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.

Cala to open with all-star culinary team led by Beau MacMillan

When the Cala restaurant opens next week at the new Senna House hotel in Scottsdale it will have an all-star cast running the food, wine & cocktail programs. Celebrity chef and Food Network star Beau MacMillan serves as Culinary Director with Executive Chef Peter McQuaid Jr. returning to Phoenix to from Las Vegas where he opened Money, Baby! at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Also returning to Phoenix from Las Vegas is Clint “Spotty” Spotleson who will oversee the restaurants cocktail program and just this weekend David Johnson announced he’s coming on board as the restaurants Sommelier and Wine Director. Johnson was last at Octotillo Restaurant in central Phoenix as General Manager and both are long time staples on the valley’s cocktail and wine scene.

What to expect at Cala

Once opened Cala will serve Mediterranean dishes inspired by the cuisine of Spain, Italy, Morocco and other seaside countries. Envision handmade pastas, fresh cheeses & breads, locally grown vegetables and fresh seafood in a relaxed atmosphere. The simple, healthy and flavorful dishes will emphasize the seasonal ingredients of the coastal regions.

“Cala is a place that guests will find themselves not wanting to leave; it’s vibrant with great energy creating an immersive environment with an experience that offers something for everyone,” said MacMillan. “We’ve intentionally created a modern establishment with a perfectly curated vibe and approachable food that is incredibly cared for alongside unforgettable cocktails.”

Macmillan will continue at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain where he was recently named Culinary Advisor and McQuaid Jr. will be overseeing the day to day operations at Cala. It’s not the first time the two have worked together as McQuaid Jr. worked with MacMillan at Sanctuary and considers him a mentor. You can hear McQuaid Jr. tell his story and his relationship with MacMillan on Episode 42 of The Podcast.

Senna House opened last month in Scottsdale’s Entertainment District on the spot that used to house the legendary Don & Charlie’s Restaurant and is paid tribute too with a montage of sports memorabilia in the hotel’s lobby. Cala is owned by local restaurant & hospitality group Clive Collective which also owns Money, Baby! in Las Vegas. MacMillan also oversees the culinary program at Money, Baby! and is Clive Collective’s Director of Culinary Operations. Cala and Senna House is at 7501 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251 and reservations can be made at their website.

Wine dinners feature family wineries at local hotels

2022 brings two exciting wine dinners happening this month at hotels known for their monthly dinner series.

The first of the wine dinners is the return of the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series at their signature restaurant Zuzu on Thursday, January 13th. The “Family Feud” dinner has guests determine which wines pair best with Executive Chef Russell LaCasce’s 4-course dinner. California’s Jackson Family Wines (Stonestreet and others) & Wagner Family of Wines (Caymus and more) are the featured wines that will be paired with a Lobster & Artichoke Tart and Filet Mignon being just a couple of the courses. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and is $159 per person plus tax and gratuity. Taste wines you like, you can purchase them to take home as well. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling 480-421-7997

A few nights later on Sunday, January 16th Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort hosts its monthly Sunday Supper. This month’s featured wines will be Arizona’s own Los Milics. The southern Arizona winery is founded by FnB co-owner and winemaker Pavle Milić who will be in attendance to discuss his wines and collaboration with Kelly and Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas Winery. Milić has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for an “Outstanding Beverage Program” at FnB for his almost all Arizona wine list. His wines will be paired with Executive Chef Charles Wiley and Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro’s multi-course menu featuring a Diver Scallop and Niman Ranch Beef Tenderloin. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and is $149 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 480-624-5458.

Robert Irvine fundraiser at Sanctuary Resort to benefit military members

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine comes to town this Saturday, January 8th as he and Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Executive Chef, and celebrity chef himself, Beau MacMillan co-host the “Mission Impossible” dinner. The event is raising money for Irvine’s foundation that supports active & retired military members, first responders and their families. 10% of the proceeds from the night’s dinner will be donated to the foundation.

The evening with Robert Irvine starts at 6 p.m. with a reception on the resort’s Paradise Views patio followed by dinner at 7 in The Views Ballroom. The dinner paired with wines is $295 per person plus taxes and gratuity. For reservations call 866-975-3039.

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.

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.

Sunday Supper with The TLC eXperience at Clayton House

Reserve your seats for the final monthly dinner of 2021 as they come inside for a festive holiday dinner. Cocktail hour starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 19th with dinner to follow at the Scottsdale event venue. Chef Tom’s menu remains a mystery, reserve your seats here.

Christmas Market coming to Match Market & Bar

The downtown Phoenix restaurant & market inside the Found:RE Hotel brings back their exclusive event. Inspired by the German Christkindlmarkt, guests can eat, drink shop with small & locally owned business and food vendors. The market is Saturday, December 18th from 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m and is free to attend.

Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment hires Mat Snapp

The company behind the Century Grand and UnderTow bar concepts hires the industry veteran as Partner & Executive Vice President of Operations. Snapp had worked for 17 years at Fox Restaurant Concepts most recently, as Beverage Director will help B & S continue its growth of new concept bars and cocktail programs.

Restaurant hosted toy drives around Phoenix

Local restaurants continue to collect toys for children who might otherwise miss out on receiving a gift during the holidays. All Grimaldi’s Pizzeria locations are collecting new & unused non-violent toys and clothing for Childhelp until Monday December 13th. Angry Crab Shack is hosting a drive for the Shriners collecting new & unused toys through December 22nd. Children in foster care benefit from the toy drive at the Scottsdale Quarter inside Santa City or donate online until December 19th.

Pedal Haus Brewery celebrates 6th anniversary with an Ugly Sweater Party

The downtown Tempe location of the award-winning brewery celebrates the milestone with the holiday tradition on Thursday, December 16th from 6 – 9 p.m. Those wearing an ugly holiday sweater get their 1st beer for $1 while listening to the live music of People Who Could Fly. Raffle tickets benefiting the Rob Dollar Foundation will be sold. Admission is free with VIP tickets available for $15.

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.

The Wilde Resort & Spa opens signature restaurant Rascal

Sedona’s newest resort, The Wilde Resort & Spa, opened in September has introduced Rascal, its signature restaurant with Executive Chef Mercer Mohr. Rascal serves diner comfort food with Chef Mohr’s innovative and market driven ingredients and dishes.

“We are thrilled to officially be opening our doors and can’t wait to share the amazing menu we’ve created with our local community and visitors,” says Mohr. “In addition to incredible food, Rascal will deliver a unique vibe and sense of place that is integral to The Wilde Resort & Spa experience.”

The Wilde Resort & Spa
Dry rub St. Louis pork ribs

The classic diner fare with an upscale twist, Rascal serves breakfast all day & lunch til 3 p.m. with happy hour and dinner starting at 4. Guests can expect all-American dishes including Rascal eggs benedict, biscuits & gravy and beef brisket hash and poached egg. Other highlights include crispy southern fried chicken, lamb chop lolli-pops, grilled salmon with Greek lemon pasta and more.

Handcrafted cocktails compliment the menu serving classic cocktails that are playful and sophisticated. The “Old Rascal” features Old Grand Dad bourbon with baked apple demerara, house bitters and ginger mist. The “Young Rascallion” is made with Rittenhouse rye, peach, orgeat, smoked bitters, lemon and aquafaba. Local craft beers including Mother Road Brewing and Four Peaks are poured as are small format wineries from the Sedona area and beyond.

For more information about Rascal check out 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.

EAT by Stacey Weber giving away a 3 free Thanksgiving meals

You can nominate a family to receive a Turkey and all the fixings (valued at $248) to feed a family of 4 until next Thursday, November 18th. You can nominate a family here or email at phoenix@eatbystacyweber.com. Pick up would be on Wednesday, November 24th between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the 4740 E. Shea Blvd Phoenix 85028.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival is this weekend.

Finally a favorite festival is here in downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park on Saturday and Sunday. See all the details, participants and changes for 2021 here.

2021 Slider Throwdown is this Sunday 11/14

The popular “Battle of the Burger” event returns to High Street in north Phoenix on Sunday. Stop by and vote for your favorite slider and help raise money for Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation from 12 – 4 p.m. Admission is $40 and includes sliders, lemonade from Cuties Lemonade & More food truck and dessert from Kicks Frozen Yogurt. Live entertainment and a silent auction will also be happening.

Seats still available for Miner Family Wines dinner

Assistant winemaker Michelle Safir will be in town for the dinner at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa next Thursday, November 17th. For more details see my September post about how to reserve your seat and December’s Truchard Vineyard dinner details.

Trade “Toys for Tacos” at Mesquite Fresh Street Mex

Until December 15th the fast casual concept has partnered with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect toys in exchange for a free taco. Drop off new & unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods and toiletries at a location near you.

The Montauk adds new dishes to its menu

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant added to its eclectic menu this week. The new dishes are as follows. Playa Salad – Oranges, red onion, pepitas and queso fresco over a bed of artisan greens with coriander vinaigrette to finish. Short Rib Bowl – Overnight braised short rib, house made BBQ sauce, roasted root vegetables, crispy baked potato wedges and scallions served with brown rice. Buddah Bowl– Roasted broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, avocado, grilled onions, edamame and pepitas, served with chipotle tahini and a soft-boiled egg over brown rice. Short Rib Huevos Rancheros (brunch only) – Eggs, braised short rib, refried black beans, red onion, queso fresco, morita-cashew salsa, sour cream, cilantro on a tortilla.

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.

New Fall menu at Hearth ’61

The signature restaurant at Mountain Shadows Resort is now offering its new menu from Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro. If you’re dining for brunch (Greek Toast w/ poached eggs & Feta, Green Chile Pork Torta) or dinner (Duroc Farms Pork Chop or H ’61 Angliotti w/ short ribs) you know it going to be good. Those and more dishes and new desserts are now available.

GenuWino Appreciation Day Sunday at GenuWine

The downtown Phoenix wine bar is giving wine drinkers an opportunity to join their wine club this Sunday 10/10. Come down to visit between 1 – 6 p.m. and if you sign-up before there is no cost for the day and $15 if you choose not to join. Wine samples and Dough Riders Food Truck will be enjoyed. Members get 2 bottles of wine and an Arizona made gift each month along with 15% off when you visit.

Nonna Urban Kitchen offers new 3-course menu

The Old Town Scottsdale restaurant has updated its menu to highlight seasonal ingredients. Guest can pick from 6 choices in each first and second courses and 3 from the dessert menu. Cost is $48 per person plus tax & gratuity. To see the full menu offerings and to make reservation visit their website.

Fired Pie partners with Special Olympics Arizona for the rest of the year.

Guests visiting the fast casual pizzeria can donate $5 to the non-profit sports organization that works with people with disabilities. In return donors will have a placard with their name at the location until the end of 2021.

PHX Beer Co. launches first Oktoberfest beer

The local brewery released its first Oktoberfest ($16) beer coincides with other new seasonal releases including Howling Oats Hazy IPA ($16) and North Rim Hazy IPA ($17). All three are in limited supply and come in 16 oz 4-pack cans and on tap at the brewers Phoenix taproom and Scottsdale restaurant while supplies last.

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.

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails debuts new dishes & cocktails

I made my first visit to Downtown Phoenix’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails recently as it launched its new food & cocktails menus in late August. The signature restaurant inside the Hotel Palomar welcomed new Executive Chef Brian Peterson who created the new dishes with his culinary team. Peterson’s “New American Cuisine” offers Starters & Shareable & entrees that include a curated beef program.

“The menu is very approachable and made with the freshest, all-natural, quality ingredients that are seasonally sourced from the area’s best local farmers,” said Chef Peterson. “The vibrancy and energy of our downtown Phoenix location is exhilarating and we are thrilled that our neighborhood restaurant is in the center of it all.”

My dinner at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

I started with a “Sicilian Summer Spritzer” from the Seasonal Cocktails menu to go with our Starters. The Maker’s Mark, Averna, Cardomano, Lemon & Soda libation reminded me of a Long Island Iced Tea from years past and I could had a second or third of this refreshing cocktail. One of the first to offer “craft cocktails” other signature cocktails include the Blue Hound Signature Old Fashioned, Buffalo Tears, Red & Smokey and more with an emphasis on bourbon & whiskey. Craft beer on draft & in bottle and wines are also available. My photos can be found on my Instagram, @SandyWass.

My dinner guest and I started with the Mushroom Pate with carrot jam, pickled onions & charred toast points. All was good with the carrot jam having the most flavor. We also shared the Beef Cheek Poutine with cheese curds, giardinerra & bone marrow gravy. The look to be house cut fries could’ve been a bit crisper but still  it’s a nice twist on a favorite from north of the border. Other dished that sounded good but not ordered on this visit were the Rolled & Fried Chicken Thighs and the Charred Octopus.

My guest ordered the Iberico Secreto (Iberico, the Wagyu of Spain ham, fatty shoulder meat) with bbq fennel, Pt. Reyes grits & cherry mustrda for his entree and he was happy. I went with Chef’s Cut of The Day which was a 16 oz. Rib Eye with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese chips, spinach & mushrooms. A nice outside darkness and rare-medium rare middle was a filling piece of beef. Then BHKC burger sounded good as did the duck breast. We finished our meal with a dessert special of Homemade Pound Cake with espresso gelato and caramel sauce. The cake was thick and dense, not you mom’s pound cake.

Feeling adventurous then “Trust the Team” with a five course dinner on the whim of the culinary team. A wine and cocktail pairing can be had with this dinner option.

For more information and to see the menu visit the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails website.

 

 

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