Nothing’s better than BBQ, Bourbon & Beer at Mowry & Cotton

The Phoenician’s Mowry & Cotton restaurant is again hosting their signature BBQ, Bourbon & Beer Feast on Saturday October 27th. Chef de Cuisine Tandy Peterson cooks BBQ favorites smoked spare ribs and whole roasted pig paired with local beers and bourbon. Resort guests and locals are invited to this all-you-can-eat feast.

Guests will be able to sample beers from Four Peaks Brewing Co., Huss Brewing and Phoenix Ale House. Sip on bourbon from Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and Woodford Reserve.

The 21 & over event offers guests the chance to mix & mingle as they sample food and drink on the patio and at stations inside the restaurant.

Seating is limited and tickets are $70 plus tax & gratuity and include unlimited food and 6 drink samples. The event goes from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-423-2530 or by email. For more information visit their website.

 

 

Effective today Cullen Campbell’s Crudo is now Bar Pesce

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.

Crab Mi Roll

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.

Photos courtesy of MMPR Marketing

Anew look

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.

 

Mountain Shadows offers Wine, Spirits & Beer seminars

Your never to old to learn about wine, beer and spirits and the staff at Mountain Shadows resort and Hearth ’61 teaches us about all three. The Paradise Valley resort is offering an every other week seminar about wine, spirits and beer called Spirited Sipping Seminars. The 30-45 minute seminar is taught by resort Food & Beverage director Jim Gallen and bartender Travis. Guests will taste each of the three beverages discussed and be able to ask questions.

As the wine, spirits and beer world continue evolve learning the history, making of and trends of cocktails, wine and beer becomes more interesting. During the cocktail seminars you will learn how to make cocktails and receive the recipes.

Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mountain Shadows

Wine, Beer & Spirits seminar schedule

Saturday afternoon classes start at 3 p.m. and are $30 per class. The following classes are scheduled through December.

Oct. 20- Brews & (Taste) Buds. USA vs Europe.

Nov. 3- Craft of the Cocktail Gin: The Misunderstood Spirit

Nov. 17- Weekend Wine Sessions Wine for Thanksgiving

Dec. 1- Craft of the Cocktail Holiday Cocktails

Dec. 15- Brews & (Taste) Buds- Ales vs Lagers: Finding your style

Dec. 29- Weekend Wine Sessions A Bit of Bubbly USA vs France

Local restaurants raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and three local Phoenix restaurants are raising money all month-long. By purchasing a featured menu item you will be helping to fight a disease that affects us all. Both non-profits are also local to the Phoenix area.

Don’t be a chump, check for a lump!……

……is the name a of a local non-profit that helps fight breast cancer through education, prevention and direct assistance. They provide free wigs, mammograms and treatment and is benefiting from Babbo Italian Eatery. When you order the Pasta Valducci part of the proceeds will be donated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Enjoy a bowl of penne pasta tossed with Kalamata olives, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in a pink sauce. Babbo has a goal of raising $10,000.00 during the month-long fundraiser with the dish available at all 8 locations. For more information visit Babbo’s website and http://www.checkforalump.org/

Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Farm & Craft

Save Your Melons is the month-long fundraiser at Farm & Craft in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Both locations are donating a portion of proceeds from their Forbidden Fruits(watermelon) drinks to I’mpact One for the month of October. Scottsdale’s location is at 4302 N. Scottsdale Rd 85251 and Phoenix is at The Colony 5538 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014. http://impactone.pink/

Drink Pink at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

The Gilbert location will also donate to I’mpact One a portion of the proceeds from Dierks Pink Lemonade. Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row is at 323 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85234.

La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval emerges with a new look and menu

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.”

The new Short Rib Barbacoa. All photos courtesy of The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

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.

Black Currant Margarita

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.”

The Bar at La Hacienda

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.

 

Waimea Canyon then back to the east end of Kauai

After my day at sea I continued west toward Waimea for the night so I could drive through Waimea Canyon and where else the road would take me. I pulled into Waimea Plantation Cottages for the night to refresh and enjoy the beachfront accommodations.

A bit higher than I wanted to pay for less than 24 hours I ponied up the cash for the studio($184) and enjoyed the surroundings. Since this was the western most part of the island I was staying on I hoped to see a sunset from the beach but the clouds put a damper on those plans.

A bit disappointed with the amount of insects in the room my $25 resort fee was refunded. That’s what you get with arid temperatures near the ocean.

Up to Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park

I woke up energized and made my way up Waimea Canyon Dr. (550) towards Waimea Canyon State Park taking in the views of Waimea area and the Pacific.

Winding roads climb in elevation as this area is where hunters, hikers and campers head to enjoy the outdoors. Many pull-offs to stop to take pictures I make it into the park and view steep green and brown cliffs and waterfalls.

In the distance you hear but barely see the helicopters taking tourists even closer.(See below). After several pictures and “oohs” and “aahs” I exit the park and continue toward Koke’e State Park.

I pass military outposts that take advantage of the farthest west part of the U.S. and high elevations to protect our country. Koke’e State Park offers views of Napali Coast from Kalalau Valley Lookout and  Pu’u O Kila Lookout. There are breathtaking views from high above of steep rock formations spiking upwards. Hiking trails lead to beaches through the green lined cliffs. Shorter hikes can be done and you should always prepare accordingly.

Down the road and heading back east

After two hours taking in breathtaking views I head down to sea level and cruise back through Waimea towards Lihue making stops along the way. First stop was Kauai Coffee Company to taste the locally grown coffee and take a self guide tour. Much what you’d expect of coffee samples, gift shop, a coffee museum, local plants and rows of coffee trees. Free tours are available and so is a small sandwich shop. Definitely worth  a stop to take in the local culture and surroundings.

I was hungry so I made my way to Koloa and grabbed fish tacos from a food truck before I strolled the village. Old Koloa Town is a plantation village with shops, restaurants and rich in sugar plantation history….and filled with chickens roaming and singing. I love the trees in the area as their canopy offers shade and seem very nicely manicured.

I headed back through the resort town of Poipu past small local beaches and condos towards the Spouting Horn geyser. Taking a few minutes to watch the surf erupt through the lava holes forming spouting geyser. A nice stop to view the surf crashing and let mother nature do her thing.

I made my way to Kapaa to Bubba Burger on a recommendation from a friend for dinner. Using local Kauai beef Bubba Burger is tasty and easy on the wallet. Sit above the street and watch people and traffic go by along the beach road. After my burger I U turned it back to Hilue for my night at The Tip Top Motel.

Hiking Hanalei and helicopters

The Tip Top Motel, Cafe & Bakery made for an ok stay as accommodations were fine(as were other places I stayed) but the breakfast wasn’t the 4 stars I saw on Yelp!. An average breakfast and no complimentary coffee other places I stayed have offered. At $120 a night(taxes & fees incl) for basic accommodations a couple of cups of coffee would’ve been nice. They say it’s the little things that matter the most.

Checking out during the morning rain I continued my way east towards Hanalei hoping the rain would end so I could hike that I previously mentioned. As I drove I saw blue sky peeking trough the clouds giving me optimism my hike would happen.

In no hurry I turned off Kuhio Highway often to drive along the beach and hills to see the sights. Not being able to see a sunrise or sunset due to clouds or my location on the island I was glad to see a rainbow over the mountain.

A quick left over the single lane bridge into Hanelai is the road that leads into the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and the Okolehao Trail. The only car in the parking lot I was skeptical but determined to head up the steep and muddy trail. Grabbing a walking stick I made my way up through the forest trying to keep my balance.

After 25 minutes I made my way to a great vantage point for viewing Hanalei Bay and the farms below. I continued 200 yards through thicker forest, with rain clouds in the distance I figured I’d seen enough and headed down.

On my way down I met a hikers on their way up who mentioned I made it to the best point to see the view. The trail goes higher and steeper I was told that captures a view of the whole island. With the clouds I doubt I would’ve seen it all, perhaps on my next visit.

Pulling into Hanalei village I walked to the beach to fill a container with sand for a friend who collects sand(???). I then made my way to Tropical Taco for Ahi tacos for a#TacoTuesday lunch.

Leisurely I headed back to Lihue pulling off Kuhio Highway to see the sights on the northern side of the island. I stopped at Island Helicopters to book a flight and found myself on a flight 90 minutes later. Island Helicopters is the only helicopter company to land at Jurassic Falls. I didn’t take that tour but did take the Grand Deluxe tour ($180 cash/ $187 cc) which lasted 50-60 minutes. I did my research and Island Helicopters offers the best price for helicopter tours on the island.

With a front row view we lifted off from the Lihue Airport heliport and had amazing views of Kauai. Mountains, waterfalls, farms, over the ocean, Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon you see everything and many only visible by air.

Our pilot Joseph is a Kauai native and knew about everything we flew over from who owned what land, what it used to be used for, what movies we’re filmed where on the island(The Descendants, Seven Days & Six Nights and Jurassic Park, etc) and so on. An amazing adventure that I almost talked myself out of.

After the hour in the air I walked to Smiley’s Local Grinds for dinner. A small restaurant in a Lihue strip mall filled with locals and people taking out dinner. Good Hawaiian food ( I had Smiley’s Chicken in Garlic Chili sauce ($11.85) at good prices. Nothing fancy just good food and a smiley face whether you’re on a budget or a big spender. Go where the locals go.

The last two days of my trip will be relaxing though I will be out to see and eat more. See ya soon!

***Check out my Facebook & Twitter @SandyWasserman Instagram @SandyWass #SandyTakesKauai for photos and video.***

 

 

Arizona Restaurant Week at Artizen and Hearth ’61

Arizona Restaurant Week makes its return September 21st-30th and it would be a full-time job to list all participating restaurants. I’ve decided to post about 2 restaurants that are of interest Artizen, American Crafted Kitchen & Bar at The Camby Hotel and Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort.

Artizen

Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar offers 4 courses for $44++ where guests will choose 1 dish from each course. Executive Chef Dushyant Singh’s menu offers gluten-free and vegetarian dishes on each course and is inspired by unique Arizona flavors.

First Course-
Griddled Halloumi gf/vegetarian
Grilled Shishitos, Black Garlic, Cilantro Pesto, Mint

Crispy Pork Cheeks gf
Popcorn Grits, Pickled Beets, Wood Sorrel

Pickled Rock Shrimp Tartine
Baby Peppers, Shallots, Tarragon, EVOO, Grilled Ciabatta

Second Course
Shaved Brussels Sprout salad gf/vegetarian

Sun Dried Apple, Shaft’s Blue, AZ Pomegranate, Ginger Serrano Vinaigrette

Third Course
Pan Seared Corvina
Glazed Turnips, Pea sprouts, Garlic Dashi, Beech Mushrooms

Braised Hudson Valley Duck
Duck Terrine, Crispy Leg, Charred Broccolini, Dried Blueberries, Hazelnuts, Smoked Duck Cream

Vegetable Sheppard’s Pie gf/vegetarian
Eggplant, Fava beans, Corn, Mirepoix, Thyme, Tomato Gravy, Whipped Potatoes

Fourth Course
Caramelized Banana Budino gf/vegetarian
Dulce de Leche, Peanut Meringue, Chocolate Twigs

Chocolate Panna Cotta vegetarian
Berry Compote, Vanilla Bean Gelato, Salt Shortbread Cookie

Artizen is inside The Camby Hotel at 2401 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016 and reservations can be made by going to their website.

Hearth ’61

Hearth ’61 Roasted Beet Salad. Photos courtesy of Jack Busch at J Public Relations.

Guests at Hearth ’61 will enjoy 3 courses for $44++ from Chef Charles Wiley using the highest quality ingredients.

To Begin (choice of)
Roasted Beet Salad | celeriac | arugula | candied pecans | brown butter vinaigrette

Wood Roasted Hawaiian Prawns and Polenta | smoked cheddar | andouille sausage |mushroom broth | scallions

Berkshire Pork Croquette | watercress & fennel salad | arizona dates | farro | glazed carrots

Entrées (choice of)
Pan-Roasted Ora King Salmon* | mushroom gremolata | melted leeks | parsley salad

Sweet Corn Agnolotti | smoked red onion | charred kale | walnuts | basil beurre blanc

Niman Ranch Prime Tenderloin of Beef* | red wine demi-glace | horseradish cream |smoked sweet potato mash

Dessert (choice of)
Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake | java chip bavarian cream | raspberry gastrique

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar | banana brulee | salted caramel ice cream

Peach & Sun-Dried Cranberry Bread Pudding | cinnamon ice cream | blackberry coulis

Reservations can be made by calling 855-485-1417 or by going to their website. Mountain Shadows Resort and Hearth ’61 is at 5445 Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

J & G Steakhouse re-opens with a refreshing new look and menus.

The Phoenician’s award-winning J & G Steakhouse re-opened this week with a refreshing new look and menu. The 3 month re-model is inspired by the desert landscape and coincides with the re-model of the resorts lobby, spa, lounge and pool.

The restaurant has an all new interior that include wall to ceiling windows offering guests a beautiful south-facing view. Neutral earth tone colors are visible in the main dining room and lounge along with new stylish decor. Shiny metals, new mid-century modern booths and chandeliers were added to offer guests  new look and ambiance.

J & G Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye. All photos courtesy of J & G Steakhouse at The Phoenician

The new interior was designed by Parker Torres Designs who also designed the resorts luxurious recent re-model.

The outdoor dining patio includes new fire pits, seating for more guests and ceiling fans for year round outdoor dining.

New seasonal menu at in the steakhouse

Serving dinner daily from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. guests will enjoy an exciting new seasonal menu from Executive Chef Jacques Qualin. The new menu offers a 30 ounce Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye, Roasted Red Snapper with baby leeks & mushroom vinaigrette and an impressive Alaskan King Crab Legs entrée. Additional new menu items include Roasted Porcini & Chestnut Risotto, Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Rack of Lamb.

steakhouse
Roasted Porcini & Chestnut Risotto

Head mixologist Robert Porter has created a new handcrafted cocktail menu including the jalapeno spiced Fiery Mandarin and a classic with a Mexican twist, the Mezcal Negroni. J & G Steakhouse was awarded the prestigious “Best of Excellence Award” for 2018 from Wine Spectator magazine for its worldly wine list.

Fiery Mandarin

J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician is at 6000 E. Camelback Rd. in Scottsdale. For reservations call 480-214-8000 or visit https://www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com/

Learn and lunch cooking class returns to Marcellino Ristorante

Class is back in session at Marcellino Ristorante with new themes and recipes for his monthly cooking class. Limited seating is available at the Chef’s Island where Marcellino will share his secrets to making his hand-crafted Italian cuisine.

Class participants will enjoy lunch following class that includes the main dish from the cooking demonstration along with a salad and dessert.

Classes are from 1 p.m. – 3p.m. with the first class starting in 2 weeks. Reservations can be made by calling 480-990-9500.Cooking class

Saturday, September 22

Cost: $35/per person

Menu: Chef’s fresh pasta and sauce featuring Italian Brocoli di Rape and Salsiccia (sausage)

Saturday, October 20

Cost: $40+/per person

Menu: Ravioli filled with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese

Saturday, November 17

Cost: $40/per person

Menu: Pollo Saporito — humanely raised chicken breast sautéed with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and tomato

Saturday, December 15

Cost: $35/per person

Menu: “Christmas Eve in Italy” featuring Scialatielli alle Vongolle — handcrafted pasta sautéed with Manila clams, olive oil, garlic, white wine and red pepper flakes.

Marcellino Ristorante is at 7114 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. http://marcellinoristorante.com/

TEXAZ Grill serves up its annual Texas State Fair Fare

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!

TEXAZ Grill is at 6003 N. 16th St. Phoenix AZ. 85016. 602-248-7287. http://www.texazgrill.com/