The Rafter Room opened this weekend offering guests a rum and tequila focused cocktail list. The newest cocktail hideaway is upstairs in the loft of Tempe’s Social Hall which opened in January. With the completion of The Rafter Room the two-story facility offers guests over 10,000 square feet of space perfect for happy hour and hanging out.
The Rafter Room design
The Rafter Room was designed Camila Gibbs and offers ” a moodier, edgier evolution” compared to downstairs. The converted barn has triple vaulted ceilings, vintage voting booth lights, patina walls and a raised stage for presentations and live music. According to co-owner Mike Kenney “The space has an industrial, secret hideaway type of vibe that really sets it apart from the restaurant down below.”
Social Hall cocktail and food offerings
The Latin inspired menu downstairs will be available upstairs with Pork Belly Street Tacos, Chicano Steak Frites and Huevos Rancheros and more. “Expect an elevated tequila and rum bar program, small-batch and barrel-aged spirits, among other offerings,” said Kenney.
The cocktail program was created to compliment the menu of Social Hall.
Social Hall is at 715 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe 85281. 480-747-3851. For more information see their website.
Looking to get away this summer and cool off, look no further than Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa. The luxury resort in Paradise Valley offer guests several ways to chill out whether it be through exercise, food or a refreshing cocktail.
Whether you’re flying in for a few days or live here in town and want to get out of the house these escapes will make your day.
Paddle Board Yoga Elevate your yoga experience with Paddle Board Yoga. Classes are held in the Infinity pool at 7 a.m. every Thursday – Sunday for just $55 per person.
Spa Steals Guests can escape the heat at the Sanctuary Spa. The 60-minute Swedish Massage and Sanctuary Jewel Facial drop to $119 midweek and $139 weekend (regularly $175/$185). Post treatment, guests can relax in the new Women’s Quiet Room – a windowless, cocoon-like escape designed for tranquility that opened this year. Guests that enjoy a Monday-Thursday spa treatment receive access to the spa and amenities. Included are the infinity pool, lap pool, steam room, whirlpools, relaxation lounges and fitness center—for the entire day.
The foodie in you
Summer in Paradise Simmer down to a three-course meal by Food Network favorite Executive Chef Beau MacMillan at Elements restaurant. Available for $49 per person (plus 50 percent off select wine bottles), not including tax and gratuity from Sunday to Wednesday, June 3 through Aug. 30.
Lunch and Learn Impress friends with new skills after a culinary lesson from Chef Carl Ruiz, Master Mixologist Tony AbouGanim and Chef Danny Grant. Lunch and dinner events will be Saturdays, Aug. 4, 11, 25 and Sept. 1.
Brunch at elements End the weekend on a high note with Sunday brunch at Elements from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Must-tries on the a la carte menu: black truffle benedict on English muffin with breakfast potatoes, nueske’s bacon, grilled asparagus and foie gras hollandaise
Resort cocktail events
Summer Pour Cool off at Jade Bar during The Pour (a very happy two hours) with refreshing drink specials every Monday through Friday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Live music and Jaded Nights The sounds of jazz, pop and R&B vocalists take hold at jade bar on Friday evenings from 8 to 11 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. When the sun sets, Jaded Nights begins (9 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 13-Aug. 26). Choose from food and drink specials like $9 craft cocktails, $8 Korean Wings, $10 Jade Burger or the $2.50 oyster special.
Saturday Mixology 101 Perfect for a sleepy Saturday afternoon, Mixology 101 features resort mixologists sharing techniques and tastings of four innovative cocktail creations. Courses are held at noon each Saturday except Aug. 4, 11, 25 and Sept. 1. Reservations required and first timers will receive 15% off food during their class.
Sunday Bar Brawl The heat is on for the region’s best bartenders. Sanctuary’s Bar Brawl is back for its fourth season with new additions and surprises on Sundays, July 15-Aug. 26. Details coming soon. I can tell you there will be a new chef pop-up experience, with a special happy hour menu crafted by a local celebrity chef at each Bar Brawl event. Also, each week’s Lunch & Learn celebrity will serve as a guest judge. On Friday’s, guest bartenders will create Red Bull specialty cocktails from 9 – 10:30 p.m., the guest favorite featured at Sunday’s Bar Brawl.
Sanctuary on Camelback is at 5700 E. McDonald Dr. Paradise Valley 85253. For reservations call 855-245-2051 or on-line.
With local farmer’s markets growing in popularity the last few years in Phoenix it comes as no surprise when it heats up many farmer’s markets take the summer off. Hotel Valley Ho’s executive chef Rusell LaCasce’s solution is to have an indoor farmer’s market and invite a few chef friends.
On Saturday June 23rd & 30th and July 14th & 21st guests can escape the heat at the hotels’ Sands event venue from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Farmer’s market chefs & vendors
Guests will enjoy small bites prepared by local chefs Matt Carter, Gio Osso and Beau Macmillan while they shop for produce and handcrafted goods. At the Zuzu booth Chef LaCasce and Pastry Chef Audrey Enriquez will be selling homemade pastries including pies, scones and other homemade treats.
Guests will also be able to sample cocktails, purchase drinks from the full bar and listen to live music from Trio Rio while they shop.
Local purveyors including MJ Bread, Crow’s Dairy, Twisted Infusion Farms and Ruze Cake House will be on hand with other Arizona purveyors.
A refrigerate bag check will be available for your purchases while you enjoy the morning.
Tickets for the farmer’s market are available on-line for $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Your ticket gets you chef’s bites, cocktail samples and a 25% off gift certificate at Zuzu. A $10 voucher for use at the market with a purchase of $20 or more is also included.
Hotel Valley Ho is at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.
People want options for their diet and next weeks launch of their Seasonal Crafts Menu, Pita Jungle gives customers options. With 7 new dishes, 7 protein options and 3 sides guests will have plenty of options to mix and match with.
4 new drinks will also be available on their cocktail menu along with a new Vegan and Gluten-Free menu.
Seasonal Crafts Menu
Whether your diet allows you to eat all on the menu or you prefer Vegan or Gluten Free dishes all diets are accommodated.
Avocado Hummus Tostada: baked corn tortilla, avocado hummus, Tuscan kale and cabbage slaw, avocado, pickled onions, garlic, pico de gallo, jungle damage green sriracha and cumin-yogurt sauce
Barley & Beluga Lentil Fetoosh Bowl: toasted barley, beluga lentils, Tuscan kale, roma tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, red bell pepper, radish, red and green onions, garlic, fresh jalapeno, fresh mint, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, pomegranate vinaigrette and pita chips
Veggie-Quinoa Stir Fry with Kimchi: red quinoa, broccoli, carrots , mushrooms, baby spinach, red onions, minced garlic and ginger, cage free egg, jungle damage green sriracha and kimchi
Crouching Kale & Hidden Berry Bowl: Tuscan kale, blueberry, pomegranate seeds, carrots, fresh jalapeno, white and red cabbage, red bell peppers, garlic, ginger, fresh mint, toasted almonds and Thai-tahini dressing
Avocado & Garbanzo Southwest Bowl: avocado, chickpeas, red quinoa, roma tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, celery, roasted jalapenos, organic blue corn chips, pickled onions, fresh mint and parsley, minced garlic, pumpkin seeds, cumin and herb-honey-apple-cider vinaigrette
Those of us that stick it out through the long hot summer deserve an award and Quiessence at the Farm is doing that, kind of. The award-winning farm to table restaurant is bringing back two popular dining experiences for locals before they take time off.
Locals dining experiences
Before chef Dustin Christofolo and staff shut down the restaurant from July 1st – August 9th they will be offering a limited seat dinner “Taste of Quiessence”. Tuesday-Thursday’s June 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th will offer 12 guests per night the opportunity to taste seasonal vegetables and more on a nightly changing Tasting menu. The first come, first serve dinners will offer guests seasonal ingredients from the farm and from other Arizona vendor as part of the 3-course dinner.
The Taste of Quiessence dinners are $45++ per person with a wine pairing option for an additional $20 per person.
Thursday Wine Flight
When the restaurant re-opens in August after a research and development hiatus guests can join them for Thursday Wine Flights with a trio of tapas. Level 2 sommelier Alison Sponberg will select wines to pair with chef Christolofo’s special menu for the evening.
The three-week themes will be…
August 16 – “Southwest is Best” August 23 – “Farmers, Friends, and Friuli” August 30 – “Summer in the South of France”
Cost for the wine and food pairing experience is $40 per person++.
Guests can make reservations for both experiences by calling 602-276-0601 and can make reservations for August’s Thursday Wine Flights during the July hiatus. Be sure to mention the wine flights to receive the special menu and price.
Quiessence at The Farm is at 6106 S. 32nd Street Phoenix, AZ 85042. Visit their website for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Update: Shortly after I posted this I was informed that due to supply issues this event is being postponed. I hope to have a new date for you in next couple of days.
Negroni Week is coming to an end and one restaurant is ending it in world record-setting style. The Sicilian Butcher will set the record for the Largest Barrel Aged Negroni by combing 3 ingredients into a 500 liter barrel.
Making the World’s Largest Negroni
On Sunday June 10th from 2-4 p.m. customers are invited to witness history as a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to witness the filling of the barrel.
Sheldon Wiley, Beverage Director of The Maggiore Group will use 14 cases each of three Italian spirits, Carpano Antica Formula, Malfy Gin Originale and Campari. Once combined the barrel will hold approximately 132 gallons, 504 bottles and 16,722 ounces of the cocktail.
Wiley currently hold the world record as The World’s Fastest Bartender and holder of two other world records.
The Sicilian Butcher gives back
Once tapped The Sicilian Butcher will be selling Negroni’s for $5 with 25% of sales being donated to CORE(Children of Restaurant Employees). CORE, a non-profit helps to support children of food and beverage service employees going through life altering circumstances.
The Sicilian Butcher is at 15530 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85032. For more information see their website.
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 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.
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.
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.