Casa Terra will be Arizona’s first vegan fine dining restaurant

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.

Shishito peppers

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.

Purple Sweet Potato. All photos courtesy of Ampersand PR

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….

Appetizers

·      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.

Hearty entrees

·      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.

Desserts

·      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.

Jicama Crudo

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.

Volstead Public House continues vegan menu as it becomes Nile Cafe

Update: The February 28th groundbreaking has been postponed. Stay tuned for when It will be re-scheduled. The $5 Reggie special & Free coffee w/ purchase of t-shirt will still be honored on the 28th.

The downtown Mesa music scene wouldn’t be the same without the Nile Theater. To keep going strong they’re going to give their vegan restaurant Volstead Public House a new name, Nile Cafe. The new name will begin efforts to re-brand and market the theater in the 21st century.

All photos courtesy of Boyd Harrington

Starting on February 28th renovations will begin on the facade outside the theater with a groundbreaking ceremony with Mesa Mayor John Giles and others in attendance.

“The logo and joining of the café and theater are final seal on the work we have been doing since taking over the space 7 years ago,” said Michelle Donovan of the Mantooth Group. “The rebranded ties all our efforts together into one complete package and gives us room to grow into what The Nile really has always been – a focal point of entertainment and community for Downtown Mesa.”

The Nile Cafe food specials

After the 10:30 a.m. ceremony the new Nile Cafe will offer an all day food and drink special from their all plant-based menu. Guest can enjoy a FREE cup of coffee when you purchase a new Nile t-shirt and the popular Reggie vegan grilled cheese sandwich will be available for only $5.The menu created by Donovan offers vegan diners dishes like The Squawker Texas Ranger ($9.99) with vegan chicken drenched in buffalo sauce, My Boy Blue Sandwich ($9.99) with blueberry BBQ fried chicken, and The Philly ($8.50) with vegan steak sautéed in green and yellow peppers, onions and the café’s special marinade. The café also has daily scones and pastries, coffee, tea and beer.

The Nile music scene

The Nile dates back to 1924 as movie and music venue with multiple music genre’s playing there to fans. 4 bands will return on the 28th to help solidify The Nile Theater as a cornerstone of downtown Mesa. Senses Fail, Reggie , The Full Effect and Have Mercy have played The Nile in the last 20 years and return to the stage to celebrate the day.

“These groups bring back a lot of memories from coming to The Nile when I was in high school and college, and now as the owner,” Donovan said

The Nile is at 105 W. Main Street in Mesa 85210 TheNileTheater.com