Jason Caballero takes over as Wine Director at Wrigley Mansion

Advanced Sommelier Jason Caballero has taken over a highly desirable position as the new Wine Director at the historic Wrigley Mansion. Caballero will oversee the award-winning wine program at the mansion’s signature restaurant Geordie’s, Jamie’s Wine Bar, Christopher’s and events held at the Mansion. In his new role he hopes to bring a Grand Award of Excellence from The Wine Spectator back to Arizona and make wine more approachable to guests and not have wine used as a “social weapon”.

“Wrigley Mansion is a unique and stunning property with one of the largest wine programs in the country and a James Beard award-winning chef at Christopher’s,” says Jason Caballero. “I’m honored to be a part of it, especially at this time when Arizona is stepping up its dining and beverage scene.”

In addition to overseeing the wine program and cellar, Jason will work with and mentor other sommeliers at the Mansion, help guests with discovering new wines, pour rare wines by the glass, have a more approachable wine list and plans wine dinners and events.

How it began for Jason Caballero with wine

Jason’s journey in the restaurant and wine industry began in 2006 at Scottsdale’s Olive & Ivy before taking the reins at Chandler’s Vintage 95 as sommelier in 2011. From there he went to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess as Lead Sommelier then to Maple & Ash as Wine Director. While at Maple & Ash he helped them open Monarch in Dallas and Etta in north Scottsdale helping to curate the wine lists and train staff. Wrigley Mansion owner Jaime Hormel had met Jason at Maple & Ash several years ago and always wanted him to come join the property when the time was right.

“Jason’s credentials are impressive, and we are excited to have him join Geordie’s to elevate our already impressive wine program,” says Wrigley Mansion General Manager Vinnie Walia. “At the same time, we are equally impressed by his passion for mentoring and educating and we look forward to seeing him pursue this for our staff and guests.”

To stay on top of the ever changing wine industry he is a long time member and a newly seated on the Board of Directors at GuildSomm. Currently an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers he’s been invited to sit for the prestigious Master Sommelier test in July 2023 and co-founded the Society of Arizona Sommeliers to educating and support aspiring sommeliers.

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.

 

Summer Supper returns at Marcellino Ristorante

When downtown Scottsdale’s Marcellino Ristorante returns next Thursday August 4th after a couple weeks of rest and relaxation so will their Summer Supper dining experience. Guests can enjoy a three course for only $49 per person choosing from antipastos, award-winning handcrafted pastas and ending with house-made biscotti for dessert. Imagine a Caprese salad with imported mozzarella or entrees Gnocchi Sorrentina or Filetto Di Maiale without leaving Arizona. The Summer Supper is available nightly from 4 p.m. til closing for parties up to 6 people.

Also returning is their weekly Dinner and a Movie program. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening through the first week of September at 5:30 p.m. guests can enjoy dinner from the menu or the Summer Supper menu. Enjoy the private dining room with others for a date night, girl’s night out or just letting Marcellino do the cooking. Admission is free but dinner and reservations are  required.

The movies are as scheduled.

August 9; and August 24: “The Talented Mr. Ripley”
August 10; and August 30: “Only You”

August 16; and August 31: “Roman Holiday”

August 17; and August 23: “Eat, Pray, Love”

August 28; and September 7: “When in Rome”
September 6: “The Big Night”
Reservations are suggested for the Summer Supper. To make a reservation call 480-490-9500. For more information and to view their menus visit their website.

 

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is bringing fine dining to the Melrose District

Master sushi chef and owner Engin Onural is bringing his popular sushi restaurant Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey to Phoenix’s Melrose District come May. A hit in Palm Springs the experience includes hard to get Japanese whiskeys, the foundation of the restaurant’s cocktail program. Onural has been recognized by the Sushi Proficiency Institute and certified by the AJSA Sushi Skills Institute. He placed in the Best Chefs America Index in 2015 and was the recipient of the World Sushi Cup and Kuro-Obi Pin in 2017.

“We put an incredible amount of care and attention to detail into everything we do from start to finish at Sandfish to ensure an impeccable experience when guests dine with us,” says Chef Onural. “We look forward to creating an environment where the residents of Phoenix can enjoy an intimate date night or a special celebration.”

What to expect at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey

Guests dining at Sandfish will be taken on a culinary journey that will tantalize all the senses. The expertly curated menu starts with Spicy Tuna Tostada, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and more. Signature rolls are where Onural lets his creative senses flow with The Experiment Roll (snow crab with mango, avocado and cucumber topped with tuna, jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu aioli) and the Baby Langoustine Roll (crab meat and avocado topped with tempura-style baby langoustine, spicy aioli, teriyaki sauce and micro greens).

Braised and grilled Spanish Octopus and Hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar) are just a couple dishes that aren’t sushi. Salads, sushi rolls and carpaccio are featured on the menu. The adventurous may opt for the Omakase Chef’s Tasting Menu which includes popular dishes with a few surprises from Onural. Save room for the signature Matcha Cheese cake for dessert. The bar will include signature and classic cocktails, sake, beer, wine and mocktails. Whiskeys from around the world will also be available.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey will be at 4232 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix and  is currently hiring staff for all positions. For more information visit their 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.

Pretzel Fest every Wednesday at Pedal Haus Brewery

The local brew pub with locations in downtown Phoenix, downtown Chandler and downtown Tempe couldn’t wait til Oktoberfest to feature their new Bavarian Board. Each board includes charcuterie meats, olives, a large Bavarian pretzel, beer cheese, maple butter, haus mustard and 2 beers for $16. Upgrade the beers to a Stein for $20 or a bottle of Haus wine for $25.

Hearth ’61 now offers a vegan tasting menu

Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro has created a 4-course vegetable focused menu at the Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant. The menu consists of Celeriac Salad, Parsnip Confit with curry chickpea stew, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom with eggplant cous cous and a Strawberry Lemon Tart with ginger meringue. The menu is available all year long and is $89 plus tax & gratuity.

Society by EVO opening in Tempe

A new restaurant from Nick Neuman and his partners is coming to Tempe in February. The late night upscale dining experience restaurant is looking to hire 50 people and is having a hiring fair today, Friday January 28th from 12 noon til 4 p.m. at EVO on Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. Interested applicants can also send Nick a resume to nickneuman@evoscottsdale.com. The restaurant will be in The Cornerstone at Rural and University and will be open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The Mexicano now serving lunch

The new restaurant from Joey Maggiore is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. The made from scratch Mexican cuisine restaurant in northeast Phoenix offers a build your own Michelada bar along with agave based cocktails to go along with your Guacamole and Salsa Ferris Wheel, tacos made with blue corn tortillas, lava rock fajitas and a three foot long quesadilla. On weekends rotating DJs play Latin music to enhance the vibrant atmosphere.

The Crepe Club celebrates National Crepe Day

Next Wednesday February 2nd get a free Nutella or Parisian (butter & sugar) crepe at the Scottsdale Fashion Square (in the food court) location from 9 – 11 a.m.

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.

Root for the Cardinals with a team inspired beer, shake & cookie

With the NFL playoffs starting tomorrow and the Cardinals making the playoffs for the first time since 2015 you can show your support with team inspired food & beverages. PHX Beer Co. just released the limited edition Bird Gang Beer. The lager can be purchased in a 32 oz. crowler at their Phoenix taproom or Scottsdale restaurant.

Miracle Mile Deli is selling the Cardinals Caramel Strawberry Shake ($5) and Black and Red Cookies ($4) just in time for Monday night’s game versus their rival L.A. Rams. They will be available throughout the Cardinal playoff run.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain promotes 2 on their culinary team

Former catering chef Landon Post has been promoted to Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine Samantha Sanz has become the new face of the resort’s signature restaurant, Elements. Executive Chef Beau Macmillan has been the face of Elements for over 23 years and is staying on board in reduced role as Culinary Advisor spearheading culinary events at the resort including Nirvana Food and Wine Festival.

Valley chefs feeding the homeless on MLK Day

4 of the valley’s top chefs have partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to serve over 500 steak dinners to the valley’s homeless on Monday January 17th. Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco), Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s), Chef Vincent (Vincent’s on Camelback) and Mark Lupino (Steak 44, Ocean 44 & Dominick’s Steakhouse) will be joined music composer and celebrities David Foster and Katherine McPhee Foster. The 17th would of also been Muhammad Ali’s 80th birthday.  Steaks are only part of the meal organized by philanthropist & Ali friend Jimmy Walker as part of the “Never Give Up” program.

Santé to start serving lunch and happy hour on Monday

The healthy food restaurant that opened last month in north Scottsdale will start serving lunch and happy hour on Monday January 17th. Lunch will be from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and happy hour from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Myke’s Pizza now open for lunch

The popular downtown Mesa pizzeria is now open for lunch Tuesday – Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Owner and pizza maker Myke Olsen serves 10 hand crafted pizzas, a house salads and a chocolate chip cookie. Seasonal pizzas will also be offered and on weekend rotating desserts.

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.

Local First Arizona announces the return of “Devour at Home” in 2022

Local First Arizona announced that when Devour Week returns for its 13th year in February 2022 its signature event will be “Devour at Home” for the second year in a row. To kick-off the popular culinary event “Devour Week”, will be the in-person “Seven Chefs” dinner on Sunday, February 20th.

Like “Devour at Home” in 2021, foodies can order dinner from any number of participating restaurants from January 31st – February 18th and pick up dinner on Saturday February 26th. More than 430 dinners were prepared for “Devour at Home” in 2021 raising almost $75,000 for participating restaurants.  3-course dinners for 2 are $95 and $200 for 4 with orders packed in commemorative tote that includes other goodies.

Returning restaurants include Beckett’s Table, Cibo Pizza & FnB with new restaurants include Sapiens Paleo Kitchen and Kaizen. To see all participating restaurants and menus as they become available visit the website that is updated as restaurants are added. Each menu is in limited quantities and orders are suggested early as they all sold out in 2021.

The “Seven Chefs” Dinner will be the evening of the 20th at The Gladly with details of the 7 chefs and the menu announced in early January. Proceeds from both events will go to participating restaurants. For more information about Local First Arizona visit their website.

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.

Oak on Camelback brings laid back fine dining to central Phoenix

When Robert Bogart graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2001 he knew he wanted to stay in Arizona to open his own restaurant. It didn’t happen as quickly as he wanted having gone to Denver to become executive chef at Elway’s Steakhouse at The Ritz- Carlton before heading to Temecula, California to open two restaurants. He decided that 2019 would be the year he returned to Arizona in pursuit of a restaurant to purchase. By early 2020 he decided that the popular central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis was the place. Not long after taking ownership not only did the pandemic hit but so did a kitchen fire. Now almost 2 years later after navigating the restrictions of Covid and a re-branding Bogart’s opened Oak on Camelback.

Oak on Camelback

Chef Bogart has introduced his globally inspired menu while keeping a few favorite dishes from St. Francis. He’s also kept the wood burning oven as the centerpiece of his cooking at Oak on Camelback. Wood fired cooking by the fire with his grandfather in Texas is where he found his love for cooking and with a wood fire. New menu items include Scallop & Risotto, a Banh Mi Pho Dip and Thai Peanut Salad. Dining at brunch you’ll see the likes of Lox Pizza and Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast on the menu. He continues to use high quality seasonal ingredients that compliment his cooking techniques.

Oak on Camelback is at 111 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85012. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information and to view the menus visit their 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.

Downtown Tempe Brunch Stroll Saturday 6/19

Tomorrow from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. visit up to 14 local restaurants for specially made bites and drinks. Purchase a $5 pass and check-in at the kiosk then stroll at your own pace as you check out the Mill Ave. and downtown Tempe food scene.

Stick around for the first Park After Dark of the season at the 6th Street Park. Pedal Haus Brewery will be on-site with a beer & wine garden and take-out food is welcome. Live music, spoken word by Sean Avery and more theatrics kick off the season from 7-10 p.m. every Saturday until September 11th.

Spirit House celebrates 2 years with ice cream truck inspired cocktails

The downtown Chandler cocktail bar has created several cool & refreshing beverages reminiscent of the ice cream trucks of our youth. From June 22nd – 27th stop in and enjoy favorites such as the Bomb Pop, Snow Cone, Dream Bar and my favorite Strawberry shortcake to name just a few.

Enjoy rosé all summer at FRANCINE

Throughout the summer the south of France inspired restaurant offers guests the chance to cool off with a glass or bottle of the refreshing and food friendly pink wine. During weekend brunch (10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) and happy hour (3 – 6 p.m.) enjoy a glass for $8 or a bottle for $30.

$1 smoothies all day at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

All valley locations are celebrating National Smoothie Day on Monday June 21st for only $1 to members of their loyalty club. Those who sign up for the program on the 21st will receive an extra $1 sign up offer. Add ins and supplements are extra and $1 smoothies only available on the 21st.

Phoenix restaurant community celebrates Father’s Day

This Sunday June 20th is Father’s Day and with so many restaurants offering dad specials I’m pretty sure his favorite restaurant will make sure he enjoys his day with discounts or a free meal.

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.

Renata’s Hearth to open at the Arizona Biltmore this week

A couple of weeks after re-opening with a new look, the Arizona Biltmore Resort debuts its new restaurant, Renata’s Hearth on Tuesday. The Central & South American inspired restaurant will tempt you palate with its smoky aromas of chiles, meats and more. The restaurant joins the newly opened outdoor Inspire Bar.

Chef Jose Figueroa Ortega’s menu pays homage to his Hispanic heritage with its meat and seafood dishes. Ortega’s taste for southwest flavors started at a young age while cooking at home with his family. He built on what he learned at home by attending the Arizona Culinary Institute to hone his skills before working at Cafe Monarch & Tarbell’s. His photo worthy dishes include Grilled Branzino, Renata’s Pozole Blanco and Mole Negro Rubbed Smoke Wagyu Brisket.

Signature cocktails will include the Burnt Paloma and White Sangria and the Los Muertos and Smoked Pineapple. Two signature carts will roam the restaurant including a fresh guacamole & Spanish tapas cart and the Mezcal Mavens will have their craft cocktail cart. Inspire Bar pays tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright whose influences are found throughout the resort that dates back to 1929.

Moroccan lanterns strung from trees along with tiles and aged leather will set the mood. “We believe that Renata’s Hearth will be unlike any other restaurant that exists in the current Arizona culinary scene,” said Cornelius Cover, general manager at Renata’s Hearth. “The alchemy of authentic flavors and the essence of smoke mesh in a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for nights out and special occasions.”

For more information and to make a reservation visit their website.

 

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