Peter Kasperski returns to the valley’s dining scene with Character

2020 brought many surprises good and bad to the valley’s dining scene. One of the biggest surprises was the return of restaurateur Peter Kasperski in December. He and valley mixologist Richie Moe III have again joined forces to open Character Distinctive Dining in the Roosevelt Arts District. The two have known each other for over 30 years going back to their days in Chicago when Moe’s father was Kasperski’s mentor.

Moe helped Kasperski open Cowboy Ciao in the 1990s then Kazmierz Wine Bar before they went their separate ways. Moe had gone on to open and run cocktail programs at Citizen Public House, The Gladly and Bourbon and Bones. Kasperski has been lying low the last few years plotting his next move since he closed Cowboy Ciao.

Photo courtesy of Modern Vision Media

Downtown Phoenix’s Character Distinctive Dining is a classic American dinner house with cuisines from around the world made using modern cooking techniques. Kasperski’s love for eclectic wines and Moe’s inventive cocktail list have also made their way downtown from Scottsdale. Some will see similarities with Cowboy Ciao especially the popular dinner events. One of those events is the monthly Somm Showdown with Peter Kasperski and a local wine sommelier go head to head picking the best pairings for a five-course dinner. The first Somm Showdown is Sunday January 24th 2021 with Synergy Fine Wines’ Steve Cannon. Seating is limited to 30 people and dinner is $90 ++ per person.

The pair are also opening Alias, a speakeasy, later this year out back of Character. Three nights a week Moe and Chef Justin “Red” Hauska will create mixology/gastronomy dinners pairing cocktails and food with science and surprises. After dinner starting at 9 p.m. Alias will become a craft cocktail bar until 2 a.m.

Character / Alias is at 218 E Portland St. Phoenix, AZ 85004. For more information check their website, Facebook and Instagram.

 

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.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has new winter menu

All seven Arizona locations roll out a new holiday season inspired menu on Tuesday December 1st. Enjoy the Chicken Alla Vodka Pizza (sounds crazy good) with a warming Ginger Apple Jack cocktail. The  “Crafted Comfort” menu include salads, desserts and cocktails that will be available until March 1st.

Fresh Take Meal Prep gives a meal when you buy 10

The community minded spinoff of Aioli Gourmet Burgers partners with Valley Youth Theatre and HopeKids raise money and provide meals for families of sick children. When 10 meals are purchased in December from FTMP an 11th will be given to a HopeKids family. 5 meals are $40, 10 meals are $74 and 100 meals are $140. VYT will hold a virtual concert on December 19th and money raised will go to HopeKids. The goal is to provide 200 meals to families.

Sphinx Date Co. offers online holiday deals this weekend

Through Monday November 30th the retailer of locally made goods offers FREE shipping orders over $65 with promo CODE JOY20. Get $5 off purchases when you spend $25, using CODE 5OFF. Shipping within Arizona is only $5 and will automatically be deducted from your order.

Crumbl Cookies gives 20% off on National Cookie Day

Friday December 4th locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa Red Mountain, Signal Butte and Queen Creek will sell boxes of four packs for 20% off the regular $11.98 price. Choose from over 120+ flavors that rotate weekly.

3 Man Blend Bourbon Dinner at Hearth ’61

75 people will enjoy a reception and 3-course dinner on Thursday December 4th that will be paired with special bourbon cocktails. Chef Charles Wiley, Food & Beverage Manager Jim Gallen and Bill Nassikas’s Maker’s Mark bourbon will be featured along with a Zoom call from two Beam Suntory female Master Distillers. Reservations for the dinner are $180 all-inclusive per person and bottles of 3 Man Blend will be available for purchase.

 

RKDA Kitchen hosting Malabar Spiced Liqeur Cocktail Dinner

Arcadia Lite’s RKDA Kitchen is hosting a dinner inspired by the spice route of India. Malabar Spiced Liqeur will be paired with a 5 course menu designed by Bob Tam. Wednesday, January 29th guests will a meal full of flavors as the exotic Malabar pairs with fish, duck and more.

Opening act
Yuzu Mint Raita & Crisp Papadums
amuse bouche
Crimson & Clover- Malabar, rum, lime, tamarind.

act 1
Tuna Tataki
heirloom tomato salsa
Sundown Aperitif – sparkling wine, Malabar, apple spiced, peychaud’s bitters, lemon, apple.

act 2
Tikka Marsala Moules Frites
pei mussels, butter, garlic, marsala, wine, tomato, ginger, basil, cilantro, yogurt, lemon, fries.

Coconut Conundrum- gin, Malabar, coconut, lime, curry, sugar.

Headliner
Smoked Malabar Duck
orange kecap glaze, many roots puree, braised greens.
Promisa De La Tierra- tequila, Malabar, lemon, egg white, beet, cinnamon, mint.

encore
White Chocolate Malabar Creme Brulee
seasonal fruit.
Wonderland- cacao nib washed Malabar, vodka, peche de vigne liqueur, almond milk.

RKDA Kitchen open quietly last year at the busy intersection of 40th St. and Indian School Rd. Featuring sandwiches, salads, creative signature cocktails from Trish Renehan Vodrazka and a sushi menu, RKDA Kitchen brings out your inner rock star with its music and decor.

The family style dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $71 pp and include tax & gratuity. Limited seats are available and can be reserved at https://rkdamalabardinner.bpt.me/. RKDA Kitchen is at 3950 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.