San Francisco chefs coming to Phoenix for cannabis infused dinner

Sous chef Frank Gama was living & working in Phoenix when he was planning a culinary experience like no other. He was then offered a job in San Francisco but didn’t forget about the dinner he wanted to do honoring the Hispanic & Latino community and heritage. He and Sous Chef Victor Aguilera will be coming to Phoenix to collaborate on this 8-course cannabis infused dinners on Sunday October 17th and Monday the 18th at Phoenix’s Jewels’ Cafe.

Both Gama and Aguilera have worked at Michelin star restaurants in San Francisco with Gama working at Atelier Crenn, Sorrel and Cafe Monarch in Scottsdale. Aguilera who’s from Venezuela, opened Arepas en Bici and has been featured in Eater SF, SF Chronicle, Good Morning America and recently won the Chopped 420 Challenge.

The dinners will feature courses spanning the culinary spectrum from molecular gastronomy to traditional French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients and Arizona grown cannabis. The dinner will start with a happy hour with snacks and each course will include drink pairings by bartender Curtis Hayes of The Monarch in Kansas City.

The all inclusive dinner is $200 per person and has two seating’s per night at 5 & 8 p.m.  More information & to purchase your seats visit https://www.bychefaguilera.com/events. Jewel’s Cafe is at 4041 E. Thomas Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

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.

Bring your favorite pooch to Morning Squeeze on August 26th.

Celebrate National Dog Day next Thursday at the popular breakfast & lunch spots locations in Scottsdale, Tempe & downtown Phoenix. Bring them by the restaurant for a free house-made biscuit or something else from the Tail Waggers menu. $.99 Mimosas for you, dog lovers.

Wine Tasting Wednesday Wine at The Mick

One of the best restaurants to open in 2020 is Scottsdale’s The Mick Brasserie & Bar and every Wednesday they host a tasting, usually wine, starting at 6 p.m. Chef Brent (check out my podcast with Brent) creates a special menu for the night and prices do vary week to week. Next Wed. Aug. 25th they’re doing a sake tasting, Sept. 1st- Chardonnays from around the world. Sept. 8th- South African wines, Sept. 15th– Winemaker from Smith/Deveraux Winery Sept. 22nd– Four Peaks Brewery. Visit their website for more information and to see their menu and other up-coming events.

The Buzz Eatery now open in Kierland Commons

After a soft opening in the spring the breakfast, lunch & early dinner spot is now open. Catch a “buzz” from their selection of coffee drinks, wine, cocktails & adult popsicles while enjoying bagels, acai bowls, baked goods, treats and more from their breakfast and all day menu. They open at 7 a.m. Mon. – Sat. & Sun at 8 a.m. and close daily at 7 p.m. For more information and to see the menu check out their website.

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row adds new dishes to the menu

The Gilbert location added 7 new dishes recently from new Executive Chef Dustin Cooke. Sweet Chili Cauliflower, Bourbon Glazed Wings, Truffle Mushroom Burger and Maple Almond Salmon are few of the rock star dishes.

FRANCINE celebrates its 1st anniversary with new cocktails

The French inspired Mediterranean restaurant in the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square added new cocktails available through the Fall & Winter. The French Connection, an infused rum and St. Germain cocktail, Summer Thyme, uses a Silencio Mezcal base. Le Jardin combines Citadelle gin & yellow chartreuse San Remo is a premium whiskey-based cocktail and Archies Nightcap starts with Botanist Gin & Averna Amaro. All cocktails were created by bartenders Frank Soldano, Gage Myette, Trevyn StClair with the help of Executive Chef Brian ” Chef Archie” Archibald.

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.

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.

Cuisine Wine & Bistro taking reservations for Chefs’ Carte Blanche dinner

The dinner on the 12th has been postponed, no new date has been scheduled as of yet.

Chandler’s Cuisine Wine & Bistro has been showcasing French cuisine in the East Valley since 2016. Owned by the Buschtetz family along with Gilbert’s B Gastrobar and Copper & Logs, CWB started their monthly Chef’s Carte Blanche dinner series in December 2020 to much success. Reservations are being taken for the next dinner coming up on Monday April 12th.

“Unlimited Discretionary Power to Act”, Carte Blanche is exactly what guests will be giving the chefs to act upon. The 7-course dinner paired with wines showcases Executive Chef Fabrice Buschtetz classically trained French cooking. By his side will be son Steven, chef de cuisine at B Gastrobar and Chef Michael Maitrel- Burgard, chef de cuisine at Copper & Logs with wines paired by Killian Buschtetz, Sommelier at Cuisine Wine & Bistro.

The Chefs’ Carte Blanche menu

“Part of our fun,’” says Fabrice, “comes from making each course look both delicious and memorable on the plate. There is a real talent — I was going to say skill, but it is much more than that — in arranging each course so that it showcases the food in an especially enticing way.”

The dinner will cover land and sea with the evening starting with a trio of Amuse- Bouche followed by courses of caviar, duck, squid and lamb along with a mid-course palette cleanser of sorbet and ending with dessert.

Guests are asked to arrive no later than 5:45 with dinner beginning promptly at 6:00. Reservations are $225 plus tax & gratuity and can be made by calling 480-275-6700. To see the full menu please visit their website. Cuisine Wine & Bistro is at 4991 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85248.

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.

Wildflower adds new hearty menu items for winter

The locally owned specialty bakery known for its handcrafted artisan breads and more has added 8 new items to its menu. The festive foods include breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, pastas and toasts. There are 16 locations throughout Phoenix and Arizona.

Friendsgiving at Pedal Haus Brewery

Thanksgiving Eve friends and family can gather on the patio for a socially distanced celebration during happy hour. From 3:30 til closing on Wednesday November 25th enjoy happy hour specials, the new Peppermint Porter and live music. The celebration at the Chandler location goes until 10 p.m.

Aridus Wine Company ends its 8th harvest

The award-winning winery ends the 2020 grape growing season with almost 86 tons of grapes. This was their 4th harvest picking grapes from the estate’s 40 acres of vineyards in southern Arizona that started on August 22nd. 72% of the grapes picked will be for red wines, 26% for white wines and 2% for rose.

FRANCINE Restaurant opens patio for dining

You can now enjoy lunch, dinner or brunch at the French Mediterranean restaurant outside on the new patio. Located at the luxury wing of Scottsdale Fashion Square seats 28 people in the relaxing and beautiful setting. Seating is by request with reservations recommended.

Serrano’s closes Tempe location until early 2021

The 6440 S. Mill Ave. location has closed for dine-in and take-out to undergo a major renovation. A major renovation needs to completed and the 4 other locations are open for dine-in, take-out and curbside delivery.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar, a welcome addition to McCormick Ranch

Any restaurant that’s opened in 2020 faces more challenges than the day to day challenges associated with the restaurant industry. Open in an Arizona summer and you could be behind the eight ball even more. Those challenges haven’t seemed to put a damper on the opening of The Mick Brasserie & Bar in Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch neighborhood. The modern French inspired restaurant opened last August and on a recent Wednesday night guests seemed to be enjoying as if were 2019.

The Mick Braaerie & Bar
Pate de Campagne. All photos courtesy of Shoshana Leon

Owners John Krause and Chef Brent Menke are serving colorful, small and shareable plates that’s globally inspired and locally sourced. The menu aims to please all with vegan and vegetarian dishes along with plenty for meat and seafood lovers. The two longtime friends date back to The University of Arizona where they were fraternity brothers before both wound up in Rhode Island. Menke cooked on yachts before opening The Farm Table in northwestern Massachusetts. Krause has had several careers and this is his first foray in the restaurant business.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar menus

On my recent visit my guest and I arrived towards the end of happy hour and enjoyed glasses of house wine with our Pate de Campagne, a healthy portion of pork pate wrapped in bacon with pistachios, Shiitake mushrooms and foie gras. Served with pickled red onions, stone ground mustard, cornichons and toasted sourdough bread. A fan of wild mushrooms we ordered Wild Mushroom Napoleon which I was left to enjoy myself as my companion isn’t a fan of the earthy delights. The Bacon Tarte was plentiful and filling.

We split the Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla which we both wished we had all to our self. The pickled pineapple was unique touch to the filo wrapped duck, julienne vegetables and agrodolce. In typical European style The House Julienne Salad was brought after our meal. Chef Menke loves to say, “Food is better when shared.”

The Mick Brasserie & Bar
Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla

The Mick has an extensively researched wine and craft beer list from around the world including 50 wines by the glass and 24 beers on tap. Four retail refrigerators allow for wines and beers can be sold to take home with you. The spacious patio allows for comfortable outdoor dining while the modern art filled indoor interior offers a well-lit enjoyable dining experience.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar is at 9719 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85258. Hours are Tues.- Fri. 3 p.m. -9p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 3p.m. Brunch is served early on weekends and happy hour is from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. To view the menu and more information check their website.

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

news
Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

Laurent Halasz hires Brian Archibald as executive chef at FRANCINE

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.

FRANCINE is hiring 60 employees and the job fair will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Those interested can email resumes to jobs@francinerestaurant.com or find more information at https://francinerestaurant.com/ FRANCINE is at 4712 N. Goldwater Blvd. Scottsdale 85251.

FRANCINE from restaurateur Laurent Halasz to open in April

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.Francine

“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.Francine

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.