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.

Dia de los Muertos Festival at Cien Agaves

The newly re-modeled restaurant and bar in Old Town Scottsdale is showing off its new look this Sunday, October 30th. From 1 – 4 p.m. festival goers can taste 15 different agaves, enjoy live music & get a swag bag. Capacity is limited and tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.

Tommy V’s hosts The Carlton Winemakers Studio dinner

Next Thursday, November 3rd the Scottsdale restaurant hosts a 5-course dinner paired with wines starting at 6:30 p.m. Red & white wines will be paired with Shrimp & Tuna Wheat Ceviche, Hazelnut Risotto, Braised Short Ribs and more. Seats are a $135++ and reservations can be made by calling the Scottsdale restaurant at 480-427-2264.

Trinchero Family Estates wine dinner at The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Tara & Travis Rawlings purchased Moon Valley’s Aiellos and Isa’s Pizza in May and changed it to The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar making some changes to higher quality ingredients and adjusted the menu to regional Italian. They host a six course dinner featuring Italian wines from the California based wine company on Wednesday, November 9th. They’re offering two seating’s at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for $125++. You can reserve your spot for this memorable evening at their website.

Blue Hound Kitchen welcomes a new chef and new menu

Executive Chef Alex Robinson joined Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar in August and hit the ground running working on a new menu. The menu and new cocktails from Clint “Spotty” Spotelson debuted in early October and features chef’s signature BHKC 900 Hot Stone with Australian Wagyu or Yellow Fin Tuna, Net of  The Sea, Roasted Airline Chicken Breast to name a few. Cocktail highlights include the bourbon based Stealth Bomber, Open Sesame with black sesame infused George Dickel rye and Pedro Conejo, an interesting combination of liquors, carrots and lime.

Halloween weekend around Phoenix

There are too many spooky events to mention this weekend around the Phoenix area. Look and you’ll find spooky cocktails, costume parties and more at your favorite restaurants, bars and breweries. Have fun and be safe!

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

Paloma Punchout bartending competition coming to the Esplanade

A nationwide bartending competition is coming to Phoenix bringing bartenders from around the country to see who makes the best Paloma. Arlene Magana from Platform 16 Bar will represent Phoenix in the Paloma Punchout Saturday, October 22nd at the Esplanade.

The Paloma is prepared by combining tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda and is the the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico. Not much is known how it got its start but some say it was named after a popular folk song “La Paloma”, The Dove. The cocktail debuted in Phoenix in 1938 when grapefruit soda was first used.

Each participant won a competition in their city to earn the chance to win the $10,000 cash prize. Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit offering emergency assistance and financial support to those in the hospitality in their time of need will be the beneficiary of the event. Mister Wallin’s Neighborhood, a global community of bartenders, mixologists and food & wine lovers, conducted a nationwide search of top bars to find the best Paloma cocktail. The cocktails will be scored on a weighted system on flavor, balance, appearance, and inspiration.

Tickets for the Paloma Punchout are available at Eventbrite for $50 and gets you seven cocktails from the local pop-up bars in attendance. The Esplanade is at 2501 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. The competition starts at 8 p.m.

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.

Myke’s Pizza debuting new seasonal vegetable pizza series

The popular downtown Mesa pizza joint continues to support local farmers using fresh vegetables for his innovative pizzas, the first is this week’s Kale & Golden Raisin Pizza. Using baby kale from Steadfast Farms, Myke tops it with mozzarella & Idiazabal cheese, charred lemon relish and golden raisins. The new pizza is $17 and he expects kale to be available until July.

Mountain Shadows Resort introduces new Library Teapot

The Paradise Valley resort added tea to its Library Coffee Cart that launched last year. Teas are from local tea company Teaspressa and will be available all year long. Locals and guests are invited to enjoy coffee, tea and creative coffee drinks in The Living Room every Friday- Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and all drinks are $7.

Macayo’s Mexican Food launches new cocktail menu

Jason Asher & Mat Snapp of Barter & Shake helped to curate 7 new cocktails available at all Phoenix area locations. Several are made with ready to drink low calorie hard seltzers. New to the menu are the Guava Colada Myer’s Platinum Rum, house made sweet and sour, pineapple juice coconut and guava with a Myer’s Dark Rum float. Ranch Water — made with Corazon Blanco, house made sweet and sour and pineapple topped with Cherry Lime Chiller Spiked Ice. Red Sangria featuring house red blend, Gran Gala Orange Liqueur, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, house made sweet and sour, lime juice, orange juice and blackberry.

Angry Crab Shack adds meat to the menu

The seafood restaurant recently added 4 all beef dishes to the menu for a limited time. Surf & Turf includes a 8 oz. filet & lobster tail, corn on the cob, potatoes and butter for $38. A Steak Sandwich, Steak Bowl and Steak Salad were also added for $19 each. All locations prepare the beef medium to medium well.

Grand Canyon Brewing + Distilling investing over $1,000,000 in expansion.

Owner John Peasley expects to start construction any day on an additional 12,500 square feet at his flagship Williams brewery and distillery. Once completed over the summer new equipment including 5 fermenters, one large tank and a keg washer & filler will be housed for the brewery. The distillery will add four 1,000 gallon pot stills and a coffee bean roaster.

Currently combined in one building the distillery will move to the rickhouse where the whiskey is stored and aged in barrels. Production in the distillery will grow by 600% with the new stills and the new brewery equipment will let Peasley increase production of the popular Prickly Pear Wheat beer and other beers.

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.

House of Tricks owners retiring and closing in 2022.

Robin & Bob Trick have been a staple on the downtown Tempe food & wine scene for over 3 decades, before there was a food & wine scene. They’ve decided to retire and broke the sad news on their Facebook page that they will be closing their popular restaurant at the end of June 2022. Until then they will continue to serve happy hour & dinner Mondays thru Saturdays. Thank you for your contribution to the Tempe food & wine scene, they deserve a great send off into retirement.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria launches winter for a limited time

Margarita or Margherita no matter how you spell it, it’s on the new menu at all Arizona locations through March 7th. New menu items include the Margherita Pizza, Arugula Sunset Salad, a Black Cherry & a Reese’s Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake, Black Cheery Margarita & Peach Margarita.

Romeo’s Third Tuesday dinner continues next week

The popular monthly dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe in downtown Gilbert is on for next Tuesday, December 21st. The 3 course menu features Mousse of Duck Foie Gras, Pork Shank Latino & Nutella Chocolate Cheesecake. All courses are paired with wine and the dinner is only $39 per person. Call 480-962-4224 to make your reservation.

Thai Chili 2 Go opens newest location Saturday

The west valley gets the 12th location of the popular fast casual concept when it opens in Peoria on Saturday December 18th. The first 50 guests on the 18th get a free entree, then from 19th – 31st guests stopping in to the new location at 16955 N. 75th Ave. will get free order of Thai Dumplings with the purchase of an entree. To order online use promo code Peoria13 to get the free dumplings.

Garden Bar PHX is now open

Holiday cocktails and tasting boards are available at the new cocktail bar from Kim Hasaarud. The downtown Phoenix cottage at 822 N. 6th Ave. is open Thurs- Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and will offer brunch on Sunday’s at 11 a.m. starting December 26th. For more information, to order a cocktail kit or to get on the “Wait List” head to 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.

Sunday Supper with The TLC eXperience at Clayton House

Reserve your seats for the final monthly dinner of 2021 as they come inside for a festive holiday dinner. Cocktail hour starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 19th with dinner to follow at the Scottsdale event venue. Chef Tom’s menu remains a mystery, reserve your seats here.

Christmas Market coming to Match Market & Bar

The downtown Phoenix restaurant & market inside the Found:RE Hotel brings back their exclusive event. Inspired by the German Christkindlmarkt, guests can eat, drink shop with small & locally owned business and food vendors. The market is Saturday, December 18th from 6:00 p.m. – 10 p.m and is free to attend.

Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment hires Mat Snapp

The company behind the Century Grand and UnderTow bar concepts hires the industry veteran as Partner & Executive Vice President of Operations. Snapp had worked for 17 years at Fox Restaurant Concepts most recently, as Beverage Director will help B & S continue its growth of new concept bars and cocktail programs.

Restaurant hosted toy drives around Phoenix

Local restaurants continue to collect toys for children who might otherwise miss out on receiving a gift during the holidays. All Grimaldi’s Pizzeria locations are collecting new & unused non-violent toys and clothing for Childhelp until Monday December 13th. Angry Crab Shack is hosting a drive for the Shriners collecting new & unused toys through December 22nd. Children in foster care benefit from the toy drive at the Scottsdale Quarter inside Santa City or donate online until December 19th.

Pedal Haus Brewery celebrates 6th anniversary with an Ugly Sweater Party

The downtown Tempe location of the award-winning brewery celebrates the milestone with the holiday tradition on Thursday, December 16th from 6 – 9 p.m. Those wearing an ugly holiday sweater get their 1st beer for $1 while listening to the live music of People Who Could Fly. Raffle tickets benefiting the Rob Dollar Foundation will be sold. Admission is free with VIP tickets available for $15.

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.

“In the Lane” holiday cocktail event celebrates the spirit(s) of the season

Nothing beats the feeling you get as a kid or as a ‘big” kid during the holiday season. Event producer Mecurial AZ is throwing an event for the “big” kids at their first annual “In the Lane” holiday cocktail event happening next Thursday evening December 15th.

“It’s undeniable that there is something special about this time of year,” says Mercurial AZ founder, Shea Graves. “As children, we watched our world change around this with excitement, but, as we have matured, the holiday essence has become clouded with the stress of gift giving, & making sure everything is ‘perfect.’ The magic of the holidays is not only for children. I want to provide one night for adults to experience a night of the carefree holiday magic we remember so fondly.”

Mrs. Santa’s Sister. All photos courtesy of Miguel Mora

Creative holiday cocktails from valley mixologist Miguel Mora will help set the holiday mood with live music from the Kim Weston Jazz Band performing holiday favorite tunes. Magician and fire-eater, Mike the Trickster will entertain guests and there will be plenty of  photo opportunities including those with the resident “dapper Santa”.

Mora who’s made cocktails at Vecina and Maple & Ash has created a welcome drink and three full sized seasonal craft cocktails for the “In the Lane” event. Cocktails will be made with spirits from Grand Canyon Brewing & Distilling and craft beers from 12 West Brewing & Grand Canyon Brewing and food from The Wildfire food truck will be available for purchase.

Proceeds from the night will benefit Little Eyes International, a Phoenix non-profit that provides free eye exams and glasses to children in Rocky Point. “In the Lane” will be at Alborada Village at Central & Baseline Rd. in Phoenix from 6:30 – 10 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person with the welcome drink and three craft cocktails included. Tickets can be purchased at their website.

Bitter & Twisted and Aioli Gourmet Burgers partner for new in-house menu

Downtown Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour has joined forces with the award-winning Aioli Gourmet Burgers for a new menu to pair with their cocktail program. The newly re-vamped menu was created by Aioli’s Executive Chef Vicktor Velez.

“Bitter & Twisted has always been committed to innovation and constant evolution with the ultimate goal of providing a world-class cocktail lounge experience here in Phoenix. With their food truck roots and success now as top flight restaurateurs, I knew Tom and Kyle were the perfect partners for the B&T kitchen, and Chef Vicktor has created some amazing new dishes and flavors,” says proprietor Ross Simon, who also notes that B&T founding chef, Bob Tam, remains a partner at B&T, while also having more “freedom and opportunities to concentrate on his other businesses and partner projects.”

New dishes at Bitter & Twisted

Chef Velez’s new menu is inspired by his travels through Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines while still keeping with Aioli’s co-owners Tommy D’Ambrosio and Kyle Hollenbeck vision of sourcing fresh, seasonal & local ingredients. Guests to Bitter & Twisted can enjoy dishes such as Togarashi Tuna Tataki, one of Velez’s favorites on the new menu, along with Korean French Fries, Korean Loaded Nachos, Truffled Mac & Cheese and of course an Aioli burger.

“It’s a huge honor for us to have this opportunity to partner with Ross at Bitter & Twisted. I’m proud to see Chef Vicktor’s growth and development in this role as he continues to create new and innovative dishes,” said Tom D’Ambrosio, Owner/Chef of Aioli Gourmet.

The award-winning cocktail bar has also updated their hours of service from Tuesday through Thursday (4 – 11pm food served till 10pm) and Friday and Saturday (4pm – 1am food served till 10pm), with Happy Hour served Tuesday through Friday (4 – 6 pm). Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is located at 1 W. Jefferson St. (Jefferson & Central) Phoenix. For information check their website.

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails debuts new dishes & cocktails

I made my first visit to Downtown Phoenix’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails recently as it launched its new food & cocktails menus in late August. The signature restaurant inside the Hotel Palomar welcomed new Executive Chef Brian Peterson who created the new dishes with his culinary team. Peterson’s “New American Cuisine” offers Starters & Shareable & entrees that include a curated beef program.

“The menu is very approachable and made with the freshest, all-natural, quality ingredients that are seasonally sourced from the area’s best local farmers,” said Chef Peterson. “The vibrancy and energy of our downtown Phoenix location is exhilarating and we are thrilled that our neighborhood restaurant is in the center of it all.”

My dinner at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

I started with a “Sicilian Summer Spritzer” from the Seasonal Cocktails menu to go with our Starters. The Maker’s Mark, Averna, Cardomano, Lemon & Soda libation reminded me of a Long Island Iced Tea from years past and I could had a second or third of this refreshing cocktail. One of the first to offer “craft cocktails” other signature cocktails include the Blue Hound Signature Old Fashioned, Buffalo Tears, Red & Smokey and more with an emphasis on bourbon & whiskey. Craft beer on draft & in bottle and wines are also available. My photos can be found on my Instagram, @SandyWass.

My dinner guest and I started with the Mushroom Pate with carrot jam, pickled onions & charred toast points. All was good with the carrot jam having the most flavor. We also shared the Beef Cheek Poutine with cheese curds, giardinerra & bone marrow gravy. The look to be house cut fries could’ve been a bit crisper but still  it’s a nice twist on a favorite from north of the border. Other dished that sounded good but not ordered on this visit were the Rolled & Fried Chicken Thighs and the Charred Octopus.

My guest ordered the Iberico Secreto (Iberico, the Wagyu of Spain ham, fatty shoulder meat) with bbq fennel, Pt. Reyes grits & cherry mustrda for his entree and he was happy. I went with Chef’s Cut of The Day which was a 16 oz. Rib Eye with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese chips, spinach & mushrooms. A nice outside darkness and rare-medium rare middle was a filling piece of beef. Then BHKC burger sounded good as did the duck breast. We finished our meal with a dessert special of Homemade Pound Cake with espresso gelato and caramel sauce. The cake was thick and dense, not you mom’s pound cake.

Feeling adventurous then “Trust the Team” with a five course dinner on the whim of the culinary team. A wine and cocktail pairing can be had with this dinner option.

For more information and to see the menu visit the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails 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.

Platform 18 at Century Grand on 50 Best Discovery list

The Arcadia Lite cocktail bar made the prestigious list and it’s the first time an Arizona restaurant or bar has made the list. The list is compiled by 50 Best and is an extension of the global list of 50 best bars & restaurants. Global experts approve the restaurants and bars around the world with 2,000 establishments making their original list before cutting it down to the final 50. Restaurants don’t apply for consideration but qualify from receiving a significant amount of votes from current round of polling. Downtown Phoenix’s Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour also made the list.

Sphinx Date Ranch Co. celebrates 70th anniversary

The downtown Scottsdale retailer of locally made foods, wines & more is celebrating with special items, discounts and Mayor David Ortega proclaiming September 16th – 18th as “Sphinx Date Co. Days”. Guests can get 20% off orders of $20 or more when using promo code 1951, the year it opened. The discount goes until September 23rd and special 20th anniversary merchandise will help raise money for the Scottsdale Historical Society. For more information visit their website.

Pedal Haus Brewery release Oktoberfest beer and menu

The downtown Tempe & Chandler brewpub today release their seasonal beer and food menu. Beer brats, pork schnitzel and more are on the menu with the Tempe location also serving a special Flammkuchen pizza. An Oktoberfest celebration is scheduled for October 2nd in Chandler.

Match Market & Bar offer wine class & agave pairing dinner

Wednesday September 15th you can learn about wines from Southern Italy & Sicily while tasting the wines of the region. The downtown Phoenix tasting starts at 7 p.m. and is $25 per person and includes tasting note & pairings, light bites and wine samples. Wines tasted that night can be purchased by the bottle at 15% off.

The 4 -course agave pairing dinner takes place on Friday September 17th from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The chef crafted menu will complement the different types of agave. Cost is $109++ per person and includes a welcoming Corralejo Reposado at arrival.

Caracara Restaurant delays opening til January 2022

The signature restaurant at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown hotel has delayed the opening until 2022. The restaurant was expected to open this month but with Delta variant of Covid-19 on the rise management opted for the safety and health of employees & guests. Check back for updates and to see what you can expect read my post from July.

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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