Bulleit Bourbon to again throw Derby Day party at Turf Paradise

The Run for the Roses a.k.a. The Kentucky Derby comes early this year as the first Saturday in May falls on the 2nd. Phoenix’s only horse track, Turf Paradise is the perfect atmosphere to watch the horses run locally before the big race from Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Big hats, bow ties and fancy attire will be on full display at the track and more so at the return of the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub party.

Guests at the Derby DayClub can sit track side in an air conditioned tent to sip Mint Juleps, beer, wine & champagne, watch the horses (and people) and root for your favorite horse. Food trucks, a DJ, big screen TVs and track side betting are highlights of the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub. Bulleit Bourbon

Previous years DayClubs have sold out so the sooner you reserve your seats the better. Tickets are now on sale with several ticket options available. Enjoy the Sanderson Lincoln Black Label Lounge by reserving a table for you and 7 of your friends to get a close up view of all the racing.

Front-row Reserved Tables (8 guests): $1,000 and includes a complimentary bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne. Upgrades to premier center of tent location for $100.

Second-row Reserved Tables (8 guests): $750 and includes a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Upgrades to prime center of tent location for $100.

Third-row Reserved Tables (8 guests): $500 and includes a complimentary bottle of Chandon Champagne. Upgrades to center of tent location for $100.

General Admission to the DayClub are $30 before April 17th then $40 and $50 at the door. A limited amount of Reserved Seats are available for $60 until April17th then go up to $75.

 

 

Mardi Gras fun with a jazz brunch at The Boulders Resort

Bananas Foster, beads and beignets are part of Mardi Gras parties and you can celebrate the festive day at The Boulder Resort’s Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch. Sunday February 23rd on the outdoor terrace at the resort’s Grill Kitchen & Bar guests will revel in the sounds of Louisiana along with New Orleans and French Creole cuisine from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sip on New Orlean’s Hurricane cocktails or Mimosas from the cart while enjoying Classic Cajun Gumbo, Egg Sardou Benedict, Shrimp Grits and more. Take in the breathtaking desert views while grooving to live jazz music.Mardi Gras

Tickets are $75 per person plus tax & gratuity. Reservations and more information can be had by calling 480-488-9020 or visiting https://www.theboulders.com/. The Boulders is at 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr. Carefree AZ. 85377.

KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival brings the heat

A bowl of spicy chili, a shot of bourbon and a cold beer to wash it down sounds pretty good. Enjoy all three at the 3rd annual KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival when it returns to downtown Chandler on Saturday February 29th. The festival at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park invites home cooks to the chili cook-off to see how they stack up against local restaurants.

A dozen top shelf bourbons, cocktails and craft beer will be featured along with a day’s worth of live music. Southbound, Western Fusion Band & Jim Bachman and the Day Drinkers are a few bands filling their air with country music. Life size lawn games and cornbread, chili dog and Frito pie eating contests will keep the day fun and festive.KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival

“The event is a great combination of favor and flair,” said Landon Evans creative director of HDE Agency, the event’s producer. “From mild to unbearably hot chili offerings and over a dozen of top shelf bourbons you’re likely not to try – we welcome all to indulge, experience and engage with the variety of bourbons, beers and bands.”

A portion of the proceeds from the KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival will be donated to the Greater Cause Foundation. The non-profit gives back to communities greater causes including a children’s welfare, anti-bullying, hunger, animal abuse and more.

Tickets for the festival that starts at 12 noon are available at the festival’s website. Dr A.J. Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler.

 

Top Chef John Tesar coming to 2020 Nirvana Food & Wine Festival

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa has announced the dates and schedule of events for the fourth annual Nirvana Food & Wine Festival. April 16th -19th Chef and Nirvana host Beau MacMillan welcomes celebrity chef’s Robert Irvine, Scott Contant and Bravo Network’s “Top Chef” winner John Tesar. Celebrities including Rob Riggle and The Bella Twins and other chefs will be hosting and having fun with guests along with chefs and mixologists from around Arizona.

“This event is one that is so near and dear to my heart,” said MacMillan. “Having the opportunity to celebrate outstanding culinary talent, mixology, music and more alongside some of my closest friends and fellow foodies is a true privilege. Nirvana really offers something for everyone and that’s a big part of what makes the festival such a special experience.”

The annual festival celebrates food, wine, music and spirits in a most luxurious resort in the valley and has become a very popular festival in only three years.

Top Chef

Tickets for the five headlining events are available with additional events and after parties still may be added to the weekend’s festivities.

Thursday, April 16- Wood, Wine & Wagyu presented by Far Niente 

The 2020 festival kicks off with this ever-popular event, featuring superstar culinary talent from across North America preparing Snake River Farms American Wagyu cooked over open-wood flames while celebrity mixologists craft whisky-based cocktails utilizing Woodford Reserve. Guests will then be invited to take their places at the table for an intimate, family style dinner with wines hand selected by Far Niente. Country music superstars D. Vincent Williams, Dillon Dixon and Joe Diffy will provide musical accompaniment. Tickets start at $350.

Friday, April 17- Flutes & Coops

Experience the ultimate Champagne campaign and fried chicken feast headlined by DJ Miss Mixx, Fosterson and 17 of the Valley’s best chefs preparing their best fried chicken recipes. This indoor/outdoor event will feature full bars and cocktails shaken by some of the Valley’s best mixologists with one chef being crowned king of Flutes & Coops by popular vote. Tickets start at $150.

Saturday, April 18- Tequila & Tortillas

Grab the salt and limes! Held at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, this year’s Dia de los Muertos-themed Tequila & Tortillas event will feature nearly 20 locally and nationally recognized chefs cooking up the best of the best in southwestern fare. Since no fiesta is complete without tequila, several of the Valley’s top cocktailers will be on-site mixing up delicious tequila-based cocktails.

This year’s event also features a team “taco takedown” competition, tequila luges and a stunning art presentation by the renowned Gennaro Garcia. Tickets start at $125.

Saturday, April 18- Best of the West

The biggest event of the weekend, Best of the West will be hosted by Scott Conant and Tony Abou-Ganim and will offer 20 live-action stations showcasing cuisine from the most talented chefs of the Valley and greater Arizona. Set to the backdrop of the stunning Camelback Mountain, this not-to-miss event will also offer live musical performances from Double D and the Nashville Allstars to close out the night. Tickets start at $175

Sunday, April 19- Rosé Parté  

The star-studded rosé-all-day trend continues with Rosé Parté, co-hosted by Robert Irvine and the Bella Twins. Guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the Valley’s top culinary talent as well as taste two-dozen different rosé wines. This brunch-style party will also include craft cocktails, ice carvings, a raw bar and beats by DJ Miss Mixx. Giving new meaning to the term “Sunday Funday,” this is a not-to-miss closing experience. Tickets start at $150.

Nobu Scottsdale opens Monday and is taking reservations

The new luxury wing at Scottsdale Fashion Square is buzzing with excitement as world renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa opens Nobu Scottsdale on Monday January 27, 2020. The sushi and Japanese cuisine restaurant has begun taking reservations for this highly anticipated opening. His first restaurant opened in New York City in 1994 with partners Robert DeNiro and Meir Teper, the trio now have restaurants on 6 continents.

“Scottsdale is a very special city, and a location we have been looking forward to opening for a very long time,” said Chef Matsuhisa. “Scottsdale is a truly unique destination for a special kind of luxury and Fashion Square is at the center of it all,” he said.

Chef Nobu made a name for himself in the 1990’s when he put his take on classic Japanese cuisine and sushi using new flavors and cooking techniques. He’s built a loyal following at over 40 restaurants and hotels around the world.

Nobu Scottsdale will have classic dishes such as Yellow Tail Sashimi and Black Cod with miso along with dishes only found in Scottsdale. Local ingredients will play a big role on the menu and cocktail program. The cocktail program continues to evolve as mixoligists from around the world continue to curate it.

“Each location has a unique menu that is influenced by global trends as well as the local scene,” says Nobu. “We look forward to bringing guests the signature dishes they have come to love, along with new dishes exclusive to Nobu Scottsdale.”

Nobu Scottsdale is taking reservations for dinner and can be made by calling 480-581-0055 or by visiting their website.

 

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.

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar opens in north Scottsdale

Regional cuisine is served up at a restaurant that recently opened in north Scottsdale. Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar is owned R Squared Restaurant Concepts’ Christi & James Rice and James’s brother and sister in-law John & Erin Rucker. Their New American menu is full of dishes from states that the 4 have previously lived of New York, Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico & Arizona.

“Through the places we have lived before Scottsdale, we’ve grabbed flavors from our life experiences,” says co-owner Christi Rice. “Our menu and our specialty cocktails express all the culinary adventures we’ve had and what we’ve learned about food in other areas of the country. We also have fun infusing spirits into our culinary creations.”

All photos courtesy of Christi Rice

Copper Mule Kitchen & Bar serves lunch and dinner daily with happy hour in between from 3-6 p.m. Guests can expect dishes such as the Cay Shrimp Salad, Lemon Dill Grilled Salmon, Midwest Angus Beef Burger and AZ Ale Fish & Chips along with pitas, sandwiches salads and more. $2 off all appetizers during happy hour includes favorites Montauk Fried Olives, Delta Deviled Eggs and chicken wings.

With a name like Copper Mule it comes as no surprise the cocktail menu offers 9 mule cocktails. Irish and Kentucky Mule’s join signature cocktails from around the country including The Georgia Peach, The Tipsy Texan and more.

The family friendly, reasonably priced restaurant has a dog friendly patio. The Copper Mule Kitchen & bar is at 23335 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For more information and to see the menu check pout their website.

Villa Pozzi & Grimaldi’s partner for new winter menu

Tis the season for wine and food and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has collaborated with Villa Pozzi for its new winter menu. The seasonal menu, Pizza & Pozzi is available until March 2nd, 2020 and features wines, pizza, cheesecake and more.

“Winter is a great time to introduce warm, rich ingredients and flavors to our menu,” says Grimaldi’s Executive Chef, Cory Lattuca. “Through my collaboration with Daniele Pozzi, founder and winemaker for Villa Pozzi, we crafted sausage and Villa Pozzi Nero d’ Avola braised red wine onion pizza, evoking the comforting feelings we share during the holiday season.”

Villa Pozzi
All photos courtesy of Hannah Johnston of Evolve Marketing

The Sicilian winery was originally built in 1860 and has been owned by the Pozzi family for 5 generations. A new modern winery was completed in 2000. All grapes are hand harvested and picked in the evening or early morning during cooler temperatures. The winery makes 6 varietals of food friendly wines.

The Pizza & Pozzi menu includes the Winter Harvest Salad with roasted Brussel sprouts over a bed of Arugula, Sausage & Wine Braised Onion Pizza, a Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake and Eggnog Cheesecake.

Nero d’ Avola and Pinot Grigio are the featured wines along with Winter Citrus Sangria and a Holiday Cranberry Mule.

To find a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria near you visit https://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” dinner at Match Restaurant & Lounge

Match Restaurant & Lounge’s Executive Chef Orlando Parker takes you on a trip to Whoville on Saturday December 7th when he and his culinary team create a five course dinner based on the Dr. Seuss classic Christmas film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Guests will have a full stomach and a smile on their face when dinner concludes.  All courses will be paired with a specialty cocktail to complement each other.

1st Course: Whoville Treat — Cherry and Plum Bruschetta paired with The Green One cocktail

2nd Course: Grinch Greens — Creamy Spinach Soup with croutons served with The Stolen Christmas Tree cocktail

3rd Course: Cindy Lu Salad – Orange and Pomegranate Salad with buttermilk dressing complemented by Martha May’s Little Helper Cocktail

4th Course: Roast Beast – Rosemary Roast Beef and potatoes and carrots with horseradish crema served with the Lou Who Family Recipe Cocktail

5th Course:  Who-Pudding – Plum Pudding with crème anglaise topped with fresh raspberries paired with The Mean One Cocktail

The “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is $96 plus tax per person and reservations can be made by heading to the Eventbrite page.

Match Restaurant & Lounge is in the Found:R.E. Phoenix Hotel at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003.

Upscale Mexican restaurant Toca Madera has opened.

A year and a half after I posted about it, the upscale Mexican restaurant Toca Madera has opened at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The Madera Group from West Hollywood is behind Toca Madera and its sister restaurants, the quick casual Tocaya Organica. Tocaya has two locations in the Phoenix area at Kierland Commons and next door to Toca.

Sashimi Mexicano

Co-founders Tosh Berman and Amrou Manaseer spared no expense at the 8,000 square foot Toca Madera. A lush courtyard with a retractable roof for patio dining leads to the dining room with the exhibition kitchen. Natural light from skylight breathes life onto the Ficus trees in the restaurants. A lounge with full bar is located off the courtyard serving signature margaritas and cocktails.

“At our Scottsdale location, we want guests to feel as though they’re stepping into another reality,” CEO Berman said. “From the sophisticated design to the theatrical spirit through which we serve food and beverage, every element has been precisely chosen to provide an unparalleled dining experience. The community has been incredibly supportive since opening Tocaya next door so we’re excited to introduce another one of our concepts to the area.”

Baja Rosa

Executive Chef Joseph Castillo comes to Toca Madera from the nearby Sushi Roku at the W Hotel. Castillo, a native of southern California goes from upscale sushi and Japanese food to an upscale Mexican cuisine. His culinary team creates signature dishes such as Enchiladas de Mole, Tiger Shrimp Tacos and Pescado de Dia (seafood of the day).

Dinner starts at 5 p.m., the lounge opens at 4 for happy hour and weekend brunch begins on November 9th. To view the menu and for more information check out https://www.tocamadera.com/