The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival safely returning next weekend

Festivals and gatherings are returning to social calendars after many had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19. One of those festivals first to return is The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival next weekend April 17th & 18th. The Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium co-host the 20th annual event in downtown Camp Verde from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and til 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each day 8-12 wineries will be sampling their wines and pairing them with a variety of pecans. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, live music, local artists and a competitive pie eating contest. All activities will follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, all areas cleaned and sanitized frequently and recommended mask wearing. Page Springs, Salt Mine Wine, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Winery 101 are a few of the wineries pouring wines at the event.

“We were saddened to have to cancel last year but it was with everyone’s safety and best interests in mind, as this is normally one of the town’s biggest events,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “This annual tradition is a wonderful celebration of two local products of the region and we look forward to its return, with a number of additional safety precautions in mind”.

Entry to the festival is free and for all ages. Those 21 and older can pay $20 for six tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. Additional tickets can be purchased. For more information visit these websites http://www.cvaz.com and http://verdevalleywine.org

Photo credit: Jenelle Bonifeld & Arizona Wine Guide

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.

Marcellino Ristorante hosting Learn & Lunch cooking classes

Home chefs looking to hone their skills at cooking authentic Italian food can reserve their seats at the downtown Scottsdale restaurant. Chef Marcellino offers his next monthly cooking class on Saturday, April 17th. The 2 hour class will teach you to prepare his signature ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese. Seats are limited and are $50++ and include lunch. May 15th is the next class making Pollo Saparito and on June 19th its Pasta Ghiotonna. Classes are from 1 – 3 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 480-990-9500.

Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict at Morning Squeeze for a limited time

Egg Benedict fans can celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day next Friday April 16th at any 3 of the restaurant locations. A specially made Pulled Pork Benedict will be available for only 3 days next weekend. Always on the menu is the Classic Benedict, Cali Benedict & Salmon Benedict.

Doggie Date Night at Daily Dose Midtown

Grab your favorite canine and head to the restaurant at Highland & 20th St on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Next Thursday the 15th from 3 – 9 p.m. well behaved dogs and their owners are invited to the patio for all natural dog treats from Dogs Eating Cake and special menu for their owners. A portion of the proceeds from the night will be donated to the Arizona Humane Society. Reservations are needed and can be made by calling 602-274-0334. Circle these dates for the next Doggie Date Night…..May 20th & June 17th.

Community Blend coffee benefits local schools districts

Press Coffee Roasters announced that the proceeds from its Community Blend coffee beans will be donated 6 K-8 school districts in neighborhoods where there is a Press location. In-store purchases only and Community Blend is available until May 16th.

Brazil is on the map for Match Market & Bar’s Passport Series

No need to pack your bags just head to the downtown Phoenix restaurant tomorrow night (Saturday April 10th) for some South American flavor and culture. The trip is from 6 – 10 p.m. and is $15 per person with exotic cocktail included. For more information head to their website.

 

Chef Aaron May hosts celebrity chef friends for Big Boy Cook Club launch

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will be making their way to Phoenix to launch the first Big Boy Cook Club event. Get your tickets now for the Sunday April 25th event at central Phoenix’s Ocotillo Restaurant. Chef Aaron May will be hosting the party that will limit attendance to adhere to CDC guidelines.

“Big Boy Cook Club is a brand I have been developing for years, and what better place to launch it, than with a fun, casual food event in my own hometown” says Chef Aaron May. The Big Boy Cook Club brand is about the sincere about cooking and taste for food enthusiasts, not foodies and the camera.

Celebrity chefs cooking up delicious, no always photo friendly eats include Aron Sanchez, Todd English, Elsie Eats, Akira Back and Ocotillo’s own Walt Sterling. Jacob Cutino of locally owned Cutino Sauces will announce details of his new monthly “throw back” sauce event. He’ll also be working with each chef helping to pair his sauces with each chef’s dish.

Local mixologist Casey Wallin will be mixing up creative cocktails for the event with beer and wine available as well. DJ for the Miami Heat and surprise guests will be spinning the tunes to keep the crowd moving. A cigar roller, photo booth and spirit sampling will be just a few of the additional activities happening during the 5 hour event. Operation BBQ Relief will be the benefactor of money raised during the event.

The party goes from 2 – 7 p.m. with tickets on sale now at Eventbrite. Tickets are $100 with VIP tickets $200 and the Big Boy Package for $1,000. Ocotillo Restaurant is at 3243 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85012.

 

 

 

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.

Whiskey Wednesday’s at Belle’s Nashville Kitchen

The Scottsdale hony tonk bar offers up flights of 4 tastes of whiskey’s every Wednesday for $35-$45. Saturday 3/27 is International Whiskey Day and Belle’s is celebrating with 4 signature whiskey cocktails. Tuesday 3/30 is National Hot Chicken Day and several choices (sandwich, tenders & salad) are on their menu to celebrate with.

Jersey Mike’s donating all sales to Phoenix Children’s Hospital

All 45 sandwich shops around Phoenix will donate 100% of sales on Wednesday 3/31. The day of giving is part of Jersey Mike’s 11th annual month of giving in March and is supported by local valley owners Duane Layton, Bill Mapes and Josh Barton.

New menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Phil “The Grill” updated the menu at his Roosevelt Row BBQ joint to include  Chicken Fried Corn & Chicken Fried Pickles and Family Style smoked meats by the pound for dine-in or to-go. New Philly Crack Wings flavors include Jamaican Jerked, Nashville Hawt and BBQ. Wash it all down with the new vodka based Purple Rain cocktail.

Orin Swift wines paired at Match Market & Bar dinner

No foolin’ around on Thursday April 1st when the downtown Phoenix restaurant inside the Found:RE Hotel pairs 5-courses with red & white wines. $99++ gets you a seat at the table that starts at 7 p.m. Seats can be reserved here and for more information click here.

LDV Winery re-opens tasting room on April Fool’s Day, seriously

No joke here when owners Peggy Fiadaca and Curt Dunham re-open their downtown Scottsdale tasting room after almost a year. Covid-19 and structural issues had them closed longer than expected but they’re glad to be back open seeing friends and pouring their award-winning wines.

 

 

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.

3rd Tuesday wine dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Every 3rd Tuesday the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly wine pairing dinner and March’s dinner is Tuesday the 16th pairing wines from Washington and California with owner Romeo Taus’s specially created 3-course pairing menu. Dinner is $39 per person and starts at 6:30 if you’re dining in, if taking out pick-up is between 6 -7. Call 480-962-4224 to reserve your seat or place your order.

Irish Soda Bread from Mediterra Bakehouse now available

From Saturday March 13th – 20th the local bakehouse has its famous bread available. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day the bread is made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, sea salt, golden raisins & caraway seeds. The loaf sells for $5.99 and can be found at all AJ’s Fine Foods locations, Whole Foods, Uptown Farmer’s Market, Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and other retailers.

It’s National Pi Day at Fired Pie

On Sunday 3.14 all 20 locations will be selling any 1 topping pizza for $3.14 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m with the purchase of a beverage. The deal is available in store or if ordering online use promo code PIDAY. 1 per person and no 3rd party deliveries available.

New seasonal menu at Z’ Tejas launches Monday

There’s more than a change in the weather in the near future as restaurants change menus to use seasonal ingredients. The Southwestern cuisine restaurant’s locations in Chandler and Phoenix introduce theirs on Monday March 15th. Diablo Eggs, Stuffed Artichoke Chicken, Goat Cheese Fritters and Lemon Bar Cheesecake are just a few of the highlights that can be had until May 24th.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day around Phoenix

If you’re feeling a little bit Irish next Wednesday the 17th, you’re not alone. Celebrate with Irish beer, corned beef & cabbage or a dram of whiskey and more at SanTan Brewing Co., Match Market & Bar, Phoenix City Grille, Chompie’s, Pedal House Brewery, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Trapp Haus BBQ STK Steakhouse, and Kona Grill. Slainte!!

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.

FRANCINE adds new dishes using award-winning olive oil

The Scottsdale restaurant is now using MillPress Imports olive oils sourced from Spain for new dishes. FRANCINE owner Laurent Balasz met MillPress owner Tim Balshi 15 years ago and uses his olive oil at his L.A. restaurant Fig & Olive. A few of the south of France inspired dishes using the olive oil include Mediterranean Branzino, Grilled Lamb Rack and Golden Apple Pear Sorbet.

Devour at Home pre-orders start February 1st

Foodies can start to order meals for the virtual food festival starting this coming Monday. Local restaurants will prepare meals for the weekend of February 27th and 28th. The virtual Devour at Home is the 2021 version of the annual Devour Culinary Classic from Local First Arizona. Only 25 orders from each restaurant will be available with 10 restaurants participating each day. Orders can be placed starting at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. on February 19th. For more information and to place an order visit https://www.devourphoenix.com/

Pita Jungle’s new food truck rolls out in February

The locally owned Mediterranean food restaurants with locations around Phoenix debuts its new food truck next month. Selections from their menu will be available around Phoenix and will soon be available for private events and corporate functions. New dishes just for the on the go crowd will be available along with meal combos at a set price. Find out where to find the food truck at https://www.pitajungle.com/

National Tater Tot Day at Angel’s Trumpet Alehouse

Enjoy the popular side dish on February 2nd at the downtown taphouse and restaurant with a Basket O’ Tots for $7. The special is available all day and even during happy hour form 3-6 p.m. where you can get $5 pints of local drafts and $9 flatbreads. You can ask for basket upgrade for only $2 more.

Daily Dose debuts dinner at its midtown location

Good news for dinner fans, the restaurant known for fresh and scratch made brunch debuts dinner on Tuesday February 2nd at its 20th St. and Highland location. New dishes include Chorizo Mac n Cheese, Roasted Baby Back Ribs, a selection of loaded fries and more. A new budget friendly happy hour will also be available and includes new cocktails.

 

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.

New Year, new menu at Kasai Japanese Steakhouse

The Scottsdale teppanyaki restaurant added several new dishes and a dozen cocktails to its menu. Coconut Chicken Skewers, Lobster Fried Rice and Kabayaki Scallops are just a few of the new dishes. Cocktails include the Woodsman & Sweet Orchard which uses Japanese whiskeys and other ingredients. A full list of sake and Japanese whiskey are available.

Keto friendly bread now available from Mediterra Bakehouse

The family-owned artisan bakery now sells breads for those who follow a keto diet. Keto wheat flower is lower in carbohydrates and rich in protein. Sunflower, flax and sesame seeds are added for more nutritional value. Each loaf is $8 and can be found at local farmer’s markets, AJ’s Fine Foods, Divine Bakery, Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and Le Grande Orange.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. partners with Mobetta Golf Tour

Golfer John Daly co-founded the tour has named the NASCAR champions  “Two Times” beers “Official Beer of the Mobetta Tour”. A Phoenix brewery and taproom are in development.

Match Market & Bar to host Great Gatsby dinner

The signature restaurant at the Found:RE Hotel will be transformed into an epic event on Saturday February 6th. A Gatsby inspired five-course dinner paired with themed cocktails of the times will be served to those in attendance. Dinner is called for 7 p.m. and is $75 per person and can be purchased here.

Morning Squeeze coming to downtown Phoenix

The popular breakfast and lunch spot will open its 3rd location in the Spring at 1st and Washington streets. Known for playing 70s and 80s music the new restaurant will include an indoor and outdoor bar, grab n go area for take- away food and ample outlets to plug in your devices for people to meet, eat & work.

 

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.

All Mac & Cheese dishes Buy 1, Get 1 Free at Fired Pie

In honor of National Cheese Lovers Day on Wednesday January 20th all locations are offering up the deal on the popular comfort food. Baked and topped with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs guests can choose from 40 different toppings. This deal is only good for dine-in and is good on mac n cheese of equal or lesser value.

Found:RE Hotel’s Passport Series goes to Mexico

The downtown Phoenix hotel hosts their monthly night with international flavor on Saturday January 16th. The pool and bar area will be transformed for a Mexican vacation with food, cocktails and more. The fiesta goes from 6 – 10 p.m. and more information can be found on their website.

Good news as Cider Corps releases seasonal pie ciders

The popular Pumpkin Pie, Peach Cobbler & Cherry Crisp ciders are now available by the can. Delayed due to the pandemic as ingredients were harder to source these ciders are available for a limited time. 6-packs are $20 and include 2 of each cider or can be purchased individually to be drank at the cidery. 6-packs can be ordered in advance for take away at https://www.toasttab.com/cider-corps-31-s-robson-103/v3

Signature cakes turn to pies at Chase’s Diner

Saturday January 23rd is National Pie Day at the Chandler diner, known for their scratch made desserts, is making two signature pies for the occasion. Turning their Carrot & German Chocolate Cake into pies guest can enjoy them by the slice ($4.29) or the whole darn pie ($13.99). Whole pies need to be ordered in advance.

Round 5 of Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series pits beer vs. wine

Which goes better with food, beer or wine? Find out on January 23rd when the Old Town Scottsdale hotel hosts another reception and three-course dinner. Tempe’s Huss Brewing Co. and Sonoma County’s Rodney Strong Vineyards will pair the beers and wines to see who wins. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $129++ per person.

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.

PHX Beer Co. goes to the dogs

The Scottsdale location with its dog friendly patio is now serving grass fed burgers ($8) and grilled chicken ($5) for man’s best friend. They’ve also started making their own dog bones for purchase at all locations. Puppy friendly ingredients include the breweries spent grain, peanut butter, whole wheat flour and eggs. A portion of sales of single 3 oz. or 18 packs bones are donated to the Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

Los Sombreros Mesa Grand Opening party

Wednesday December 16th is the Grand Opening of the third location of the regional Mexican restaurant. From 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. guests can get 50% off food & drink when you dine-in or take-out except for family meals. Reservations are recommended. The celebration continues Thursday – Sunday with House Margaritas only $3.

Pedal Haus Brewery celebrates with Ugly Sweater Party

The downtown Tempe brewpub celebrates its 5 year anniversary with its traditional party. Wednesday December 16th party goers can win $50 for the Ugliest Sweater, enjoy live music starting at 6 p.m. and Happy Hour all night starting at 3 p.m. VIP tickets are $5 and includes 2 drinks and slice of cake with proceeds going to Rob Dollar Foundation.

Koibito Poke bottles 2 popular sauces.

Customers can now take a bottle or 2 home with them of Island Teriyaki or Spicy Shoyu sauces. Both are gluten-free and made with natural ingredients for the best tasting and healthy sauces. Each bottle is $6.99 and can be purchased at any of their locations around the valley.

New seasonal menu at Pita Jungle

Customers favorite dishes from the past are now on the new “Pita Jungle Favorites, Hello Again” menu at all Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff locations. The new Mediterranean Ramen joins the return of Seared Ahi Tuna Hummus, Burrito of the Sea and Baba Gnoosh.