Tag Archives: foodie

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.

 

 

 

 

Chris Bianco to headline table to the farm dinner at RhibaFarms

James Beard award-winning chef Chris Bianco leads a line-up with five other local chefs as they bring the table to the farm for an exclusive fundraising dinner. The “Spring Fling” farmraiser will benefit San Tan Valley’s RhibaFarms, a 3.3 acre farm, local restaurants source for produce, mushrooms, microgreens, eggs and other ingredients.

The Saturday May 19th dinner will also include local chefs Jason McGrath of J’s Kaiyo, David Traina of Liberty Market, Craig Plevak of Fire & Foraged, Sasha Raj of 24 Carrots and Micah Wyzlic  of Phoenix City Grille.

Beers will be paired with each course have been selected by The Shop Beer Co. as well as beers created that will be incorporated into the dishes. The Shop Beer Co. uses RhibaFarms ingredients for its beers and gives the farm their spent grains to use as compost.

The farms Food Rescue program helps to fuel the soil that grows the ingredients that are not always associated with being grown in the desert.

Dining at RhibaFarms

Guest will enjoy the unique experience dining at the farm and will see first hand how much urban farms can grow and contribute to the local community.

The vegetarian dinner will include chef Bianco’s all Arizona sourced risotto entrée using Sonoran White Wheat with Blue Oyster mushrooms and smoke tri-color beets with pickled RhibaFarm vegetables from chef Wyzlic.

For  a true farm experience diners will be eating in the fields among the crops and are asked to bring a flashlight and dinner plate. The working farm has no paved paths.

Blind auction

There will be a blind auction fundraiser with private dinners from the chefs and other goodies up for auction.

Dinner will be from 5p.m. – 8p.m. with limited seating. Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased here.

RhibaFarms is at 40792 N. Rattlesnake Rd. San Tan Valley 85140.

 

Clever Koi partners to open Italian concept at Scottsdale’s Skysong

It’s good to see when successful restaurateurs plant their flag in re-vitalized neighborhoods, especially if you live in one of those neighborhoods. That’s been the case in my backyard the last year in south Scottsdale, specifically on the Skysong campus.

Born & Raised partners Joshua James & Nicholas Campisano

The public private partnership at McDowell & Scottsdale roads has seen the opening of Bitters Bar & Food, an original concept and the third location of New York Bagels & Bialys. Come September they will be joined by Fellow, an osteria & cocktail bar  from the team that’s brought us Clever Koi.

Fellow at Skysong

The all day hang out spot will cater to guests that will want to dine-in on pizza, pasta, salads and cocktails along with those on the run that want to grab n go breakfast and premium coffee drinks. The custom designed 5,000 square feet restaurant is expected to be enjoyed by office workers at Skysong along with residents from surrounding neighborhoods.

This is the third restaurant for the newly founded Born & Raised Hospitality and its partners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano after their two Clever Koi’s in Phoenix and Gilbert. James known for his mixology skills behind the bar will craft the cocktail menu and build craft beer and around the world wine list.

With high ceilings and communal space Fellow is being designed by architects Local Studio who designed the first Clever Koi in central Phoenix. The design highlight will be a big wooden cube over the bar where 3-D Arizona landscapes of iconic Arizona locations.

With a few months before opening there are always unknowns about certain details at Fellow but on thing is for sure they will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Market Street Kitchen and Liberty Station celebrate National Burger Day all month

Keeler Hospitality Group, the family owned company that owns north Scottsdale’s Liberty Station and Market Street Kitchen love a good burger just as much as I do. So much so that they’ve decided to celebrate National Burger Day for the entire month of May.

Weekly burger specials

Each restaurant will run a weekly special burger for $16 and the ultimate burger deal on the 28th. Below is the weekly line-up of burgers for each restaurant. Both restaurants open daily at 11 a.m. to accommodate your burger craving.

Market Street Kitchen

Chorizo Burger with a chorizo-bacon patty, salsa fresca, cheesy fondue and avocado crema. (May 1-May 6)                                                           Black and Blue Burger with a blackened spiced burger topped with Maytag blue cheese, bacon and Worcestershire-lime aioli. (May 7-May 13)                                                                                                                                   “Breakfast for Lunch” Burger featuring a fried egg, fried bacon, zesty Brie cheese spread, lettuce and tomato (May 14-May 20)              Chili Cheese Burger with house-made chili piled on an opened-faced burger with Tillamook cheddar, sour cream and tobacco onions. (May 21-May 27)

ALL DAY National Burger Day Special — $5 MSK Burger or $9 when served with a glass of house wine or draft beer. (May 28)

Market Street Kitchen is at 20825 N. Pima Rd. (DC Ranch Market Street) Scottsdale 480-278-7044 http://marketstreetkitchen.com/

Liberty Station                                                                                                               

Chili Cheese Burger with house-made chili piled onto an opened-faced burger with Tillamook cheddar, sour cream and tobacco onions. (May 1-May 6)                                                                                                Old Smokey with a smoked burger patty, chipotle aioli, smoked Gouda cheese and crispy bacon. (May 7-May 13)                                              Southwestern Burger featuring fire-roasted green chilies, garlic aioli, pepper jack cheese, and sourdough bread. (May 14-May 20)                                                                                                                                Chorizo Burgerwith a chorizo-bacon patty, salsa fresca, cheesy fondue and avocado crema. (May 21-May 27)

ALL DAY National Burger Day Special — Tavern Burger for just $5, or $9 when served with a glass of house wine or draft beer. (May 28)

Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse is at 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 480-595-9930  http://libertystationtavern.com/

 

 

 

Chef Christopher Gross hosts 2018 Flavors of Phoenix

The Westin Resort & Spa will be the place to be on the evening of Thursday May 24th as 30 of Arizona’s talented chefs will be cooking for the 2018 Flavors of Phoenix. Started 27 years ago by Phoenix chef Christopher Gross this fund-raiser for the American Liver Foundation has grown to become a nationwide event in over 20 cities.chef Christopher Gross

“I had an idea for this concept over 27 years ago thinking we would raise funds for the liver community, and give guests the best food and wine experience possible–unlike any other,” says Chef Gross. “This event is now in over 20 cities helping people. I’m so proud of Flavors of Phoenix. It’s for me, the best event in the state because of the support of the restaurant community–I thank them very much.”

30 Arizona chefs

Chef Gross will be joined by a roster of 29 chefs many who you already know and several up n coming chefs showing off what they can do for the first time. A few of the chefs joining chef Gross and co-chairs Matt Carter of Zinc Bistro, Fat Ox, House Brasserie & The Mission & Westin Kierland’s own Chris Masco will be…..

Tom D’Ambrosio (Aioli Gourmet), Michael DeMaria (M Culinary), Anthony DeMuro (Different Pointe of View), Frank Desplechin (L’Auberge de Sedona), Ron Dimas (Orange Sky), David Duarte (Finestre Modern Gastronomy), Jacob Ellis (Top of the Rock), Skip Hause (Gertrude’s).

Pictured, clockwise from top right: Founding Chef, Christopher Gross (Wrigley Mansion); Chef Co-Chair, Matt Carter (Zinc Bistro, The Mission, The House Brasserie, Fat Ox); Chef Derek Biazo (Deseo); and Chef Co-Chair, Chris Masco (Westin Kierland Resort & Spa). All photos courtesy of Flavors of Phoenix

Dinner and Silent Auction

The festive evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction before the multi-course dinner. The dinner will highlight signature dishes and flavors of the host chefs and is expected to conclude about 10:30.

Tickets for the evening are $500 per person and will go directly to fund research, education & advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

 

 

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.

 

 

New menu and location for Farm & Craft

If you’re air conditioning kicked on this week it means were creeping towards warmer temps and eating lighter & colder foods and drinks to keep cool. In the restaurant scene in means chefs are shifting their menus to lighter seasonal ingredients including  locally grown spring and summer fruits & vegetables. Scottsdale’s Farm & Craft recently added 11 new healthy dishes to their menus.

new menu
Salad

New menu and Happy Hour

Crustless Quiche with cage free eggs, cheddar, chicken sausage, braised kale and chili flake served with a petite salad is one of the two new menu items for breakfast along with Steel Cut Oats with slow cooked coconut milk, turmeric vanilla almond milk, blueberry and apple relish with chia seeds.

On the lunch and dinner menus you’ll find Vegan Ceviche prepared with Golden beets, radish, cherry tomato, avocado, lime, tomato chili sauce, cilantro, served with flax tortilla chips.

Flatbread

An Asian inspired Chilled Raw Pad Thai Spiral with zucchini and carrot, bean sprouts, shredded brussels, raw almond, chili almond butter and tamarind honey and  Seared Cauliflower Steak with smoked paprika coconut butter served with harissa aioli and cucumber yogurt are just a few new dishes.

The Happy Hour menu has been updated as well.

Farm & Craft Uptown

Phoenix fans of Farm & Craft will be glad to know by the end of April the new location will be open on 7th St. at The Colony. The new location will seat more people with a larger patio and bar than Scottsdale and will create their own signature cocktails and menu items.

The Scottsdale location is at 4302 N. Scottsdale Rd. and the Uptown location is 5538 N. 7th St. For more info go to www.ilovefarmandcraft.com/

 

 

 

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.

 

Broadway Burger & Beer special at Miracle Mile Deli

If you follow me on Instagram @SandyWass quite often you’ll see  burger pics I’ve eaten. It should come as no surprise that when I heard Miracle Mile Deli was doing a week-long burger & beer special I wanted to know more and spread the word. The Broadway Burger & Beer Special is the family owned deli’s way of saying “Welcome to Spring” and the outdoor grilling season.

From April 16th – 22nd you can score a Broadway Burger and a cold refreshing pint of craft beer for only $13.

The Broadway Burger comes with aged cheddar, crispy bacon, Green Leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion and Miracle Mile dressing. A side of French Fries or side item of your choice and kosher dill pickle come with your burger.

Miracle Mile Deli is at 4433 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016

 

 

 

Rancho Pinot celebrates 25 years with throwback dinner series

Most of us don’t know what we’re doing 6 days from now let alone 6 months from now but in this case advanced planning is needed. Scottsdale’s Rancho Pinot celebrates its 25th anniversary later this year and is celebrating with 4 Throwback dinners as owner Chrysa Robertson invites her mentors and those she’s mentored to help re-create meals from the past.Rancho Pinot

The dinners will take place over 4 weeks in November.

Rancho Pinot has been serving customers farm to table meals using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients long before it was cool and Robertson helped start the first Phoenix chapter of Slow Food International.

What does she attribute to surviving 25 years with the ups and downs of owning a restaurant?

“My tightknit family taught me to appreciate and love food early on,” said Robertson. “I’ve always believed that in addition to food, it’s about hospitality. I could never do what I do without the support and talent of all the people – my family – who work with me. When guests come to Rancho Pinot, they’re coming to my home. I want my guests to feel good, taken care of and to have a civilized dining experience.”

Rancho Pinot Throwback dinners

Chrysa honed her kitchen skills in California before returning to Arizona to open Rancho Pinot in 1993. The dinners pay homage to those who inspired her and whom she’s inspired including FnB chef/owner Charleen Badman and Sacha Levine who’s opening her own restaurant.

The wine will be flowing as Rancho Pinot strolls down memory lane with theses weekly dinners.

Thursday, November 1, 2018 Girls Night

A dinner featuring several of Chef Robertson’s counterparts at Rancho over the years, including Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Sacha Levine formerly of Ocotillo Restaurant, Michelle Mango of Mango Cakes, Shannon Plowman of La Vie in Pinetop and Wendy Lair, a personal chef in Northern California.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 Wine Night

A nod to Master Sommeliers, Wine Night features two Rancho Pinot alums, MS Bobby Stuckey and MS Christopher Tanghe, as they work the floor, pouring special bottles paired with an equally extravagant menu.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 Southern California Days

Mentor and inspiration, Nancy Silverton – currently Mozza and Chi Spaca in LA – formerly of Campanile and La Brea Bakery, joins friend Suzanne Tracht of Jar Restaurant in LA, to remember Chef Robertson’s time working in Los Angeles in 1990 with a fun and collaborative menu.

Thursday, November 29, 2018 Northern California Days
Celebrating Chef Robertson’s Napa Valley experience with Terra Restaurant’s Chef Hiro Sone and former sous chef, Jim Neal, this evening brings the famed flavors of Napa Valley to the Sonoran Desert for a can’t-miss culinary dinner event.

Starting in October you can RSVP by calling Rancho Pinot at 480-367-8030 or email to ranchopinot@hotmail.com

Rancho Pinot is at 6208 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. For more information see their website.