Peter Kasperski returns to the valley’s dining scene with Character

2020 brought many surprises good and bad to the valley’s dining scene. One of the biggest surprises was the return of restaurateur Peter Kasperski in December. He and valley mixologist Richie Moe III have again joined forces to open Character Distinctive Dining in the Roosevelt Arts District. The two have known each other for over 30 years going back to their days in Chicago when Moe’s father was Kasperski’s mentor.

Moe helped Kasperski open Cowboy Ciao in the 1990s then Kazmierz Wine Bar before they went their separate ways. Moe had gone on to open and run cocktail programs at Citizen Public House, The Gladly and Bourbon and Bones. Kasperski has been lying low the last few years plotting his next move since he closed Cowboy Ciao.

Photo courtesy of Modern Vision Media

Downtown Phoenix’s Character Distinctive Dining is a classic American dinner house with cuisines from around the world made using modern cooking techniques. Kasperski’s love for eclectic wines and Moe’s inventive cocktail list have also made their way downtown from Scottsdale. Some will see similarities with Cowboy Ciao especially the popular dinner events. One of those events is the monthly Somm Showdown with Peter Kasperski and a local wine sommelier go head to head picking the best pairings for a five-course dinner. The first Somm Showdown is Sunday January 24th 2021 with Synergy Fine Wines’ Steve Cannon. Seating is limited to 30 people and dinner is $90 ++ per person.

The pair are also opening Alias, a speakeasy, later this year out back of Character. Three nights a week Moe and Chef Justin “Red” Hauska will create mixology/gastronomy dinners pairing cocktails and food with science and surprises. After dinner starting at 9 p.m. Alias will become a craft cocktail bar until 2 a.m.

Character / Alias is at 218 E Portland St. Phoenix, AZ 85004. For more information check their website, Facebook and Instagram.

 

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.

Start 2021 off celebrating National Bloody Mary Day

New Year’s Day lands on a Friday in 2021 so nobody is in a hurry to get back to work so continue celebrating the New Year with a Bloody Mary. U.S. Egg, Pedal Haus Brewery, Angry Crab Shack, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Twin Peaks are all celebrating the A.M. cocktail favorite. Signature Bloody Marys are shaking up your morning as you get ready for what 2021 has in store.

Restaurants continue open new locations around the valley.

Not only is Dog Haus opening a new location but so are Z’ Tejas, Angry Crab Shack & Thai Chili 2 Go. The popular Southwestern & Mexican cuisine restaurant is opening a new lakeside restaurant in February at Scottsdale’s Mercado de Lago on Hayden Rd. at Via de Ventura. Angry Crab Shack has already started serving seafood and its popular Seafood Boils at its 12th Arizona location in Laveen. Thai Chili 2 Go is opening its 11th quick casual restaurant in Gilbert on December 30th.

Still time to order take-out or make a reservation for NYE.

Restaurants continue to take reservations and planning for take-out food as we say good bye to 2020. This updated list has restaurants around the valley serving up your last meal of 2020.

Restaurants continue to give and give in the holiday season.

In November Dominick’s Steak House, Ocean 44 and Steak 44 raised over $64,000 for local charities. Make A-Wish Foundation Arizona, PANDA and The Phoenix Heart Ball/ American Heart Association will benefit from the money raised.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria has raised over $110,000 in 2020 for No Kid Hungry through its fundraising initiatives. May 2021 be as generous to the local community from Phoenix restaurants.

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.

Z’Tejas launches seasonal menu

The Chandler and Phoenix locations debut a new Winter menu on Monday December 28th. Chipolte Short Ribs, Posole and Grits & Lobster are just a few of the new dishes that use traditional Mexican and Southwestern ingredients. Two new specialty drinks have also been added to keep you warm.

Holiday gifts still available from Garden Bar

Cocktail kits and grazing boxes are available for your favorite foodie or mixologist. Perfect for staying at home and enjoying the holiday’s cocktails kits from mixologist Kim Haasarud include ingredients and a how-to video.

Gabriella’s launches weekend brunch

The Scottsdale restaurant that opened earlier this year now offers brunch on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. From 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. guests can enjoy such dishes as a Crab & Lobster Benedict, Gabriella’s Chicken Hash and Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Berries. Enjoy those and more with Bottomless Mimosa’s for $18.

Barro’s Pizza raises money for St. Mary’s Food Bank

The locally owned pizza restaurants bested 2019’s donations by over $50,000. Through the 2020 Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight over $335,000 was raised at the families 44 locations in Phoenix and Tucson on December 1st when all sales where donated to the food bank.

Kasai Japanese Steakhouse donating to Arizona Children’s Association.

Through Christmas Eve a $1 from each teppan meal will be donated to Arizona’s oldest and largest foster care organization. Also every Tuesday and Wednesday in December the Scottsdale restaurant has been hosting foster family’s for dinner.

 

 

Around the valley restaurants serve Christmas & New Year’s Eve meals

Restaurants around the valley are getting ready to give 2020 one last “f**k you” as they prepare the last meals of the year. Christmas (Xmas) and New Year’s Eve (NYE) menus are planned and restaurants are taking reservations and orders for dining in or taking out for your holiday dining. These restaurants are doing the cooking for you but you need to get your reservations or orders in soon before it’s too late.

The Roaring Fork– Scottsdale- NYE – Dine-in 12/31

The Boulders Resort & Spa- Grill Kitchen- Carefree (Xmas & NYE)– Dine-in on 12/25 and 12/31. Take-out on 12/25

Miracle Mile Deli– Central Phoenix (Xmas)- Take-out order by 12/22 for pick-up on 12/24.

Belle’s Nashville Kitchen– Scottsdale (NYE)- Dine-in 12/31

Vicino’s Local Italian– Scottsdale-(NYE)– 12/31 Dine-in

Peacock Wine Bar– Gilbert- (NYE)- Take-out order by 12/29, for pick-up 12/31.

Trapp Haus BBQDowntown Phoenix – (Xmas Eve & NYE) Take-out, pick up on 12/24 & 12/31.

Romeo’s Euro Cafe– Gilbert- (NYE)- 12/31 Dine-in.

PHX Beer Co.- Scottsdale- (NYE)- Dine-in or take-out on 12/31 and 1/1/21.

The Thumb– North Scottsdale (Xmas Eve)- For pick-up on 12/24

T. Cook’s at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa – Phoenix (Xmas & NYE) -Dine-in 12/25 and 12/31.

Marcellino Ristorante– Scottsdale– (Xmas & NYE) Order by 12/22 pick-up 12/23. Dine- in 12/31

Match Market & Bar– Downtown Phoenix (Xmas)- Dine-in 12/25, take-out order by 12/19 pick up 12/24.

SanTan Brewing Co.– Chandler & Phoenix (NYE)– 12/31 Dine-in & take-out.

Hotel Valley Ho– Old Town Scottsdale (Xmas)– Dine-in 12/25, take-out order by 12/21.

Fleming’s Prime SteakhouseGlendale, Chandler, Scottsdale & DC Ranch – (XMas Eve & NYE) – Take-out 24 hour notice. Dine- in 12/24 & 12/31.

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa– Paradise Valley(Xmas) & (NYE) – Dine-in on 12/25 and 12/31.

Rusconi’s American Kitchen– Phoenix/Paradise Valley (Xmas Eve) & (NYE) – Dine-in on 12/24 and 12/31.

The Craftsman Cocktails & Kitchen– North Scottsdale (NYE)– Dine-in 12/31

Aioli Gourmet Burgers– Phoenix (Xmas) – Order by 12/17 pick-up or delivery on 12/23.

Cowboy Club– Sedona (NYE) – Dine-in on 12/31

Phoenix City Grille– Central Phoenix (Xmas) – Order by 12/18 pick -up 12/24

Taphouse Kitchen– Phoenix & Scottsdale (Xmas Eve) – Dine-in on 12/24

Liberty Station Tavern- Scottsdale (DC Ranch & Terravita)(Xmas) – Order by 12/20 for pick-up 12/24.

 

 

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.

PHX Beer Co. goes to the dogs

The Scottsdale location with its dog friendly patio is now serving grass fed burgers ($8) and grilled chicken ($5) for man’s best friend. They’ve also started making their own dog bones for purchase at all locations. Puppy friendly ingredients include the breweries spent grain, peanut butter, whole wheat flour and eggs. A portion of sales of single 3 oz. or 18 packs bones are donated to the Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

Los Sombreros Mesa Grand Opening party

Wednesday December 16th is the Grand Opening of the third location of the regional Mexican restaurant. From 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. guests can get 50% off food & drink when you dine-in or take-out except for family meals. Reservations are recommended. The celebration continues Thursday – Sunday with House Margaritas only $3.

Pedal Haus Brewery celebrates with Ugly Sweater Party

The downtown Tempe brewpub celebrates its 5 year anniversary with its traditional party. Wednesday December 16th party goers can win $50 for the Ugliest Sweater, enjoy live music starting at 6 p.m. and Happy Hour all night starting at 3 p.m. VIP tickets are $5 and includes 2 drinks and slice of cake with proceeds going to Rob Dollar Foundation.

Koibito Poke bottles 2 popular sauces.

Customers can now take a bottle or 2 home with them of Island Teriyaki or Spicy Shoyu sauces. Both are gluten-free and made with natural ingredients for the best tasting and healthy sauces. Each bottle is $6.99 and can be purchased at any of their locations around the valley.

New seasonal menu at Pita Jungle

Customers favorite dishes from the past are now on the new “Pita Jungle Favorites, Hello Again” menu at all Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff locations. The new Mediterranean Ramen joins the return of Seared Ahi Tuna Hummus, Burrito of the Sea and Baba Gnoosh.

IL Bosco Pizza opening new location in downtown Phoenix

You can never have enough good pizza and with many choices in downtown Phoenix another pizza oven is getting fired up. Scottsdale’s award-winning IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza hopes to be open no later than late December in the former Dvina Modern Fare at 918 N. 5th Street.

Owners Jeff Carlberg and John Dorsey are excited to bring their quality pizza, experience and atmosphere to the downtown restaurant scene. “This is the place, we fell in love with the decor, the downtown vibe, everything,” Carlberg says. “We are really happy to be part of the downtown community.” IL Bosco Wood Fired Pizza will be housed in a 100 year-old bungalow that was also Jobot Coffee’s original location.

Chef Chris is looking forward to a larger kitchen than he’s used to in Scottsdale. With the larger kitchen he’ll be able to increase the offering of pizzas, salads and appetizers. A full bar allows the new location to offer signature cocktails along with its California and Italian wine and craft beer list.

An east facing patio will allow the restaurant to provide a safe and healthy environment for dine-in and will offer take-out and delivery. For more information and updates visit their website.

Tru Tacos PHX pop-up from Jewel’s Bakery starts in December

Taco pop-ups are quite popular these days with gourmet tacos being served up in parking lots, residential drive ways and wine & beer bars. Looking to show off their taco game Justine & Misa Trujillo are launching Tru Tacos PHX pop-up on Friday December 4th at 6 p.m. Serving tacos on the patio outside their Jewel’s Bakery & Cafe. They’ll be drawing from age old family recipes  serving three tacos to start….. carne asada, al pastor & nopal (cactus) tacos. Covid-19 delayed the opening but the two felt now was the right time to share their family recipes.

“The concept of Tru Tacos PHX was born the moment I took my first bite of the al pastor tacos that my husband’s family had prepared for dinner. This recipe has been passed down through the years, with each generation perfecting the original recipe even more. These tacos are the kind you can only get “from mom,” as you can taste the care and heart that goes into each taco, says local chef and co-owner, Justine Trujillo. “You can’t get a taco like this anywhere else.”

The weekly pop-up will be on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights starts at 6 p.m. until they sell out. Opening weekend guests will get 2 free tacos of their choice for take-out or enjoy on the patio. Tacos will be prepared on a charcoal trompo grill and served on house made corn tortillas. Salsa de Cacahuate, Salsa Verde and Jalapeno salsa and $2 margaritas, aqua fresca and seasonal local beers will be available.

Tru Tacos PHX is at 4041 E. Thomas Rd. 85008.For more information visit their website.

New menus and a new look welcome back the Wrigley Mansion

The famed Wrigley Mansion re-opened this week with new lunch, dinner and beverage menus after almost a year’s worth of renovations. A new Sunday brunch menu will debut on November 29th from Chef de Cuisine Ashley Goddard.

Guests will be welcomed with a new driveway approach along with new and improved indoor and outdoor spaces and a new Garden Terrace. Guests will be able to view the finishing touches being put on the highly anticipated Christopher’s at the Wrigley Mansion.

“Our team has been hard at work evaluating our property, procedures, service, and completely re-imagining the Wrigley experience,” says General Manager Vinnie Walia. “After months of renovations, careful consideration and implementation of public health safety measures, we are excited to reopen to serve our beloved members and community.”

Chef Goddard’s new gourmet menus at Geordie’s Restaurant & Bar will include Autumn Pizza, Braised Rabbit Leg Ragout and Steamed Clams. CEO and Wine Director Paola Embry spent her time planning to increase the wine offerings to over 12,000 bottles. New wines included are from Arizona wineries which Embry visited and built relationships to support the local industry.

Geordie’s serves lunch Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 5-9 p.m. Brunch is served on Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Happy hour specials in the bar is Tuesday-Saturday from 3-6 p.m. and all day Wednesday. Jamie’s Wine Bar is open Tuesday-Saturday from 3 p.m.-close. Afternoon tea service is available Thursdays and Fridays from 2-4 p.m. For more information and to make a reservation head to www.wrigleymansion.com/.

Take-out or dine-in on Thanksgiving Day from local restaurants

Everybody’s favorite food holiday is just over 2 weeks away (Thursday November 26th). With Thanksgiving 2020 giving us new challenges cooking shouldn’t be one of them. This list offers restaurants(and a local retailer or 2) in the Phoenix area who are preparing traditional and non-traditional meals for dining in or preparing take-out to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Click on each restaurants website to see the menu, pricing and ordering instructions and deadlines.

Dine-in

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa– Paradise Valley

Match Market & Bar– Downtown Phoenix

Liberty Station Tavern– Scottsdale (DC Ranch & Terravita)

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse– Carefree

The Boulder Resort & Spa– Carefree

Kona Grill– Scottsdale & Gilhttps://paulmartinsamericangrill.com/promotions/thanksgiving/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Thanksgiving2020bert

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse– Multiple locations

Paul Martin’s American Grill– Scottsdale

Taphouse Kitchen– Phoenix & Scottsdale

Gabriella’s Contemporary Italian Cuisine– Scottsdale

Take-out

Chompie’s– Multiple locations

Match Market & Bar– Downtown Phoenix

Liberty Station Tavern– Scottsdale (DC Ranch & Terravita)

Cowboy Club– Sedona

Fuel to Fit– Tempe

Wildflower– Multiple locations

Sprouts Farmers Market– Multiple locations

SanTan Brewing Company– Chandler

Aioli Gourmet Burgers– Phoenix

Z’Tejas– Chandler & Paradise Valley

Trapp Haus BBQ– Downtown Phoenix

Tracy Dempsey Originals– Tempe

Kona Grill– Scottsdale & Gilbert

Miracle Mile Deli– Central Phoenix

Taphouse Kitchen– Phoenix & Scottsdale

Gabriella’s Contemporary American Cuisine– Scottsdale

Phoenix City Grille– Phoenix

Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co. rises out of pandemic

A year ago Arin Finger didn’t think he’d be making NY -style pizzas around town but he is. He’s one of many stories of 2020 who had to adapt when the global pandemic to over earlier this year. Finger, a franchisee of i9 Sports, a youth sports organization for over seven years knew how to run his own business and with a network of over 2,500 youths and their families, had what was needed to start Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co.

“With no idea how long the closures would last and refund requests pouring in, I had to do something to support my family and my key employees,” says Finger. “Dough Riders is a solution to a need that developed out of COVID-19 — providing families with wholesome food without leaving home — and we’re proud that we can do something during these times that reconnects neighborhoods and communities.”

Dough Riders signature pizzas

He approached i9 Sports soccer instructor Codey Stetler who had a culinary background at his family’s pizzeria and the new business was born. Both Finger and Stetler are from the east coast and knew creating a menu for Dough Riders would be easy. The two now travel the valley with an 800 degree oven in tow making made-to-order pizzas, appetizers, salads and desserts for farmer’s markets, private & corporate events, outdoor concerts or any occasion is where you’ll find them.

Signature pizzas are made in less than 2 minutes including Elote, made with garlic oil, roasted corn and poblano, bacon, cilantro, Mexican cheese and lime crema; the Backyard BBQ, featuring Dough Riders’ signature BBQ ranch base, mozzarella, BBQ chicken, red onions, crispy bacon and scallions. Appetizers include Garlic Knots, Pepperoni Rolls and others and two salads are offered, The Signature and a Caesar. Save room for desserts, the Sweet Bacon Jammin’ and Stuffed Pizzelle Cookies.

To find Dough Riders Wood Fired Pizza Co. follow them on Facebook and Instagram and head to their website for more information.