Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails debuts new dishes & cocktails

I made my first visit to Downtown Phoenix’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails recently as it launched its new food & cocktails menus in late August. The signature restaurant inside the Hotel Palomar welcomed new Executive Chef Brian Peterson who created the new dishes with his culinary team. Peterson’s “New American Cuisine” offers Starters & Shareable & entrees that include a curated beef program.

“The menu is very approachable and made with the freshest, all-natural, quality ingredients that are seasonally sourced from the area’s best local farmers,” said Chef Peterson. “The vibrancy and energy of our downtown Phoenix location is exhilarating and we are thrilled that our neighborhood restaurant is in the center of it all.”

My dinner at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

I started with a “Sicilian Summer Spritzer” from the Seasonal Cocktails menu to go with our Starters. The Maker’s Mark, Averna, Cardomano, Lemon & Soda libation reminded me of a Long Island Iced Tea from years past and I could had a second or third of this refreshing cocktail. One of the first to offer “craft cocktails” other signature cocktails include the Blue Hound Signature Old Fashioned, Buffalo Tears, Red & Smokey and more with an emphasis on bourbon & whiskey. Craft beer on draft & in bottle and wines are also available. My photos can be found on my Instagram, @SandyWass.

My dinner guest and I started with the Mushroom Pate with carrot jam, pickled onions & charred toast points. All was good with the carrot jam having the most flavor. We also shared the Beef Cheek Poutine with cheese curds, giardinerra & bone marrow gravy. The look to be house cut fries could’ve been a bit crisper but still  it’s a nice twist on a favorite from north of the border. Other dished that sounded good but not ordered on this visit were the Rolled & Fried Chicken Thighs and the Charred Octopus.

My guest ordered the Iberico Secreto (Iberico, the Wagyu of Spain ham, fatty shoulder meat) with bbq fennel, Pt. Reyes grits & cherry mustrda for his entree and he was happy. I went with Chef’s Cut of The Day which was a 16 oz. Rib Eye with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese chips, spinach & mushrooms. A nice outside darkness and rare-medium rare middle was a filling piece of beef. Then BHKC burger sounded good as did the duck breast. We finished our meal with a dessert special of Homemade Pound Cake with espresso gelato and caramel sauce. The cake was thick and dense, not you mom’s pound cake.

Feeling adventurous then “Trust the Team” with a five course dinner on the whim of the culinary team. A wine and cocktail pairing can be had with this dinner option.

For more information and to see the menu visit the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails website.

 

 

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.

Enjoy the dog days of summer with a new Trapp Dawg at Trapp Haus BBQ

The downtown Phoenix BBQ joint is offering 3 new all beef brisket hot dawgs for a limited time starting Monday August 2nd. These dawgs are available 7 days a week for $7.99 each. The Lou — topped with potato salad and crispy fried onions. The Jersey — topped with crispy potato and cheddar cheese sauce. The Village — topped with BBQ baked beans and jalapeño honey slaw.

Hearth ’61 Sunday Supper Club with guest chef Sean Currid

The Maple & Ash Executive Chef will join Chef Chuck Wiley’s team to create a 5-course menu paired with Australian wines from Barossa Valley selected by Mountain Shadows F & B manager Jim Gallen. Reservations  are required for the Sunday August 15th dinner that starts at 6 p.m. Seats are $149 ++ per person and can be made by calling 866-572-8774. To see the pairing menu visit their website.

Chompie’s hiring fair for new Phoenix location and other locations

All four valley locations and the soon to open north Phoenix location is looking to hire back & front of the house help. They are holding a 3 day job fair at the Embassy Suites at 4415 Paradise Village Pkwy S. Phoenix 85032. 80 employees are needed for the new location with additional employees needed to support the growth at other locations. The job fair is Monday, August 2nd 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 3rd 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. & Wednesday, August 4th 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Candidates should come prepared with a resume and be prepared to interview with hiring done on the spot.

Eat Up Drive- In is now open for lunch.

The fast casual Arcadia Lite restaurant that opened in March is now open for lunch and extended their hours 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. The restaurant features individual and family style meals for dine-in or to-go.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria to support the American Heart Assoc. in August

For all 31 days in August guests who donate $5 will get a $5 Bounce Back card to use at any Grimaldi’s nationwide (except To-Go locations in Austin TX & Scottsdale AZ and NYC, NJ & CT locations) until Dec. 31st 2022. Guests can donate up to $25 to get $25 Bounce Back per visit.

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.

Walter Station Brewery releases limited edition AAWLager

The local brewer has partnered with the Arizona Animal Welfare League to celebrate its 50th anniversary saving the lives of over 100,000 homeless animals. The new beer will be released on Saturday June 5th from 12 – 4 pm at the Washington St. brewery. The 6 packs will be available all summer long at beer shops and at Walter Station with part of the proceeds being donated to AAWL. Their looking to raise $50,000 by their 50th birthday on August 20th.

Wagyu from around the world at STK Steakhouse

The vibe at the Scottsdale steakhouse just got a little tastier as they celebrate National Steakhouse Month. Indulge yourself with Wagyu from Japan, Australia & America throughout June with such delicacies as Korean Style Short Ribs, Wagyu Beef Tartare & Caviar, a Tomahawk Steak and more.

Daily Dose partners with Harvest Compassion Center for back to school drive

Until July 31st at the Scottsdale and Midtown Phoenix restaurants guests can donate a filled back pack and get a free stack of any pancakes or a free specialty coffee. The local non-profit and locally owned restaurants are looking to provide 800 students with the school supplies they need to be successful in school as part of their 2021-22 School Supply Drive.

Coffee for a cause at Press Coffee

From now until August 1st the Phoenix- based coffee roaster is donating a portion of its Community Blend beans to Cloud Covered Streets. The non-profit gives help to those experiencing homelessness with showers, haircuts and laundry. Since launching in mid-2020 the Community Blend has raised over $3,000 to other local non-profits and schools.

The Happiest of Happy Hours at Taphouse Kitchen

Your wallet can use some relief this summer as the Scottsdale and Phoenix restaurants are offering a ton of food and drink specials for $6 Monday- Friday from 3-6 p.m. Pints of beer, well cocktails, Spicy Tuna Roll, Brewery Pretzel, 8-inch Alondra’s Pizzas are just a few of the happy hour specials offered. Brunch lovers can enjoy any breakfast entree for just $10 and $.01 Mimosa and Bloody Marys Sat. & Sun. from 8-11 a.m.

The Watermark Tempe to welcome Dog Haus Biergarten in early 2021

Restaurants are putting 2020 behind them and moving forward with new locations in 2021. Dog Haus, the gourmet hot dogs and sausages fast casual concept will open another location along Tempe Town Lake at the new Watermark Tempe. Expected to open in early in the New Year Dog Haus joins Sweet Republic Ice Cream, Monroe’s Hot Chicken and Crumbl Cookies at the mixed-use development.

The Watermark Tempe Dog Haus will be franchisee Jeron Boemer’s second location in Arizona, his first is in Yuma and opened in 2015. “I am excited to bring Dog Haus’ unique and delicious offerings to the Tempe community. Having found this ideal location, I know the Dog Haus culture of serving excellent food with welcoming service in a fun atmosphere will be embraced by the vibrant and growing Tempe neighborhood.”

Joining gourmet hot dogs on the menu will be Black Angus burgers, one of a kind fried chicken creations, side dishes and 24 craft beers on tap. Signature Haus cocktails are being crafted by Phil Willis of “Bar Rescue”. The 2,444 square foot restaurant includes a full bar and dog friendly patio.

Guest’s favorite hot dogs include Sooo Cali, with wild arugula, avocado, tomato, crispy onions and spicy basil aioli, and the Reservoir Hog, featuring a Polish kielbasa, Haus chili, Haus slaw and yellow mustard. Haus burgers include The Freiburger®, with white American cheese, fries, Haus slaw, fried egg and mayo, and the Holy Aioli, with white American cheese, smoked bacon, caramelized onions and garlic aioli. Burgers are made with beef from humanely raised Black Angus cows and all sausages and hot dogs are free of added nitrates and made with hormone- and antibiotic-free meat.

Dog Haus Tempe Biergarten will be at 430 N. Scottsdale Rd 85281. For more information and updates visit their website.

Fried chicken dinner now on the menu at Salty Sow

The Salty Sow known for its meat focused menu recently introduced fried chicken dinners to its menu. Two family style dinners are offered for take out and four dinners on the dine in menu.

The Jumbo Chicken Tenders Dinner comes with their signature kale coleslaw & cowboy beans with a choice of a 6 piece (with two sauces) for $17, a 9 piece (with a choice of 3 sauces) for $24 or a 12 piece (with 4 sauces) for $29.  Their Southern Fried Chicken Dinner served with kale coleslaw and cowboy beans with 8 pieces of fried chicken bone-in for $26.00.

Dining in you can choose from…..

 

  • Tender Bites- 8 pieces of fried chicken, one sauce for $8
  • Jumbo Tenders- 3 piece, two sauces for $11
  • The O.G. Sandwich with chicken breast, mayonnaise, kale coleslaw, home-made pickles and French fries for $14
  • Southern Fried Chicken- 4 pieces, bone-in served with kale coleslaw for $18

Choose Sow Sauce, Honey Mustard, Ranch, Barbeque and Sweet Chili to compliment your meal. Guests looking to spice it up can choose to make their chicken “Nashville Hot” if desired.

Salty Sow is at 4801 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix 85032. The restaurant opens for dinner daily at 4 p.m.

 

Fogo de Chao adapts to a new reality amid Covid 19

When restaurants shut down dining rooms in March due to Covid 19 they had to rely on takeout and delivery until the lock down ended in May. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao was no different furloughing 90% of staff with managers becoming cooks, order takers and delivery drivers. The restaurant offered Fogo to Go butchered raw meats, meals to go, catered off site meals for small groups and Caipirinha cocktail kits. Management at the headquarters in Dallas were devising a plan for locations throughout the country as how to adapt to the new reality when dine-in service resumed.

Fogo de Chao is known for its generous assortment of meats skewered and served table side by gauchos but also for its generous assortment of cold salads, meats and cheeses at it salad bar. That’s where it biggest challenge would be on how to serve guests who were used to making their way to the salad bar stocked with over 30 items.fogo de chao

The new normal at Fogo de Chao

A recent visit to the Scottsdale location I found out what has changed since they re-opened for dine-in service last month. The changes were obvious once you enter to restaurant, hostess’s and all employees wear face masks, a poster board next to the hostess stand reviews their commitment to health and safety and fewer tables in the dining room for social distancing. Gone were menus, salt & pepper shakers and the green (Go) and red (Stop) coaster cards diners use to let gauchos know whether to approach you for more meat.

As for the buffet, selections have been reduced. Servers now bring a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and olives followed by courses of salads to choose from. Gauchos continue to roam the room carving slices of beef, chicken, pork and lamb to your heart’s desire as they did prior to Covid 19. Only difference is they approach you asking if you’d like more meat.

Fogo continues to offer Fogo- to-Go’s butcher shop, catering with curbside pick-up and contact-less delivery. Summer promotions are being finalized and I will update as soon I as I hear what they are.

The Scottsdale location is at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. The restaurant offers full service dining as well as group dining, an outdoor patio and bar. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner & brunch on weekends. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse re-opens with a new look

When Kasai Japanese Steakhouse re-opens on Tuesday June 16th guests will notice a new look and a new streamlined menu. The highlight of the new look are 4 new hood-less teppanyaki tables, a first in Arizona. With the new tables the restaurant will have 14 tables to accommodate 146 people. Most tables are in the back of the restaurant but the new ones are in the front so all can see the fire and fun.

“We are thrilled to be able to give more of what everyone loves with the expansion of our highly successful teppanyaki program,” said owner, Mike Russello. “Our guests want that high-energy dining experience that they look forward to when they come to Kasai”. Included in the new look is a more open and inviting floor plan.

The Scottsdale restaurant has a new streamlined menu including thinly sliced Kasai Filet Carpaccio and the favorite Mongolian Lamb Chops. The teppanyaki menu offers over 50 dinners & combinations served in seven courses. The fun at the tables starts with the energetic chefs offering fresh made food & flare. New custom cocktails include Violet Solstice, made with Hendricks Mid-Summer Solstice Gin, Crème de Violette, and fresh lemon juice. The P. King cocktail (in honor of original owner Patrick King) is made with Toki Japanese whiskey, lychee liqueur, fresh lime juice & bitters.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse serves dinner starting at 4 p.m. and happy hour from 4 – 6:30. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. & Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. Kasai is at 14344 N. Scottsdale Rd. For more information visit their website or Facebook page.

 

Billy Ray Cyrus and award winning chefs headline Sunset Sessions

Update: Sunset Sessions concerts & culinary festival cancelled due to flooding. Car auction proceeding as planned.

A new culinary experience comes to town along with Billy Ray Cyrus when the Mecum Collector Car Auction parks at State Farm Stadium. The Sunset Sessions are during the evening of Friday & Saturday, March 13th and 14th and will feature Phoenix chef Anthony Serrano enlisting celebrity chefs to prepare delicious dishes for the 2 two night event.

The theme for Friday is “The Melody of Sonoran Flavors” that will feature farm to table dishes native to Arizona. Saturday you’ll be “Rock ‘n’ Tacos” feasting on unique tacos and sliders made with American Wagyu beef from Hassell Cattle. Joining chef Serrano will be Derek Upton who has worked with Chef Justin Beckett and cooked for celebrity clients. David Duarte has cooked in Italy and professional BBQ’r Josh Dae will be cooking. Chefs Suzanne Clark and Pete Sivano, editor and publisher of Girls Can Grill chef Christie Vanover and Kita Roberts a.k.a. Girl Carnivore round out the culinary team.

Billy Ray Cyrus
Chef Anthony Serrano

“Partnering with the best collector car auction company in the world and creating this exclusive culinary and music event is a can’t-miss opportunity for the Phoenix area community,” said Jim Freudenberg, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Innovative Group, which is partnering with Mecum Auctions to produce this new event. “We are bringing the world’s top culinary event to the Valley of the Sun and providing the finest unlimited menu of food, libations and music.”

Billy Ray Cyrus and how to get tickets

Billboard Award winning band Lifehouse will take the stage Friday night and country music star Billy Ray Cyrus on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. with live music starting at 6:15 and the headliners on stage at 7:30.

Tickets are $150-$350 and include entrance to the auction and unlimited food and drinks. VIP experience with private suites and personal chef interactions are available. State Farm Stadium is at 1 Cardinals Dr. Glendale 85305.

 

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuts new look and menu

After being on the Scottsdale steakhouse scene for more than 15 years Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuted a new look to the restaurant along with new Japanese beef dishes. The four month refresh was done after the restaurant was closed each night after dinner service. New lighting, art, flooring, furniture and live music area were updated and also included a new wine wall. The bar has a new bottle display above the bar and new lighting. The staff will don new uniforms and table side wine service is available. The fireplace on the patio received a new Mastro’s logo.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Wagyu & Kobe On A Stone

The new menu includes Japanese A5 Wagyu and Kobe beef. City Hall is one of two restaurants in Arizona to serve True Japanese Beef. The restaurant secured Kobe Association License to serve 100% Hyogo Prefecture Kobe Beef and A5 Kobe Beef from 100% Tajima Cattle, the most expansive beef in the world.

New dishes include Sliced A5 Japanese Wagyu and True Kobe Beef served on a Hot Stone, Wagyu Beef Sushi Roll, Spinalis Ribeye Gold Cap, Heart of the Rib Eye and Dover Sole.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Dover Sole

The restaurant expanded its wine list to include wines and spirits from around the world exclusively for Mastro’s City Hall.

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse is at 6991 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.