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

Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar gives free burgers to First Responders

Wednesday, October 28th is National First Responder’s Day and the Camelback & Scottsdale locations are responding. Show your badge or come in uniform for a free Classic burger or cheeseburger when you dine-in or take-out.

Marcellino Ristorante begins Fall Wine Dinners

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant known for homemade pastas and authentic Italian cuisine has its first dinner on Tuesday October 27th. Paired with Italian wines chosen by sommelier Dario Soldan of Classico Wines, Chef Marcellino decides on what to serve at the 4-course dinner the day of. Prepaid seats are $75 ++ per person for the 6 p.m. dinner and can be reserved by calling Bettina at 480-990-9500.

“Crazy for Curry” then head to Thai Chili 2 Go

Until Wednesday October 28th, curry fans can get a bowl for half price when a bowl is purchased at regular price. Red, yellow, green, Massamann and Panang curries are available at all locations for pick-up and delivery.

Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza now available at Fired Pie

All 20 locations of the fast casual pizza restaurant are now selling the new specialty pizza. Made with house-made dough Nashville Hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, then topped with Nashville Hot Chicken, spicy cole slaw & chopped Dill pickles. It can be made with regular, cauliflower and gluten-free dough.

Hotel Valley Ho launches The R + R Show virtual cooking class

Executive Chef Russel LaCasce and hotel General Manager Ronen Aviram debut their first free episode of their monthly cooking, cocktail and recipe podcast. Details of each month’s classe and link to the podcast can be found at an earlier post.

 

“Los Local Love” celebrates all things local at Los Sombreros

As important as it is to support local businesses is become even more important in 2020. Los Sombreros is going all out with its new “Los Local Love” program not only features locally grown and made ingredients but live music from local musicians and gift ideas from local vendors.

Through December local musicians will entertain guests on the patio at Los Sombreros restaurants in Scottsdale, Phoenix & Mesa. Several musicians will be from Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers that the restaurant is raising money for through January with the purchase of take-out enchilada family meals or smoked chicken enchiladas. Check their social media for a schedule of performers.

Los Local Love Gift Boxes are available for your favorite foodie for their birthday or for the holidays. A t-shirt, coffee beans from CULT Coffee, chocolate from Carolina’s Chocolate, Los Sombreros Hot Sauce and more are available at https://www.lossombreros.com/shop.

The restaurants are getting pumpkins from Abby Lee Farms and Crooked Sky Farms in October for their soup and flan. In November the corn chowder will include corn from McClendon’s Select as will the pecans for their pecan pie.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without homemade tamales from Los Sombreros that will feature locally grown produce. You can start to order by the dozen November 1st with tamales available starting December 1st. Mix and match Green Corn, Tomatillo Chicken, Rajas (peppers and onions), Chipotle Pork, Red Chili Beef, and Pineapple. Order at the above link or call 480-938-9500.

 

Vicinos Local Italian brings food & hospitality to the neighborhood

Steve & Maria Winters and David & Debi Henry have been friends and colleagues for over 25 years before they decided to open Vicinos Local Italian together in early 2020. They have over 100 years of restaurant experience and it shows in their hospitality whether you’re joining them for a meal or a glass of wine. “Vicino” means “neighbor” and it’s like they’re welcoming you into their home at their north Scottsdale restaurant.

Open 7 days a week at 11 a.m. for lunch, happy hour and dinner Vicinos Local Italian, formerly Vito’s, keeps it simple serving classic Italian dishes and pizzas made fresh and with the highest quality of ingredients. The restaurant re-opened in mid- September with a new menu and a few of David’s favorites are Fettuccine Alla Bolognese, Pork Chop, any of the hand stretched pizzas, Bruschetta Burrata & the Calamari Fritti.

Ribeye. All photos courtesy of Vicinos Local Italian

A reasonably priced and extensive wine list with selections from around the world will complement any meal. Tuesdays and Wednesdays guests can enjoy a bottle of wine for half off any bottle priced at $50 or less. On Monday’s guests who dine-in get a free appetizer with 2 entrees. Happy Hour is offered 7 days a week from 3 p.m.- 6:30 Tuesday – Saturday and all day Sunday and Monday.

Catering at the restaurant or in the comfort of your own home, delivery & pick up is available. Vicinos Local Italian is at 10999 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. Scottsdale 85259. (480)664-8260. To view the menu and for more information visit their website.

 

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

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

Thai Chili 2 Go has 1/2 off noodle entrees

Tuesday October 6th is National Noodle Day with 1/2 off noodle entrees when an entree is purchased at regular price. All 10 locations offer this special for pick-up and delivery.

Tommy V’s & J. Lohr partner for dinner to raise money for breast cancer

This 5- course dinner on Thursday October 15th will support the National Breast Cancer Foundation as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The dinner starts at 6:30 and will be taking necessary steps for everybody’s safety.  Tables of no more than 8 people will be 6 feet apart. To see the menu and for more information visit http://tommyvscottsdale.com/ Call 480-427-2264 to make a reservation.

Save money on pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria on Monday’s in October

For the four Monday’s that there are during National Pizza Month guests can save 25% off a 16 inch cheese pizza. The special $12 price is for dine-in or carry-out orders. No 3rd party deliveries. For online orders use promo code “MANGIA” when ordering at all 7 locations in the Phoenix area and Flagstaff.

Macayo’s celebrates National Taco Day Sunday October 4th

$3 gets you Crispy Tacos (shredded beef or shredded chicken) which are regularly $6.59. All locations are offering this for dine-in, pick-up or Macayo Delivery.

Art & Chocolate Artwalk kicks off 46th season

The Scottsdale Gallery Association starts another season on Thursday October 8th for its Gold Palette Artwalk. Glendale’s Cerreta Candy Company will be supplying galleries with pre-wrapped chocolates for guests strolling into view the art. The Artwalk goes from 6:30- 9:00 p.m. in the Arts District near Main St. & Marshall Way in Old Town Scottsdale.

 

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine coming to Scottsdale Ranch

E very restaurant owner had to make some of the hardest decisions of their life when Covid-19 hit in March. Anthony and Anna Barr had to make many of the same decisions but they took it to the next level in a short amount of time. The couple had owned and operated Fork & Spoon Productions and Above & Beyond Catering, both very successful hospitality businesses in the SF Bay area. In April after they assessed their situation and laid off 60 employees, a fresh start was needed and they re-located to Scottsdale to open their newest venture Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine.  The family friendly restaurant will open later this month in The Mercado at Scottsdale Ranch at 10155 E. Via Linda.

“We are so excited to bring our upscale-yet-approachable cuisine to the diners of Scottsdale,” says co-founder Anna Barr. “We take much pride in every dish that comes out of our kitchen, and we’re dedicated to, and passionate about, creating memorable experiences through a welcoming atmosphere, spectacular service, and exceptional food.”

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine’s menu

Chefs Anthony’s cuisine will include American favorites and will also include vegan and vegetarian dishes. Stuffed Cheese & Bacon Tater Tots and Impossible Sloppy Joe Sliders will highlight the list of appetizers. Salads and a “Soup of the Day” will offer lighter dishes. Short Rib Grilled Cheese, a Dungeness Crab & Lobster Roll and Grilled NY Strip will be featured on the menu along with other salads, sandwiches and entrees. A children’s menu and dessert menu is available. A full bar will serve local beers, house wines and specialty craft cocktails that will round out the menu.

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine follows CDC guidelines so that customers and staff will be safe and healthy. The restaurant will seat 40 people indoors and the patio will seat 60 allowing for social distancing. The menu is available for dine-in or take-out.

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. for take-out and dine-in. For more information and to view their menu visit their website.

 

Weekend brunch back on the menu at Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Weekends just got better at the intersection of Shea and Tatum as Rusconi’s American Kitchen has re-introduced brunch on the weekend. In the past the scratch kitchen had served brunch only on Sunday’s but added Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to get sweet & savory favorites. Eggs, pancakes, soups, sandwiches and entrees with Rusconi’s twist have returned including……..

-Pork Chile Verde with corn tortillas, sunnyside up egg, cotija cheese, green chile sauce, grape tomato salsa and radish, $14

-The Kitchen Benedict featuring beef short ribs, poached eggs, citrus hollandaise, English muffin and creamy red pepper grits, $12

-RAK French Toast with cinnamon cream, powdered sugar and real maple syrup, $10

-Rico’s New Orleans Beignets with house made jam and chocolate sauce, $9

-Roasted Pork Posole with hominy, corn, avocado, grape tomato salsa, and watermelon radish, $7, bowl; $11, large bowl; add an egg for $2 more

-Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad with rhubarb vinaigrette, praline pecans, granny smith apples and goat cheese, $12

-Harris Ranch “Kitchen” Burger with goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and tomato, $14 (add a fried egg for $3)

Enjoy house made Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s for $5 with you meal whether you choose to dine-in or take-out.

Weekend brunch reservations can be made by calling (480)493-0009 or online at https://rusconiskitchen.com/. Rusconi’s American Kitchen 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix 85028

S & V Urban Italian to open 2nd Scottsdale location this fall

Scottsdale restaurant S & V Urban Italian has announced it will open a second location a few miles north later this year. The original location at 9343 E. Shea Blvd. has served authentic Italian cuisine seven days a week since 2011. The new location will be in a new development called SOHO at 16580 N. 92nd St. and will offer views of the McDowell Mountains from the patio. A large main dining room and spacious bar will also offer a peek outdoors with its adjustable garage doors. The new location will continue to serve the same Italian dishes customers have come to love during lunch, happy hour & dinner.

In other S & V Urban Italian news, they’ve recently started serving Family Meal Deals that feed four. Choose a Caesar or Mista salad, and pasta dishes including Spaghetti & Meatballs ($50), Fettuccine Alfredo ($50; add chicken or sausage $60), Penne Vodka ($50) or Rigatoni Bolognese ($55).

Other great specials include their Pizza & Wine Oh My deal on Mondays from 3PM to 9PM where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of wine for only $20. All are available for dine-in or take out. Come in on Wednesdays from 3PM to 9PM, to enjoy half off bottles of wine with your meal or by itself.

For more information and updates on the new location visit their website.

Fogo de Chao adapts to a new reality amid Covid 19

When restaurants shut down dining rooms in March due to Covid 19 they had to rely on takeout and delivery until the lock down ended in May. Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao was no different furloughing 90% of staff with managers becoming cooks, order takers and delivery drivers. The restaurant offered Fogo to Go butchered raw meats, meals to go, catered off site meals for small groups and Caipirinha cocktail kits. Management at the headquarters in Dallas were devising a plan for locations throughout the country as how to adapt to the new reality when dine-in service resumed.

Fogo de Chao is known for its generous assortment of meats skewered and served table side by gauchos but also for its generous assortment of cold salads, meats and cheeses at it salad bar. That’s where it biggest challenge would be on how to serve guests who were used to making their way to the salad bar stocked with over 30 items.fogo de chao

The new normal at Fogo de Chao

A recent visit to the Scottsdale location I found out what has changed since they re-opened for dine-in service last month. The changes were obvious once you enter to restaurant, hostess’s and all employees wear face masks, a poster board next to the hostess stand reviews their commitment to health and safety and fewer tables in the dining room for social distancing. Gone were menus, salt & pepper shakers and the green (Go) and red (Stop) coaster cards diners use to let gauchos know whether to approach you for more meat.

As for the buffet, selections have been reduced. Servers now bring a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and olives followed by courses of salads to choose from. Gauchos continue to roam the room carving slices of beef, chicken, pork and lamb to your heart’s desire as they did prior to Covid 19. Only difference is they approach you asking if you’d like more meat.

Fogo continues to offer Fogo- to-Go’s butcher shop, catering with curbside pick-up and contact-less delivery. Summer promotions are being finalized and I will update as soon I as I hear what they are.

The Scottsdale location is at 6300 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85250. The restaurant offers full service dining as well as group dining, an outdoor patio and bar. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner & brunch on weekends. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse re-opens with a new look

When Kasai Japanese Steakhouse re-opens on Tuesday June 16th guests will notice a new look and a new streamlined menu. The highlight of the new look are 4 new hood-less teppanyaki tables, a first in Arizona. With the new tables the restaurant will have 14 tables to accommodate 146 people. Most tables are in the back of the restaurant but the new ones are in the front so all can see the fire and fun.

“We are thrilled to be able to give more of what everyone loves with the expansion of our highly successful teppanyaki program,” said owner, Mike Russello. “Our guests want that high-energy dining experience that they look forward to when they come to Kasai”. Included in the new look is a more open and inviting floor plan.

The Scottsdale restaurant has a new streamlined menu including thinly sliced Kasai Filet Carpaccio and the favorite Mongolian Lamb Chops. The teppanyaki menu offers over 50 dinners & combinations served in seven courses. The fun at the tables starts with the energetic chefs offering fresh made food & flare. New custom cocktails include Violet Solstice, made with Hendricks Mid-Summer Solstice Gin, Crème de Violette, and fresh lemon juice. The P. King cocktail (in honor of original owner Patrick King) is made with Toki Japanese whiskey, lychee liqueur, fresh lime juice & bitters.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse serves dinner starting at 4 p.m. and happy hour from 4 – 6:30. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. & Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. Kasai is at 14344 N. Scottsdale Rd. For more information visit their website or Facebook page.

 

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.