“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

Pesto Italian Eatery to be Arizona’s first build your own pasta restaurant.

When Pesto Italian Eatery opens this fall in Chandler it will be the first build your own pasta concept in Arizona. Owner Cosmo Magliozzi is inspired by serving high quality Italian cuisine and by his celebrity chef father Antonio Magliozzi.

“We want to inspire our customers and allow them to express themselves while enjoying a meal with their friends and family,” Magliozzi said. “This is my way of sharing my father’s famous Italian recipes with the world. As he’s known for saying, ‘It’s no secret – it’s olive oil, garlic, onion, oregano, fresh basil and all of my heart inside the sauce.’”

Fresh pasta will be made on-site every day and guests can choose pasta, homemade sauces (marinara, pesto & specialty), proteins (meatball, sausage, chicken) and vegetables (grilled artichokes, eggplant, etc) to combine for themselves. Every bowl will be topped with basil and a special blend of cheese and served with a fresh baked bread sticks. Gluten -free pasta will also be available. Grab n go salads will be available and traditional Italian desserts such as cannoli, torta della nonna and sfogliatella will be served.

The fast casual Pesto Italian Eatery will be located at 2780 W. Chandler Blvd. Suite 6, Chandler. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information visit their website.

 

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.

Reel Pizza Pies offers “Pies & Vibes” and more in Surprise

Kaleb Copenhaver, owner of the new Reel Pizza Pies had two passions growing up, pizza and music. So what do you do, you open a pizza restaurant with a great playlist. That’s what the 22 year old Copenhaver did with his new restaurant that opened May 20th in the Marley Park shopping center in Surprise.

“Reel Pizza Pies is a cool place to go with great music and great pizza,” says Copenhaver of his 1,200-square-foot, 15-seat restaurant that serves slices, whole pies as well as sandwiches and subs via counter-service style. “We set ourselves apart by using the best and freshest ingredients in an energetic and fun environment,” he adds.

Copenhaver started working in pizza restaurants at the age of 16 and has traveled the country tasting great pizza before opening Reel Pizza Pies. He uses 00 organic flour, fresh mozzarella and organic Bianco tomatoes in his New York style thin crust and thick Sicilian style pizzas and makes fresh bread and dough with a traditional approach. Pizza is baked in an Electric Deck Oven he calls the “pizza master”. He also makes subs, salads and desserts and meatballs using his grandmother’s recipe.

Starting at 11 a.m. Friday May 22nd the first 50 customers will receive a free cheese pizza with the purchase of a beverage. Saturday June 20th will be the official grand opening with a pizza tasting, games, prizes and more.

The restaurant is at 13953 W. Waddell Road, Suite 103 Surprise 85379. Delivery is available within specific boundaries. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. For more information and a complete menu, visit their website.

Pomo Pizza serving Pinsa and more at Biltmore Fashion Park

The popular Pomo Pizzeria has opened a spin off to its award winning pizza at the Biltmore Fashion Park. Pomo Pizza specializes in Pinsa, Pizza Romana and classic styled pizza but won’t be serving the Neapolitan style that the Pizzeria serves.

“We are excited to introduce Pomo Pizzeria’s younger sister, Pomo Pizza, to the community,” owner Stefano Fabbri says. “There has been demand for quite some time to introduce a concept like this to the Biltmore and we are thrilled offer classic Italian cuisine to our guests in a casual atmosphere.”

Pomo Pizza

What is Pinsa and Pizza Romana at Pomo?

Pinsa Romana is a focaccia styled flatbread that was being made before pizza. Pomo Pizza is one of the only restaurants featuring this style of dough. The lighter and easily digested dough is leavened for 72 hours and offers a uniquely flavorful taste. Pizza Romana is a traditional thick focaccia pizza with a crisp bottom and airy middle. Pomo pizza will also serve a traditional round, hand tossed and oven baked dough for a thin and crispy pizza.

“The Pinsa Romana is a dish that is currently trending in Italy and is an old recipe passed down from Roman times,” Fabbri says. “The focaccia flatbread contains soy and rice flour, which is non-GMO and lowers its gluten content to provide for a light, airy taste and allows for the ingredients and sauce to really stand out. Our other new menu item, Pizza Romana, is a truly authentic Italian dish that is made with natural yeast and 48 hours of leavening-maturation.”

The restaurant will serve pizzas such as the Arcadia Meat Market Pinsa and the vegetarian Er Patata Pizza Romana. Pasta dishes, Italian appetizers, bruschetta, fresh salads and paninis are also being served.

The full service restaurant serves pizza from an open kitchen and has a full bar and pet friendly patio. Pomo Pizza is open 7 days a week opening at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday and til 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour runs every day from 3 – 6 p.m. and offers 1/2 price on beer, wine and cocktails. Reverse happy hour is offered from 8 p.m. til closing on weekdays and 9 p.m. til closing on weekends.

For more information see their website and visit the restaurant at 2602 E. Camelback Rd. #148 A & B Phoenix 85016.

The Americano, an Italian steakhouse coming to Scottsdale in early 2020

The owners of Pomo Pizzeria, Mora Italian and Meat the Ball have announced their newest restaurant that’s expected to open in early 2020. The Americano will be a contemporary Italian steakhouse offering European style personalized service and the finest meats, seafood and more.

The restaurant will feature an open kitchen concept with a wood fired grill for preparing steaks and seafood. Testani Design Group and LGE Design Build collaborated on the interior design of The Americano. Dark gray and light green colors will set the tone for the large dining room. Modern art, crescent shaped booths and butcher block tables will be eye catching and functional. Seating will also be available at the island bar, in the lounge and on the patio.

A world class team at The Americano

Pomo Restaurant Group has brought together an impressive team to run The Americano. Canadian born Executive Chef Matthew Taylor comes from Mora Italian and with his team will serve steaks from purebred Piedmontese cattle & American Wagyu beef, pasta & antipasti and Mediterranean seafood. The restaurant will also have a raw bar and caviar service.

“We are thrilled to introduce our carefully curated menu to guests,” says Executive Chef Matthew Taylor. “The Americano will bring the best of both worlds from Italy and America to provide some of the finest steaks, seafood and pasta that Arizona has to offer.”

Swiss born Paride Guerra will serve as General Manager and comes from the Hays-Adams Hotel In Washington D.C. Guerra has worked in restaurants and hotels around the world including South Beach, Beverly Hills, Switzerland and Australia.

Elya Coffman will be re-locating from south Florida to serve as Director of Service & Beverage. Coffman has previously worked with Philadelphia’s Starr Group & the Michael Mina Group.

An Italian and American wine list will be curated by Head Sommelier Nicholas Padua. The wine list will feature vintage bottles along with wines from boutique and iconic producers. Padua has worked as a lead sommelier here in Scottsdale for the Michael Mina Group and Four Seasons Resort.

The Americano will be at 17797 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85255. For information about the restaurant and hiring visit their website.

Villa Pozzi & Grimaldi’s partner for new winter menu

Tis the season for wine and food and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has collaborated with Villa Pozzi for its new winter menu. The seasonal menu, Pizza & Pozzi is available until March 2nd, 2020 and features wines, pizza, cheesecake and more.

“Winter is a great time to introduce warm, rich ingredients and flavors to our menu,” says Grimaldi’s Executive Chef, Cory Lattuca. “Through my collaboration with Daniele Pozzi, founder and winemaker for Villa Pozzi, we crafted sausage and Villa Pozzi Nero d’ Avola braised red wine onion pizza, evoking the comforting feelings we share during the holiday season.”

Villa Pozzi
All photos courtesy of Hannah Johnston of Evolve Marketing

The Sicilian winery was originally built in 1860 and has been owned by the Pozzi family for 5 generations. A new modern winery was completed in 2000. All grapes are hand harvested and picked in the evening or early morning during cooler temperatures. The winery makes 6 varietals of food friendly wines.

The Pizza & Pozzi menu includes the Winter Harvest Salad with roasted Brussel sprouts over a bed of Arugula, Sausage & Wine Braised Onion Pizza, a Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake and Eggnog Cheesecake.

Nero d’ Avola and Pinot Grigio are the featured wines along with Winter Citrus Sangria and a Holiday Cranberry Mule.

To find a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria near you visit https://www.grimaldispizzeria.com/.

Veteran’s Day meal deals at Phoenix area restaurants

As we get ready to salute veterans on Monday November 11th a handful Phoenix restaurants are offering these Veteran’s Day deals.

Arcadia Tavern is offering 25% off all day Monday. Stop in for lunch or come by to watch Monday Night Football. 4801 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

Angry Crab Shack gives 10% off to all military with ID. All locations are participating.

Original Breakfast House is offering a FREE meal along with live entertainment from 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. 13623 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 85032

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria offers 15% off to all active, retired and veterans all year round. On Veteran’s Day they offer 25% off at all restaurants.

Twin Peaks is offering a FREE entree from a special menu to all members of the military. There are three Valley locations located at 2135 E Camelback Rd. in Phoenix, 8787 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. in Scottsdale, and 6922 N. 95th Ave. in Glendale.

Fired Pie offers those military personnel in uniform or with military ID a FREE entree to show their thanks. They offer 10% off all year to military personnel. To find a location near you head to their website.

Middle of the week fun and exploring in Harwich Port

Mid-week on the cape finds laid back days at the beach and exploring what goes on around Harwich Port. Waking to foggy and humid mornings for coffee and my morning walk lead to sunny and warm days.

Tuesday was a beach day and lingering around town before heading to dinner in Dennis Port at The Oyster Company. A family favorite for dinner we shared quite a bit of oysters, Portuguese and Bangkok mussels and more for appetizers. Still needing to get my fill of lobster I went with the Lazy Man Roasted Lobster. The stuffed lobster with crab meat stuffing satisfied my craving for the local delicacy.

Harwich Port
Nauset Marsh

Fun and adventure around Harwich Port

Wednesday had us checking out a few attractions within a few miles from the house. Stopping at Cape Cod Lavender Farm was new to me and had me enjoying the aromas of one of my favorite scents. From there we needed to keep my 10 year old niece happy going to the go-kart track and bumper boats. The adults acted like kids as we all had fun trying to beat each other around the track and getting soaked on the bumper boats. A fun afternoon of playing like a kid.

Dinner had us going to the highly rated Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich Port. Plenty of shared appetizers including polenta, charcuterie, proscuitto wrapped artichokes and Aracini had me practically full before our entrees arrived. A grilled romaine salad before my Buca’s Bolognese arrived had me packing up it after only a few bites. It made for a great breakfast the next couple of mornings with the wild boar ragu spread on crispy bread leftovers for my homemade breakfast bruschetta. A breezy sunset made for a great after dinner walk on the beach and through town during its weekly festival with live music and more.

Gorgonzola & Bacon Burger at Mooncusser’s Tavern

Kayaking the marsh

Thursday brought out our adventuresome side with a 3 hour guided kayak tour through the Nauset Marsh. After meeting up with Matt of Cape Marsh Kayaking we made our way with the outgoing tide towards Nauset Beach. Paddling through the marsh Matt pointed out native birds looking for fish. Did you know there is no such specie as a “sea gull” as it’s a general term for the gulls found in and around the water.

Arriving at the beach 70 minutes after of paddling we had time to explore the beach and watch the seals bathing in the sun and poking their head out of the water to greet us. Before heading back Matt taught us about the different kind of clams, scallops and horseshoe crabs found in the area. Horseshoe crabs are related to spiders more than they are crabs. Paddling back to the boat launch made for quite the workout as we were paddling into the outgoing tide.

Getting hungry

Working up quite the appetite after kayaking we headed up Route 6 to Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham. Packed with families getting their fill of fried seafood for lunch, my Wedge Salad with lobster meat was well earned. Hanging by the pool for a little while it was time to freshen up for dinner at Mooncusser’s Tavern.

Steamers at Arnold’s Restaurant in Eastham

Mooncusser’s is a inn and tavern built in the 1700s for retailer Jordan Marsh and his family. Mooncusser’s were land pirates who destroyed lighthouses and set fires on the beach so ships would run a ground to be robbed of their cargo.

My nephew and I shared an appetizer of PEI Mussel Dijonaise followed by my duck infused Gorgonzola & Bacon Burger. The first burger I’ve had on the cape in several years was delicious topped with the melted blue cheese, Crimini mushrooms, Cabernet caramelized onions, garlic aioli and smoked bacon. Saving room for dessert we made our way back to Schoolhouse Ice Cream for the homemade sweet treat.

Heading home from Harwich Port

Friday has us packing and getting ready to head out for the 5 hour drive down I-95 to NJ for the weekend before I head back to Scottsdale. Another great week on the cape full of fun, adventure and eating.

To see more of my visit Follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

Weekly dinner series starts at Nico Heirloom Kitchen

Thursday nights will be better than most the next 12 weeks at Nico Heirloom Kitchen. The downtown Gilbert restaurant is launching a weekly dinner series on Thursday, July 25th. The chef driven restaurant will offer 4-courses with drink pairings for $70 which includes tax and gratuity.

Guests can expect dishes that may include hand-rolled pastas, fresh and locally grown produce and family recipes. Below is a preview of the first weeks dinner.

  • Sweet Corn Fritter | Green Chili Aioli |Tomatillo Chow Chow | Ferrari Carano Rose
  • Warm Cauliflower | Crispy Kale | Caper | Golden Raisin | Girard Sauvignon Blanc
  • Porchetta | House Made Sausage | Tomato Barley | Arugula | Jackson Estate Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir
  • Strawberry Olive Oil Cake | Burrata Cream | Picked Rhubarb | Pink Peppercorn | Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling

To reserve your spot for the weekly dinner series head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/travel-the-us-nico-heirloom-kitchen-dinner-series-registration-65133691625

Nico Heirloom Kitchen is at 366 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert 85234.