As I type Ocean 44 Chief Executive Chef Marc Lupino is on his way back to Scottsdale after a quick fishing trip to Alaska. Lupino left Wednesday for Cordova to fish the Copper River for King Salmon before the fishing season opens for commercial fishing.
This unique opportunity has Lupino and a small group of people fishing Thursday into Friday before returning to Scottsdale. Once he returns he will prepare the fish for guests Friday evening. It doesn’t get much fresher than that, especially for a restaurant so far from the Copper River.
Once in the kitchen the fish will be braised in spring water, butter and lemon. Can’t make it in tonight, the fish will be on the menu in coming weeks as more fish are caught.
Celebrating the Copper River King Salmon
This annual event as the fishing season opens has restaurants anticipating the arrival of this rich and flavorful fish. Restaurants in Seattle celebrate it’s arrival as Alaska Airlines delivers thousands of pounds of the fish Friday morning.
The airline’s “Salmon Thirty Salmon” even displays a 129 foot image of the wild caught salmon.
2019 is expected to be better than 2018 for the salmon harvest.
Ocean 44 is at 4748 N. Goldwater Blvd. Scottsdale 85251.
Guests dining for dinner and brunch at Mowry & Cotton will notice new dishes to choose from the next time they dine at the restaurant. Chef de Cuisine Tandy Peterson has added Spring vegetables and proteins to the menu at the award-wining restaurant.
At the modern American restaurant inside The Phoenician Resort, Peterson has chosen lighter and fresh fare for Spring dining. New dishes on the dinner menu include Corn & Chorizo dip with chicharrones, chilis & Oaxaca cheese. Popular American comfort food favorite Chicken Pot Pie is packed with potatoes, sage veloute and Spring vegetables. A fresh tuna steak and Blistering Shishito Peppers are also featured on the new menu.
New brunch menu items feature Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Belgian Waffles with lemon curd, berries and Chantilly cream.
Mowry & Cotton at The Phoenician 6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. To make reservations to dine with Chef Tandy Peterson call 480.423.2530
Restaurateur Ron Lynch is no stranger to opening restaurants having opened over 100 Tilted Kilt’s across the country. Having left Tilted Kilt, Lynch has opened VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen. The restaurant on Elliot Rd. near Costco serves up Cajun, Creole & Caribbean cuisine.
“We are excited about our location and have really put a lot of work into this menu,” said owner and founder, Ron Lynch. “If there’s one thing to know about Cajun food it’s that the dishes have to be just right. Our patio will be a place for families to people watch, sip some custom blended ice teas, porch wines, nitro cold brew coffee or a craft beer and enjoy a nice bowl of gumbo or jambalaya.”
Lynch brought with him James Heyl to prepare the menu full of savory and spicy dishes. Heyl brings with over 25 years of restaurant experience. Dishes include Po’ Boys, gumbo, red beans & rice and pan roasts from the restaurants steam kettles.
The bright yellow 3,150 square foot restaurant is decorated with murals of late night jazz players dancing on piano keys. Dark wood floors and brick walls adorn the inside of the fast casual restaurant.
VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen official grand opening
VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is now open but will have an official grand opening on Thursday May 16th at 11 a.m. That day a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tempe Diablos. The 501-c non-profit civic organization enhances and promotes the Tempe community. In 2018 the Diablos donated $900,000 to Tempe area charities for scholarships, teacher awards and needs based services.
“The recipe for a great restaurant is incredible food and drinks, a perfect location and rich atmosphere,” said Lynch. “VooDoo Daddy’s has all of that and more. We couldn’t be more excited for this launch.”
VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is at 1325. W. Elliot Rd. Suite 106 Tempe 85284. The restaurant is open Sun. – Thurs. from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. & 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. For more information see their website.
Most people spend their Spring Break heading to beaches or somewhere exotic. I spent my Spring Break road tripping to Salt Lake City to explore the city and food scene. I enjoyed meals at locally owned restaurants based on the recommendation of my friend who has spent the last year living in the area.
The 10 hour drive from Phoenix to Salt Lake City we knew we’d have to stop for at least one meal on the way up. Heading through Page and past Lake Powell into southern Utah you don’t have a lot options once you cross the border. Most meals were under $20 with a couple just above.
First 24 hours in Utah
We decided to stop for dinner in Kanab and pulled into Big Al’s Burgers Drive-In. Kanab is the main route as you head from eastern Arizona to the national parks of southern Utah and points north. A nice little town before you head up the back roads towards I-15. Big Al’s is exactly what you’d expect, burgers, fries, shakes and a few other drive-in favorites. I went with Double Rustler Burger value meal, a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake. Friendly service and made to order food made for a positive first impression of the Utah food scene. It was also my first experience being asked if I wanted “Fry Sauce”. Expect to be asked for this mayo ketchup combo in Utah when ordering fries and other fried foods. I declined as I prefer only ketchup but did taste my friends sauce. It was exactly what you’d expect.
After we made our way through the canyons and over the mountain pass into the night and a snowstorm we arrived late in the night at our destination.
After sleeping in and eggs and coffee at my friend’s place for breakfast we made our way for a mid-afternoon dim sum lunch at Cafe Anh Hong. In a small strip mall full of far east restaurants Anh Hong wasn’t the traditional dim sum restaurant. No ladies pushing carts full of dim sum delicacies but a picture menu under the plexiglass table top. Tell them what you want and everything is made to order. Many dim sum favorites to satisfy your dim sum cravings.
A late dinner was a homemade 24 hour sous vide short rib over risotto prepared by my host was so good I had to mention it.
Breakfast & lunch in Salt Lake City
Waking up the next morning we made our way to the Draper location of La Barba Coffee. Considered one of the if not the best coffee in SLC we sat there sipping our coffee pondering where to go for breakfast. Sipping on a Guatemalan drip coffee I paid more attention to it than I normally would a cup of coffee, it was good cup.
Desiring a breakfast burrito we drove to Taqueria El Gallo Loco in Sandy. I went with Chorizo burrito which was a little light on chorizo for my liking. My friend went with a bowl of Tripe thoroughly enjoying it. We ordered the Flan for dessert (yeah at breakfast) and glad we did, it was topped with toasted coconut and was so good. The owner and our server were friendly and offered good service. I’d give them another shot at a Chroizo burrito.
A mid-afternoon lunch had me desiring an Italian deli sandwich and my friend knew right where to go. We made our way to the 15th & 15th location of Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli where I went with The Caputo. Prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provolone and all the fixings. They dress it with balsamic vinegar as opposed to red wine vinegar which was an interesting choice. Served on an artisan roll I’d come back again. Check off Italian deli off my list.
Enjoying the neighborhood that Tony’s is in we went across the street to Sweetaly for a cup of gelato. It hit the spot after my meaty sandwich.
Park City here we come
With the ski town of Park City less than an hour away we headed into the mountains for lunch. It’s “Mud Season” in Park City so some restaurants close down for a few weeks. We found out the hard way when we wanted to grab a bite to eat at High West Distillery & Saloon. We wound up the brew pub of Wasach Brewing with brunch in full effect. Sipping on an Apricot Hefe with my Wasach burger made for a tasty Park City experience. The Wasach burger is made with buffalo meat and topped with a spicy Cajun remoulade.
I vetoed lunch a Tekila for the brew pub but my friend highly recommends it.
In case you’re wondering dinner at friend’s house back in SLC for homemade corn chowder and cake.
Final day in Salt Lake City
A lazy Sunday morning had us getting a slow start and finally motivating in early afternoon. We picked up a friend and decided to head for something new to me.
A couple of doors down from dim sum was Kungfu Hotpot where I experienced Hotpot cooking for the first time. A pot of mild and spicy boiling broth we filled it with beef, pork, mushrooms, vegetables and more letting it cook to our desired temperatures. The All-You-Can-Eat restaurant had us ordering more piles of beef, greens and seafood balls until I threw down my chopsticks and said “no more”. An interesting experience I’m not sure I could find in Phoenix.
Just a few miles from downtown SLC we made our way to Temple Square to see the gardens, the state capitol and the University of Utah. One last stop before we headed to my friend’s place for the night, Dolcetti Gelato. The Blueberry Balsamic & Rosewater treat to finish my foodie visit to SLC hit the spot after the spicy hotpot.
SLC looks to have a great restaurant scene as I scanned local magazines and websites. Locally owned restaurants and several chains I’ve never seen before looked interesting. I hope to return one day to eat my way through more of what there is to offer. If you find yourself in Salt Lake City on a Sunday be aware that many restaurants aren’t open, even those you’d expect to be including coffeehouses.
To see pictures of my trip to SLC follow me on Instagram @SandyWass
Scottsdale’s Starfire Grille has introduced new chef Robin Murphy along with a new menu. The restaurant is inside the clubhouse of the Starfire Golf Club in Scottsdale and is part of a $750,000 update at the course.
Chef Murphy bring her passion for food to Starfire and has cooked for Madonna, The Arizona Cardinals and other celebrities.
New additions at Starfire Grille
The biggest addition to the menu are wood fired pizzas cooked in the new wood fired pizza oven. Guests will be able to build their own pizza or order the Tomato & Basil, Meat Lover’s or Everything pizza. All pizzas are just $10- $13.
Because not everybody is a fan of pizza new sandwiches were added including The Italian Meatball and The Batman. Served on Naan bread The Batman is filled with bacon, arugula, mozzarella, tomato and avocado aioli.
“We are so excited to introduce these new menu items, and our new wood fired pizzas,” said Chef Robin Murphy. “At the Starfire Grille we are proud to support local farmers, producers and artisans and everything we serve is made fresh on site with the best ingredients available.”
The Starfire Grille offers Happy Hour and they’ve added clams and mussels to the menu. Sunday Brunch is served from 10 a.m – 1 p.m. and offering brunch favorites on a rotating menu.
Updated golf course
For the golfer’s there is an expanded 300 yard driving range and new course layouts with 5 tee boxes. The changes that are expected to speed up your game and will be attractive to all skill levels. Golfers will notice new landscaping on the 18 hole King Course and still offering a park like setting.
Starfire Golf Club is open daily from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily and is at 11500 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85260. For more information visit their website.
With influx of people to Scottsdale for the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, Dominick’s Steakhouse will be staying open later to accommodate hungry guests. The auction starts on Sunday January 12th until the 20th at Westworld. The upscale steakhouse will take reservations until 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide our luxury personal service and a great experience to people from all over the world here at Dominick’s Steakhouse,” said Jeff Mastro, Dominick’s Steakhouse co-founder and partner. “Our restaurant is located less than ten minutes away from WestWorld, where Barrett-Jackson is being held and as always, we’re excited to cater to as many Barrett-Jackson attendees as possible.”
On average 320,000 people from around the world and all 50 states attend the popular auction. The auctions attract casual car enthusiasts as well as celebrities including Jay Leno, Tim Allen and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As one of the most popular events in Scottsdale it’s estimated to have an economic impact of $160 million.
Dominick’s Steakhouse is in The Scottsdale Quarter at 15169 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85254. Reservations can be made online or by calling (480)272-7271.
Arizona restaurants don’t lack for diversity with many ethnic and specialty foods and restaurants available. With fine dining restaurants dwindling Casa Terra will bring vegan fine dining to the forefront when it opens in January 2019. Well known vegan chef and author Jason Wyrick opens Arizona’s first vegan fine dining restaurant in downtown Glendale.
Wyrick’s menu will be plant-based regionally focused Mexican and Mediterranean fare with a fusion twist. His food preparation will include classic and modern cooking techniques offering flavorful meals appealing to all.
According to Wyrick, “I’ve done a lot in my career as a chef, and the one thing that truly inspires me is exploring vegan cuisine and sharing it with people. For the past decade, I’ve had countless requests to open a restaurant. I’ve realized for a while that despite being one of the largest cities in the country with a burgeoning food scene, Phoenix doesn’t have a plant forward fine dining restaurant, and we need one. Casa Terra had to be the next step in my culinary journey.”
The menu at Casa Terra
Wyrick will serve only dinner with his seasonal menu of small plates, wood fired pizzas and sharable entrees. Because of the wide variety of choices Casa Terra offers Wyrick encourages exploring a variety of dishes. The exhibition kitchen will offer guests a glimpse of the food preparation. A few of the dishes include….
· Charred Padrón Peppers: Calabrian chile caramel, candied ginger, sesame seeds, and Aleppo chiles. · Jicama Crudo: escabeche, avocado puree, orange segments, garlic chips, lemon zest, sea salt, and basil-chile oil. · Tapas Tacos: handmade tortillas, pibil mushrooms, shredded smoked seitan, and almond and chile de arbol salsa.
Thin crust wood fired pizza
· Margherita: marinara, mozzarella, local olive oil, local basil and cracked pepper. · Salted Agave and Local Apple: fleur de sel, Aleppo chile, salted ricotta, pomegranate seeds, and herbs. · Carnitas with Mojo Pepita Sauce: almond queso fresco ricotta, tequila shallots, and chile threads.
· Smoked Mushroom Cazuela: trumpet and oyster mushrooms in a cazuela, arroz, split peas, apples, garlic chips, cippolini pico and mole amarillo. · Saffron Chorizo Risotto: Nicoise olives, stewed peppers, asparagus, gold leaf, yerba buena. · Housemade Gnocchi: sweet potato, Merguez sausage, and preserved lemon pesto.
· Coconut Flan with Mezcal-Apricot Preserves: citrus zest, mole negro and candied pine nuts. · House Churros: piloncillo cajeta, spicy pecans, and bourbon-vanilla ice cream. · Mexican Chocolate Torte: espresso ganache, gold leaf, spiked cream and raspberry coulis.
Fun and creative cocktails will be offered as will a thoughtfully prepared wine list for pairing with your meal.
Casa Terra will be open Sun. – Thurs. from 4-9 p.m. and Fri. & Sat. from 4-11 p.m. and will be at 6835 N. 58th Dr. Glendale 85301. (623)680-7468. For more visit their website.
I reported in May the owners of Clever Koi we’re opening Fellow Osteria and Pizzeria in Scottsdale. Today is opening day and the foodies in south Scottsdale couldn’t be happier. Fellow Osteria joins New York Bagels & Bialys and Bitters Bar and Food at Skysong at Scottsdale and McDowell Rd.
Born & Raised Hospitality partners Joshua James and Nicholas Campisano realized the potential the south Scottsdale neighborhood has with the new development going on. Townhouses along McDowell Rd. and a revitalized Papago Plaza coming soon this popular neighborhood needed good dining options.
The menu was designed by chef Claudio Urciuloli of Pa’la and offers a taste of the Italian countryside. Sourcing rustic pasta grains to a garden out front the partners have gone to great lengths with this ambitious project.
The all day eatery will offer food, wine, beer and craft cocktails with coffee and ice cream from Sweet Republic.
I will be visiting Fellow Osteria next week and you can follow me on Instagram @SandyWass to see what’s up.
Fellow Osteria is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Earlier in the year Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants made available a limited amount of recipe boxes and they sold out quickly. I’m glad to report the custom-made wood boxes filled with family recipes are available and will again sell out quickly. If you haven’t bought presents for your favorite foodie or home chef these would make a perfect gift.
Friday December 14th at 9:00 a.m. they will go on sale on-line and at their Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale locations. Each Recipe Box includes 72 family recipes including Spinach Con Queso, Green Chile Pork Stew and Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad.
Each Recipe Box is $35 plus tax with a limit to 2 per person. Macayo’s will donate $5 of each sale to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-Cap).
The three locations where the boxes will be available are…..
Looking for a unique experience during the holiday’s and into 2019 then head to Mountain Shadows Resort. Whether you prefer to sip champagne or look in to space the Paradise Valley resort offers both in the month of December.
The “Cocktails Under the Cosmos” will give star-gazers the chance to look through a telescope for Sagittarius, December’s astrological sign. An expert astronomer will guide you through the galaxy on Tuesday. December 11th from the resorts Camelback Overlook rooftop deck. Enjoy themed cocktails or sparkling wine and passed hors d’oeuvres as you search the night’s sky. The resort is perfect for stargazing as Paradise Valley has low light pollution and a scenic back round.
Tuesday January 8th 2019 ring in the new year with a viewing of Capricorn and Tuesday February 11th is the search for Aquarius. All astrological signs are welcome.
December’s viewing is from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. January & February’s viewing is from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
December’s Sunday Supper Club at Hearth ’61 is paired with champagne and sparkling wine. The December 16th dinner offers guests four courses with Tattinger Champagne from France and California’s Domaine Carneros.
Executive chef Charles Wiley and his culinary team will prepare warm duck confit, an organic beet salad with proscuitto, prime ribeye with maitake mushrooms and pear ricotta souffle cake with a huckleberry sauce. Dinner comes served in full view of the exhibition kitchen in their comfortable dining room.
The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is $94 ++ per person. Which do you prefer and who will win the battle? Find out by reserving your seat by calling 480-624-5400.
Mountain Shadows is 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.