Summer menu now available at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

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.

Heirloom Grain Salad

Summer menu

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.
  • Diver Scallops with sweet corn nage, crispy prosciutto, balsamic marinated mushrooms.
  • 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.

    Stone Fruit Panzanella

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.

For more information or to make a reservation visit http://www.nicoaz.com/

Nico Heirloom Kitchen is at 366 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85234 (480)584-4760.

Score World Cup deals at Over Easy Biltmore

Soccer fans are getting ready for the World Cup that starts June 15th thru July 15th and Over Easy Biltmore has the games on live. Start your mornings by coming in to  get food and drink deals when the games are on.

World Cup deals

When the games are televised live customers can score these food and drink deals.

  • $1 off Red or Green Chilaquiles with choice of pork or chicken (Reg price: $9)
  • $1 off Hot or Iced Irish Coffees (Reg price: $8)
  • $4 Biltmore Sunrises

The Biltmore Sunrise was created just for the event and is perfect for the mornings here in Phoenix when the games will be televised. It layers tequila, orange juice, pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine.

Over Easy Biltmore is at 2398 E. Camelback Rd. (NE corner of 24th St & Camelback) Phoenix 85016. EatAtOverEasy.com

Iced Irish Coffee

 

Not your typical happy hour at Bar Crudo

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour, food and drink at reduced prices to end the day. Award winning fine dining restaurant Crudo offers happy hour 5 days a week and it’s not your typical bar food, well drinks, house wine or mass-produced beers. Tues.- Thurs. from 5 p.m. til closing and Fri. and Sat. from 5 p.m.-7p.m. in the bar known as Bar Crudo is where you’ll find craft cocktails and gourmet dishes.

Bar Crudo
All photos courtesy of Crudo

Bar Crudo Happy Hour

In the front door to the left is where you’ll find Bar Crudo and be able to take advantage of 23 classic and modern cocktails for only $7 each. Refreshing summer drinks such as Daiquiri, Dark & Stormy and grapefruit tasting Paloma are just a few.

If a cold craft beer is your go to drink during the summer you’re in luck as they’re only $4 a piece. Wine enthusiasts don’t worry, worldly selections are only $6 a glass.

Bar Bites

Why not grab a bite to eat from chef & owner Cullen Campbell as he prepares gourmet bar bites such as homemade and imported cheeses such as Burricota, Grana, Ricotta and Strachiatella. Looking for protein in your meal how about the comfort of a classic Meatloaf Burger. Thick sliced meatloaf topped with Cheddar cheese, Arugula and sweet and sour agrodolce sauce means you won’t need to make dinner when you get home.

The Castlevetrano olives are smoked over local Pecan wood and offer the flavors of the Mediterranean. Don’t forget the popular Crispy Pig Ears that have been a staple at Crudo since opening. Ask yourself when was the last time you’ve seen pig ears on a happy hour menu. Even better is their topped with Fresno chile vinaigrette and chives to bring a bit of heat to this delicacy.

Crudo is at 3630 E. Indian School Rd. (around back) Phoenix 85018. http://www.crudoaz.com

 

It’s National Italian Beef Week at Portillo’s

Chicago foodies around the country get ready as your favorite hometown sandwich, Italian Beef is celebrated at Portillo’s the week of May 21st-27th with National Italian Beef Week.

All 50 plus Portillo’s around the country are celebrating with 2 regular Italian Beef  sandwiches for only $10.

Portillo’s Rhyme Time Challenge

In addition to the great food deal customers are invited to submit rhymes for their Rhyme Time Challenge. Known for the rhymes that staff call out when customers orders are ready such as “Number 9 it’s time to dine” or “Number 7 you’re in heaven” customers can now create their own rhyme for prizes.

Customers are invited to submit their rhymes here during National Italian Beef Week. All entries must end with the number 1-9, not already being used, no inappropriate language and must be a rhyme.

The winner will receive Portillo’s food for a year and have their rhyme used nationwide. 2nd and 3rd place winners will get a swag bag and a $25 gift card.

For more information and to find a location near you check their website.

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.

Backyard BBQ at The Porch with Arcadia Meat Market & Huss Brewing Co.

Memorial Day weekend brings thoughts of cold beers and finger licking BBQ and The Porch will be the place to be on Saturday May 26th for it’s first Backyard BBQ. The Porch partners with their neighbors across the street Arcadia Meat Market for its meats and Tempe’s Huss Brewing Co. beers.

The dog friendly restaurant(on the patio) will offer an a la carte menu from 1-5 p.m. where chef Paul Lindsey will be grilling up a special menu just for the BBQ.

A DJ will be there spinning tunes and backyard games will be played with prizes available.

The Porch Backyard BBQ menu

Guest can pick and choose from grass fed beef burgers and pork sausages & brats made with beers as one of the ingredients. The menu is as follows.The brunch food & drink menu will also be available.

“Porky’s 21” $7                                                                                                             Pork bathed in Orange Blossom ale, smoked and pulled, napa spicy & sweet slaw, beer BBQ sauce, Porch pickled veg

Blondes and Brats $7                                                                                                Huss Brewing “Scottsdale Blonde” meets Arcadia’s sweet Italian Stallion sausage, peppers, onions, dash of chili flake

Husstler American Ale Grass Fed Grass Finished Burger $7                                                                                                                                           O.G. Buddies backyard style, LTO, ‘Merica cheese, BBQ aioli

AZ Green Chili Burger GF+GF bun $9                                                      Porky’s smoked Orange Blossom Ale pork, burger, roasted green chili, smoked cheddar, carm onions (cooked down with Scottsdale Blonde) sriracha aioli

Sides (choice 1 per above)                                                                                   House BBQ Chips                                                                                                       Grilled Local Veggies                                                                                                    Lisa’s Famous Potato Salad

Huss Brewing Co. Menu                                                                                                   Orange Blossom, vanilla mandarin wheat ale                                                       Scottsdale Blonde, German style kolsch                                                                  The HUSSTLER American Lager

The Porch is at 4017 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018. http://www.porcharcadia.com/

 

 

Rose All Day Happy Hour at The Thirsty Camel starts May 29th

With so much to see at luxurious Phoenican Resort in Scottsdale you may not realize they have fantastic lobby bar, The Thirsty Camel. Locals looking to escape the heat with a refreshing cocktail, sangria or glass of rose should plan to spend some time at The Thirsty Camel this summer as they start their all day happy hour from 2 p.m. -11 p.m.

Quench your thirst at The Thirsty Camel

Whether you choose to lounge out on the terrace or inside from May 29th until August 31st guests of the AAA 5 Diamond resort can sip on one of my favorite roses, Spain’s Muga or the sparkling Piper Sonoma rose for only $10 a glass or 20% off a bottle.

Prefer a cold beer, sip on Dos Equis , Corona or other beers for only $5. House made red, white or rose Summer Sangria are part of the revolving cocktail list created for the summer. A glass of sangria is $12.

Grab a bite to eat

You can’t have happy hour without a bite to eat and a variety of Sonoran style bites including Carne Asada Quesadilla made with Hanger steak and Grilled Artichoke Flatbread topped with Morel mushrooms, spring onion, pea and Stinging Nettle hot sauce are just a couple of bites available.

The Phoenician Resort is at 6000 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251. 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.

 

 

 

 

Chef Michael O’Dowd & Julian Wright to open Las Palmas Cantina in Chandler

Chef Michael O’Dowd is making his way back to the valley’s restaurant scene running the kitchen of restaurateur Julian Wright’s(Pedal Haus Brewery and others) new restaurant Las Palmas Cantina in downtown Chandler. When the restaurant opens in May it will serve coastal cuisine with Yucatan inspiration that Wright found when traveling to Playa del Carmen and Tulum areas of Mexico.

Executive chef Michael O’Dowd

O’Dowd returns to the valley after most recently working in Sedona at L’Auberge de Sedona as executive chef. When in Phoenix O’Dowd scored the coveted AAA Five Diamond  and Forbes Five Star Award  while executive chef at Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of downtown Chandler and to bringing one of my favorite regions of the world to this community,” said Wright. “ I love that Chandler is still very independent. Everyone is still very much your neighbor.”

Las Palmas Cantina menus

O’Dowd’s menu will highlight the “sand to table” concept with seafood from local fish monger Chula Seafood along with “high country” ingredients. Fish available will include Pompano, Triggerfish, Snapper and more for ceviche and other dishes.

Las Palmas Sandia cocktail

Sweet & spice are tastes you’ll find at Las Palmas Cantina with your shared plates and lighter dishes that will include a jerk chicken Shaken Greens and Cochinta Pibil.

“I haven’t really seen anyone in Arizona exploring this type of cuisine or region,” said O’Dowd. “Being able to learn about the culture and history of the Mayans and create a way to pay homage to the past while creating new ideas, dishes and flavors is what I thrive on.”

Just in time for summer, Las Palmas Cantina’s beverage program will offer refreshing tropical specialty cocktails and Mexican inspired craft beers brewed exclusively for Las Palmas. A selection of tequilas, mezcals and agua frescas will be offered and used as ingredients in the cocktail program.

Need a job

The 5,000 square foot restaurant is currently hiring and those interested can apply in person at the restaurant at 95 W. Boston in downtown Chandler on online at their website.

 

 

Mario Lopez welcomes Danny Trejo & Frankie Quinones to Cinco de Mario

Not many people have a festival named after them but actor/TV host Mario Lopez is a modern day personality that has his own Cinco de Mario festival and it comes to Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza on Saturday May 5th. Hopefully there is still room on your party schedule as this is a busy day with both the Kentucky Derby & Cinco de Mayo festivities around town.

Cincio de Mario
Actor & host Mario Lopez

It’s Cinco de Mario that will have bad ass actor turned taco & donut entrepreneur Danny Trejo on stage with Mario along with comedian Frankie Quinones and legendary hip hop group Sugarhill Gang.

Cinco de Mario events

Cinco de Mario
chili peppers

The day long festival starts at 11 a.m. and for the next 7 hours festival attendees can head to the Super Mucho Merchado for gourmet foods and traditional Mexican fare in a farmer’s market setting.

Attendees will be able to sample tacos and more from El Jefe, The Mission, Don Jose Mexican food and other local food producers. Make your way to the craft beer garden and rose wine garden to quench your thirst from all the spicy foods.

Fun will be had when “Saved By The Bell” alum and  festival host Mario judge’s a “Saved by The Bell”  look a like contest and local bands Mariachi Rodriguez and Ritmo Latino perform before we get down with the Sugarhill Gang’s old school performance.

A lounge to watch The Kentucky Derby will be available.

Comedian Frankie Quinones

Getting your tickets

General Admission tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. Mansion VIP tickets are $100 online in advance and get a plate of food from The Mission, 5 drink tickets, private bar and a lounge area.

Experience it all and a meet & greet with Mario Lopez with VIP Mario Sky Deck for $200 online in advance that gets you food & drink all day from The Mission and high-end lounge furniture to relax in.

Entry to craft beer & rose garden is $20 for 8 tasting tickets.

Kids under 12 are free.  Purchase your tickets here.