One of the more interesting new restaurant openings of 2017 has been Scottsdale’s El Panzon y Frida. Named after Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and her “pot belly” husband Diego Rivera, the restaurant celebrates its Grand Opening on Thursday July 6th, which is also the day of Frida’s birth.
The colorful restaurant has been opened for a few months for dinner but decided to lay low and wait until now to introduce itself to the community. Located in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District south of Camelback Rd west of Scottsdale Rd. El Panzon y Frida has a hand painted mural of Frida on the wall along with art from both artists.
The menu at El Panzon y Frida
The menu was created by up-and-coming executive chef Paulina Martinez and inspired by Frida and Diego’s feminine and masculine art. The thoughtful and picture worthy dishes include grilled octopus, bone marrow, Bone in Ribeye. along with small plates for sharing and salads.
Signature cocktails such as Sage Margarita & Chili Cucumber Capirihna and craft beers on tap are available to quench your thirst
The Grand Opening celebration
The celebration starts at 6 p.m. on the evening of the 6th and will include complimentary tastes, cocktails and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to wear bold and colorful clothes as part of the celebration.
El Panzon y Frida is open at 11am – 11pm Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 1am Friday and Saturday, 11am – 9pm Sunday. Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm with 50% bottles of wine and $15 bottomless mimosas. Throughout the summer, Social Lounging Happy Hour is extended from 3 – 8pm daily.
It’s 10 days until we can kiss 2016 good bye and welcome the excitement 2017 will bring us. Those that like to ring in the new year in style can find plenty of places around Phoenix to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Below is a list of several restaurants that are offering dinner on the big night.
Pomelo at The Orchard
Chef Javi Perez will be serving dinner from 5pm – 10pm on New Year’s Eve with limited seating for the prie fix menu. The cost is $120 per couple with 2 glasses of Veuve Cliquot champagne included. To make reservations call 602-633-2600.
Starters (one to share)
Calamari & Shrimp Fritti—Crispy calamari and shrimp served with pomodoro and buttermilk dressing.
Chef’s Board—Assortment of cured meats, artisanal cheeses with toasted baguettes.
Wedge—Half head of iceberg lettuce, bleu cheese buttermilk dressing, crispy bacon, hard-boiled egg and tomato confit. (suggested wine pairing) Saint Louis Sancerre | 2014, Loire Valley
Specialties (one per person)
New York Strip *MR—(12 oz.) angus beef grilled over Arizona Mesquite served with shrimp in a parmesan sauce, seasonal vegetables and scalloped potatoes.(suggested wine pairing) Poggio alla Guardia Super Tuscan | 2012, Tuscany, Italy
Short Ribs—Braised to perfection served with a peppercorn demi glaze sauce and served with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes (suggested wine pairing) Milbrandt Merlot | 2014, Columbia Valley, Washington
Salted caramel cookie—Warm salted caramel over shortbread cookie served with vanilla gelato, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries. (suggested wine pairing) Veuve Clicquot Rose | NV, Reims, France
Pomelo at The Orchard is part of The Orchard PHX, a two acre venue located at 7100 N 12th St. in Phoenix. http://www.pomelophx.com
Sorso Wine Room
North Scottsdale’s Sorso Wine Room will offer 2 seating’s for their celebration at 6:30 & 8:30. Chef Paige Murphy will prepare a 5 course prie fixe menu with a wine or beer pairing. The cost is $100 per person and includes tax & gratuity. Additional bottles of wine are 1/2 all night. To make a reservation call 480-951-4344. The menu may include the following….
Zuzu will over 2 seatings at 5:30 for $75 per person and 8:00 for $95 per person for a 3 course dinner. Those who attend either dinner are invited to a complimentary rooftop Champagne toast at midnight. Tax, gratuity and alcohol are additional at dinner.
A few of the options for dinner include a choice of a starterhttps://www.hotelvalleyho.com/hotel/hotel-events/new-years-eve, entrée and dessert from a special menu. Delicious options include Lobster Bisque with crème fraiche and brioche croutons, Herb Roasted Wagyu Beef Striploin with roasted fingerling potatoes, and Huckleberry Crème Brulee.
EVO ends 2016 with a 4 course Italian feast starting 4pm going til 2am for $55 per person. The menu below will be the only menu served on New Year’s Eve and those in the bar can order a la carte. To RSVP call 480-265-9814.
3 seatings will be available on New Year’s Eve at Joe’s Midnight Run in central Phoenix. 5:00 & 7:30 seatings are $65 per person and the 10:00 seating is $75 per person and will include party favors and a champagne toast. Reservations can be made by phone at 480-459-4467 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Course: Choose 1
Pulpo-grilled fingerling potatoes, paprika oil, garlic and lemon
Scottsdale’s iconic Hotel Valley Ho recently has made a change in its culinary operations and has named Russell LaCasce as executive chef effective January 2nd, 2017. LaCasce comes from Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa where he was the executive sous chef where he worked closely with executive chef Beau Macmillan since 2010.
LaCasce found his passion for food and cooking 20 years ago while working in Charleston, South Carolina before moving to Park City, Utah to learn the service side of the restaurant industry.
After moving to Scottsdale in 2006 he attended the Arizona Culinary Institute and went to work at T. Cook’s at The Royal Palms Resort before heading to the other side of Camelback Mountain to Sanctuary on Camelback. While at T.Cook’s he worked with executive chef Lee Hillson and rose the p.m. sous chef position.
At Hotel Valley Ho LaCasce will oversee all aspects of the hotels culinary operations including the hotel’s restaurant Zuzu, in-room dining, catering and banquets.
“We are delighted to have Russell as our new executive chef. His reputation for delivering creative and flavorful cuisine coupled with his ability to lead his culinary colleagues made him the perfect fit for this key position. We are very much looking forward to seeing how he influences ZuZu and all of our culinary operations,” said Ronen Aviram, the hotel’s general manager.
LaCasce replaces executive chef Charles Wiley who has moved to the soon to open Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley where he will be the executive chef. Wiley will continue to be director of food and beverage for Westroc Hospitality which has developed and manages Hotel Valley Ho, Sanctuary on Camelback and Mountain Shadows.
When word spread earlier this year that Kevin Binkley would close his Scottsdale restaurant his followers were perplexed, relief came when word spread that a new Mediterranean restaurant, Char Kitchen + Bar would take its place. Char Kitchen is owned by a family of restaurant veterans, the Micakaj family, most notably is daughter & sister Pauline Martinez, co-owner of Scottsdale’s Perk Eatery. Peter, the father has owned & operated restaurants in Michigan for years and son Pal has honed his restaurant skills working with his dad.
My fellow restaurant bloggers and I were treated to Micakaj’s hospitality to taste several of the menu items that are influenced by the family’s Albanian heritage along with other eastern European and Mediterranean favorites.
“We look forward to serving our neighbors the kind of food we serve in our own home with the same, familiar atmosphere,” said Peter Micakaj
char kitchen + bar’s menu
Char uses locally sourced ingredients when possible and here are a few of the favorites we tasted. From the Starters part of the menu which we tasted the Chicken Lollis ($9), eaten off the bone that is bathed in a Pomegranate Harissa BBQ sauce, topped with crumbled Feta cheese and pickled onions. Sweet and savory this was a favorite to eat with great presentation. Prefer a bit of a kick to start off your meal, the Siracha Chicken Skewers ($8) offer just that with juicy char grilled chicken served over Basmati rice.
The Grilled Pork Chop ($24) seemed to be the favorite of the night with its Bing cherry and red wine reduction that gave a kiss of sweet flavor. Seared cabbage and lightly crisped potatoes offer a crisp texture to compliment thick cut juicy pork chop that offered enough to take home leftovers. Chicken ($17) & Steak ($19) Skewers come served over Basmati rice and offer a traditional style meal found in often in eastern Europe. Grilled Lamb Chops ($32) comes 4 to a plate and are soft and drizzled with Chimichurri sauce that will make not want to leave any meat on the bone. A pile potatoes and vegetables accompany the lamb chops.
Save room for dessert, especially the Chocolate Mocha Hazelnut Cake that was both sinful and delicious to end our experience. Sandwiches, pita, salads and skewers and more are available make return visits inevitable.
Char Kitchen + Bar is open daily for lunch and dinner and is at 6107 N. Scottsdale Road 85250 (480) 664-9238 http://charkitchen.com/
Bottled Blonde, the Scottsdale pizzeria and beer garden has added a new pizza and salads to it’s dinner menu along with a new item(s) to the brunch menu. The new chef inspired menu items use seasonal and local ingredients and are available after 3pm.
For lighter summer eating there is the new Farmer’s Salad prepared with Romaine, Kale and baby greens tossed with a light mustard seed viniagrette and topped with Feta cheese, avocado, shaved carrots, Edamame, Marcona almonds and more. The Caprese Chopped Salad is chopped baby greens and romaine tossed with white balsamic vinaigrette with grilled house croutons, marinated tomatoes, fresh house mozzarella and basil. The Strawberry Bacon Kale Salad is hearty Tuscan kale with applewood bacon vinaigrette with feta cheese, toasted sliced almonds and sliced strawberries.For the pizza enthusiast there is now the Supremo Pizza which is piled high with pepperoni, Italian sausage, four blend mushroom mix, fresh shaved red onions, green peppers, black olives and finished with house-made mozzarella. Returning to the menu is the popular Pizza Fries which are covered with shredded mozzarella and sliced pepperoni and served with their house marinara sauce.
2 new items appear on Bottled Blondes weekend Brunch menu, French Toast Waffles is house-made bread dipped in a cinnamon sugar batter and pressed into waffles, finished with a fresh blueberry and maple syrup reduction. The Egg White Wrap includes egg whites cooked with roasted red peppers, hand pulled chicken breast, avocado and shredded mozzarella, wrapped in a spinach tortilla and served with fresh Idaho hash browns is a good and healthy start to your day.
If you’ve saved room for dessert then you’ll have the new deliciously sounding Apple Pecan Bruschetta dessert, a decadent combination of apple & pecan sweet bread, sweet cannoli cheese, finished with warm, chunky apple chutney, to consider.
Any or all can be washed down with Bottled Blondes selections of craft beers, signature cocktails and wines from around the world.
Bottled Blonde Pizzeria & Beer Garden is at 7340 E. Indian Plaza Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480-970-1112 www.bottledblondeaz.com