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…..
Locally owned Press Coffee Roasters is set to open its flagship store in downtown Phoenix on June 8th making it the 5th location for the award-winning specialty coffee roaster.
Press Coffee at The Muse (1816 N. Central Ave.) will look across Central Ave. to the Phoenix Art Museum but the art is inside Press with a custom Synesso espresso machine, white Mahlkonig grinders and futuristic Clever Seraphim brewers. The modern design of the 2,000 square foot space was designed by Larry Lake of Lawrence Lake Interiors.
By late summer Press plans to offer beer and wine along with launching an expanded food menu. Coffee 101 tastings and events are planned in the ‘learning space”.
“I started Press back in 2008, with the idea for a place for coffee, food and wine. This store resurrects that dream at an even higher level,” said Steve Kraus, owner and founder of Press Coffee. “We’re excited to open our doors and be a part of Downtown Phoenix’ diverse coffee and food community.”
To celebrate the opening guests who stop by on June 8th, 9th or 10th will receive a free small cup of drip coffee.
Press has locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe and shares their passion for specialty coffee with customers and community by ensuring the highest quality of coffee, service and knowledge on a daily basis
Press Coffee at The Muse will be open Mon. – Sat. 6:30 a.m -8 p.m. and Sun. from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. http://www.presscoffee.com/
Sipping on a chilled glass of rosé wine is a year round activity in Arizona with our mild and dry climate. When it gets hot here in the desert rosé taste even better with its refreshing and medium bodied character. The Arcadia neighborhoods Beckett’s Table has always known #ItsOK2DrinkPInk and will be celebrating the lighter bodied pink wine during National Rosé Week, June 6th-11th.
Sommeliers and owners Scott and Katie Stephens have built an international rose wine menu that should tempt all in for a taste of the fun and refreshing wine. Whether you are looking for a new rosé you can choose from a 3-2 oz. flight($14), a glass or bottle of rosé your sure to find a style you’ll like with all the variety of the week-long menu.
Summer Rosé Flight –
Dos Cabezas Pink, Sonoita, Arizona
Callaghan Rosé, Elgin, Arizona
Andrew Murray ‘Esperancé Rosé, Santa Ynez Valley, California
Rosé by the Glass:
Callaghan Rosé, Elgin, Arizona
Dos Cabezas Pink, Sonoita, Arizona
Beckstoffer ‘Hogwash’ Rosé, Saint Helena, California
Jean-Baptiste ‘Adam’ Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé sparkling wine, Alsace, France
Rosé by the Bottle:
Copain Rosé, Anderson Valley, California
Eyrie Vineyards Rosé Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Domaine Tempier Rosé, Bandol, France
Caduceus Merkin Jane Pink Rosé, Cochise County, Arizona
Cans of Dos Cabezas Sparkling Pink will be available as will champagne rosé by the bottle.
Chef Beckett will be preparing a special rosé pairing menu with noble toast, grilled zucchini, seared organic salmon and a chopped salad.
Any national attention a local restaurant can get is always good for the Phoenix food community. Friday June 2nd, is when the family owned, N.Y. style deli Chompie’s will be seen by a national TV audience on Food Network’s “Ginormous Food” show.
The episode will feature Chompie’s “Bubbie’s Belly Buster” slider which weighs in at a GINORMOUS 10 pounds. Taking 48 hours to prepare, the slider is made with 4 lbs. of sliced brisket, 12 oz. of brown gravy, 12 slices of Monterrey Jack cheese and a 24 oz. potato pancake, all served on a 36 oz. Challah roll.
Getting hungry yet? Up for a challenge? If so you’re in luck as Chompie’s is preparing this meal that serves 8-10 people available for only $129.99 & 48 hour notice.
Too much food for you, say what! Then stop in to one of the 5 Phoenix area Chompie’s from June 2nd -18th and you can “Ginormous size” your order of Jewish sliders by doubling the size. The platter will include 3 sliders that will now be 6 in. wide for $29.99(regularly $44.97) twice the size of the usual 3 in. wide sliders.
This is not the first time Chompie’s and their sliders have made a nationwide TV appearance as the Tempe location was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs Food” in 2010. On that episode show host Adam Richman tried to complete the “Ultimate Slider Challenge” in less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately the slider platter got the best of him and he failed the challenge.
The episode “Phoenix Finest Imports” will also feature El Palacio & Porkopolis, both in Chandler.
The episode premiers on Fri. June 2nd at 8 p.m. CST and will be repeated several times. To take the challenge or Ginormous Up find a Chompie’s near you at https://chompies.com/
The local food and restaurant community can never be accused of not helping one its own or its local communities, whether it’s an unfortunate occurrence(fire, theft) or medical need of a staff member we always rally when we hear the cry.The cry went out for chef and all around good guy Kelly Fletcher(House of Tricks, El Chorro Lodge & Zen Culinary) and the medical expenses incurred when Kelly fell ill with a life-threatening infection that had him in the hospital for weeks and at rest back at home.
We heard the cry and jumped into action with 2 Fund Up meals cooked by the “Arizona Seven” chef collective at Crudo restaurant in coming weeks.
The 2 Fund Ups will feature chefs Keenan Bosworth (Pig & Pickle), Cullen Campbell (Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails), Jacob Cutino (Homeboy’s Hot Sauce), Josh Hebert (Posh Improvisational Cuisine, Hot Noodles Cold Sake), Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ), Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta), Bernie Kantak (Citizen Public House, The Gladly) and Gio Osso (Nico, Virtù Honest Craft).
A pig for Kelly Fletcher
100% from both Fund Ups will be donated to pay the medical expenses with the 1st Fund Up taking place next Sunday June 4th for a Communal Pig Roast. Chef & host Cullen Campbell will be roasting a whole hog at his Crudo restaurant with the other 6 chefs will be preparing gourmet side dishes, sauces, desserts and more smoked meats.
Beer from local brewery Huss Brewing Co. will be poured along with wines & cocktails from The Whiny Pig and Tito’s Vodka. The family style roast starts at 2 p.m. and is $50++ per person.
Multi Course dinner
On Monday July 31st the Arizona Seven will re-unite at Crudo for a Multi- Course Dinner to help pay down Kelly’s medical expenses. The menu will be created by Kelly with the other chefs putting their unique twist on each of the courses. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is $150 ++ per person.
Chefs who own restaurants are friends more than competitors who wish all the best in the day-to-day operations of locally owned restaurant survival. To bring awareness of the local Phoenix food scene the Arizona Seven chef collection debuted in 2014 with events for all to collaborate in and showcase their talents outside of their restaurants. The goal is to bring the James Beard Award back to Arizona.
Crudo is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.
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.
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
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.
“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.
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.