Whether you prefer your Martini shaken or stirred this classic cocktail is celebrating its existence on Monday June 19th with National Martini Day.
Considered one of the best known alcoholic cocktails its origins are a bit hazy but some go back to the 1800’s with an Italian vermouth producer and a San Francisco bartender. Popularity grew in the Roaring Twenties and the again in the 1960s with the help of James Bond preferring his Martini “shaken not stirred’ in novels in the 1950s and but mentioned in films “Dr. No” and “Goldfinger”in the early 1960s.
Originally made with dry gin & dry vermouth many variations are now created using vodka and flavored vodkas. Two local restaurants are celebrating National Martini Day on the 19th with their unique versions of the cocktail.
National Martini Day at The Thirsty Lion
The 3 valley locations of The Thirsty Lion Gastropub will be mixing up a herb and fruit Martini. The Grapefruit and Basil Martini will mix Deep Eddie Ruby Red Vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice, fresh basil and grapefruit bitters.
To celebrate head to Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill at 2000 East Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 1041 in Tempe, 7014 East Camelback Road, Suite 1423 in Scottsdale and 2212 East Williams Field Road in Gilbert. http://www.thirstyliongastropub.com/
Celebrate at Kelly’s at Southbridge
Scottsdale’s Kelly’s at Southbridge restaurant will be serving their Peartini for $8. The sweet cocktail uses Absolut Pear Vodka, Elderflower, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and Mumm Napa Brut sparkling wine. Kelly’s is at 7117 E. 6th Ave. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.kellysatsouthbridge.com/
If your father is like my father then time spent with him will probably involve food. Whether he is a vegan(not mine), prefers a burger or a pizza, breakfast, lunch or dinner, beer or wine these Phoenix area restaurants will be taking care of your father on Father’s Day on June 18th.
Dads will receive any draft beer for just $2 with the purchase of any pizza. Draft beer is regularly $5-$7.
Dads get a free slice of Chompie’s signature Black and White Tuxedo Cake (valued at $5.99) with the purchase of an entrée.
Flanny’s – Happy Hour Offered All Day 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
$5 Hummus $5 Cheese Quesadilla $5 Fried Pickles $7 Cheese Burger Sliders $7 Buffalo Chicken Sliders $2 off all Drafts and Cans $5 House Wines
12 Oz. Picanha Grelhada (grilled culotte steak) plus Brazilian Beer or Caipirinha, or a non-alcoholic Brazilian beverage for $23. Includes grilled pineapple, Brazilian potato salad or black beans and rice.
Tavern Americana- Penny beers with purchase of an entree Seared 10oz Filet Mignon | Herbed Butter | Mashed Potatoes | Roasted Mushrooms | Red Wine Cream Sauce | Charred Asparagus | $21 Any burger with choice of fries or salad $10 Any one topping pizza (additional toppings with be regular charge) $5.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar- Juicy Lucy burger til June 20th. Just in time for dad’s big day, the Juicy Lucy features a fresh ground Angus beef patty stuffed with melted Tillamook Cheddar and topped with a second slice of cheddar along with black pepper aioli and caramelized onions
Char Kitchen + Bar The Mediterranean Cowboy Burger $14, is an 8 Oz. grass fed Angus beef patty topped with Harissa BBQ sauce, crumbled gorgonzola cheese and fried onion rings with a chipotle ranch schmear, served on a challah roll with a side.
Char will also be serving a 14 oz. Angus Ribeye steak topped with blue cheese and chive butter and served with scalloped potatoes and roasted vegetables for $35.
Rusconi’s American Kitchen- Special menu for $44 Starter (choice of) key west shrimp and red pepper grits
local linguica sausage, cured tomato, roasted corn jus
sweet potato roasted corn bisque
shaved san joaquin gold and mild fresno chili
white truffle scented mac-n-cheese
white truffle cream, san joaquin gold
Entree pecan wood grilled prime flatiron steak
Amish blue cheese, roasted cornbread pudding, wilted spinach, pequillo tapenade
includes glass of chef’s choice red or white wine or draft beer
Dessert dark chocolate bread pudding
vanilla sauce, berries and salted caramel
LDV Wine Gallery On Father’s Day, dads will receive 25% off LDV Winery Petite Sirah (by the glass, by the bottle, or by the truckload)!
Thirsty Lion Gastropub Thirsty Lion offers half price beer flights on Father’s Day. For only $5, choose six of the over 24 beers and ciders on tap for your beer flight samples.
Fired Pie Pizza All day long on, all Fired Pie locations are offering a buy one entrée get one free for dads on Father’s Day! Dine-in only.
Organ Stop Pizza- All you can eat pizza buffet and salad plus unlimited soft drinks
Locally owned Press Coffee Roasters is set to open its flagship store in downtown Phoenix on June 8th making it the 5th location for the award-winning specialty coffee roaster.
Press Coffee at The Muse (1816 N. Central Ave.) will look across Central Ave. to the Phoenix Art Museum but the art is inside Press with a custom Synesso espresso machine, white Mahlkonig grinders and futuristic Clever Seraphim brewers. The modern design of the 2,000 square foot space was designed by Larry Lake of Lawrence Lake Interiors.
By late summer Press plans to offer beer and wine along with launching an expanded food menu. Coffee 101 tastings and events are planned in the ‘learning space”.
“I started Press back in 2008, with the idea for a place for coffee, food and wine. This store resurrects that dream at an even higher level,” said Steve Kraus, owner and founder of Press Coffee. “We’re excited to open our doors and be a part of Downtown Phoenix’ diverse coffee and food community.”
To celebrate the opening guests who stop by on June 8th, 9th or 10th will receive a free small cup of drip coffee.
Press has locations in Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe and shares their passion for specialty coffee with customers and community by ensuring the highest quality of coffee, service and knowledge on a daily basis
Press Coffee at The Muse will be open Mon. – Sat. 6:30 a.m -8 p.m. and Sun. from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. http://www.presscoffee.com/
Any national attention a local restaurant can get is always good for the Phoenix food community. Friday June 2nd, is when the family owned, N.Y. style deli Chompie’s will be seen by a national TV audience on Food Network’s “Ginormous Food” show.
The episode will feature Chompie’s “Bubbie’s Belly Buster” slider which weighs in at a GINORMOUS 10 pounds. Taking 48 hours to prepare, the slider is made with 4 lbs. of sliced brisket, 12 oz. of brown gravy, 12 slices of Monterrey Jack cheese and a 24 oz. potato pancake, all served on a 36 oz. Challah roll.
Getting hungry yet? Up for a challenge? If so you’re in luck as Chompie’s is preparing this meal that serves 8-10 people available for only $129.99 & 48 hour notice.
Too much food for you, say what! Then stop in to one of the 5 Phoenix area Chompie’s from June 2nd -18th and you can “Ginormous size” your order of Jewish sliders by doubling the size. The platter will include 3 sliders that will now be 6 in. wide for $29.99(regularly $44.97) twice the size of the usual 3 in. wide sliders.
This is not the first time Chompie’s and their sliders have made a nationwide TV appearance as the Tempe location was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs Food” in 2010. On that episode show host Adam Richman tried to complete the “Ultimate Slider Challenge” in less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately the slider platter got the best of him and he failed the challenge.
The episode “Phoenix Finest Imports” will also feature El Palacio & Porkopolis, both in Chandler.
The episode premiers on Fri. June 2nd at 8 p.m. CST and will be repeated several times. To take the challenge or Ginormous Up find a Chompie’s near you at https://chompies.com/
After months of searching for the right location and construction Genuine Concepts is ready to open its new location of The Vig in north Scottsdale. With the McDowell Mountains serving as a backdrop the restaurant is set to open June 5th and will be the 5th location of the successful modern tavern and the 2nd in Scottsdale.
At the intersection of Bell Rd. and Thompson Peak Parkway is where excited residents and visitors will be headed to enjoy the lunch, dinner and brunch in this spacious restaurant of over 13,000 square feet indoors and out.
Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design
The natural desert setting and straight lined designed building was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Tucker Woodbury, a partner in Genuine Concepts says “I had the pleasure of once again collaborating on the design of the property with Artie Vigil and his team atAV3 Design. We both love the simplicity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West’s iconic structure and the Usonian style of architecture it represents, which was the inspiration of the design. With a lot of help and collaboration with our development team” YAM Properties, Alexander Building Company, K&IArchitects, the City of Scottsdale and our Genuine Concepts team, we were able to bring our vision to fruition. The end result is an astonishing property and we can’t wait to show it off! “
The Vig McDowell Mountain location
The Vig McDowell Mountain’s location will satisfy all whether your coming of one of the trails of the nearby Sonoran Mountain Preserve, any of the annual events that take place such as the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction or Waste Management Golf Open Tournament. Also an idea spot for residents and visitors to come out to mix and mingle and enjoy the newest member of the community.
Genuine Concepts is a locally owned restaurant group and is committed to to the communities in which there restaurants are located and north Scottsdale will benefit from their new neighbors. The Vig McDowell Mountain will be making an ongoing contribution to the Sonoran Mountain Preserve with sales from its “Bitty Cocktail”. Named after the Bitty Cycling Club, 50 cents from each rum & Coke style drink will be donated to help keep the trails of the McDowell Mountain Preserve safe and maintained for its users.
VMM is located at 10199 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am & Sunday 10am-11pm
There’s no denying it as we’re about to embark on another hot summer here in the southwest. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep cool is to stay inside (a no brainer I know) and sip on a chilled glass of wine (another no brainer). A refreshing glass of Arizona wine should be in order and the folks at LDV Wine Gallery and Kief-Joshua Vineyards are doing their part to keep you cool.
Heading to Arizona wine country
One of the best ways to get your Arizona wine is to head to the source. Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin is kicking off their weekly summer concert series every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. this weekend 5/27 with Rhythm Jax, No better way to cool off (yes it’s actually cooler down south) than with wine and live music. Kief-Joshua will also host a “Dinner in the Vines” in July and a harvest festival in August. A line-up of the musicians and schedule of events at the winery are below.
June 3: Jenny Jarnigan
June 10: Bryan Dean Trio
June 17: Corey Spector
June 24: Kroehler & Rovnak
July 1: Sage Gentle-Wing
July 8: Josh McCormack
July 15: Blaine Long
July 22: Joerdie
July 29: Tommy Tucker
August 5: Black Cat Blues
August 12: Jacob Acosta Band
August 19: 76th Street
July 15th is when they will host “Dinner in the Vines” that will include a four-course meal paired with wines for $75.00 per person. This event will take place in the vineyard from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Space is limited, to reserve your seat(s) call 520-455-5582 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The menu is…..
Arrival Canapés Genoa salami coronets with boursin cheese Steamed artichokes with lemon remoulade Mexican caviar in corn tortilla cups
First Course Roasted red bell pepper & tomato bisque with fried leek baked parmesan cheese straw
Second Course Mix green salad with apple, jicama and citrus vinaigrette
Main Course Cabernet braised short ribs Twice baked poblano potatoes French green beans with lemon thyme butter
Sweet Course Crème Brule in crisp phyllo shells and fresh berries
On August 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. is when The Magdalena Bash Harvest Festival happens. Several new Arizona wine releases, including 2015 Magdelena, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Barbera, along with many new white wines for summer and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon will be released at the festival. Guests will also enjoy live music and food vendors.
Prefer staying around the comfort of your home, no problem as LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale is doing their part to keep you cool.
On Father’s Day their offering 25% off their big & bold (like dad) Petite Sirah. By the glass, the bottle or the case you’ll make his day. A perfect wine for grilling steaks.
A few events are planned for the month of July at LDV………
Wine Appreciation – Wine + Chocolate- Drop in to LDV Winery on Sunday July 9th for a wine and chocolate themed wine appreciation gathering. This event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-together to discuss “All About Wine.” Attendance includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials. 5-6:30 p.m. $35 per person or $65 per couple.
Vineyard to Table Supper Club- On Tuesday July 11th Kurt & Peggy will host and cook dinner for their Vineyard to Table Supper Club. This is a wine inspired casual dining experience that celebrates the vineyard to table journey. It includes courses paired with three LDV wines with recipes and great conversations. Space is limited to 20. Cost is $65 ++ per person and payment is required prior to the dinner.
Summer Vacation – Corks, Crafts, & Wine- A few days later on Saturday, July 15th is LDV’s Corks, Crafts, & Wine Summer Vacation gathering. Bring your glue guns and glue sticks to create wine cork crafts. Sip wine, nibble on snacks and create wine cork crafts. $10 and includes a glass of wine.
To register for any of these events call the Wine Gallery at 480-664-4822 LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.ldvwinery.com/
When I wrote about new executive chef Russell Lacasce taking over the kitchen at the Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant Zuzu back in Dec. I wondered what direction he would take the restaurant. I now know as Lacasce has introduced his first dinner menu since arriving at the Zuzu in January. A few restaurant bloggers and myself had the opportunity to taste several of the new menu items and speak to Lacasce and other members of his culinary team.
“I wanted the new menu to be very approachable, while offering dishes with complex combinations of flavors and textures that diners might not expect,” said LaCasce. “Everything is fresh and seasonal, with a strong focus on showcasing our amazing local farmers and purveyors.” Several of the Zuzu’s previous American comfort food staples are still available in the lounge.
Chef Russell Lacasce new menu items
The new menu includes dishes that perfect for sharing and include….
Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare with spicy chicharones, Avocado mousse, Heirloom tomatoes, with a local Feta and shallot buttermilk dressing. This small plate tasted fresh with a hint of spice and a nice touch from the crispy chicharone.
The Burrata has a creamy and smooth texture and the addition of pickled strawberries & toasted pistachios give it flavors you’d be hard pressed to find on other plates of Burrata around town.
The Hokkaido Scallops comes three to a serving separated by one of the more unique ingredients I’ve found recently, fried Meyer lemon wedges. Both are served over a bed of toasted cous cous & pine nuts and drizzled with a shellfish butter. The scallops practically melt in your mouth and citrus flavor and crunch from the Panko crusted fried lemon may have made me a scallop convert. This dish is not to be missed by scallop enthusiasts.
The entrée we tasted was the item on the whole menu that raised my eye brow when I read it…..Baker’s Bacon Chop. A 20 lb. back bacon loin that is house carved, cured, smoked and honey lacquered prior to being plated. Served with green harissa, burnt orange, fresh herbs, pickled chiles and pork rinds. All I can say is WOW! A loin of crispy back bacon will give a whole new meaning to bacon. It’s also great for those who prefer gluten-free dinners.
What’s next at Zuzu
At the same time the dinner menu debuted in early May, Lacasce introduced a lounge menu and new dessert menu from pastry chef Audrey Enriquez. In coming weeks he will be rolling out new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus for diners to sink their teeth into. If his first menu is any indication of what’s to come in June we should be pick a day now, circle on the calendar and plan to check out Zuzu.