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.

Keeler Hospitality Group founder passes away

The Arizona restaurant community lost a good one this week when Paul Keeler sadly past away. He spent his career in the hospitality industry around the country running hotels & restaurants. He & his family owned Liberty Station Tavern in DC Ranch & Terravita, both in north Scottsdale and Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse in Carefree. They also owned to restaurants around the country. My condolences go out his family.

Serrano’s “Pink Out” in memory of Stephanie Serrano is tomorrow

All four locations will remember co-owner Stephanie who passed away from breast cancer 2 years ago this month. A portion of proceeds from sales during the month of October special will be donated to local non-profit Check for a Lump. The October specials are Stephanie’s Stacked Enchiladas, Pink Out Margarita Sampler and Pumpkin Spice Churro Donut.

A few seats still available for Monday’s dinners.

Jewel’s Cafe in Phoenix is hosting San Francisco chefs Frank Gama & Victor Aguilera for cannabis infused dinners. There are two seating’s at 5 & 8 p.m. with details and how to reserve your seats in this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Gilbert Oktoberfest is next Saturday, October 23rd.

Local craft brewers, live music, food and games will be happening at Gilbert Regional Park next Saturday from 2 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and on-sale now with children under 12 free.

Carlson Creek Vineyard releases new wines

Four hearty & bolder red wines are now available for the cooler temperatures. 2018 Rule of Three $33- 45% Malbec, 33% Grenache & 22% Syrah 2018 Malbec $47, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon $45 and 2020 Odyssey $50- a blend of Cabernet & Malbec. All wine make for great holiday gift giving and go well paired with the flavors of holiday meals. Wines can be purchased online or at their Scottsdale, Cottonwood or Willcox tasting rooms.

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.

Oktoberfest at Pedal Haus Brewery October 2nd

Hard to believe its October and that means beer, brats and polka music in downtown Chandler. Saturdays celebration will include award-winning locally brewed beer and locally made brats from Von Hanson’s Meats along with pork schnitzel. Live music, a sausage eating contest and a stein hoisting contest are all part of the festivities. The Tempe location will be hosting its festival Saturday the 9th.

Wild Arizona dinner with Chef Brett Vibber hosted at Pillsbury Wine Company

Good news, two of my podcast guests are collaborating during the Willcox Wine Festival Weekend that’s coming up on October 16th & 17th. Sam Pillsbury’s award-winning winery is hosting a 6-course Wild Cuisine Dinner prepared by Chef Vibber. The $65 per person dinner starts at 5 p.m. and includes a glass of Rose 20. Bottles of wine are available for purchase and camping overnight is only $15. To see the full menu and purchase you tickets click on this link.

Smokin’ hot new menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Pitmaster Phil “The Grill” Johnson is adding to his menu starting today with Chicken Fried Nachos ($9.99) and more later this month. With Thanksgiving fast approaching (Yay!!) the downtown Phoenix restaurant debuts on October 18th a 1/2 lb. Cajun Fried Turkey Breast ($12.99) and a Turkey Monte Christo (13.99). Check out my interview with Phil here.

Press Coffee opening new downtown Phoenix location

The coffee roaster is opening its 9th location next Friday, October 8th at Van Buren and 2nd Street. During the opening weekend the community minded business will sell $1 drip coffees with 100% of its profits going to Pawsitive Friendships. The local non-profit provides animal assisted therapy for children with special needs. The downtown location will be open 7 days a week until 4 p.m.

Cooler weather means the return of farmers markets

The High Street Farmers Market returns this Sunday, October 3rd and goes through the Spring. Get locally sourced and made food, art and more from 10 a.m. – 1 :30 p.m. The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market returns Saturday October 2nd from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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 Morning Beer Festival opens Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships

Nothing like starting your Saturday morning with a nice hearty stout or refreshing lager but come Saturday October 23rd you’ll able to sip on those and other beers at the debut of the nation’s first Morning Beer Festival. The festival will be one of the first events of the 2021 Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships at Westworld of Scottsdale and one of the new additions to the 10 year old event.

The gates open at 9:45 a.m. with festival and first polo match starting at 10 a.m. followed by “The World’s Longest Fashion Show” and “Canine Couture: A Dog  Fashion Show Like No Other” in between matches. During the Morning Beer Festival guests will be able to sip on beers that taste good in the morning including Founder’s Breakfast Stout & Mudshark Brewing’s Morning Buzz Coffee stout. Guests will be able to purchase pints or flights of beer with accompanying meats such as bacon, ham and more.

In addition to fashion shows, polo & lacrosse matches attendee can enjoy DJ infused party tents with admission and VIP experiences are available for a more luxurious day in private tents and bottle service. General admission tickets start at $35 and include admission to the Morning Beer Festival and other field-side experiences.

VIP tickets and tables are available for purchase at The Polo Party and it’s where you’ll find more information and details.

Mark Tarbell to host 7th Harvest Moon Feast to benefit C-CAP

Tickets are on sale for the 7th Harvest Moon Feast hosted Chef Mark Tarbell, owner of Tarbell’s Restaurant, Tavern and The Wine Store. The event will be under the stars on Wednesday, October 20th in the parking lot outside Tarbell’s restaurants at 32nd St & Camelback Rd. The Feast will start at 6:30 and will be raising money for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program(C-CAP).

The 31 year-old non-profit provides Arizona students with culinary & life skills and scholarships for high school students looking to pursue a career in the culinary arts. On the evening of the 20th attendees will have the chance to taste creations from 25 students and their culinary mentors.

In addition to tasting the culinary creations, cocktails and wine those in attendance will enjoy the sounds of Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s featuring host Mark Tarbell. Celebrity chef and mentor Beau MacMillan and James Beard award-winning chef Scott Conant will be in attendance with Conant signing his new book, Peace, Love and Pasta.

General Admission tickets are $95 and include admission, food & wine/cocktails. GA tickets go up to $125 on August 1st. VIP tickets are $175 per person and include 5:30 early entry, food & wine/cocktails, a VIP gift bag with a signed copy of Conant’s book. If you’d like to donate to the event or purchase tickets head to this link.

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.

Honeybee Events & The Herb Box invite you to Summer & Wine dinner

With traveling to Italy still not possible with the continued caution around Covid-19, Honeybee Events & The Herb Box brings the Amalfi Coast to Scottsdale. The Vino ed Estate (Summer & Wine) Dinner on May 21st will transport you to the Mediterranean and immerse you in a 6-course dinner created by Chef Marissa Delgado and pairing it with wine and cocktails.

“We’ve crafted an elegant 6-course dinner with accompanied wine pairings to highlight the authentic Italian dishes featured for the evening. Our goal is to transport our guests to the Amalfi Coast for the night, and our specialty menu has been thoughtfully crafted to reflect this. One of the dishes we are featuring for the event is the Spaghetti alle Vongole – al dente spaghetti tossed with extra virgin olive oil, fresh baby clams, and finished with fresh parsley and parmesan. We’re excited to explore our culinary creativity with this refreshing coastal summer themed event.” says Delgado.

Live music will set the mood for night that begins at 6:45 p.m. at the Scottsdale restaurant. “The Herb Box is so excited to partner with Honeybee Events for Vino ed Estate (Summer + Wine) Dinner. This event will showcase our newly opened Scottsdale & Shea location with the the perfect, summer themed party. The Honeybee Events team consistently brings unique, innovative ideas to life. We’re looking forward to our ongoing partnership with them and making beautiful events available to the Scottsdale community.” says Susan Wilcox, Owner of the Herb Box.

Reserved seats are $205-$250 depending upon add-ons including small & large fresh floral bouquets inspired by the blooms of Sorrento are available for pre-purchase. Ticket options include the VIP Pavilion, reserved tables of 2 or 4 and General Admission. Tickets can be purchased and more information can be found at Eventbrite. The Herb Box is at 7000 E. Shea Blvd. Scottsdale 85254.

The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival safely returning next weekend

Festivals and gatherings are returning to social calendars after many had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19. One of those festivals first to return is The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival next weekend April 17th & 18th. The Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium co-host the 20th annual event in downtown Camp Verde from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and til 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each day 8-12 wineries will be sampling their wines and pairing them with a variety of pecans. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, live music, local artists and a competitive pie eating contest. All activities will follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, all areas cleaned and sanitized frequently and recommended mask wearing. Page Springs, Salt Mine Wine, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Winery 101 are a few of the wineries pouring wines at the event.

“We were saddened to have to cancel last year but it was with everyone’s safety and best interests in mind, as this is normally one of the town’s biggest events,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “This annual tradition is a wonderful celebration of two local products of the region and we look forward to its return, with a number of additional safety precautions in mind”.

Entry to the festival is free and for all ages. Those 21 and older can pay $20 for six tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. Additional tickets can be purchased. For more information visit these websites http://www.cvaz.com and http://verdevalleywine.org

Photo credit: Jenelle Bonifeld & Arizona Wine Guide

Rusty Spur Saloon celebrates its 70th anniversary with new owners

Walk through the swinging doors of Scottsdale’s Rusty Spur Saloon and you have an idea of what life was like in the good ‘ol days of early Arizona life. As the oldest bar in Scottsdale celebrates its 70th anniversary it also celebrates a new group of local owners to keep the legendary bar going the years ahead.

Housed in what was Farmer’s Bank of Scottsdale the building was built in 1921 and renovated in 1951 and has been given historic landmark status and the safe is no longer filled with money but beer and liquor. Its other claim to fame is it can be a stop for country music superstars when the pull into town. Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Post Malone and others have been known to stop in for a drink and to listen to some country music.

Former owner Susan Anderson wanted the new owners to be local and have the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it attitude”. She found that attitude in full- time Arizona resident and new owner Bill Toole, who also owns Red, White & Brew, 32 Shea, Bill’s Grill and Lakeside Bar & Grill. “Our company mantra is ‘Local Places, Happy Faces’ and the Rusty Spur Saloon embodies this to a tee. The previous owner, Susan, did a fantastic job honoring and elevating the legacy of the Rusty Spur Saloon over the past 19 years. We’re humbled by the opportunity to lead this historic business into the future,” said Toole.

The Rusty Spur Saloon serves lunch 7 days a week and live entertainment during the days and nights. The saloon is at 7245 Main St. Scottsdale 85251. For more information, to see the menu and hours visit their website.

Chef Aaron May hosts celebrity chef friends for Big Boy Cook Club launch

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will be making their way to Phoenix to launch the first Big Boy Cook Club event. Get your tickets now for the Sunday April 25th event at central Phoenix’s Ocotillo Restaurant. Chef Aaron May will be hosting the party that will limit attendance to adhere to CDC guidelines.

“Big Boy Cook Club is a brand I have been developing for years, and what better place to launch it, than with a fun, casual food event in my own hometown” says Chef Aaron May. The Big Boy Cook Club brand is about the sincere about cooking and taste for food enthusiasts, not foodies and the camera.

Celebrity chefs cooking up delicious, no always photo friendly eats include Aron Sanchez, Todd English, Elsie Eats, Akira Back and Ocotillo’s own Walt Sterling. Jacob Cutino of locally owned Cutino Sauces will announce details of his new monthly “throw back” sauce event. He’ll also be working with each chef helping to pair his sauces with each chef’s dish.

Local mixologist Casey Wallin will be mixing up creative cocktails for the event with beer and wine available as well. DJ for the Miami Heat and surprise guests will be spinning the tunes to keep the crowd moving. A cigar roller, photo booth and spirit sampling will be just a few of the additional activities happening during the 5 hour event. Operation BBQ Relief will be the benefactor of money raised during the event.

The party goes from 2 – 7 p.m. with tickets on sale now at Eventbrite. Tickets are $100 with VIP tickets $200 and the Big Boy Package for $1,000. Ocotillo Restaurant is at 3243 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85012.

 

 

 

Buck & Rider announces a new North Scottsdale location

Arcadia’s popular Buck & Rider known for fresh seafood flown in daily has announced that they will be opening a second location at The Shops at Chauncey Ranch in North Scottsdale. Seafood fans will still have to head to the Camelback Rd. restaurant as the new location is about a year away from opening.

LGO Hospitality opened the original location in 2015 and has built its reputation serving quality seafood and meats by working directly with the fishermen and farmers. All fish is cut in-house with oysters and fish selections are rotated on a daily basis. Seafood comes from all directions with the seasonality, weather and skill of the fisherman dictating what’s available on the menu.

“Opening an authentic Buck & Rider location in Scottsdale gives us the ability to share our vitality, vim and vigor with the local community. Our goal has always been to bring the freshest seafood possible to Phoenix,” said Emily Collins of LGO Hospitality. “We’re eager and enthusiastic about sharing our unique and genuine vision with even more Arizonans. We utilize the freshest and most immaculate ingredients and apply exactness in cooking so that interference with the natural elements of the food is minimal and truly celebrate the ingredients.”

Serving lunch, dinner, brunch and happy hour Buck & Rider guests to Scottsdale will recognize familiar dishes such as Steak Tartar, Hand Rolled Sushi, Baja Shrimp Ceviche and the famed Abby’s Oyster Bar. A signature cocktail list with premium liquors and wine will compliment your meal. A full patio with outside bar is included in the design by local architect Cathy Hayes with her inspiration and design of the new location being influenced by modern designs and natural decor of the area. For more information and updates as to the opening visit the Buck & Rider website or on Facebook.