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.

February specials at Serrano’s

Throughout the month of February the family owned Mexican restaurants are featuring 3 dishes on the menu. Chichalada is a fried masa patty stuffed with chicharrones (fried pork bites similar to bacon), onion, cilantro and queso fresco, and topped with tomatillo sauce and crema is served with one side of your choice for $10.99.

The Phat Elvis is part of the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge and features Tagalongs Graham cracker crust, peanut butter cheesecake, whipped cream and crumbled Girl Scout Tagalongs mixed with bananas and topped with chocolate ganache, brown-sugar bacon and a bonus Tagalong cookie for $7.99. The Strawberry Margarita is the Drink of the Month is $6.99.

All four locations are looking to hire both front and back of the house employees with on the spot walk in interviews every Wednesday from 2 – 4 p.m. Apply online if you can’t get to there on Wednesday’s.

Outdoor dining coming to Nook Kitchen

The Arcadia restaurant will increase capacity by 50 seats when their new covered patio opens. Owner Frank Vairo always envisioned al fresco dining at the restaurant but couldn’t get the city of Phoenix to approve it until it became a necessity during the Covid outbreak. The restaurant remains open for dinner and late night dining on Friday & Saturday’s til 2 a.m. during construction with reservations recommended.

Brick Road Coffee opens in Tempe

Co-owners and husbands Gabe Hagen and Jesse Shank opened their new coffee shop with the Wizard of Oz philosophy of acceptance and self-realization. All are welcome to enjoy a sense of community and art with their daily cup of Joe. Custom made murals by local artist Paige Reesor and L.A. artist Corrie Mattie adorn the walls and gender neutral restrooms. Coffee is supplied by local roaster CULT Artisan Beverage Company and pastries are from Tempe’s Squarz Bakery. Brick Road is on Rural Rd. just south the the 60 Freeway.

Koibito Poke adds a Keto bowl to the menu

Those on the high fat, low carb Ketogenic diet can now get the cauliflower based bowl packed with tuna & salmon, cucumber, green onion, kale, brussel sprouts, Sriracha aioli and topped with sesame seeds. The Keto bowl is available for dine-in, take-out and delivery.

LDV Winery receives 2 awards from prestigious wine competition

The San Francisco Chronicle 2022 Wine Competition announced the Arizona winery took home a gold and silver medal for their 2015 “The Signature” Petite Sirah in the $46 and over category and their 2015 Petite Sirah in the $40- $45.99 category. The competition had 45 judges from the trade, media, retail and hospitality industry and more 5,800 wines from North America were entered.

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.

 

Santé to open in north Scottsdale in mid- December

A new healthy food focused restaurant is opening on December 14th in the Kierland neighborhood of north Scottsdale. Santé, the brainchild of restaurateur Nic Neuman, owner of EVO and friend Nico Doniele, who has  hospitality experience and is a certified health coach. The new restaurant will serve dishes that incorporate flavors from around the world along with being healthy and favorable towards all diets.

The upscale restaurant has a grab n go section, will serve breakfast, happy hour and dinner with lunch starting in 2022. In addition to serving keto, vegan, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free foods, Santé will be sustainable as much as possible including sourcing organic ingredients from ethical sources to composting.

“My motto is ‘let us live to eat and live longer to eat,’ and Santé embodies that,” said Doniele. “We wanted to create a beautiful, inclusive restaurant where people with all kinds of dietary restrictions can dine together and enjoy the community and connection we’ve been missing over the last nearly two years.”

Inspired by Nico’s travels and health journey the menu will include signature dishes including Buttermilk Brined Chicken and a Bison filet. A wine list of 50 offerings will be bio-dynamic from old world countries that will include orange wines and sparkling rose. For cocktails, a bar cart will travel the room making table-side cocktails during brunch & dinner. Customers on the go can grab healthy snacks, meals and supplements along with coffee and tea from the gourmet café. The restaurant will also offer community events including Sunday School, fun and educational seminars with wellness professionals.

Santé is at 15507 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85254. For more information visit their website.

NYC experience coming to new Chompie’s Deli’s Phoenix location

When the new Chompie’s Deli opens this summer it will be like going home without leaving Phoenix. The new location at 32nd St & Cactus Rd. it will be only a mile away from the original location the Borenstein family opened at 32nd St & Shea Blvd. in 1979. For us East Coast transplants it will be like going home to visit NYC.

Enter the new 27,000 square foot restaurant through the bakery and market that will also be the hub for all baking, kosher cooking, and packaged goods. The NYC styled market will offer fresh baked bagels, breads, pastry and merchandise. A barista bar will be serving coffee drinks including cold brew, espresso and a variety of caffeinated beverages. The larger location allows Chompie’s to expand its gluten-free and keto friendly baked good for the menu and retail.

Chompie’s and its new investment partner JRI Hospitality have envisioned this type of NYC experience restaurant since it decided close its Paradise Valley Mall location (closing May 17th) last year as the mall goes into re-development.

“We all are extremely excited to bring Chompie’s back to its old stomping grounds and to be a part of the revitalization of the area,” says Mark Borenstein, co-founder and owner. “We’re so humbled by the support of our loyal customers and proud of everything the Chompie’s brand has come to represent for so many — a great meal anytime, a feast for the holidays, a dozen bagels to bring to the office, a beautiful cake for a celebration, or just a really good cup of coffee or a Bloody Mary to enjoy while catching up with a longtime friend. We intend to be part of our customers’ best memories for years to come.”

NYC state of mind

Entering the restaurant guests will recognize the glitz, a mural of the NYC skyline and memorabilia including the iconic Times Square ball from New Year’s Eve. The patio will remind you of Central Park with greenery, trees and lights among the various seating including a community tables and lounge seating.

“It’s an honor for us to partner with the Borenstein family to help Chompie’s grow and develop well into the future,” says Jason Ingermanson, CEO and president of JRI. “This partnership allows the family to remain an integral part of the restaurants’ day-to-day operations while we explore opportunities to further expand the brand that they’ve worked so hard to build to what is it today.”

When the new restaurant opens it will be filled with grand opening events and fundraisers. The new restaurant will be at 3212 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix and more information is at their website.

Fresh Taste Meal Prep cooks for you and donates meals to those in need

A new local meal prep service launched last year that prepares fully cooked meals from its weekly menu. Fresh Taste Meal Prep delivers meals to your door or you can pick up at its north Phoenix location. Started by Tommy D’Ambrosio and his Aioli Gourmet Burgers team, he saw the need and popularity of fresh cooked meals for busy and home bound people.

It works like this, order your meals from their weekly offerings on the website and arrange for pick up or delivery. Meals can include Baked Ziti, Lemon Herb Salmon, Steak Chimichurri and of course Aioli Gourmet Burgers. Most meals are reasonably priced at $10-$13 with healthy and Keto friendly options. Order 5-9 meals and the price per meal drops to $9 each, 10 – 13 meals for $8.50 each and 14+ meals are $8 each.

“When the pandemic hit, we quickly pivoted our business model, moving into a prepared meals program for those staying at home. Soon after, my team quickly realized that frontline workers needed support and we created a meal donation program. During the first month after we launched, we donated more than 1,000 meals to the staff at HonorHealth, Valleywise Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. That’s what sparked the creation of Fresh Taste Meal Prep. Giving us the opportunity to support a local cause or food bank, every month of the year,” Tommy D’Ambrosio, chef and owner, Fresh Taste Meal Prep.

For every 10 meals ordered, 1 meal will be donated to Phoenix area non-profits to help feed the hungry. Fresh Taste Meal Prep partners with local non-profits monthly and has recently donated meals to Harvest Compassion Center.

Meals need to be ordered by Thursday 3 p.m. for delivery or pick up the following Sunday or Monday. Delivery is available valley wide or you can pick up your meals at Aioli’s 32nd St. & Shea location.

 

 

 

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