Castle Hot Springs re-opens with Harvest, serving crop driven cuisine

Arizona’s first luxury resort, Castle Hot Springs has re-opened for its first full season. Originally opened in 1896, the 210 acre property will be opened from October til late June offering guests the opportunity to detach from the digital world while rejuvenating and healing in the resorts 120 degrees thermal hot springs. Hiking, horseback riding, foraging and star gazing are a few of the many activities guests can enjoy at the iconic resort and its surrounding desert and mountains.

Harvest, Castle Hot Springs signature restaurant

Castle Hot Springs is home to Harvest, the signature restaurant and farm offering crop driven cuisine. Executive chef Christopher Brugman’s menu rotates daily based on what’s available at the resorts one acre farm. The farm and greenhouse are overseen by resident agronomist Ian Berger. He oversees over 150 fruits and vegetables native to the desert along with the properties groves that are home to 36 types of citrus trees. Included in the farm are over 35 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

Working together Brugman and Berger choose ripe fruit and vegetables for each days menu. What they don’t grow they  get from local vendors to fill in the gaps. Harvest also adheres to zero waste and sustainable guidelines. Guests can participate in daily foraging and learn about “flavor farming” that covers the sweet and savory tastes through a foods color. Dishes such as Coconut Carrot Bisque and Tandoori Octopus Grilled over Juniper Wood have been on the menu. The culinary team also has an in-house pickling program and creates concoctions such as Brugman’s Onion Ash.

Food & Beverage Manager and Sommelier Thomas Burris has created a beverage program to complement Brugman’s cuisine. Signature cocktails such as the Trade Secret and Lady & The Tramp also use ingredients sourced from the property. Trade Secret is made with rosemary infused vodka, Elderflower and pink grapefruit. The savory Lady & The Tramp combine Pecorino Romano infused vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh basil leaves. Castle Springs Lithium Lager is made exclusively for Harvest and uses natural elements of the resorts hot springs.

The resort is at 5050 E. Castle Hot Springs Rd. Castle Hot Springs AZ. 85342. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.

Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen opens today in Scottsdale

There’s new restaurant opening today at the intersection of Tatum and Shea Blvd. Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen is the the first restaurant by Ben Sinion, former General Manager of The Wrigley Mansion.

The fast casual concept will transport you to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and beyond with its classic and contemporary Caribbean and Latin dishes. A meat filled Cubano sandwich, Jerk Chicken, Mofongo( smashed plaintains, think guacamole) and vegan friendly dishes are among the authentic dishes. You can’t go the tropics without tropical cocktails or a cold beer, rum based sangria and more are available.

Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen
Cubano sandwich. Photos by Debby Wolvos

It’s a laid-back concept,” said Sinon. “Guests can grab-n-go, dine in and it’s perfect food for a party.”

Stop in during opening weekend a get a FREE plantain appetizer. Choose from the Tostones, Marquitas De Platanos or Maduros.

Little Cay Latin Caribbean Kitchen is at 4912 E. Shea Blvd. #108 Scottsdale 85254. They’re open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information and to see the menu check out their website.

 

DoH! central Phoenix’s newest donut shop opens today

With Phoenicians love for donuts one shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a new shop in central Phoenix. Opening this morning is DoH! on 16th St. just north of Bethany Home Rd. DoH! is connected to the recently opened Brat Haus as it’s from the same owner Dave Andrea.

“Opening the two concepts in the same location was intentional,” Andrea said. “Adding DōH! allows us to give the neighborhood a casual yet mouthwatering place to enjoy fresh doughnuts, New York style bagels and Arizona roasted coffee on their way to work or while enjoying weekend mornings on the expansive, dog friendly patio.”

The donuts are locally sourced along with with New York style bagels from New York Bagels & Bialys and cold brew from CULT Artisan Beverage Company. The cold brew, Wild Tonic Kombucha and Zardetto Prosecco are served on tap.

Looking to inject fun to the new concept “drunken” donuts are available for $1 extra. This allows adults to inject a “pipette” of specialty liquor to the favorite donut. A signature “Manmosa” is served combining 32 oz. of Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier beer with a splash of prosecco and orange juice.

“We’re catering to a community that’s looking to add a little diversity to their morning routine,” Andrea said. “This is a sweet stop for families looking for morning treats, friends looking to let loose on their weekend mornings and anyone in between.”

DoH! is open Wednesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop is located at 6025 N. 16th St. Visit their Facebook page for more information and updates.

Maple & Ash to open August 20th at the Scottsdale Waterfront

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2019, Maple & Ash has announced an opening date of Tuesday August 20th. The restaurant will open at the Scottsdale Waterfront and will be the first location after the original in Chicago. Two star Michelin chef Danny Grant and partners opened the first restaurant in 2015, before that worked in Scottsdale.

“This has been an incredible journey, and we can’t wait to open our doors to the Scottsdale community,” said Chef Danny Grant. “It has been a dream of ours to come home to where I began my culinary career and show off the Maple & Ash experience.”

What to expect at Maple & Ash

Maple & Ash uses wood fired cooking and although they don’t use the word “Steakhouse” in the name it’s considered a modern take on a classic steakhouse. Local chef Sean Currid joins chef Grant to execute the menu that includes the famed “Fire Roasted Seafood Tower” and “I Don’t Give a F*K” (IDGAF). The two chefs met when they worked together at Elements Restaurant at Sanctuary Resort & Spa on Camelback.

Guest will enjoy a world class selection of dry aged beef and fresh seafood. The IDGAF is Grant’s take on a chef’s menu and he thinks is the best choice from the menu. No mention of what’s included with the IDGAF so you’ll have to leave it up to chefs Currid and Grant. Currid boasts an impressive resume having worked around town at Michael’s at the Citadel, Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho and Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician.

Sommelier Jason Caballero curates a wine list from around the world that won’t be your traditional steakhouse wine list. Caballero comes to Maple & Ash from Bourbon Steak at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

The centerpiece of the 10,000 plus square foot restaurant will be the 14 foot wood burning hearth. It will be surrounded by the dining room and lounge along with an outdoor patio and private dining rooms.

Maple & Ash will be open daily at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sun. – Thurs. and until 11 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. The restaurant is at 7135 E. Camelback Rd #130 Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

Rick Bronson to open coffee bar & speakeasy on High Street.

Things are perking up on High Street with the announcement of The Stir and Gin and Reel opening later this year. Comedian and entrepreneur Rick Bronson is behind the “old school” coffee shop and speakeasy concept. If all goes as planned with construction coffee, cocktails and conversation will begin in September.

“The Stir and Gin and Reel is unlike anything in the North Phoenix/North Scottsdale area,” says owner and proprietor Rick Bronson, who also owns Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy on High Street. “I take great pride in creating concepts with environments that encourage the spirit of human connection as it once existed and that people long for today.”

Coffee, cocktails and food.

The Stir will be serving coffee beverages, coffee cocktails, food and ice cream daily at 6 a.m. Enjoy a “Kick in the Pants” made with cold brew, rum, cold brew liqueur, Mexican Coke & cream or a Coffee Old Fashioned.

For breakfast or lunch diners can enjoy pastries, sandwiches and salads including the BBLT(bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey). Small plates at the bar will include Deviled Eggs, Lobster Canapes and a Caprese Salad. Boozy milkshakes and alcohol-less ice cream treats will also be available.

At 3 p.m. Gin and Reel opens if you can find the hidden entrance at the back of The Stir. The intimate speakeasy will have the atmosphere of Old Hollywood with vintage photos, directors chairs at the bar and black & white films playing. Prohibition era cocktails like the Manhattan or Sazerac will be served until 10 p.m. weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends.

The Stir and Gin and Reel will be at 5415 E. High Street, Suite 103. Phoenix 85054.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen spices it up in Tempe

Restaurateur Ron Lynch is no stranger to opening restaurants having opened over 100 Tilted Kilt’s across the country.  Having left Tilted Kilt, Lynch has opened VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen. The restaurant on Elliot Rd. near Costco serves up Cajun, Creole & Caribbean cuisine.

VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen
Jambalaya. Photos credit Janet Zhou-Wilt

“We are excited about our location and have really put a lot of work into this menu,” said owner and founder, Ron Lynch. “If there’s one thing to know about Cajun food it’s that the dishes have to be just right. Our patio will be a place for families to people watch, sip some custom blended ice teas, porch wines, nitro cold brew coffee or a craft beer and enjoy a nice bowl of gumbo or jambalaya.”

Lynch brought with him James Heyl to prepare the menu full of savory and spicy dishes. Heyl brings with over 25 years of restaurant experience. Dishes include Po’ Boys, gumbo, red beans & rice and pan roasts from the restaurants steam kettles.

The bright yellow 3,150 square foot restaurant is decorated with murals of late night jazz players dancing on piano keys. Dark wood floors and brick walls adorn the inside of the fast casual restaurant.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen official grand opening

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is now open but will have an official grand opening on Thursday May 16th at 11 a.m. That day a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Tempe Diablos. The 501-c non-profit civic organization enhances and promotes the Tempe community. In 2018 the Diablos donated $900,000 to Tempe area charities for scholarships, teacher awards and needs based services.

VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen
Pork Po’boy

“The recipe for a great restaurant is incredible food and drinks, a perfect location and rich atmosphere,” said Lynch. “VooDoo Daddy’s has all of that and more. We couldn’t be more excited for this launch.”

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen is at 1325. W. Elliot Rd. Suite 106 Tempe 85284. The restaurant is open Sun. – Thurs. from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. & 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. For more information see their website.

Meat the Ball to open at Biltmore Fashion Park next week

Stefano Fabbri, owner of popular Phoenix restaurants Mora Italian and Pomo Pizzeria announced he’s opening a new restaurant, Meat the Ball. The full-service restaurant will open Thursday March 21st at the Biltmore Fashion Park.

Meat the ball
Photos courtesy of Kassidy Mcdonald at Evolve Marketing and PR.

The menu will include an impressive line-up of meatballs made with sausage, veal, salmon and more. In addition to meatballs the restaurant will offer appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts.

“I’m thrilled to introduce Meat the Ball, a mini restaurant with a big personality centered on the quintessential meatball and its street food friends. We will have authentic recipes prepared with locally sourced and organic products to celebrate today’s healthy dining, Italian style,” says Fabbri.

The 1,500 square foot restaurant will look like a 50’s style diner and decorated with pop-art and a retro theme.

Meat the Ball will be open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Biltmore Fashion Park is at 2502 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. For more information visit their website.

Tiki bar and restaurant Drunk Munk to open where Cowboy Ciao was

Colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas and hula skirts will take over the space where Cowboy Ciao was when the Drunk Munk opens in March. The iconic Cowboy Ciao closed last year after 21 years. Owners Greg Donally, Andrew Nam and Scott Hane have experience with Scottsdale restaurants as they own Geisha A Go Go and have owned bars and restaurants including Drift Lounge in downtown Scottsdale.

“We are excited to bring something new and different like Drunk Munk to Scottsdale,” said co-owner Donnally. “The dishes on the menu will transport you across Asia and up the beaches of Mexico. Who knows, you could even see some old favorites from a former concept we had in Old Town, the well-known Drift Lounge.”

Drunk Munk eats

Tiki themed cocktails and dishes such as flaming pu pu platter, sushi along with Asian inspired small plates, salads and sandwiches will be served.

Happy hour will be offered everyday and brunch will be served on weekends. Brunch items will include Red Velvet waffles and a different style of Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary’s.

The 4,600 square foot restaurant is currently under going renovations to a Polynesian theme. When finished it will accommodate 150 people in the main dining area and 50 on the patio. The Idol of Worship from Drift is known to bless guests with his presence will be at the Drunk Munk.

“We are grateful to have the chance at opening in such a stable restaurant location like Cowboy Ciao. To occupy a property owned by the Unger family, we truly feel the tiki gods have made this happen. Peter was so far ahead of his time in 1997 when it opened,” said Donnally.

The Drunk Munk will be at 7133 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. For information visit their website.

Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery brings healthy food to Chandler

Locals and visitors in the Ocotillo neighborhood of Chandler have a new restaurant focusing on healthy food to visit. Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery opened this week offering gluten-free, vegan and Keto and all around healthy food.

Chef Steven Fowler created the menu bringing years of experience working around the valley. His culinary track record includes T. Cook’s at The Royal Palms, EVO, The Boulders Resort and Tonto Bar and Grill.

Greekin’ Out Bowl. All photos courtesy of Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery

The healthy menu at Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery is composed of salads, sandwiches, superfruit bowls, specialty dishes and cauliflower crust pizzas. The restaurant will serve the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The fast casual restaurant also offers a kiosk diners guests to order on their own.

The restaurant will be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon. – Thurs., 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Sat. and Sun. from 8 a.m. –  9 p.m.

Cherish Farm Fresh Eatery is at 2551 W. Queen Creek Rd. Chandler 85248. (480)350-7245. For more information visit website.

Restaurant veterans open Modern Oysterbar Chophouse

Today owners Frank Schneider and Cat & Randy Frankel open their new Scottsdale restaurant Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. Combined they have almost a centuries worth of experience on the Phoenix culinary scene including Steak 44, Mary Elaine’s and Mastro’s Ocean Club.

The new 6,000 square foot locally owned restaurant takes over the space vacated by Sonata’s at Scottsdale Rd. and Gold Dust Ave. The modern look offers dark interiors, high top tables in the bar and plush seating for almost 300 people. A private dining room and outside patio can accommodate 30 people in each. The large oyster bar will be the center of attention and seats 12.

“This is not your average steakhouse,” said Cat. “Every detail is being considered to make this a true culinary experience.”

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse
All photos courtesy of Christopher Cashak

On the menu at Modern Oysterbar Chophouse

Executive Chef Mike Bouwens brings his steakhouse experience at Fleming’s and The Capital Grille to Modern Oysterbar Chophouse. That experience will come in handy with 7 cuts of prime meats on the menu. Plenty of seafood including hot and cold seafood towers from the oyster bar along with grilled fish and Modern’s take on Bouillabaisse are on the menu.

Pastry Chef Samantha Frankel background includes Kierland Common’s Zinc Bistro and will show off her dessert and cheese charcuterie skills.

Dylan Frankel will be handling the beverage program at Modern that will include 4 wines, 2 specialty cocktails and beer on tap. Dylan honed his bar skills at Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers and Zinc Bistro.

“We are showcasing the best in meats, raw seafood and in house desserts. The cocktail component is equally as impressive,” said Randy.

The bar opens daily at 4 p.m. and dinner service begins at 5.

Modern Oysterbar Chophouse is at 10050 N. Scottsdale Rd. #127 Scottsdale 85253. To see the full menu and make a reservation head to their website.