Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

“Med Meets Mexico” seasonal menu now at Pita Jungle

All 23 locations in Arizona now offer new 10 dishes on their Seasonal Crafts Kitchen Menu. Dishes using the flavors of the Southwest and their Mediterranean inspired menu will be available through April. Highlights of the new menu include Lemon Chicken Rice Soup, Mediterranean Ceviche, Labdeh Dip Mezze Veggies & Dip and a Wood Fired Gluten Free Enchilada. 

Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant

The signature restaurant at The Boulders Resort & Spa hosts a gourmet four-course dinner paired with wines on Friday, February 3rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. Enhancing the experience will be the scenic views of the golf course’s 6th hole and duck pond. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4621.

Cider Corps hosts dinner to raise money for traumatic brain injuries

The downtown Mesa cidery will pair its award-winning ciders with dishes from valley chefs Friday, February 3rd. Guests attending the Speakers Dinner for Traumatic Brain Injury Solutions will hear updates from researchers at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The 21 and over dinner starts at 6 P.m. and is %200 per person. Two other fundraising events are scheduled for the 22 Jumps event with more information and to RSVP click here.

New seasonal dishes at Over Easy launch January 30th

The locally owned and nationally recognized breakfast spot adds two new dishes to its menu on Monday. The scratch made Cinnamon Apple Corncakes ($14) and JohnJay Burrito Bowl ($17) are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery. $1 of every Burrito Bowl will be donated #LOVEPUP Foundation. Also new will be the Spicy Mango Margarita ($8) but only available for dine-in. The new dishes and drink are available at all 11 Phoenix area locations.

Nominations are open for Foodist Awards until February 5th

Its award season and time to nominate your favorite Food & Beverage, Experience, Restaurant and People in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s annual recognition of those in the food and beverage community. The online nominations include 20 categories and 8 new categories for the 2023 awards. Winner will be announced in alive ceremony on Monday April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Van Buren in Phoenix.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Wing Wednesday specials at The Bar in Gilbert

Have you heard the news, people are flocking to downtown Gilbert to get their hands on the flavorful, crispy & juicy John Blaze Honey Hot, Buffalo, BBQ, “Blow Your O-Ring” and Teriyaki wings. The Bar‘s grilling then fried wings are specially priced every Wednesday from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. for $9 for 6 wings or $14 for a dozen. Each order comes with celery & carrots and your choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Pillsbury Wine Co. and more pouring at Arizona Wine Festival

20 Arizona wineries and other vendors will make downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square home January 28th -29th. Beer and food trucks will also be on hand with tickets for $35 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. Friday night will be a benefit for Horses Help and the festival starts at 11 a.m. on both days. Information and tickets can be purchased can be found at Eventbrite.

Outerbound Wines featured at Hyatt Scottsdale Winemaker Dinner Series

The Gainey Ranch resort and spa continues its Winemaker Dinner Series in 2023 with its first dinner on Thursday, January 19th. High end wines from Sonoma County will be paired with a five-course dinner from Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. and his team. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with Phillip Kube of Outerbound Wines followed by dinner at 7:00. Seats are $170 per person and can be reserved by calling 480-629-6231.

Save your receipts for 50% off at Koibito Poke

For the month of January purchase lunch between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. then return for dinner from 5 p.m. til closing and get half off. The “Save Your Receipt” promotion is good on the same day 7 days a week at all 4 locations.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Yulissa Acosta named Chef de Cuisine at Hearth ’61

Rising through the ranks can be the most satisfying and rewarding ways to earn a promotion. That’s how Yulissa Acosta earned her new title as Chef de Cuisine at Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant Hearth ’61. Acosta was part of the opening team at restaurant as a cook when it opened in 2017. Always looking to improve her culinary skills and with her culinary knowledge she was promoted to Sous Chef in 2018.

“We are delighted to have Chef Yulissa Acosta take the reins of our beloved Hearth ‘61 restaurant in her new role,” said Vice President & General Manager Andrew Chippindall. “With her unique culinary flare and working alongside Executive Chef Charles Wiley and Executive Sous Chef Alfred Muro, Chef Acosta will be the perfect person to continue elevating our cuisine by highlighting the best local ingredients.”

The Nogales Mexico born and Phoenix raised Acosta realized her passion for cooking in high school and was awarded a scholarship to Scottsdale’s Classic Cooking Academy upon graduation. From there she worked at Bink’s Midtown and Mirabel Golf Club before joining Hearth ’61.

Part of her new role is menu development and she will use her roots and love of Mexican-American & Southwestern cuisines and incorporate classic French cooking skills to the menu. She recently debuted Duroc Farm’s Pork Chop with Jacob bean ragu and black pepper glaze as well as the Two Wash Ranch Chicken Roulade with barley risotto, romanesco, and natural jus to the menu. She will also continue to follow the culinary standards set by Chefs Wiley and Muro.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Ring in 2023 at these local restaurants

As we approach New Year’s Eve plans are being made about how to ring in 2023. These local restaurants are planning specially prepared dinners and as you can imagine reservations are necessary. Click on the restaurants link for more information and to make a reservation.

FRANCINE RestaurantEnjoy a French inspired menu with a Mediterranean twist for a five course meal with seating’s between 7 – 9 p.m. A DJ and champagne toast at midnight is included all for $225 per person. Go online or call 480-690-6180.

Phoenix City GrilleDinner starts at 3 p.m. with specials and the regular menu.

Hearth ’61–  A four-course dinner with first seating at 6:30 p.m $159, $199 for a 9:30 reservation. Reservations can be made by calling 480-624-5458.

ZuzuJoin the party with noshing stations, drinks and more for $150, reserve a VIP table for two for $500 or rent out the Rosie Room for up to 16 people for $4,000. The evening starts at 8 p.m. and a DJ starts entertaining at 9. Call 480-421-7997 for reservations.

Keeler’s Neighborhood SteakhouseThe Fourth Annual New Year’s Eve Gala starts at 6 p.m. with dinner buffet, live music & more for $135+ per person. Phone reservations only by calling 602-374-4784.

Thirsty Lion GastropubAll 4 Phoenix area location ring in 2023 special a la carte food and cocktails ranging from $8.95-$39.95.

Match Market & BarDinner is served from 6 p.m.- 11 then join the “Come On Barbie Let’s Go Party New Year’s Eve Party” in the Found:RE Hotel. Barbie’s Food Truck will be there with food for purchase from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m. Reservations for dinner in Match can be made by calling 602-875-8080 and for Barbie’s Party click on the link above.

STK SteakhouseAn a la carte menu featuring Japanese Wagyu, caviar, Australian Wagyu and more is available starting on Friday, December 30th. On NYE enjoy a champagne toast at midnight, live DJ and weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Rusconi’s American KitchenStarting a 5 p.m. enjoy a three course prix-fixe menu from Executive Chef Michael Rusconi. Dinner is $90++ per person and reservations can be made online or by calling 480-403-0009.

Roaring ForkA special Steak & Lobster dinner starts at 4 p.m. along with seasonal menus items available on only on NYE. Steak & Lobster is $68 and prices vary on other menu items. Call 480-947-0795 to make a reservation or go online.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Miracle Mile Deli celebrates National Sandwich Month

Starting Monday August 1st the central Phoenix deli is serving up a weekly sandwich special for only $12. 8/1-8/6 – Corned Beef Sandwich 8/8-8/13 – Brisket Sandwich 8/15-8/20 – Combo (Pastrami & Corned Beef) 8/22-8/27 – The Straw. Each sandwich comes with a choice of sides and a dill pickle spear.

Phoenix City Grille offers exclusive Caymus Vineyards tasting event

Wednesday August 3rd join the vineyard’s Arizona Market Manager Stephanie Martindale for a tasting of five wines. Enjoy sipping on Emmolo Sparkling, Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, Sea Sun Pinot Noir, The Walking Fool Red Blend and Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines tasted during the event will be available for purchase with limited seating costing $25 ++ per person. Reservations can be made by contacting Britinee Reed at 602-510-7170 or privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Hearth ’61 welcomes Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos

The Chef and owner of Essence Bakery Cafe in Arcadia will be the guest chef at the restaurant’s Sunday Supper Club in August. The four-course dinner is set for August 14th at 6 p.m. and is paired with wine. Seats are $189++ per person and can be reserved here.

Sardinia’s food featured at Queen Creek Olive Mill’s dinner

The Italian region’s flavors and foods will be on prepared for August’s Tavalo dinner. Thursday August 18th from 6:30 -9:30 p.m. guests will dine on a 6-course’s with optional wine pairings. Much of the ingredients are locally sourced including from Golden Rule Dairy in Elfrida. Dinner is $124.99 per person and wine pairings are an additional $39.99. Reservations can be made here.

Caffe Vita opens tomorrow with FREE oat milk lattes.

The Seattle based coffee roaster opens its first Arizona location in the former Easley’s Fun Shop at 5th Ave. & McDowell Rd. Lattes will be available from 7 a.m. – 6p.m. Read more about the opening and more here.

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.

Pyro to be first restaurant at The Grove

The intersection at 44th St. & Camelback Rd. has always been one of the busiest in Phoenix and will get even busier when the mixed-used development The Grove opens later this year. The first restaurant to announce it will open there will be the Japanese bistro Pyro from Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group.

“The Flagship Restaurant Group team and I are very excited to bring Pyro to The Grove,” said Nick Hogan, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Restaurant Group. “We felt that it was the right time to bring our brand-new concept to this location, as there is much development taking place in-market and residents and travelers in Phoenix are always looking for the right mix of creativity coupled with responsibly-sourced fare. Everything we serve our guests is fully transparent, from the farms the vegetables come from to the areas where each of our fish is sourced. We are looking forward to another new chapter in the city.”

Flagship’s other concepts in Phoenix are Châm Pang Lanes, Palma and Ghost Donkey in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

What to expect at Pyro

When opened Pyro will be 4,200 square feet including large outdoor patio with an open hearth and full bar. The restaurant uses an open flame for cooking sustainably sourced seafood and proteins. The fire will give each dish its own unique layers of flavor and texture. The cocktail bar will offer classic and signature cocktails from a wide variety of spirits and wine.

“The Grove is dedicated to bringing innovative and exclusive dining options to the Valley with a sophisticated flair,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner at RED Development. “Pyro is setting the standard for the caliber of culinary offerings we’ll be welcoming at The Grove, we couldn’t be more honored to announce an original concept as the first restaurant to call it home.”

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

Camelback Inn to host a Winemaker Weekend with Paul Hobbs

The legendary JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is welcoming winemaker & winery owner Paul Hobbs for a fun filled weekend next month. Taking place in the resort’s Lincoln Steakhouse on Friday and Saturday April 22nd & 23rd guests will have three opportunities to meet the winemaker and taste his wines. Enjoy 1, 2 or all 3 of the events at this 21 and older weekend.

-A welcome reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday night with wine poured from Crossbarn, his Central Coast wines and from Hillick & Hobbs in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Hors d’ oeuvres and paired cheeses will be served for the two hour reception. Seats are $125.53 per person with a 2 person minimum can be reserved here.

-Looking to learn more about his wines, join Hobbs for a wine seminar in the Lincoln’s private dining room. The tasting and seminar will focus on his old world and new world wine along with ancient wines from Armenia. Seats are available at available at 3:45 & 4:00 p.m. for a $100. 17 per person with a 2 with a 2 person minimum and are available here.

-End the weekend with dinner on the restaurant’s patio enjoying the sunset and the best wines from his portfolio. Limited seating is available for the multi-course dinner that includes breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain. The dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $188.93 all inclusive per person with a 2 person minimum and can be reserved here. The JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is at 5402 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

Chef Angelo Sosa to open Tía Carmen at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

Early April will see the debut of Tía Carmen, a contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef” Angelo Sosa. He and seasoned restaurateur Mark Stone’s new signature restaurant at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is named the after Sosa’s aunt. Chef Sosa learned alongside chefs Jean-George Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto before opening his Michelin recommended Añejo Restaurant, a Mexican hotspot in New York City.

“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” said Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”

The menu from Chef Angelo Sosa

Serving dinner, Tía Carmen’s dishes will be made with regional ingredients from local purveyors prepared in a wood-fired grill. The menu will be written in three sections, light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Angelo Rosa’s signature dishes will include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.

Mitchel O. Bushell is creating a cocktail program emphasizing local herbs & spices, distilleries and ingredients for house made syrups and juices. Many of the cocktails will be prepared with artisanal agave spirits. The wine program is being curated by former Morimoto Restaurant Group’s Eduardo Dingler. Emphasis will be on wines from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe and other west coast wineries and emerging wineries in Europe.

The 130 seat restaurant is designed by Thomas Schoos and his L.A. based hospitality design firm Schoos Design. The “Earth meets Art” theme offers a clean and warm ambiance with natural forms from the local landscape. Plateware and the Southwestern tablescape from Phoenix’s Blue Door Ceramics was made exclusively for Tía Carmen. For more information and to stay up to date about the opening follow @TiaCarmen.Phx on Instagram.

Chefs Rochelle Daniel & Samantha Sanz headline James Beard dinner

Two of Phoenix’s top chefs are collaborating when the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America returns on Wednesday, February 23rd. Chefs Rochelle Daniel of Fat Ox & Atria and Samantha Sanz (pictured) of elements are teaming as part of the Foundation’s 18 city chef hosted dinner series to raise money, support and celebrate local restaurants. Sanz will host the dinner as its being held at elements restaurant at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort where she’s Chef de Cuisine.

The three course menu will showcase each of the chef’s unique styles of cooking and the restaurants they represent. Dinner begins a bread course from Breadworks by MJ Coe and James Porter. First course gives guests a choice of Sakana Blue baby scallops with shrimp mousseline, apple and seafoam or a vegetarian-friendly brown butter-poached cauliflower with apple and hazelnuts. For an entrée, guests can choose smoked beef short rib with porcini tamal, black truffle mole and pomegranate or a mushroom steak with truffle mole and pomegranate. For dessert guests will enjoy a coffee-chocolate tart with whiskey caramel. Each course is being paired with Arizona’s Rune Wines and a flight of four whiskeys from Rabbit Hole Distillery.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and seats are $350 per pair and also include a swag bag. As part of the Taste America initiative to help local restaurants and diners support the local industry 65% of the dinners ticket purchase goes to the featured chefs to support their business and the remaining 35% goes to the James Beard Foundation’s national programs including Open for Good which has helped restaurants survive the pandemic and re-build. Seating is limited and Covid-19 safety protocols will be enforced. To join Rochelle Daniel and Samantha Sanz get your tickets at the Foundation’s 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.

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.

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