled sustainable salmon 

blackberry glaze, small potatoes, sweet corn, baby cabbages

 

Course Three (choice of)

 budino of the moment

 RAK dark chocolate bread pudding

Rusconi’s American Kitchen is at 10637 N. Tatum Blvd. (NE corner of Tatum & Shea) Phoenix (480)483-0009 http://rusconiskitchen.com/

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamistry to open 4th location at Scottsdale Quarter

Ice cream fans in north Scottsdale will soon find out what all the excitement is about in central Phoenix, Arcadia and downtown Scottsdale when Creamistry opens its 4th location at the Scottsdale Quarter on Friday, May 26th.

Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, Creamistry combines science & dessert as they use liquid nitrogen to flash freeze 70 plus flavors and toppings to create ice cream.

Creamistry week long specials

To introduce the neighbors to the concept, Creamistry will be offering 5 days of delicious specials starting on Tuesday the 30th. The daily specials are as follows….

TuesdayThursday, May 30-31 and June 1: Buy one ice cream, get one ice cream of equal or lesser value free.
Friday, June 2: A percentage of the proceeds earned will be donated to MASK (Mother’s awareness on school-age kids)
Saturday, June 3: Free small ice cream from Noon-2 p.m

Having it made is half the fun

The Creamistry experience starts when you choose your size or type of dessert(waffle bowl, shakes and more). Then pick your ice cream base(organic, gluten-free, non-dairy, vegan or premium) then your favorite flavor from almost 40 options ( birthday cake, sea salt or blood orange sorbet just to name a few) and to top it off pick your toppings (candy, fruit, nuts and more). Everything is then mixed with liquid nitrogen for a smoky & cool looking freezing process.

 

New sweet treats at Le Macaron & Sprinkle’s Cupcakes in Scottsdale

Most of us have a sweet tooth whether we have an everyday craving for chocolate, pastries or ice cream we need to satisfy the craving before it gets out of control. Local sweet shops are helping us give in to these cravings with limited time sweet treats and a new permanent menu item. So what’s new……

Le Macaron new Ice Cream Macaron

One of my favorite desserts is an ice cream sandwich as it satisfies my ice cream and cookie craving, so I’m glad to report that Le Macaron has created an Ice Cream Macaron as new menu option. These bite sized treats come in 5 flavors including Vanilla, Strawberry, Mango, Coffee and Green Tea for $3.75 each. Le Macaron is in the Scottsdale Quarter. http://lemacaron-us.com/scottsdale-quarter/

Sprinkle’s Rolling Stones cupcake

Sprinkle’s Cupcakes sweet treats

Through May 31st Sprinkle’s Cupcakes in Scottsdale is offering it’s Cookie Cupcake which came from a recipe in Candace Nelson’s cookbook. Made with chocolate chips & chocolate chip cookie crumble its tossed with yellow cake batter. Then it’s topped with brown sugar frosting before being rolled in more chocolate chip cookie crumbles. Yum!

Sprinkle’s is also offering a Rolling Stone topped cupcake through May 18th. The bands tongue & lips logo rocks the top of the cupcake. Sprinkles is celebrating the Rolling Stones exhibit at Chicago’s Navy Pier and offering these cupcakes nationwide.

A new line cookie flavors are also available including Snickerdoodle, Double Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Pretzel Chip. You can pick up your cupcakes or cookies from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon. – Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. To place an order call 480-970-4321 or visit 4501 N. Scottsdale Rd (NE corner of Scottsdale Rd. & Camelback) http://www.sprinkles.com/

 

 

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria rolls out its first ever seasonal menu

Just in time for Mother’s Day and the summer Scottsdale’s own Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is bringing its customers their first ever seasonal menu. The summer inspired menu is available until July 31st and features new salads, pizzas, beverages and desserts.

Strawberry Spinach salad

Berries on Summer menu

“One of the best parts of summer is the fresh berries,” said Cory Lattuca, executive chef of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. “These tangy, yet sweet, dishes are a great addition to our seasonal menu.”

Berries will be included on such menu items including Strawberry Spinach Salad with Feta cheese, red onions, toasted almonds, strawberries tossed in a strawberry vinaigrette. Strawberry Cheesecake and Blueberry Cobbler Cheesecake are on the dessert menu and come garnished with the fresh fruit in addition to the sweet flavored swirl. Fresh strawberries and blueberries are also the key ingredient in the Summertime Sangria for a cold and refreshing thirst quencher during out hot summer months.

Out of the oven

You’ve made your way to Grimaldi’s for the pizza and the new Barbecue Chicken Pizza is the summer special. Made with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbacue sauce, smoky bacon, chicken, red onions and topped with fresh cilantro. New beverages include seasonal lemonades and Frizzante (bubbly) Frescos.

To find a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria near you go to http://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/ or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GrimaldisPizzeria/?fref=ts

 

 

 

 

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/

 

Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge is on until Feb. 28th

Have you had your share of Girl Scout cookies in the last month, I know those kids are everywhere hawking their boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, Savannah Smiles and other irresistible varieties, I like the Toffee-tastics myself. I know their hard to resist both the cute kids selling them & the cookies themself but if you’ve resisted, now may be the time for a sweet surrender as the there is only a 9 days left in the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge.

Through Feb. 28th many Phoenix area & Flagstaff restaurants are participating in the 4th annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge by creating a dessert with cookies as an ingredient. Portions of the sales of the desserts will go to the Girl Scouts around the Phoenix  & Flagstaff community.

Chefs creating these delicious desserts are hoping to inspire the home chefs to buy an extra box or 2 of Girls Scout cookies before March 5th and create their own dessert. If you are up for the challenge or visit a participating restaurant and order the dessert, snap a picture of your dessert or you & your family eating it and post on social media with #dessertchallenge tag.

If you don’t know any Girl Scouts or have been under a rock and can’t find them selling their cookies around town visit http://www.girlscoutsaz.org/  or download the Cookie Finder app.

Participating in this years challenge are…..

347 Grill at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin CircDessert Designer: Frank Abeyta

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: UltraStar Samoa Brownie Parfait

Cost: $3.95 Details: 16000 N. Maricopa Road, Maricopa www.ultrastarakchin.com

 Char Kitchen + Bar

Dessert Designer: Peter and Pal Micakaj

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Thin Mint Crumble

Cost: $8  6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale www.charkitchen.com

Chompie’s – All Valleywide Locations

Dessert Designer: Neal “The Chomper” Borenstein

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: The Mint Cheesecake

Cost: $5.99 To find a Chompie’s near you  www.chompies.com

Churn

Dessert Designer: Jada Shiya

Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles

Dessert: Savannah Smile ice cream

Cost: $3.50/per regular scoop 5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 602.279.8024; www.churnaz.com

 Compass Arizona Grill at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix

Dessert Designer: David Duarte

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tagalong Crunch Bar

Cost: $8 122 N. 2nd Street, Phoenix; 480-440-3166; www.compassarizona.com

Coup des Tartes

Dessert Designer: Ron Pacioni

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Decadent Thin Mint Chocolate Tarte

Cost: $9 1725 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix; 602-212-1082; www.nicetartes.com

Drexyl Modern American

Dessert Designer: Scott Paget

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tagalong Cookie Dark Chocolate Sphere

Cost: $11 8877 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-840-1861; www.drexlyusa.com

 Flower Child – All Locations

Dessert Designer: Peder Bondhus

Assigned Cookie: Toffee-tastic

Dessert: Toffee-tastic Chocolate Pudding

Cost: $5 To find a Flower Child near you  www.iamaflowerchild.com

Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Janna Harris

Assigned Cookie: Savannah Smiles

Dessert: Melopita (Greek Honey Cake)

Cost: $4.50 5033 E. Elliot Road, Phoenix (Ahwatukee); 480-940-3669; www.freskokitchen.com

 Jalapeño Inferno – All Locations

Dessert Designer: Terry Craig

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Girl Scout Banana Cream Pie

Cost: $5 20825 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale; 480.513.8332; www.jalapenoinferno.com

Lumberyard Brewing Company (Flagstaff)

Dessert Designer: Richard Kimball

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake Parfait

Cost: $4.95 5 S. San Francisco Street, Flagstaff; 928-779-2739; www.lumberyardbrewingcompany.com

Olive + Ivy

Dessert Designer: Kelli Sappington

Assigned Cookie: Trefoil

Dessert: Trefoil Cherry Cheesecake Gelato

Cost: $3.25 per scoop 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480-751-2200; www.foxrc.com

Proof Canteen at the Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort Troon North

Dessert Designer: Calena Srutowski

Assigned Cookie: Do-si-dos

Dessert: Triple Decker Do-si-do Delight

Cost: $10 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale; 480-513-5085; www.proofcanteen.com

 Rhythm & Wine

Dessert Designer: Terry Craig

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Girl Scout Banana Cream Pie

Cost: $5 7605 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale; 480-478-6999; www.rhythmandwine.com

Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Dessert Designer: Dave Rico

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Chocolate Chunk Samoa Pecan Pie

Cost: $8 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix; 480-483-0009; www.rusconiskitchen.com

 Silver Pine Restaurant at the Little America Hotel (Flagstaff)

Dessert Designer: Vanessa Ronspies

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Samoa Tiramisu

Cost: $8 Inside the Little America Hotel at 2515 E. Butler Avenue in Flagstaff; 928-779-7900; www.littleamerica.com

 Sorso Wine Room

Dessert Designer: Paige Murphy

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: #MintHappens Chocolate Mint Cheesecake Mousse

Cost: $7 15323 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-951-4344; www.sorsowineroom.com

 The Crepe Club

Dessert Designer: Omar Tarabichi

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: Tag-a-Crepe-Along

Cost: $7.95 2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-956-0087; www.thecrepeclub.com

 The Henry

Dessert Designer: Lucia Alferez

Assigned Cookie: Samoas

Dessert: Samoa Doughnut with Toasted Coconut Cream Filling

Cost: $3 per doughnut 4455 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-429-8020; www.foxrc.com

 The MARKET by Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar

Dessert Designer: Jennifer Russo

Assigned Cookie: Trefoils

Dessert: Twixted Trefoil Bar

Cost: $10 3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602-626-5050; www.themarketphx.com

The Thumb

Dessert Designer: Susan Kolman

Assigned Cookie: Thin Mints

Dessert: Minty Oh!

Cost: $4.25 9393 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale; 480-513-8186; www.thethumb.com

Twisted Grove

Dessert Designer: Christopher Collins

Assigned Cookie: Tagalongs

Dessert: T.A.G. (Tagalongs Are Great) Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Cost: $5 8220 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale; 480-699-0811; www.twistedgrove.com