Things are moving right along at the new Scottsdale restaurant from Laurent Halasz, FRANCINE. The restaurant has named local Brian Archibald as executive chef and is holding a job fair July 7th & 8th. At first the restaurant will open for dinner on August 14th at Scottsdale Fashion Square’s new luxury wing then will open for lunch & brunch in September. The restaurant planned to open in April but delays were caused by the coronavirus shutdown. Laurent Halasz owns other restaurants in L.A. and other locations.
Archibald will work alongside Halasz at the new fine dining Mediterranean restaurant inspired by the south of France. Archibald has almost 30 years of cookimg experience at The Phoenician, Boulders Resort and JW Marriott at Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. He’s also worked at several top resorts around the world.
“When you walk into the dining room we want our guests to feel like they’ve been transported to the French Rivera. We have created a relaxing and warm coastal feel with casual elegance and similar to the atmosphere, FRANCINE’s cuisine will feature all the seasonal flavors one would find in the Mediterranean prepared in a very soulful way,” said Archibald.
Every few weeks it seems another restaurant is opening at the new luxury wing at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Come late April we’ll have a new restaurant from Fig & Olive and Farmhouse owner Laurent Halasz. FRANCINE will join Nobu, Toca Madera and other restaurants that have opened in recent months. This will be Halasz’s most passionate project serving cuisine from the south of France where he grew up. Halasz also owns several locations of FIG & Olive and L.A.’s Farmhouse.
“Everything on my mother’s table was fresh, seasonal, and full of flavor, and that is exactly what FRANCINE will offer our guests,” says Halasz. “We are so excited to bring our new take on classic French Mediterranean and open FRANCINE this April in Scottsdale.”
The fine dining restaurant will serve lunch and dinner with guests gathering in the plant filled restaurant of 5,000 square feet. In his youth Halasz’s mother would host meals around beautiful foods and draws inspiration and pays homage to those days with friends and family.
Signature dishes to be on the menu include Zucchini Terrine, Grilled Octopus, Salmon Carpaccio and Seared Duck a la Provencal. A less formal lunch will serve a selection of pizza, salads and shareable dishes.
Check back for updates about the opening or head to their website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With five weeks left in 2019 restaurants and resorts are looking beyond the holiday season as they plan for 2020. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa has announced their monthly Winemaker Dinner Series schedule of featured wineries for the first six months of 2020. The six wineries featured are from premiere California growing regions of Napa Valley, Russian River Valley and Paso Robles.
The popular dinners take place on the 3rd or 4th Thursday of every month beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts with hors d’oeuvres at a wine reception before the featured wines are paired with a four course dinner.
January 23rd Grgich Hills Winery
Grgich Hills Estate is a winery located in Rutherford, California in the heart of the Napa Valley. The winery changed its name (from Grgich Hills Cellar) in 2006 when it first began producing only “estate grown” wines made from grapes grown exclusively in vineyards owned by the winery.
February 27th Alpha Omega Collective
Alpha Omega, a family-owned boutique winery, features Bordeaux-inspired releases. It began its journey in 2006 being recognized as one of the great wine estates in the world. Founded by Robin and Michelle Baggett, Alpha Omega handcrafts wines from historic vineyards throughout Napa Valley.
March 19th Copper Cane by Joe Wagner
Owned and operated by Joseph Wagner in Napa Valley, Copper Cane Wines & Provisions houses a collection of brands that are crafted to offer a touch of luxury for everyday indulgence.
April 16th ZD
Founded in 1969, ZD Wines is owned and operated by the deLeuze family. Over three generations of the family showcase their passion for wine as ZD has gained the recognition of being one of Napa Valley’s favorite wineries, offering unrivaled world-class wines. The winery is located in Rutherford, a premium Cabernet Sauvignon growing region in the heart of the Napa Valley.
May 21st Silverado Vineyards
In 1981, Ron and Diane Miller established Silverado Vineyards in the heart of the Stags Leap District. They had purchased the vineyard several years earlier from Harry See who identified and propagated a special field selection of Cabernet, which UC Davis has designated as a “Heritage” clone, one of only three Cabernets in California to be given this distinction.
June 25th JUSTIN Winery
World-class wines from the heart of California. JUSTIN specializes in Bordeaux-style varieties, combined with traditional winemaking practices.
July 23rd La Crema Winery
Located in the Russian River Valley and established in 1979, the winery specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from cool-climate vineyards throughout California. La Crema Winery is part of Sonoma-based Jackson Family Estates, owned by Laura Jackson-Giron and her sister Jennifer Jackson.
Seats are limited for each epicurean experience and cost $115++ with reservations being made by calling the Hyatt Regency at 444-1234 x 8650. “Take Home” wines can be purchased after the dinner at a discount with repeat guests receive a 10% off the next dinner.
In the northern part of the “Valley of the Sun” sits the village of Carefree, home to CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa. The AAA Four Diamond award resort offers guests and locals the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate from everyday life. Whether you prefer to pamper yourself at the spa, relieve stress through art or spirituality or tempt your palate with sips and bites from the resorts culinary team the resort has your best interest in mind this holiday season.
Whether you prefer to dine morning, noon or night, the resort’ signature restaurant Terras and Executive Chef Justin Macy offer several unique dining opportunities and events. Holiday dining, learning to cooking something new or visiting with out of town friends on the patio overlooking the Sonoran desert this line-up will keep you and your appetite satisfied.
Celebrate the holidays with healthy, yet indulgent culinary creations at Terras. Holiday dinners will celebrate the season’s best flavors with an exclusive prix-fixe menu complete with all the trimmings. Seating’s start at 5:00 p.m. with pricing ranging from $65 per adult and $32 per child.
Thanksgiving Dinner – November 28, 2019
Christmas Dinner – December 25, 2019
New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner – December 31, 2019
Half-Off Happy Hour
The happiest of hours is available daily 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Terras, featuring half off all beer, house wine & well cocktails along with all bar menu bites
Make Terras the new Sunday morning tradition and indulge in a variety of healthy and comfort classics from yogurt parfaits, breakfast goods, savory creations to decadent charcuterie boards and top it off with a glass of champagne.
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$25 per person
Private Chef’s Table Experience
An intimate four-course dining experience at Terras for three to six people featuring a four-course dinner highlighting the season’s best ingredients and perfectly paired wine. Each night features a different Chef’s choice menu.
Available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
$150 per person
Enjoy the epic Carefree sunset nightly on the Terras Terrace with a rainbow Tequila flight and choice of 3 tacos (steak, fish or chicken)
Available daily from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
$20 per person
Bottle & Board
Choose from a variety of Chef Justin Macy’s featured charcuterie boards, along with a bottle of vino for a perfect shareable evening at the Terras Lounge.
Available daily from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
$25 per person
CIVANA Culinary School
The CIVANA Culinary team spotlights tips and tricks to create health-conscious, delicious recipes. Choose from a variety of classes available to resort guests and the public.
Sustainable Juicing Class
Shake and Stir Cocktail Class
Bake Shop 101
Vines to Wines
To make reservations for holiday dining & classes, spa & wellness packages and for staying at CIVANA visit their website.
CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa is at 37220 Mule Train Rd. Carefree 85377. 480-653-9000
Since their not body slamming their opponents in the wrestling ring anymore, twin sisters Brie and Nikki Bella are stomping grapes at their Napa Valley winery, Belle Radici. They launched the winery with partner Ryan Hill in 2017 and is Italian for “beautiful roots”. Belle Radici wines along with wines from Hill’s Hill Family Estate Winery will be poured on Sunday September 15th at Hearth ’61.
The dinner is part of the Mountain Shadows Resort’s Sunday Supper Club with food prepared by Chef Charles Wiley. Chef Wiley will be joined in the kitchen by Elements at Sanctuary executive chef Beau MacMillan. The pair worked together at Element’s when Wiley was executive chef and mentored MacMillan.
They’re collaborating on a four-course menu that includes Black Garlic Braised Beef Cheek and Honey Crisp Apple and Daikon Radish Salad.
The monthly Sunday Supper Club pairs wines or spirits with Chef Wiley’s modern cuisine. Upcoming dinners include Rombauer Vineyards on October 20th and Champagne Henriot on December 8th.
Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and each seat is 474 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-624-5400.
Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail and light bites or a sit down dinner the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North have something to offer. My last post about Talavera Restaurant dining experiences offers an epicurean adventure to Spain and Latin America. The resorts other restaurants Proof, An American Canteen, Onyx Bar and Lounge as well as Talavera, offer culinary treats created in time for summer.
I had the pleasure of tasting all of the dishes and drinks below. All cocktails below are created by the resorts beverage director in conjunction with the chefs of each establishment. The dishes are light and offer seasonal ingredients and the drinks were refreshing and unique.
Onyx Bar & Lounge at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North
Just of the lobby with a beautiful view to the south you can enjoy these specially created bites and cocktails. Talavera Restaurant Sous Chef Samantha Sanz and her culinary team created the these three dishes.
Chistorra and Peppers Flatbread with charred chistorra, pipperada, caramelized onion and mustard sauce, cotija cheese.
Cheesy Arepa Bite
Salmon Belly Tartare
Illegal Anejo Mezcal Old Fashioned
Proof, An American Canteen
Everything served in this roadhouse styled restaurant is from the good ol’ U.S.A. Take a road trip around the country in June, July and August with the specially created dishes and drinks.
Prepared by chefs Dell Morris, Joey Cavaretta and Conrad Butler “Proof Across America” along with Smokehouse Fridays where entrees are cooked low n slow in their outdoor smoker.
June- Stone Crab Cake with sea urchin and Key lime remoulade
July– Texas BBQ Plate with beef brisket, smoky beer cheese sausage and house made BBQ sauce. Watermelon Panzanella Salad with Crow’s Dairy goat feta and mint. I love BBQ!
August- Crispy cactus fries with cotija cheese and avocado ranch.
Havasu Heat (with Ixa Tequila, pineapple and charred jalapeño)
Huss Arizona Light Lager
Le Cumbre Elevated IPA
The Spanish steakhouse serves tapas styled small plates, desserts and cocktails unique to the Spanish culture. More from sous chef Sanz and dessert by Pastry Chef Lance Whipple.
Pan con Tomate – Noble bread, roasted garlic, heirloom tomato and Spanish olive oil
Queen Creek Olives
Summer Corn and Tomato Tapa with summer corn, heirloom tomato with tomato butter cilantro and charred lime
Charred Tuna with grilled peach and salted marcona almonds
Summer Corn Paella with chorizo Bilbao, prawn, peas, mussels and clams, and chermoula verde
Brazilian Carrot Cake with chocolate brigadeiro icing, and summer carrot purée. This was a personal favorite, like no carrot cake you’ve had before.
Leche Frita with cajeta goat milk caramel and sherry blackberries
Rose Sangria with watermelon, tangerine and strawberry
Tarragon Gin Tonic- Did you see my Instagram video of Beverage Director Laura creating this cocktail?
The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262
As Phoenix restaurants fill up with New Year’s Eve reservations diners decide where to dine for a final meal of 2018. Mora Italian offers a 4 course prie fixe menu starting at 4 p.m. The Italian influenced menu offers guests a wide range of flavors from Chef Scott Conant and his culinary team. This will be the only dining option at Mora on NYE.
The modern Italian menu is as follows….
First (choice of)
Radicchio & Endives- blood orange, pignoli, black olives
Arizona restaurants don’t lack for diversity with many ethnic and specialty foods and restaurants available. With fine dining restaurants dwindling Casa Terra will bring vegan fine dining to the forefront when it opens in January 2019. Well known vegan chef and author Jason Wyrick opens Arizona’s first vegan fine dining restaurant in downtown Glendale.
Wyrick’s menu will be plant-based regionally focused Mexican and Mediterranean fare with a fusion twist. His food preparation will include classic and modern cooking techniques offering flavorful meals appealing to all.
According to Wyrick, “I’ve done a lot in my career as a chef, and the one thing that truly inspires me is exploring vegan cuisine and sharing it with people. For the past decade, I’ve had countless requests to open a restaurant. I’ve realized for a while that despite being one of the largest cities in the country with a burgeoning food scene, Phoenix doesn’t have a plant forward fine dining restaurant, and we need one. Casa Terra had to be the next step in my culinary journey.”
The menu at Casa Terra
Wyrick will serve only dinner with his seasonal menu of small plates, wood fired pizzas and sharable entrees. Because of the wide variety of choices Casa Terra offers Wyrick encourages exploring a variety of dishes. The exhibition kitchen will offer guests a glimpse of the food preparation. A few of the dishes include….
· Charred Padrón Peppers: Calabrian chile caramel, candied ginger, sesame seeds, and Aleppo chiles. · Jicama Crudo: escabeche, avocado puree, orange segments, garlic chips, lemon zest, sea salt, and basil-chile oil. · Tapas Tacos: handmade tortillas, pibil mushrooms, shredded smoked seitan, and almond and chile de arbol salsa.
Thin crust wood fired pizza
· Margherita: marinara, mozzarella, local olive oil, local basil and cracked pepper. · Salted Agave and Local Apple: fleur de sel, Aleppo chile, salted ricotta, pomegranate seeds, and herbs. · Carnitas with Mojo Pepita Sauce: almond queso fresco ricotta, tequila shallots, and chile threads.
· Smoked Mushroom Cazuela: trumpet and oyster mushrooms in a cazuela, arroz, split peas, apples, garlic chips, cippolini pico and mole amarillo. · Saffron Chorizo Risotto: Nicoise olives, stewed peppers, asparagus, gold leaf, yerba buena. · Housemade Gnocchi: sweet potato, Merguez sausage, and preserved lemon pesto.
· Coconut Flan with Mezcal-Apricot Preserves: citrus zest, mole negro and candied pine nuts. · House Churros: piloncillo cajeta, spicy pecans, and bourbon-vanilla ice cream. · Mexican Chocolate Torte: espresso ganache, gold leaf, spiked cream and raspberry coulis.
Fun and creative cocktails will be offered as will a thoughtfully prepared wine list for pairing with your meal.
Casa Terra will be open Sun. – Thurs. from 4-9 p.m. and Fri. & Sat. from 4-11 p.m. and will be at 6835 N. 58th Dr. Glendale 85301. (623)680-7468. For more visit their website.