Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Pita Jungle offers an assorted Baklawa Box for the holidays

Whether for holiday parties or giving as a gift Baklawa makes for a delicious treat. The layered phyllo dough, honey and pistachio Mediterranean treat is made in house and available at all 23 locations starting at $16 through the holidays and into 2023.

“Die Hard” dinner at Found: RE Hotel

The downtown Phoenix hotel hosts a four course themed dinner of the blockbuster Bruce Willis film on Saturday, December 17th. The restaurant will be transformed into the 30th floor of Nakotomi Plaza for a fun evening with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Seats at $79++ per person and reservations can be made here. The menu is as follows….

Nakatomi Seafood Tower with lobster claw, jumbo shrimp and oyster with cocktail sauce and lemon mignonette  

Yippee Kai Yay MotherClucker Salad — mixed greens and napa cabbage salad with scallions, pea shoots, ghost chili-dusted wonton strips, roasted chicken and spicy sesame dressing 

The German Twins — pork and beef schnitzel with warm German potato salad and Jagerschnitzel sauce

“Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60 and yellow dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs” Cake — yellow sponge cake filled with buttercream frosting, Crunch bar pieces, broken sugar glass and raspberry sauce 

Taittinger Champagne dinner at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Thursday December 15th is when the celebrated champagne house’s bubbles will be paired with a 5 course meal. The dinner is part of the resort’s monthly Winemaker Dinner series held in Alto Ristorante with dinner curated by Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. The reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231 and seats are $170 per person. After dinner guests will have the opportunity to purchase champagne at a discount.

Pint for a Penny at PHX Beer Co.

Buy gift card of $25 or more at the local brewer’s Phoenix taproom or Scottsdale restaurant and get a pint of beer for one cent while you wait. The deal is available until Christmas Eve and is only available on location and at time of purchase.

Source to open December 19th in Gilbert

Monday December 19th brings the opening of the new upscale fast fine dining Mediterranean concept. Founders Akshat Sethi, founder of Thai Chili 2 Go, and Chef Claudio Urciuoli, of Palaphx and Noble Bread fame, will offer fresh baked breads, sandwiches, salads, tapas and more. Natural wines will be offered with your dishes and in the retail market. Come January opening specials will be announced with more details to come.

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.

Macayo’s Mexican Food returns to Scottsdale with new location

The 75 year old restaurant has opened its newest location at Loop 101 & Shea Blvd in Pima Crossing. Known for such dishes as Green Chile Pork Stew & Chicken Poblano the menu is the same as the other locations around the valley.

Summer Supper is back on the menu at Marcellino’s Ristorante

From now until Sunday September 15th guests can opt for the 3-course meal for $44. Several choices from the Antipasto and Second Course menu that include homemade pasta.

Their private dining room is available on Tuesday’s through July and Tuesday & Wednesday’s in August for dinner and a movie. Parties of 8-10 people can reserve the room at no cost but dinner service is required. Call 480-990-9500 to make a dinner reservation or to reserve the room.

Elote Pizza back by popular demand at Fired Pie

All 21 locations of the locally owned fast casual pizza concept has brought back the street corn inspired and topped pizza (and more toppings) for a limited time. The pizza can be made with tradition, cauliflower & gluten-free dough.

Summer cool down seasonal menu at Thirsty Lion Gastropub

The Phoenix area’s 4 locations will start serving the new dishes from July 8th – September 19th. Spicy Shrimp Ceviche and Seared Atlantic Sea Scallops are a couple of the new dishes. Cocktails including Raspberry Mint Mule-jito and Jalapeno Paloma Margarita are a couple of the new adult beverages available.

July 4th celebrations around Phoenix

As you can imagine many Phoenix restaurants and bars are celebrating the red, white & blue with traditional foods, beers and more. Have fun and stay safe. Happy birthday America.

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.

Find a way to see “The Way”

As I often blog about wine I occasionally I blog about films I get to preview before their release(See earlier posts). As most of you know me as a wine guy, I’m also a aspiring film producer and anytime I get to hear from other film industry professionals I jump at the opportunity.

This was the case when I got an invite to see the only Phoenix area preview of “The Way” that will be released on Oct. 7th. In addition to the preview actor Martin Sheen & the films writer/producer/director and actor Emilio Estevez were on hand to do Q & A session after the film. As this is a passion project for both of them, Phoenix was one of the 1st stops on a 50 day cross country pilgrimage on a bus to promote the film as, most passion projects are not on the radar of Hollywood movie executives in this day and age,sadly to say. So word of mouth and self promotion is a must if you want to get the film out to a wider audience.

The story starts in Ventura California where Tom (Martin Sheen)is a widowed opthamologist, who must take an unexpected trip to a town at the base of the Pyrenees mountains on the French-Spanish border. This is the starting point for the Camino de Santiago or “The Way of St. James” where pilgrims make a modern day journey through the Basque countryside on the way to the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostella. Tom decides to make the pilgrimage his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) started but could not complete. Along the way Tom sets out alone and is very reserved. As there are many people making the pilgrimage for many reasons religious, personal or professional Tom has several run ins with others on the path, whether it’s a yarmulke wearing priest wearing or the joint smoking Dutchman, Yoost (Yorick Van Wageningen) who is doing it to lose weight. Tom slowly opens up and builds a bond with Yoost, Sarah(Deborah Kara Unger), a Canadian looking to quit smoking and Jack(James Nesbitt) a writer from Dublin who’s writing a book about The Camino. As they walk through vineyards, towns in the Basque countryside they realize they have more in common than their age and back rounds would suggest. When they stop for the night or just for a rest the Basque culture comes through as there is always a bottle of wine or two or three present with meals which leads to some interesting encounters with the locals. As they get closer to their destination they also get closer as a group having Tom’s back when he needs it. Although a drama with deeper meaning, there several lighter moments with laughter, which one often finds on our own journey through life.

During the Q & A after, we find not only was this a family affair with Martin and Emilio but Emilio’s son worked on it and married a woman he met on set and now lives in the town of Burgos, where some of the film was filmed. Martins daughter plays his office assistant in the opening scene.

Martin spoke of our sense of community, especially during these trying times and how a family reunion in Ireland in 2003 inspired the The Camino and asked Emilio to write a script. Emilio also spoke of his inspiration for the soundtrack which includes James Taylor and Alanis Morissette. Despite it’s small budget and crew some big performance’s come out and and hopefully the acting and writing will get the recognition they deserve. Not to mention the Basque countryside makes me want to put The Camino on my bucket list.

The film took on a personal feel for me as I viewed it it on Aug. 31, the anniversary of my grandfathers death and Emilio dedicated the film to his grandfathers memory. Make sure “The Way” is on your to do list when it comes out Oct. 7th, you’ll be glad you did. http://theway-themovie.com

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