Anoche Cantina coming to Mill Ave. in August

Bellevue, Washington based Ascend Hospitality Group is planing to open its first Arizona location in downtown Tempe later this month. Anoche Cantina will be the first of a new restaurant and nightlife concept from AHG’s Director of Marketing and Brand Design Shelby Elmore and will be the first concept she’s co-created. Located in the former El Hefe space Anoche will serve innovative Latin inspired food and cocktails including a build-your-own-margarita bar.

“We’ve had our eye on Tempe for a while and when the opportunity arose for us to take prime real estate on Mill Ave., we jumped at the chance,” said Elaina M. Morris, AHG CEO and president. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring, what we call, the ‘AHG Difference’ to the Valley and join such a thriving community.” 

Thomas Lawson, formerly of Riot Hospitality Group was brought on as AHG had wanted to partner with a local expert operator to help execute its vision.  “It’s nice to be a part of Mill Ave.’s resurgence, this is a great area with rich history,” Lawson said. “Anoche will provide a unique experience to help elevate the ever-expanding community. Through carefully crafted eats and one-of-a-kind nightlife, we look to not just breathe new life into the area but give the area what it’s been craving.”

The scene at Anoche Cantina

Anoche Cantina will have 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space including a shaded patio to enjoy our nice weather. Those there for the nightlife will experience a high quality sound and lighting system that will make Anoche the best party on Mill Ave. Just in time for football season, a sports bar concept from AHG, six40rty is planned for a September opening next door. Large screen TVs, lawn games, upscale bar snacks and witty cocktails will be available indoors and outdoors at the 8,000 square foot sports bar. Both concepts are looking to hire front and back of the house team members and those interested can apply in person or email Lawson at thomas@ascendhg.com.

Anoche Cantina is at 640 S. Mill Ave Tempe 85281.

Lisa Dahl opens second location of Pisa Lisa

Sedona’s Culinary Queen, Lisa Dahl has brought her popular restaurant and pizzeria Pisa Lisa to the Village of Oak Creek. This is Dahl’s sixth restaurant in the Sedona area and the first with a second location. The first Pisa Lisa opened in west Sedona in 2013 with the new location offering an expanded menu with favorites including wood-fired thin crust pizza, organic salads, tapas and locally made gelato.

Pisa Lisa gets its name from what Dahl’s father would affectionately say to her when giving her a pinch growing up, “I wanna little piece of Lisa”. “I put my heart and soul into the first Pisa Lisa location which is a testament to my dedication to serving people special experiences that will turn into cherished memories while honoring the adoration I feel for my family members who are no longer with us,” said Dahl.

A personal touch from Lisa Dahl on the menu

Guests will find many personal touches on the menu including naming dishes after family members. Da Dororthy pizza is named after her mother and made with Mother sauce, provolone-mozzarella, fennel sausage, picante peppers, Parm-Reggiano. The Justino pizza is dedicated to her late son and made with Ricotta, provolone-mozzarella, San Danielle prosciutto gold, organic arugula, and white-truffle oil.

New are the antipasto plates including Lisa’s Plate, an antipasti sampler with fresh bocconcini mozzarella, tomatoes, finnochio slaw, magic mushrooms, caselveltrano olives and fire-roasted artichokes. New from the pastry team for dessert is the Cookie Monster, a warm and molten giant chocolate chip cookie sundae with Strawberry-stracciatella plant-based gelato (vegan and gluten free).

Beverages include natural sodas, local mead, 16 taps for craft beers, and top selling wines. A wide-range of healthy grab-n-go items including paninis, prepped pizzas, morning treats, and locally sourced roasted coffee are available.

The restaurant has an industrial and bohemian look in its 3,500 square feet. The raised bar is surrounded by Rock n Roll memorabilia from Capitol Records from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Indoor and outdoor seating is available as is communal seating at two large tables.

“This new location enables us to expand this heartfelt concept to a larger audience as it is ultimately a culmination of my work and passion for the Sedona culinary scene and my gratitude for those who dine at Pisa Lisa and stand with me in the belief that Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay!”

Pisa Lisa in the Village of Oak Creek is located at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351. For more information visit their website.

Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian opens at former Peking Palace in Tucson

Husband and wife Nattha and Eric Post both grew up around food, she in Thailand and he in Tucson. Both attended Blue Elephant and Napali cooking schools in Thailand and have worked in restaurants in their native countries. They’ve now opened Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian, bringing authentic Thai and Cantonese Chinese cuisine to Tucson.

“Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is a labor of love and an opportunity for us to invite the dining community in to taste the result of our passion for and dedication to serving authentic Asian cuisine that is approachable and delicious,” says Eric. “We want people to enjoy the experience of trying new things but also feel comfortable eating the familiar dishes they love.”

Tam “Sam” Quan is the executive chef serving a wide variety of “AppeThaizers”, soups, Thai curries & rice and more. Dishes include Yum Nua (grilled beef salad), Yum Woon Sen (glass noodle salad with shrimp and ground pork); soups like Tom Kha (coconut milk) and Tom Sabb (pork ribs); Thai curries including red, green, yellow, mussaman, panang and more; Thai noodle stir fries such as Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodle); Thai rice stir fries like Pad Prik King (with crispy pork belly) and Pad Krathim (garlic chicken). They serve beer, wine and cocktails along with Thai teas.

Nattha came to the U.S. in 2018 and hopes to be a citizen soon and has worked in several local restaurants. Eric, a practicing attorney learned to cook from his Italian mother and worked at Tucson’s Kipple’s Pizza Parlour. Nattha’s Bann Thai Asian is at 6970 E. 22nd St. Tucson 85710. Hours are Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Visit their website for more information.

The Tipsy Egg brings an elevated brunch experience to Chandler

With the growth of restaurants and bars in downtown Chandler locals and visitors have few breakfast options to start their day. Local developer and owner Niels Kreipke wanted to change that so he took one of his properties on the corner of Arizona Ave. and Boston St. and opened the Tipsy Egg in early May. His experience as partner with other restaurant concepts around the valley gives him the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and so far this concept exceeds his expectations.

Encompassing 3,000 square feet the modern decor and design is eye catching and features mid-century modern booths and brass finishes. “Tipsy Egg is bringing a wide range of all age groups and is a growing destination area for locals and out of town visitors,” said Kreipke. “We are excited to provide a unique and playful menu, a welcoming indoor/outdoor bar setting and a menu that is anything but typical for our guests to enjoy.” This food first and cocktail forward concept, hence the name, is the first of what will be others throughout the valley.

Photos courtesy of Evolve Public Relations & Marketing

Bold flavors at the Tipsy Egg

The menu offers guests breakfast and lunch all day including Mom’s Post Roast Benedict (go with the Party Potatoes on the side), Yuzu Masco Mint Pancakes, a Chinese Chicken Salad and an Uptown Burrito filled with filet mignon, eggs, roasted garlic, vegetables, Gouda cheese and more. The cocktail menu offers more than Mimosas and Bloody Marys for those looking for something other than coffee or juice in the morning. The BRKFT in Bed blends Sailor Jerry Rum, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice, lemon lime soda and an orange wheel. The Early Morin Margarita features Tepozan Añejo tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda, homemade tajin, a lime wheel and pineapple spear. Non-alcoholic mocktails are also on the list along with a selection of Bloody Marys and local craft beers.

The Tipsy Egg is 1 E. Boston St. Chandler and is open daily from 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and is available after hours for private parties and business meetings. For more information visit their website.

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.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen offer Healthy Hour menu

All 6 locations (5 in Phoenix area and 1 in Sedona) kicked off the new summer Healthy Hour recently. Daily from 3 -6 p.m. enjoy popular food items and cocktails such as Baked Wings, Mama’s Meat-Za-Balls and Baked Brie for $8. Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip and Avocado Toast are $7 and Cheese Bread is $6.

Wash them down with $4 Local Drafts, glasses of house wines for $5 and Zo’s House Made Sangria for $6. Signature cocktails including the Prickly Pear Margarita and Smoky Cadillac are $7 and both use the locally owned Shrubwell‘s rimming salt.

 Dole Whip only $2 on Monday at Koibito Poke

Cool off on National Pineapple Day at the Gainey Ranch location of Koibito Poke with the the popular frozen treat. The 5 oz. Dole Whip is available all day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Chef Brett Vibber and Pedal Haus Brewery team up for beer paired dinner

Master Brewer Derek Osborne and Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber team up for a five-course dinner on Thursday June 30th. Dinner will take place at the brewer’s downtown Phoenix location at 214 E. Roosevelt St. starting at 6 p.m. Foraged and locally sourced dishes including Wild Mushroom Potstickers and Arizona Wagyu Brisket will be paired with Mexican Amber Lager and Haus IPA. Seats are limited and are $120 and can be reserved here.

Venezia’s Pizza in Chandler now open

The 6th location of the poplar locally owned restaurant I featured last month is now open for business. Known for pizza and wings they offer daily lunch specials and the “Slice of the Day”. Owner Domenick Montanile opened his first location in Tempe in 1998 right after graduating from ASU.

Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar now open at Chase Field

When it was announced in February that Guy Fieri would we be opening a new restaurant at Chase Field little information was known. Now we know that “Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen +Bar” has opened this week inside the new Caesars Sportsbook. Executive Chef Kayla Laasko offers scratch made food along with classic cocktails, beer & wine. Several of Fieri’s classic dishes including Trash Can Nachos and the popular Bacon Mac n Cheeseburger are on the menu along with new dishes.

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.

Pillsbury Wine Co. & Wild AZ Cuisine pair up for 2 nights

In conjunction with the Willcox Wine Festival, the winery and Chef Brett Vibber host a four-course dinners next Friday and Saturday May 20th & 21st. The dinners will be at Pillsbury’s Willcox vineyard and wines will be available for purchase. Dinner start at 6 p.m. and seats are $65 per person and can be reserved by calling Valerie at 949-466-1054.

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers donates to Barrow Neurological

Celebrating National Burger Month all 12 locations will donate a $1 of each weekly specialty burger sold throughout the month. $1 of each Michelob Ultra 22oz. draft will also be donated to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and Barrow Neurological Foundation. May 9 – May 15: Santa Fe Burger. Pepper Jack, Pickled Red Onion, Green Chile Relish, Chipotle Aioli. May 16 – 22: Asian Burger. Asian Slaw, Sriracha Mayo, BBQ Sauce. May 23 – 31: Mushroom Burger. Swiss, Mushrooms, Bacon, Teriyaki Sauce. Each week’s burgers are $15 and include a side of house made chips.

Barnett Vineyards wines poured at Hearth ’61 Sunday Supper Club

The May 15th dinner also welcomes Pat Duncan, an organic farming pioneer for a five course dinner from Chef Wiley including the best from Pat’s farm. Sourced from their 40 acres atop Spring Mountain the wines showcase the characteristics of grapes grown in Napa Valley’s higher elevations. Dinner is starts at 6 p.m. and seats for this special dinner are $189++ per person with reservations required.

New Summer menu now available at Z’ Tejas

Until September guests can enjoy new dishes from Executive Chef Diego Bolanos throughout the menu at the Scottsdale and Chandler restaurants. Crab Artichoke Dip, Berry Steak Salad, Caribbean Chicken & Mango Coconut Cheesecake Parfait are a few of the new offerings. New craft cocktails include a Paleta Margarita, Michelada, Mojito and a Margarita Flight.

Sid’s Garage opens Monday, May 15th in north Phoenix

The restaurant known for over the top burgers and boozy shakes opens their first Arizona location at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Check out what to expect at this post from last month.

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.

Stagecoach Country Roadhouse opens in Sedona

Wild Thyme Restaurant Group recently transformed the former Olde Sedona Grill to the new Stagecoach Country Roadhouse that’s now open for business. Led by Founder and CEO Heinrich Stasiuk, Wild Thyme bought the property late last year then spent $3 million remodeling it inside and out. The result is gorgeous views of the surrounding red rocks from the the dining room and rooftop bar and a menu designed by James Beard recognized Chef Roberto Madrid.

“After being part of the Sedona community for close to a decade, we are thrilled to open an upscale steakhouse and lively saloon in the heart of town,” said Heinrich Stasiuk, Founder and CEO of Wild Thyme Restaurant Group. “There is nothing like a great steak or hearty BBQ after a long day on the trails, and Stagecoach is the perfect place to dust off your boots for outstanding food, drinks and fun,” he said.

Wild Thyme’s other restaurants in Sedona include Shorebird and Timo Wine Bar and they manage the Spoke and Wheel Tavern at the nearby Los Abrigados Resort & Spa. They also own & manage other restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah and the Caribbean.

What to expect at Stagecoach Country Roadhouse

Executive Chef Bert Bonnarens handles day to day operations in the kitchen that features bone-in and hand cut steaks, fresh seafood and country roadhouse fare with a Southwestern twist. Bonnarens previously worked in hotels and resorts as did Wild Thyme’s Corporate Chef Madrid who formerly worked at Deseo at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

The finest cuts of prime Angus certified beef include a cowboy style Ribeye Steak, Filet Mignon and a Wagyu spiral cut. The Smoking Wagon will crank out fall of the bone St. Louis style ribs, pulled pork, Andouille sausage and more. Burgers are piled high with all the gourmet toppings and fixins’ and plenty of salads are on the menu along with a Vegetable Tower and more for vegetarians. Signature dishes include Scottish Salmon, Bison Short Ribs and Sedona Red Clay Chicken. A full compliment of starters, classic side dishes and desserts round out the menu.

Beverage Director Topher Bray’s curated the wine list and his cocktail menu includes a variety of tequila and mezcal cocktails. The Sedona Sunset and Blood Orange Mezcalita are a couple of his signature cocktails.

On weekends guests can burn off the calories on the dance floor to live music or ride the mechanical bull. Private and semi-private rooms are available for parties of up to 80 people.

Stagecoach Country Roadhouse is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:00AM to 9:00PM. Saloon hours are 9:00PM – Midnight (Sun – Wed), 9:00PM – 1:00AM (Thu – Sat). Stagecoach Country Roadhouse is at 1405 AZ- 89A. For more information visit their website.

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.

TLC eXperience dinner partners with non-profit

Limited seating is available for the next supper club on Friday May 20th that  returns to Ahwatukee at Lights, Camera, Discover!‘s new venue. Chef Tom and his team’s menu is always a mystery until you arrive but you won’t be disappointed. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

Dominick’s Steakhouse host Fitz’s Supper Club

There’s still time to get your tickets for next Tuesday May 10th’s VIP Reception and Dinner to benefit the Larry Fitzgerald Foundation. The former Arizona Cardinal’s wide receiver hosts the dinner and is joined by former teammates and local celebrities to raise money for underrepresented communities across the United States and around the world. It helps children with what they need to feel confident growing up and to support women and men affected by breast cancer. Larry’s mother passed away from breast cancer in 2003 and when he started his foundation in 2005 he said its deeply rooted in his mission.

The VIP Reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Seats can be reserved here.

Free hummus during happy hour at Pita Jungle

Friday, May 13th is International Hummus Day and from 3-6 p.m. participating locations will give guests a free small hummus dip with purchase of an entree. Choose from Classic Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper or the spicy Cilantro Jalapeño.

Tia Carmen opens at JW Marriott Desert Ridge

“Top Chef” Angel Sosa recently opened his contemporary southwestern restaurant at the north Phoenix resort. The resort’s signature restaurant serves breakfast and dinner and has partnered with local partners and purveyors. Read the full story at my post from March.

New brunch menu at PHX Beer Co.

The Scottsdale restaurant is introducing new dishes on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests can choose from such dishes as Corned Beef Hash Skillet, French Toast Platter, Avocado Toast, a Breakfast Burrito and more.

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.

Sid’s Garage bringing high energy vibe to Desert Ridge Marketplace

Phoenix is getting a new burger restaurant when Sid’s Garage starts serving high intensity burgers, cocktails with an attitude on May 15th. With 2 locations in Idaho, owners Nicole and Will Primavera bring their industrial vibe to The District next to AMC theatres where guests will also enjoy adult games, an outdoor patio and a private dining room for group events.

Get ready to chow down on burgers, award-winning cocktails and boozy shakes not for the faint of heart. Burgers include the Boss Hog Burger – half-pound Wagyu and Black Angus Snake River Farm beef patty, 48-hour roasted pork belly, onion rings with scratch-made Sriracha-bourbon sauce or Sid’s version of Bacon and Eggs – four pieces of candied bacon suspended above two flash-fried deviled eggs with a honey mustard dipping reduction.

Enjoy favorite cocktails and shakes such as the Velvet Revolver made with vodka, tyku, lime, muddled cucumber and sriracha; the 420 shake has crumbled Oreo, vanilla ice cream with a buttercream rimmed glass and a huge dark chocolate ice cream sandwich; the Fat Elvis shake includes a peanut butter rim, raspberry jam, vanilla bean ice cream, crunch berries and a full size strawberry short cake bar.

Sid’s Garage will be open daily at 11 a.m. until  9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information visit their website.

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.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey is bringing fine dining to the Melrose District

Master sushi chef and owner Engin Onural is bringing his popular sushi restaurant Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey to Phoenix’s Melrose District come May. A hit in Palm Springs the experience includes hard to get Japanese whiskeys, the foundation of the restaurant’s cocktail program. Onural has been recognized by the Sushi Proficiency Institute and certified by the AJSA Sushi Skills Institute. He placed in the Best Chefs America Index in 2015 and was the recipient of the World Sushi Cup and Kuro-Obi Pin in 2017.

“We put an incredible amount of care and attention to detail into everything we do from start to finish at Sandfish to ensure an impeccable experience when guests dine with us,” says Chef Onural. “We look forward to creating an environment where the residents of Phoenix can enjoy an intimate date night or a special celebration.”

What to expect at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey

Guests dining at Sandfish will be taken on a culinary journey that will tantalize all the senses. The expertly curated menu starts with Spicy Tuna Tostada, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and more. Signature rolls are where Onural lets his creative senses flow with The Experiment Roll (snow crab with mango, avocado and cucumber topped with tuna, jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu aioli) and the Baby Langoustine Roll (crab meat and avocado topped with tempura-style baby langoustine, spicy aioli, teriyaki sauce and micro greens).

Braised and grilled Spanish Octopus and Hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar) are just a couple dishes that aren’t sushi. Salads, sushi rolls and carpaccio are featured on the menu. The adventurous may opt for the Omakase Chef’s Tasting Menu which includes popular dishes with a few surprises from Onural. Save room for the signature Matcha Cheese cake for dessert. The bar will include signature and classic cocktails, sake, beer, wine and mocktails. Whiskeys from around the world will also be available.

Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey will be at 4232 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix and  is currently hiring staff for all positions. For more information visit their website.

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