KOVO Modern Mediterranean to open in northeast Phoenix

Long time restaurateur Yianni Ioannou opens his new restaurant KOVO Modern Mediterranean in mid-September on the northeast corner of Shea & Tatum. Growing up in Cyprus he came to the United States and operated Greek restaurants learning all aspects of the restaurant industry.

According to Ioannou, “We are excited to bring to the Valley the simple, delicious flavors and bright spices of the Mediterranean. This area of the globe is a melting pot of cultures and culinary influences. This diversity of cuisine will be showcased at KOVO in a modern, approachable way.”

Traditional dishes at KOVO Modern Mediterranean

KOVO Modern Mediterranean will highlight traditional dishes from family recipes, Yianni’s travels throughout the region and his time in the Greek restaurants. A wood fired oven will cook pizzas and other specialties including lamb, beef and organic chicken. KOVO is Greek for “to carve” and the meats will be cooked vertically in a rotisserie style in the open kitchen.

Shared plates such as hummus, tzatziki, grilled eggplant, grilled octopus and Hallumi will be served along with cheese boards and bruschetta. Savory and sweet pastries including Spanokapita and Baklava will also be served and available for take-out.

Signature cocktails, craft beers and old and new world wines will be served.

The 4,000 square foot restaurant will have an open feel and modern design. Mediterranean tiles and ocean blue accents will highlight design features. The dining room, bar and patio has room for more than 140 guests.

Kovo Modern Mediterranean will be open 7 days a week with lunch and dinner Monday – Friday and brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is at 10625 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix, Ariz., 85028. For updates and information check out http://www.kovomedi.com/

 

2018 AZ Central Wine & Food experience welcomes Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez

Over 60 Arizona restaurants and their chefs return November 3rd & 4th for the 4th annual AZ Central Wine & Food Experience. The 2018 experience moves up the road to Monterra at Westworld and includes celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez.

Marcus Samuelsson
All photos courtesy of FleurCom Group

The Martha Stewart Experience returns

AZWFE welcomes back The Martha Stewart Experience with a Celebrating with Martha theme for guests to get creative just in time for the holidays. You’ll be able to check out Martha’s newest line of kitchen gear and utensils from Macy’s and QVC.

New to this years event is the The Grateful House where guests can make their own salsa and wine charms. Their will be Master Demo lead by a Grateful Influencer to 40 people on a first come first serve basis.

Join Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez

On Saturday award-winning chef Marcus Samuelesson will join the festivities along with local chefs. Sunday welcomes chef and Food Network judge Aaron Sanchez who will mix and mingle with guest and more local chefs.

Chefs from across the valley including Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood, Jennifer Russo of The Market by Jennifer Restaurant and Bar and MATCH Restaurant and Lounge chef Alex Stratta will prepare tastes of food.

Get your tickets

Tickets for the two day event are available at their website.

  • Grand Tasting.  $65 limited time offer in advance. Sample delicious bites from Arizona’s most coveted dining establishments. Meet chefs, taste their creations; see cooking demonstrations.  Plus enjoy fine wine, craft beer and distinctive spirits sampling. GT entry at 1pm Sat. and Sun.
  • VIP Grand Tasting. $120 in advance.  For guests who seek all the benefits of the Grand Tasting, they’ll also enjoy private tastings from wineries and distillers, early entry, a VIP Lounge and VIP restrooms. VIP Entry at noon.
  • Chef’s Package Experience with Marcus Samulesson & Aarón Sánchez.  $180 in advance. Enjoy all the benefits of the VIP Grand Tasting, PLUS private meet and greet and book-signing with Marcus Samuelsson Nov. 3 & Aarón Sánchez Nov. 4 [Advance purchase recommended. Tickets subject to sellout.] Chef’s Package begins at 11:30am. Subscribers are eligible for $15 off tickets, available only through azcentral.com/insider.

 

Hearth ’61 promotes Richard Garcia to executive sous chef

Hearth ’61 executive sous chef Richard Garcia

Correction: Richard was promoted to Executive Sous Chef of the resort, not Hearth ’61.

In less than a year at Mountain Shadows Resort, Banquet Chef Richard Garcia has been promoted to Executive Sous Chef at the Paradise Valley resort’s signature restaurant Hearth ’61. Garcia will be working under the guidance of Executive Chef Charles Wiley. This isn’t the first time the duo have worked together as they helped re-open Hotel Valley Ho in 2005.

New Mexico born Garcia spent time in Santa Fe where he found his love for food and cooking from local chefs. In 1998 he worked at Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe learning how to cook southwestern cuisine before attending Scottsdale Culinary Institute. After earning an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts he returned to Santa Fe to work at the El Dorado Hotel.

Garcia returned to Scottsdale’s Avalon in his first sous chef position before heading to Trader Vic’s as sous chef. He joined Hotel Valley Ho’s Zuzu as their first chef de cuisine before being promoted to executive sous chef.

He was re-united with Wiley in late 2017 when he accepted a position at Mountain Shadows as banquet chef.

Wiley is thrilled to have him at Hearth ’61 as he brings his innovative cooking style using simple ingredients to the menu.

executive sous chef
Hearth ’61 Ahi Tartare. All photos courtesy of J Public Relations

 

Much anticipated Ghost Ranch to open August 27th

One of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings of 2018 is happening as August ends when Aaron Chamblerin’s Ghost Ranch opens on the 27th. It’s been a busy year for Chamberlin having opened Taco Chelo in downtown Phoenix and Ghost Ranch’s neighbor Tempe Public Market. He also sold his central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis to focus on opening Ghost Ranch.

All photos courtesy of Ghost Ranch

Eat at Ghost Ranch

The modern Southwestern restaurant located is on the same corner as TPM at the northeast corner of Rural & Warner. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends.

The menu will focus on cuisine from northern Mexico, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico combining the culinary talents of Chamberlin and chefs Rene Andrade  & Roberto Centeno. Both chefs come to Chamberlin Hospitality from other Phoenix area restaurants and will offer dishes from their upbringing in Nogales.

Ghost Ranch
Chile Relleno

“One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of roasting chiles, and it was that smell that made me want to open up a restaurant that embodied the bold flavors of the Southwest,” said Chamberlin. “Rene and Roberto have such a deep understanding of the history, culture and flavors of the region — they are the perfect talents to help make my dream a reality.”

The menu includes red and green chile smothered enchiladas, cowboy steaks, seasonal vegetables from local farmers and grilled trout from the wood smoking grill. Seasonal soups and salads will be on the menu as well.

A beer and wine list has been carefully created as are signature cocktails made with regional ingredients and spirits.

Follow my Instagram @SandyWass as I will be headed to preview Ghost Ranch next week and will be posting from there.

Ghost Ranch is in the Landis Crossing shopping center at 1006 E. Warner Rd Tempe 85254. http://GhostRanchAZ.com.

Press Coffee to open cafe at Scottsdale Waterfront in August

Press Coffee announced last week they’re opening the 9th location of the popular coffee shop/cafe at the Scottsdale Waterfront in late August. It will be the roasters’ 2nd Scottsdale location since opening in the Scottsdale Quarter. 

“Old Town Scottsdale is a great neighborhood for locals and Arizona visitors alike and we’re looking forward to being a part of the community,” said Press Coffee co-owner Jason Kyle.

Coffee and more

When Press opens their Scottsdale Waterfront location customers will be able to order from a new breakfast and lunch menu made on site and pastries from Phoenix Public Market.

Egg sandwich. All photos courtesy of Press Coffee

Espresso, pour overs and cold brews will be available using Press’s award-winning coffee roasts.

Donating to Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Once opened Press the Scottsdale Waterfront store will offer its daily drip coffee for $1 the weekend August of 24-26th with all proceeds donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “We’re glad we can start things off by supporting the amazing efforts of Phoenix Children’s Hospital at the opening.” says Kyle.

Flagship roastery in north Phoenix

The Scottsdale Waterfront announcement comes two months after Press announced it was opening a flagship roastery in Spring 2019 near 32nd St. & Shea Blvd. in north Phoenix.

Once opened it will handle all of Press’s roasting along with a cafe and plenty of meeting space. Co-owner Steve Kraus say’s “We are excited about the future of this iconic building. We wanted to go beyond just a production facility and create a space that allows us to share our love for coffee with the community.”

The new facility will double Press’s production and once opened the current facility will exclusively produce their cold brews.

The Scottsdale Waterfront location will be open 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m Mon. – Thurs. 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday. Saturdays from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

It’s at 7135 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251 For more information check their website.

 

 

Former Z’Tejas chef opens Cocina Madrigal in south Phoenix

After years of honing his culinary skills in restaurants in Mexico City and the United States for somebody else, Leo Madrigal decided to take those skills and open his own restaurant. The Oaxacan born Madrigal did just that recently with the opening of his Cocina Madrigal on the corner of 16th St. & Wood in south Phoenix.

All photos courtesy of Kassidy McDonald at Evolve Marketing

The 1,900 sq. ft. restaurant seats up to 140 people once the patio opens including the bar that’s serving signature margaritas and a unique section of tequila. “From the moment our guests walk into the restaurant, I want them to feel welcomed, appreciated and at home. I’m so excited to share my commitment to service and high quality food at our new location in South Phoenix,” says Madrigal.

Cocina Madrigal signature dishes

Madrigal wanted to always share his vision of Mexican cuisine at his own restaurant after working in restaurants such as Z’Tejas, Eddie V’s and Taco Guild after arriving from Houston. The menu is inspired by growing up in Oaxaca and he giving it an American twist with such dishes as Oaxacan Con Queso with American & Oaxacan cheese, Mango Steak Salad, Tres Mushrooms Enchiladas and Grilled Elote with Cotija cheese.

Mexican food staples tacos, enchiladas and burros are given Madrigals twist as well.

Cocina Madrigal is open for lunch and dinner Sun.- Thurs. from 11 a.m. -10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. with Happy Hour Mon. – Fri. from 2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Cocina Madrigal is at 4044 S. 16th St. Phoenix 85040. (602)243-9000 For more information check their Facebook page.

 

The Dressing Room founders to open daytime hangout The Larry

Riding on the success of their restaurant The Dressing Room the founders are opening The Larry a few blocks further south in downtown Phoenix’s warehouse district. The breakfast, lunch and happy hour hangout will be opening on Monday August 13th and will be open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

All photos courtesy of The Larry

The Larry in The Lawrence building

The owners chose the warehouse district for its tech focused business community and to create a sense of community south of downtown. Located in The Lawrence Building, The Larry will have both indoor and outdoor seating among its modern decor.

“The breakfast, lunch and happy hour concept is one that really resonates with the Downtown Phoenix crowd,” said owner Kyu Utsunomiya. “The Larry is that spot where you can come network during lunch hour or catch up with a friend over cocktails after work.”The Larry

What to eat and drink

Executive chef Luis Arellano has created a healthy and colorful menu of dishes from around the world including Soba Noodle Salad and Korean Fried Chicken sandwich. A revolving pizza selection will be available along with other dishes and several meals will be available for grab-n-go.

Soba noodles

Baristas will be serving desserts and preparing coffee drinks to give you the energy needed to get through the day. Specialty cocktails including Pisco Punch are also on the menu.

Grand opening week specials

To make good with the neighbors and make new friends The Larry will be offering a half price menu during opening week ending on Friday the 17th.

An entire years worth of coffee(1 cup per week) is being given away and you can get in on it by going to their website to enter.

The Larry is at 515 E. Grant St. Phoenix 85004.

 

Ramen Hood opens serving Build-Your-Own-ramen bowls

The fast casual Build-Your-Own restaurant concepts seem to be catching more steam as Ramen Hood opened in north Scottsdale recently. The strip mall shop off the loop 101 at Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. already has a captive audience.

Ramen Hood
All photos courtesy of Ramen Hood

Guests enjoy ramen bowls made with authentic Japanese ingredients along with rice bowls and Japanese specialties including Gyoza, Karaage Fried Chicken and  Steamed Bao. Wash your meal down with the popular Asian soft drink Ramune aka Marble soda or a Japanese tea.

Why Ramen Hood?

“Ramen is one of my most favorite foods in the world. Every time I visit Japan, my first stop is finding a mom and pop ramen restaurant. The best ones are always very low-key, no frills, but always have long lines,” says James Xie, owner of Ramen Hood. “I realized there isn’t really anything comparable in Phoenix. I want people here to know what real ramen is like, and to not be intimidated in trying new styles and flavors.

Ramen bowl with tofu

Walk up to the counter at Ramen Hood and pick a Ramen or Rice bowl then add a protein(Cha Siu Pork, Tofu, etc) broth, sauce and toppings and in minutes you’ll have an Instagram worthy meal.

“Ramen can be way more exciting than the instant packets we ate in college. And at Ramen Hood, we make it just as easy to enjoy!”

“I’ve spoken to many ramen chefs throughout Japan who graciously gave me advice on combining different ingredients, as well as helped me come up with a few new ideas to create the perfect bowl of ramen,” says Xie, who has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 15. “I think it’s these trade secrets that will really make Ramen Hood stand out in the Valley and resonate with people who may not be familiar with traditional ramen.”

Ramen Hood is in the Gateway 101 shopping center at 15807 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Suite 105. Scottsdale 85260. For more information check out their website.

 

 

 

Tempo Urban Bistro to host Robert Mondavi Wine Makers dinner

Buckeye’s modern Tempo Urban Bistro and Coffee Bar will be hosting a 5-course dinner paired with wines from one of Napa Valley’s classic wineries, Robert Mondavi. The dinner will be a great way to end the weekend will take place on Sunday August 19th at 6p.m.

The three year old Tempo Urban Bistro in the Verrado neighborhood of Buckeye will prepare dishes from chef Steven Maynard for this special evening. The menu will be…

  • First Course — Pork Belly Steam Bun with hoisin glaze, cilantro, and pickled onions
  • Second Course — Artichoke and Leek Frittata with frisee salad and heirloom tomatoes
  • Third Course — Cioppino, Italian fish stew
  • Fourth Course — Seared Breast of Duck with dark cherry jus and parsnip puree
  • Fifth Course — White Chocolate Pots de Creme

The wine pairing dinner is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 623-594-6788 and the bistro is at 21067 W. Main st. Buckeye 85396. For more information check out their website.

 

Zuzu releases dates for Monday Night Chef’s Table for coming months

Zuzu and executive chef Russell LaCasce  know how to pull off exciting off menu dinner events. Diners and wine geeks should be excited for their continued success as the next four months of their monthly Monday Night Chef’s Table is set.

The signature restaurant at Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho will offer guests a 4-course dinner paired with wines from prestigious wineries. A guest from the winery will be on hand to speak about the wines and pairings. Although all the menus are not finalized the wineries are and dates are as follows….

August 27th Frog’s Leap Winery– Guests can expect a menu of cabbage cured salmon, charred jumbo asparagus with prosciutto and lobster, dry aged pork chop, and chocolate pot de crème with almond crumble.

September 17th- Wagner Family of Wines

October 22nd– ZD Wines

November 12th– Willakenzie Estate

Each of the dinners start at 6:30 p.m. and cost $75 ++ per person and reservations can be made at http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/ or by calling 480-376-2600. Zuzu is at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.