Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Miracle Mile Deli celebrates National Sandwich Month

Starting Monday August 1st the central Phoenix deli is serving up a weekly sandwich special for only $12. 8/1-8/6 – Corned Beef Sandwich 8/8-8/13 – Brisket Sandwich 8/15-8/20 – Combo (Pastrami & Corned Beef) 8/22-8/27 – The Straw. Each sandwich comes with a choice of sides and a dill pickle spear.

Phoenix City Grille offers exclusive Caymus Vineyards tasting event

Wednesday August 3rd join the vineyard’s Arizona Market Manager Stephanie Martindale for a tasting of five wines. Enjoy sipping on Emmolo Sparkling, Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, Sea Sun Pinot Noir, The Walking Fool Red Blend and Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines tasted during the event will be available for purchase with limited seating costing $25 ++ per person. Reservations can be made by contacting Britinee Reed at 602-510-7170 or privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Hearth ’61 welcomes Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos

The Chef and owner of Essence Bakery Cafe in Arcadia will be the guest chef at the restaurant’s Sunday Supper Club in August. The four-course dinner is set for August 14th at 6 p.m. and is paired with wine. Seats are $189++ per person and can be reserved here.

Sardinia’s food featured at Queen Creek Olive Mill’s dinner

The Italian region’s flavors and foods will be on prepared for August’s Tavalo dinner. Thursday August 18th from 6:30 -9:30 p.m. guests will dine on a 6-course’s with optional wine pairings. Much of the ingredients are locally sourced including from Golden Rule Dairy in Elfrida. Dinner is $124.99 per person and wine pairings are an additional $39.99. Reservations can be made here.

Caffe Vita opens tomorrow with FREE oat milk lattes.

The Seattle based coffee roaster opens its first Arizona location in the former Easley’s Fun Shop at 5th Ave. & McDowell Rd. Lattes will be available from 7 a.m. – 6p.m. Read more about the opening and more here.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Corn Roast event at Queen Creek Olive Mill

Next Friday July 22nd those who love corn can feast on a corn curated menu prepared by Del Piero Kitchen and Di Olivia Bistro & Bar. BBQ Chicken & Roasted Corn Pizza, Fresh Corn Carbonara, Pulled Pork with Corn Salad and more will be available for purchase. Locally grown corn on the cob from Rousseau Farms will also be available along with live music and games. The fun starts at 3 p.m. and admission is free.

Eat Up Drive In now offers catering

Whether it’s a office party or family gathering the Arcadia fast casual restaurant offers menus for all tastes. Entrees, boxed lunches, salads, sides and desserts can be accommodated. Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are also available. To order 602-441-4750.

Start the weekend early at Koibito Poke

Visit the Scottsdale Waterfront location on Thursday July 21st & 28th from 6 – 9 p.m. for $4 draft beers or $3 drafts with the purchase of a bowl. Happy hour is extended all night for $5 wine, sake & cider and $3 seltzers.

Maui Pasta serving Aloha Hawaiian Plates

What started as a virtual menu in December 2020 is now a second menu at the Gainey Ranch restaurant. Know for house made pasta, the Aloha menu became so popular they started serving it in the restaurant. Plate lunches including Loco Moco, Hawaiian BBQ, Kalua Pulled Pork and more come with a side of rice, macaroni salad or a green salad.

Organ Stop Pizza celebrates 50th anniversary

The Mesa restaurant that features live pipe organ entertainment with a side of pizza reaches a milestone this year. Every year over 300,000 diners visit the dinner only restaurant for fun and food from with a variety of tunes from the “Mighty Wurlitzer”. “Every visit to Organ Stop Pizza is unique with patrons hand picking the songs via request,” says co-owner Jack Barz. “By the end of the night, an eclectic mix of music is enjoyed by audience members ranging in age from two to 102.”

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment

Queen Creek Olive Mill hosting Tavolo dinner

Family and tradition go together like food and wine and Thursday, June 2 all will be featured at the Tavolo Dinner at the Queen Creek Olive Mill. The family- style dinner will feature the flavors, foods & culture of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region known for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Prosciutto di Parma. The 5-course dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and professionally paired wines are optional.

  • Antipasti
    • Prosciutto Di Parma  Rousseau Farm Melons, Burrata & Basil finished with QCOM Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
    • Mortadella Crostini Con Gnocco Ingrassato – Modenese Pork Fat Flat Bread with thinly sliced Mortadella finished with QCOM Peach White Balsamic Reduction
  • Primi
    • Tagliatelle Al Ragu – Fresh House-made Tagliatelle Pasta, served with a Ragu of succulent Lamb & Pork slowly braised with Onions, Carrots, Celery, Tomatoes, & hardy herbs finished with QCOM Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Secondi
    • Maiale Al Latte – Pork Loin from The Pork Shop braised in Milk and fresh Herbs, served with creamy Polenta & roasted Garden Vegetables
  • Insalata
    • Olio E Aceto – Fresh Greens from Steadfast Farm lightly tossed in QCOM Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil & QCOM White Balsamic Vinegar from Modena
  • Dolce
    • Latte Della Regione – Parmigiano Reggiano Panna Cotta + Parmigiano Reggiano with Fig Balsamic Reduction

Seats are $99.95 with $40 optional wine pairings and reservations are required and can be made here. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is located at 25062 S. Meridan Rd. Queen Creek 85142.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Myke’s Pizza debuting new seasonal vegetable pizza series

The popular downtown Mesa pizza joint continues to support local farmers using fresh vegetables for his innovative pizzas, the first is this week’s Kale & Golden Raisin Pizza. Using baby kale from Steadfast Farms, Myke tops it with mozzarella & Idiazabal cheese, charred lemon relish and golden raisins. The new pizza is $17 and he expects kale to be available until July.

Mountain Shadows Resort introduces new Library Teapot

The Paradise Valley resort added tea to its Library Coffee Cart that launched last year. Teas are from local tea company Teaspressa and will be available all year long. Locals and guests are invited to enjoy coffee, tea and creative coffee drinks in The Living Room every Friday- Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and all drinks are $7.

Macayo’s Mexican Food launches new cocktail menu

Jason Asher & Mat Snapp of Barter & Shake helped to curate 7 new cocktails available at all Phoenix area locations. Several are made with ready to drink low calorie hard seltzers. New to the menu are the Guava Colada Myer’s Platinum Rum, house made sweet and sour, pineapple juice coconut and guava with a Myer’s Dark Rum float. Ranch Water — made with Corazon Blanco, house made sweet and sour and pineapple topped with Cherry Lime Chiller Spiked Ice. Red Sangria featuring house red blend, Gran Gala Orange Liqueur, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, house made sweet and sour, lime juice, orange juice and blackberry.

Angry Crab Shack adds meat to the menu

The seafood restaurant recently added 4 all beef dishes to the menu for a limited time. Surf & Turf includes a 8 oz. filet & lobster tail, corn on the cob, potatoes and butter for $38. A Steak Sandwich, Steak Bowl and Steak Salad were also added for $19 each. All locations prepare the beef medium to medium well.

Grand Canyon Brewing + Distilling investing over $1,000,000 in expansion.

Owner John Peasley expects to start construction any day on an additional 12,500 square feet at his flagship Williams brewery and distillery. Once completed over the summer new equipment including 5 fermenters, one large tank and a keg washer & filler will be housed for the brewery. The distillery will add four 1,000 gallon pot stills and a coffee bean roaster.

Currently combined in one building the distillery will move to the rickhouse where the whiskey is stored and aged in barrels. Production in the distillery will grow by 600% with the new stills and the new brewery equipment will let Peasley increase production of the popular Prickly Pear Wheat beer and other beers.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Over Easy and Hickman Family Farms raising money for United Food bank in April

Starting today and all month long, the 11 locations are matching customer donations dollar for dollar and the farm will donate a dozen eggs for each donation. The two local businesses have a goal of donating $20,000 and 10,000 dozen eggs. Customers will see a prompt when paying their bill asking if they want to make a donation to United Food Bank.

March Madness at Koibito Poke this weekend

College basketball fan or not score $4 off your order when ordering online or on their app. Use promo code FINAL4 this Saturday and Sunday for this Final Four deal.

Rusty’s Beer Fest is this Sunday

Enjoy cold beers on the patio overlooking The Short Course and Camelback Mountain at Mountain Shadows Resort’s bar & grill. All the details and how to get tickets are here.

Raise a glass of rosé at Match Market & Bar

The downtown Phoenix restaurant in the Found:RE Hotel hosts its Monthly Guide to Wine featuring the perfect wine for Spring and Summer. Join the fun tasting and discussion about rosé Wednesday, April 6th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Admission is $25 and includes light fare with tickets available here.

Leila’s Empanadas celebrates National Empanada day with 2 events

Next Friday, April 8th the locally owned artisan maker of the Latin American hand held food celebrates from 4-6 p.m. at Sam’s Frozen Yogurt located at 3434 W Anthem Way, Suite 140, Anthem, AZ 85086. On Saturday Leila will be serving them up from 10 AM – Noon at Lil Miss Butcher 4705 E Carefree Hwy. Cave Creek, AZ 85331.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Downtown Camp Verde is the place to be for pecans & wine in March

Tickets are on sale for the return of the 21st Annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival in downtown Camp Verde the weekend of March 19-20th. The Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the Town of Camp Verde co-host the two day festival that will also include a beer garden, local artists and a pecan pie eating contest.

“We have learned a lot as event organizers as the pandemic has continued to take its toll and many of the COVID related changes have turned out to be more popular than ever,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We have a new style of vendor booth arrangements that is working great and the open-air wine canopy was a big hit with both vendors and attendees last spring.”

Two new experiences have been added to the festival this year including a children’s activity area and live music. Glorybound Publishing is sponsoring a Puppet Theatre & Children’s Art Exhibit and the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance (NAZBA) brings the “Northern Arizona Blues & Roots Review” to the main stage. 8 bands will entertain festival goers during the two days.

13 wineries with new Verde Valley AVA designation will be pouring their newest releases including Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Salt Mine Wine, Cove Mesa Vineyard and the Southwest Wine Center.

Entry to the festival is free and those 21 and over can purchase wine tasting tickets for $20 in advance or at the door for $25. Six wine tasting tickets and a commemorative glass are included and additional tickets can be purchased. The festival will be in downtown Camp Verde at 75 E. Holloman St. 86332 and starts at 11 a.m. both days. Safety precautions will be in place with sanitizing stations and vendors will be socially distanced. For more information visit their website.

Blue Watermelon Project connects chefs & farmers with students

Many school aged children don’t have the access to quality foods and rely on lunch served at school for free. Unfortunately after expenses there is only $1 left for the meal for each student which usually buys processed foods. Enter the Blue Watermelon Project, a program from Slow Food Phoenix inspired by chef and restaurant owner at FnB, Charleen Badman.

Blue Watermelon Project connects chefs, restaurants, farmers and food advocates with individual schools in an effort to help students re-think their relationship with fresh and whole foods making them a more adventurous eater. Along with parents and the community they offer taste education and interactive programming to help K-12 aged students become better eaters.

Blue Watermelon’s annual fundraiser, Feeding the Future helps bring awareness about school meal programs and Blue Watermelon’s mission. The 2022 event is Saturday January 22nd at The Farm at South Mountain from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Feeding the Future connects students and their Chef Mentors from Phoenix and Tucson to help create healthy school meals with several meal being judged to win prizes and scholarships. The meals meet the National School Lunch Programs nutrition, cost and other requirements.

Tickets for the event are $25-$75 and can be purchased at Eventbrite.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Fall Harvest Dinner at Agritopia with The TLC eXperience

Reserve your seats for a multi-course farm to table dinner under the stars in the orchard on Friday November 5th. Limited seats are available for Chef Tom and his culinary team’s menu with Agritopia grown produce and other locally sourced ingredients. Seats are $150 per person for the 6 p.m. start.

Frog’s Leap wine dinner at Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen

Thursday October 28th the downtown Scottsdale restaurant hosts a 5 course dinner paired with the Napa Valley’s acclaimed wines. Ravioli, risotto, short rib and more for $100++ per person. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the menu and pairings can be found here.

Dominick’s Steakhouse to donate sales of dinners on October 25th

This Monday night the Scottsdale restaurant will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of 200 dinners to the Make-A-Wish Arizona. Make-A-Wish was founded in Phoenix and grants wishes to seriously ill children. For more information and to make a reservation visit their website.

Free pizza or salad for National First Responders Day

Fired Pie is giving all active duty police officers and firefighters a free meal all day on Thursday October 28th. Show your badge at any location so the locally owned chain can say “Thank you”.

Buzzed Bull Creamery hiring fair in Scottsdale.

Arizona’s first Buzzed Bull is looking to hire enthusiastic team members for their new Scottsdale location on Wednesday October 27th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Must be 19 years old, have reliable transportation, be willing to use a hand help POS system and more. Be prepared to interview on site at 7135. E Camelback Rd.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

San Francisco chefs coming to Phoenix for cannabis infused dinner

Sous chef Frank Gama was living & working in Phoenix when he was planning a culinary experience like no other. He was then offered a job in San Francisco but didn’t forget about the dinner he wanted to do honoring the Hispanic & Latino community and heritage. He and Sous Chef Victor Aguilera will be coming to Phoenix to collaborate on this 8-course cannabis infused dinners on Sunday October 17th and Monday the 18th at Phoenix’s Jewels’ Cafe.

Both Gama and Aguilera have worked at Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco with Gama working at Atelier Crenn, Sorrel and Cafe Monarch in Scottsdale. Aguilera who’s from Venezuela, opened Arepas en Bici and has been featured in Eater SF, SF Chronicle, Good Morning America and recently won the Chopped 420 Challenge.

The dinners will feature courses spanning the culinary spectrum from molecular gastronomy to traditional French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients and Arizona grown cannabis. The dinner will start with a happy hour with snacks and each course will include drink pairings by bartender Curtis Hayes of The Monarch in Kansas City.

The all inclusive dinner is $200 per person and has two seating’s per night at 5 & 8 p.m.  More information & to purchase your seats visit https://www.bychefaguilera.com/events. Jewel’s Cafe is at 4041 E. Thomas Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

Maynard J Keenan expands kitchen & hires chef at Scottsdale tasting bar

With the success and popularity of his Merkin Vineyards Osteria and Merkin Pizza Wagon in Cottonwood, owner & winemaker Maynard J Keenan gave the go head to expand his Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale tasting room. Keenan also hired Executive Chef Steve Zimmerman to take the helm of the new Morello Forni Cupola Dome wood-fired oven, imported from Italy and revamp the menu.

“Our dishes feature ingredients grown in our Northern Arizona greenhouses, gardens, and orchards, and we supplement with produce sourced from local Arizona growers,” said Maynard J Keenan. “Merkin Vineyards farm-to-table, vine-to-glass concept is the cornerstone of our success, and it’s a concept we intend to continue developing.”

The award-winning Zimmerman comes to Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale after a career in hotel restaurant management in his home state of Missouri and most recently at Tres Kitchen & Bar ion Tempe. “He’s the perfect culinary artist for our vision,” states Keenan.

The menu at Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale

The new menu includes ingredients from Merkins farm, citrus grove and orchard in the Verde Valley with additional ingredients sourced from local vendors and artisan producers. The new menu changes on a regular basis and includes many seasonal ingredients for its pizzas, pasta, salads and more. The Classic Margarita Pizza, the Calabrian with chorizo, schinken, bacon, calabrian chiles, fig jam and fontina cheese and the Crucifixen, features Merkin farm cruciferous veggies, roasted garlic, Parmesan spread, fresh mozzarella and fontina cheeses are part of the core menu.

Lasagna Cupcakes, gnocchi and Cacio e Pepe shows off Zimmerman’s creativity and attention to detail. Appetizers, charcuterie and few desserts round out the menu which can be paired with any of Merkin Vineyards Four 8 Wineworks and Caduceus wines along with their mead, cider and Puscifer sparkling wine. To see what I’ve tasted on several visits to Merkin Vineyards Old Town check out my Instagram feed.

Merkin Vineyards is located at 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information and to see the menu check out  merkinoldtownscottsdale.com.

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