Ocean 44 to open near Scottsdale Fashion Square

The family behind Steak 44 and Dominick’s Steakhouse are putting the final touches on their newest restaurant, Ocean 44. The restaurant will open the first week of December. Guests familiar with the Mastro family restaurants will enjoy another first class dining experience. The restaurant is on Goldwater Boulevard just across from Scottsdale Fashion Square where Harkins Camelview Theater used to stand.“We are so excited to be opening Ocean 44 this fall and bringing our world-class seafood experience to the Valley,” said Jeff Mastro, founder and partner of Prime Steak Concepts. “Ocean 44 will keep the tradition of intimacy and the upscale vibe of our Steak 44, while giving our guests an exciting coastal feel.”

The Ocean 44 menu

Chef Siegfried Hohaus will oversee the kitchen and created a unique menu with Chief Executive Chef Mark Lupino. The menus seafood is of the highest grade and from sustainable sources coming from around the world. Since Chef Hohaus helped open Mastro’s Ocean Club they felt he would be a good fit at Ocean 44. The Mastro’s sold the Ocean Club in 2007.

All photos courtesy of Rose, Moser & Allyn PR and Ocean 44

An abundant a la carte menu will include great steaks along with non-traditional seafood dishes. Dishes include Heirloom Tomato Crab Stack, Smoked Salmon Hash Brown Pizza, Lobster Bake, wood roasted shellfish and Colossal Shrimp Cocktail.

“This is different than anything we have done in the past, the atmosphere is second to none, featuring a blend of dining settings ranging from dramatic to intimate. At the core of the Ocean 44 experience is our chef sourced, highest graded sustainable fresh seafood from around from the world, enhanced with unique and interesting appetizers and side dishes that go beyond the traditional seafood menu,” said Mastro.

The restaurant

The Testani Design Troupe designed the 12,000 square foot restaurant. Guests will be able to view the culinary team in action through the glass expo kitchen with nearby seating. The restaurant will offer several dining areas whether you prefer the main dining floor, two dining bars or private dining rooms.

The Mastro’s have a reputation for serving the highest quality food with luxury personal service in an upscale atmosphere.

Ocean 44 will serve only dinner and the menu and more information can be found here.

High quality and affordable steakhouse coming to Carefree

December is a busy month so you’ll want to keep a day open as Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will be opening in Carefree. It will be the newest concept from the Keeler Hospitality Group who owns the Liberty Station Tavern and Smokehouse in DC Ranch and north Scottsdale. You won’t find the stuffy pretentious steakhouse vibe yet a more social house atmosphere.

“We are extremely elated about the introduction of this new concept and are looking forward to providing it to the diners of Carefree and to our city’s visitors from near and far,” says Paul Keeler, president and CEO of Keeler Hospitality Group. “Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will satisfy the need for a high-value, top-of-the line steakhouse dining experience in Carefree while also staying true to the approachable and comfortable atmosphere the surrounding community.”

Steakhouse
Photos courtesy of Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse

A steakhouse menu in Carefree

Keeler Hospitality Group Executive Chef Anthony Apolinar will lead the culinary team. Apolinar knows his meat as he’s been working at both Liberty Station locations.

The menu at Keeler’s will feature specialty cuts of Certified Angus Beef, fresh seafood, chicken and classic American comfort food.

Diners will enjoy sharable “For the Table” starters Lobster Mac & Cheese, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Cakes, Mussels and more. Steakhouse staples French Onion Soup and bisque’s along with Caesar, Wedge, Cobb and Mixed Greens salads will be offered.

“Neighborhood Favorites” entrees include Double Bone-In Pork Chops, seared Lamb Loin Chops and Braised Short Ribs. Specialty sides will complement your main dish including Blue Cheese Cream Spinach, White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Risotto and loaded hash browns.

Classic cocktails, Arizona beers and a well-balanced selection of wine by the bottle and the glass will be available.

Social house atmosphere in Carefree

A high-end comfortable atmosphere will welcome guests with several seating area offering a neighborhood feel. An island bar will attract guests to the open kitchen and outdoor dining will be available on the patio or rooftop deck.

Guests can enjoy lunch or dinner at Keeler’s Mon. – Sat. from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Dinner from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. – Thurs and til 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Happy Hour will be available daily from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and brunch Sun. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse will be at 7212 Ho Hum Rd. Carefree 85377.

 

Effective today Cullen Campbell’s Crudo is now Bar Pesce

Chef and owner Cullen Campbell has transformed his award-winning restaurant Crudo to Bar Pesce. The change takes place today with a new menu inspired by the modern Italian Crudo’s known for and Vietnamese, Japanese and South American cuisine.

Crab Mi Roll

Campbell has always wanted a fish focused restaurant (pesce is Italian for “fish”) and feels now is the time.

“After six incredible years, I’m excited to introduce all-new flavors and amazing new dishes here at Bar Pesce,” Cullen Campbell says. “While we’ll always be rooted in modern Italian, we’ll now be bringing the best coastal cuisine from around the world to the heart of Phoenix.”

On the menu at Bar Pesce

Some things haven’t changed including Campbell’s commitment to using farm fresh ingredients and culinary traditions with modern twists. Fresh handmade pastas will still be available and meats & seafood will continue to be grilled over local pecan wood.

Crab Mi Roll is a new appetizer, Swordfish Belly and Steak Fiorentina will be a few of the new additions.

Head Bartender Kyle Landry has created a new cocktail menu with 10 cocktails. Cocktails include Less Is More a.k.a. baby Irish Coffee and Adam’s Apple made with tequila, apple, lemon, jalapeño, apple bitters and sugar. Cocktails are available in both the restaurant and adjacent cocktail lounge.

A new global wine list is available to compliment the menu and will be stored in a new wine cellar.

Photos courtesy of MMPR Marketing

Anew look

An exciting new look includes partitions to break-up the dining room along with new contemporary lighting. Guests will also notice new table settings and gold-hued wall paper.

Bar Pesce is open Tues. – Sat. from 5-10 p.m. and is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

Parma Italian Roots to debut in north Scottsdale this fall.

Our love affair with Italian food will never end and it’s a good thing that the valley is getting another Italian restaurant when it opens September 21st. Parma Italian Roots will open this fall in north Scottsdale under the direction of executive chef Chris Gentile.

Parma Italian Roots
Blueberry Bruschetta. All photos courtesy of Awe Collective.

Gentile from southern California has created a menu of West Coast influenced Italian cuisine which uses high-quality seafood, flavorful herbs and fresh vegetables. He then adds his coastal California influences to each dish.

“I can’t wait to call Scottsdale home,” Gentile says. “The city has already been amazingly welcoming, and I’ve loved getting to know the local food and beverage scene and everyone who makes it so special.”

Pappardelle Bolognaese

Want to work at Parma Italian Roots?

Those looking to work at Parma Italian Roots can attend a job fair to apply and interview for one of 40 positions available. Front of the house and back of the house positions are available. Potential employees can attend a job fair Tues. 8/21-Fri. 8/25 from 10.am. – 2p.m. at the restaurant at 20831 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 117 Scottsdale. For more information check out http://www.parmaitalianaz.com/

If you can’t make the job fair you can send a resume & cover letter to chris@parmaitalian.com

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The Gladly to host clam boil with local dream team collaboration.

The Gladly and chef Bernie Kantak are teaming up with local artisan food & drink purveyors for a clam boil Sunday August 19th. Chula Seafood, Wren House Brewing Co. and Cutino Sauce Co. join the fun for the New England style clam boil.

Mussels, clams and shrimp will be steamed and served with sausage, corn on the cob and more for a family style dining experience. This one-day only event will offer two seating’s at 1 and 3 p.m.

Gladly
garlic white wine clam in black pot on wooden tray in asian restaurant

Tickets for the clam boil are $40 all inclusive with beverage being sold separately.

Scotch dinner at The Gladly

If you can’t make it to the clam boil The Gladly will be hosting Glenfiddich and Balvenie scotch dinner on Saturday August. 25th. Chef Bernie’s innovative dishes will compliment the scotches for this multi-course dinner. The dinner starts at 7:00 p.m. and is $65++ per person. Reservations can be made by calling 602-759-8132.

To attend the Clam Boil and view both menus check out their website https://www.thegladly.com/menus#ClamBoil

The Gladly is at The Anchor Centre 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016.

Fresh fish market Chula Seafood coming to central Phoenix

With the resurgence of the neighborhood butcher, fish monger and doughnut maker popular local fish market Chula Seafood announced it will open a 2nd location at Uptown Plaza in central Phoenix in the fall.

All photos courtesy of Chula Seafood

Catching the fish

Jim Heflin founded Chula Seafood in 2009 and captains the San Diego based 68 foot F/V Chula which catches fresh fish in the cold waters of the Pacific. Chula uses a harpoon and hooks to catch fish as nets drag up anything in their path off the bottom of the ocean. The use of hooks and harpoon offers sustainability and is environmentally friendly.

Several times a week fresh fish is shipped to Phoenix in a refrigerated truck to Jim’s son Jon and Hogan Jamison who run the Scottsdale market and restaurant. The Scottsdale location opened to rave reviews for its quality and sustainable fishing methods in 2015.

If they don’t catch it they have fresh fish flown in weekly from sustainable sources. Chula Seafood is a favorite among local restaurateurs who purchase their fish for their menus from Chula Seafood.

Chula Seafood Uptown

When it opens, the new location will offer a fresh fish market and sit down restaurant like its first location in Scottsdale. The Phoenix location will be larger with 60 seats including a 6-seat bar. A larger menu overseen by executive chef Juan Zamora and implemented by Kyle Kent, formerly of Artizen at The Camby will be created.

Fried, sautéed, grilled fish are a few of the ways the fresh fish will be prepared and will also include raw shellfish, sashimi, salads and poke. The new location will also offer beer and wine and grab-n-go selections will also be available.

The Scottsdale location is at 8015 E. Roosevelt St. 85257. 480-621-5121. Check out their website for updates and information.

 

Chef Michael O’Dowd & Julian Wright to open Las Palmas Cantina in Chandler

Chef Michael O’Dowd is making his way back to the valley’s restaurant scene running the kitchen of restaurateur Julian Wright’s(Pedal Haus Brewery and others) new restaurant Las Palmas Cantina in downtown Chandler. When the restaurant opens in May it will serve coastal cuisine with Yucatan inspiration that Wright found when traveling to Playa del Carmen and Tulum areas of Mexico.

Executive chef Michael O’Dowd

O’Dowd returns to the valley after most recently working in Sedona at L’Auberge de Sedona as executive chef. When in Phoenix O’Dowd scored the coveted AAA Five Diamond  and Forbes Five Star Award  while executive chef at Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of downtown Chandler and to bringing one of my favorite regions of the world to this community,” said Wright. “ I love that Chandler is still very independent. Everyone is still very much your neighbor.”

Las Palmas Cantina menus

O’Dowd’s menu will highlight the “sand to table” concept with seafood from local fish monger Chula Seafood along with “high country” ingredients. Fish available will include Pompano, Triggerfish, Snapper and more for ceviche and other dishes.

Las Palmas Sandia cocktail

Sweet & spice are tastes you’ll find at Las Palmas Cantina with your shared plates and lighter dishes that will include a jerk chicken Shaken Greens and Cochinta Pibil.

“I haven’t really seen anyone in Arizona exploring this type of cuisine or region,” said O’Dowd. “Being able to learn about the culture and history of the Mayans and create a way to pay homage to the past while creating new ideas, dishes and flavors is what I thrive on.”

Just in time for summer, Las Palmas Cantina’s beverage program will offer refreshing tropical specialty cocktails and Mexican inspired craft beers brewed exclusively for Las Palmas. A selection of tequilas, mezcals and agua frescas will be offered and used as ingredients in the cocktail program.

Need a job

The 5,000 square foot restaurant is currently hiring and those interested can apply in person at the restaurant at 95 W. Boston in downtown Chandler on online at their website.

 

 

Famous 48 opens in November in downtown Scottsdale

Update: With a month under their belt Famous 48 will start serving brunch on Sat. & Sun’s possibly starting this weekend Dec. 2 & 3rd.

Square One Concepts wasted no time in filling the space left vacant by Crab & Mermaid earlier this year. Realizing people in old town Scottsdale prefer tavern style regional American fare the restaurant group will be opening Famous 48 on Monday November 6th.

Famous 48
Half roasted chicken and other photos courtesy of J. Martin Harris Photography.

Once opened Famous 48 will have an ambience that balances both casual and fine dining and will celebrate the regional cuisine of the lower 48 states of the United States including BBQ, seafood, pizza and other American classic comfort foods. The tavern themed menu will serve food cooked with fresh and high quality ingredients using an artisanal approach to cooking.

Signature cocktails, craft beers from Arizona and wines will compliment the regional cuisine.

Famous 48 hours

The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends in the leather booth line dining room and on the patio. Happy Hour starts early at 3p.m. til 6p.m. Mon.-Fri. and will include tasty bites to eat, premium cocktails and house wines.

Famous 48
Miso salmon

The open air patio will include fire pits and couches that will offer diners a more intimate experience.

Hours for Famous 48 will be Mon.- Fri. 11 a.m. -close, Sat. & Sun. 8a.m.- close. and weekend brunch 8a.m.- 2 p.m.

Famous 48 is at 4218 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251 480-758-4994. To see the full menu got their website. Famous 48 is owned by Square One Concepts.

 

Ocean Poke Company to open with week long specials

It seems like Poke, the Hawaiian raw fish salad, is the biggest food craze of 2017 much like the FroYo was a few years back. It seems like every other week there is a new Poke restaurant or location opening around Phoenix and the week of March 27th is no different. Ocean Poke Company opens along the popular restaurant row of Indian School Road in Phoenix.

The fast casual Ocean Poke Company offers fresh “poke bowls” with vegetables, grains, noodles, fruits, sauces and proteins which are healthful and energizing. During the week-long celebration many daily specials will be available.

“Our options are a little different—we wanted to feature both signature bowl ideas for poke fans who want to make it easy—and customizable options with more variations for those who really want to create their ultimate bowl,” said Ocean Poke Co. Co-Founder Chad Ahrendt.

The 7 signature bowls are offered with 2 protein scoops for $10 and 3 protein scoops for $12 and include

  • OPC: White Rice, Tuna, Salmon, Cucumber, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Wasabi, Green Onion, OPC Sauce
  • Cali: White Rice, Imitation Crab, Cucumber, Avocado, Green Onion, Pickled Ginger, Wasabi, Sesame Seeds, Spicy Mayo
  • Kim Chi: Tofu Noodles, Albacore, Shrimp, Kimchi, Daikon Sprouts, Pickled Red Onion, Green Onion, Masago, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
  • Heat Check: White Rice, Spicy Tuna, Cucumber, Jalapeno, Wasabi, Green Onion, Daikon Sprouts, Chile Flakes, OPC Spicy Sauce
  • Go Hawaiian: Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Edamame, Green Onion, Sesame Seeds, OPC Sauce
  • Citrus: Tofu Rice Noodles, Albacore, Scallop, Mango Relish, Edamame, Watermelon Radish, Coconut Flake, Citrus-Ponzu Sauce
  • Go Green:Quinoa, Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Green Onion, Avocado, Daikon Sprouts, Edamame, Pickled Red Onion, OPC Sauce

Ocean Poke Co. is the brainchild of 4 successful entrepreneurs & Phoenix natives Chad Ahrendt, Chris Mercato, Charles Richardson and Brian Delia who bring many years of combined experience to the company.  “We have managed many businesses in the natural health industry, and I know this will help impact Ocean Poke Co. for the positive,” said Richardson.

Below is the schedule of daily specials.

March 27 & 28: 50% off your bowl

March 29 & 30: Buy one bowl, get one free (equal or lesser value)

March 31: A percentage of proceeds will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital

April 1: Free Cali Bowl or $8 off any other bowl, 11 am – 1 pm

Ocean Poke Company is at 3619 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018 and hours are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Sun-Thursday) and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. http://www.oceanpokeco.com/

 

Eating my way through Delray Beach, Boca Raton & Boynton Beach.

Some live through stereotypes, some live in stereotypes and from time to time I live in a stereotype. That is the case when I travel to visit family in southeastern Florida towns of Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. Certain aspects feel like a Seinfeld episode when Jerry is visiting his parents in “Del Boca Vistas”. The best times revolve around food and eating out and all that come with the experience. On a recent visit I ate out for most meals in strip mall eateries or dockside by the water and these are my chronicles, see if my experiences sound familiar.

Most were simple meals with family and friends catching up and watching life go by as its high season in south Florida with snow birds, families visiting parents & grandparents and full-time residents.

Shortly after arriving in time for a mid-morning breakfast on the way back from the airport we decided on my aunts favorite greasy spoon, The Green Owl III in Boynton Beach. Breakfast and lunch served with simple staples of eggs, French toast, pancakes and the special of the day, Scrapple. I’m not entirely sure what Scrapple but you don’t see it here in Phoenix very often. I can say the eggs, corned beef hash and slice of French toast is exactly what you’d expect. Not huge portions but good solid breakfast foods with the regulars and an always full & hot cup of coffee with change back from a $10 in most cases. Cash only!

As often as I’ve visited in my 40 something years to this area there’s always a  favorite or 2 on the eating schedule. For dinner we made reservations at the family favorite Banana Boat on the Intercoastal Waterway in Boynton Beach. It was my 1st visit in a long time at this nautical & beach themed restaurant where seafood is good and fresh. The French Onion soup was spot on for bargain price of $6.95 before I stepped out of my seafood comfort zone and went with filet of Macadamia crusted Key West Grouper. The fish was good and flaky and the Orange Rosemary sauce was vibrant and delicious. http://bananaboatboynton.com/

We passed on desert as we headed down to the bustling Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach to Doc’s All American for soft serve ice cream. Doc’s pre-dates any of my visits back to when my aunt grew up in the area and Doc’s was the place to go for food and fun when she was in high school.

I know what you’re saying, where’s the stereotypes and Seinfeld episode in all of this. That picture comes into play when family continues to arrive and we head to Saturday morning breakfast at Poppie’s Restaurant & Delicatessen  in Delray Beach where Miltary Trail meets Linton Blvd. This staple for gossip, big portions and people watching is slowly filing with regulars for morning coffee or after tennis at the club. Walking by the glass encased meats and deli favorites right to our table or booth I don’t remember but you get the drift. I expect Jerry, George and Elaine to coming strolling through the door any second as if they’re visiting Jerry’s parents. http://www.poppiesdelidelray.com/

I went with a platter of eggs, home fries, corned beef hash & a bagel. Big portions tasting the way it should as if we were up in New York deli.

For lunch, plans get made with our hometown friend for our traditional sushi lunch at Lemongrass Asian Bistro www.lemongrassasianbistro.com/  in downtown Boca Raton among the Bentley’s and Rolls Royce’s. This was our first visit to Lemongrass as our previous sushi place a couple blocks away has jumped on the ramen & noodle bandwagon. The sushi was fresh and filing as was it’s presentation. The Summer Roll(Vietnamese spring roll, not sushi) was one of favorites with its mint and shrimp stuffed goodness. Our favorite roll was the Aloha Roll with pineapple and more and my Bento box of sashimi and a “Sex on the Moon” roll was perfect.

During our late lunch I was informed dinner would be of the early bird kind at 4:30 for Chinese food. Up I-95 a few exits back to Delray Beach in a nondescript strip mall is Bird Nest Tree. http://www.birdnesttree.com/

My sister & I must have been the youngest patrons of this (stereo)typical Chinese food restaurant with dim lighting, leather booths and round tables. I opted to skip dinner as the taste of sushi still lingered on my palate and dinner plans with friends in Ft. Lauderdale was only an hour or so away. I did nosh on the large fried wontons on the table and grabbed a taste of Kung Pao chicken before our server scolded me and slapped a “sharing” charge on my families bill. It all looked and smelled like good Chinese food, maybe next visit for a full experience.

That’s not the end of my eating escapades as other meals were had at the country club, in homes of friends and family and at the wedding which brought all of us to Florida, that’s another post in itself. If you find yourself traveling the roads of these parts, these and other restaurants from previous visits make for good eating and people watching.