“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

Weekend brunch back on the menu at Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Weekends just got better at the intersection of Shea and Tatum as Rusconi’s American Kitchen has re-introduced brunch on the weekend. In the past the scratch kitchen had served brunch only on Sunday’s but added Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to get sweet & savory favorites. Eggs, pancakes, soups, sandwiches and entrees with Rusconi’s twist have returned including……..

-Pork Chile Verde with corn tortillas, sunnyside up egg, cotija cheese, green chile sauce, grape tomato salsa and radish, $14

-The Kitchen Benedict featuring beef short ribs, poached eggs, citrus hollandaise, English muffin and creamy red pepper grits, $12

-RAK French Toast with cinnamon cream, powdered sugar and real maple syrup, $10

-Rico’s New Orleans Beignets with house made jam and chocolate sauce, $9

-Roasted Pork Posole with hominy, corn, avocado, grape tomato salsa, and watermelon radish, $7, bowl; $11, large bowl; add an egg for $2 more

-Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad with rhubarb vinaigrette, praline pecans, granny smith apples and goat cheese, $12

-Harris Ranch “Kitchen” Burger with goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and tomato, $14 (add a fried egg for $3)

Enjoy house made Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s for $5 with you meal whether you choose to dine-in or take-out.

Weekend brunch reservations can be made by calling (480)493-0009 or online at https://rusconiskitchen.com/. Rusconi’s American Kitchen 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix 85028

Be Like Josh Foundation receives support from Morning Squeeze

Scottsdale and Tempe’s Morning Squeeze restaurants have partnered with the Be Like Josh Foundation for the month of August. The local non-profit supports and raises awareness for special needs dogs and will receive half of all sales of dog biscuits sold. The dog friendly restaurants invite dogs and their owners to dine on the patio or take the biscuits to go. The biscuits are are gluten-free and made from scratch with peanut butter. Biscuits are 3 for $5 and are on the Tail Waggers menu.

“We love our Squeeze pups here as much as our guests,” said managing partner Jaryn Oakley. “When we learned about the amazing work the Be Like Josh Foundation is doing, we knew we wanted to help continue their mission. We hope this fundraiser is an opportunity for people to celebrate the love all animals give to us unconditionally and support this great cause.”

About The Be Like Josh Foundation

The Be Like Josh Foundation helps dogs by fostering and finding good homes that can cater to the animals’ needs. They visit schools to teach children the importance of compassion to animals as well as the inclusion of all abilities. The foundation works with volunteer homes giving the caretakers the training, tools and support needed for each animal’s unique needs.

“We are excited to partner with Morning Squeeze for this fundraiser,” said Jenny Braunwalder, rescue coordinator at The Be Like Josh Foundation. “All donations help us educate people and younger generations about the beauty of special abilities for all people and animals.”

The Morning Squeeze dog biscuit fundraiser runs until August 31. Find the biscuits at 690 S. Mill Ave. #110 Tempe 85281 and 4233 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information about the Be Like Josh Foundation head to their website.

 

 

S & V Urban Italian to open 2nd Scottsdale location this fall

Scottsdale restaurant S & V Urban Italian has announced it will open a second location a few miles north later this year. The original location at 9343 E. Shea Blvd. has served authentic Italian cuisine seven days a week since 2011. The new location will be in a new development called SOHO at 16580 N. 92nd St. and will offer views of the McDowell Mountains from the patio. A large main dining room and spacious bar will also offer a peek outdoors with its adjustable garage doors. The new location will continue to serve the same Italian dishes customers have come to love during lunch, happy hour & dinner.

In other S & V Urban Italian news, they’ve recently started serving Family Meal Deals that feed four. Choose a Caesar or Mista salad, and pasta dishes including Spaghetti & Meatballs ($50), Fettuccine Alfredo ($50; add chicken or sausage $60), Penne Vodka ($50) or Rigatoni Bolognese ($55).

Other great specials include their Pizza & Wine Oh My deal on Mondays from 3PM to 9PM where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of wine for only $20. All are available for dine-in or take out. Come in on Wednesdays from 3PM to 9PM, to enjoy half off bottles of wine with your meal or by itself.

For more information and updates on the new location visit their website.

September brings the return of Arizona Restaurant Week

One of the most popular events among the Arizona restaurant community is Arizona Restaurant Week. The 10 day culinary event returns Friday September 18th – Sunday the 27th around the state. Like the June event participating restaurants will offer dine-in or take-out 3 course meals along with liquor to-go. According to the Arizona Restaurant Association almost 80 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The modified event started to include take-out options due to the uncertainty of 2020’s Covid – 19 pandemic. Restaurants create 3-course menus for $33 or $44 per person for the September event with wine at an additional cost. Reservations are recommended for those looking to visit a new restaurant or return to a favorite one.

To see participating restaurants and menus head to the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website. The website is updated as new restaurants sign up.

East valley Barro’s Pizza locations introduce Mini Pizzas

Starting this Saturday August 1st, all 27 Barro’s Pizza locations in the east valley will start serving 8″ Mini Pizzas. West valley locations have been serving Mini’s and now it’s time to roll them out on the other side of town.

In addition the east valley locations will introduce dairy free cheese for any size pizza on request. This will not currently be available to west valley locations. The addition of dairy free cheese compliments the gluten- free options already found at Barro’s.

To find a Barro’s near you head to their website.

Jared Porter named Director of Culinary Operations at Pedal Haus Brewery

Fork & Dagger Hospitality, the company that owns Pedal Haus Brewery has announced they’ve hired valley chef Jared Porter as Director of Culinary Operations. Porter oversees all food operations at the Tempe and Chandler brewpubs and at a new Phoenix location opening in 2021. His responsibilities include menu development, sourcing of ingredients and management of the culinary team.

“As a longtime Valley resident with deep ties to the culinary community, it is an incredibly exciting opportunity to join Julian Wright and the Fork & Dagger Hospitality team as they continue to grow their influence on Arizona’s food and beverage landscape,” Porter said. “I am looking forward to being a part of the already award-winning team at Pedal Haus Brewery as well as all future concepts within the hospitality group.”

The culinary resume of Jared Porter

Jared Porter started his culinary career over 20 years ago attending the Art Institute of Phoenix on a full scholarship. After graduating he worked at high profile restaurants Vincent’s on Camelback, Michael’s at The Citadel and Fiamma at The James Hotel. He’s successfully helped open La Grande Orange Grocery, Olive & Ivy and his own Clever Koi in 2013. Most recently he’s been executive chef at Buck & Rider.

“We are honored to have Jared bring his extensive culinary expertise to our hospitality group to further enhance our restaurants’ menus and culinary experience,” said Fork & Dagger founder and CEO Julian Wright. “His depth of knowledge has already proved invaluable and we are thrilled to have him join our team as we continue to bring more great restaurants to the Valley.”

The award-winning brewery is popular with beer enthusiasts since opening their Tempe location in 2015. Under Brew Master Derek Osborne they’ve won a gold medal at The Great American Beer Festival and named Best Brewery in the United States at the 2019 Copa Cerveza de Americas. Over 32 gold medals and awards have been earned by the brewery for their beers.

 

Fried chicken dinner now on the menu at Salty Sow

The Salty Sow known for its meat focused menu recently introduced fried chicken dinners to its menu. Two family style dinners are offered for take out and four dinners on the dine in menu.

The Jumbo Chicken Tenders Dinner comes with their signature kale coleslaw & cowboy beans with a choice of a 6 piece (with two sauces) for $17, a 9 piece (with a choice of 3 sauces) for $24 or a 12 piece (with 4 sauces) for $29.  Their Southern Fried Chicken Dinner served with kale coleslaw and cowboy beans with 8 pieces of fried chicken bone-in for $26.00.

Dining in you can choose from…..

 

  • Tender Bites- 8 pieces of fried chicken, one sauce for $8
  • Jumbo Tenders- 3 piece, two sauces for $11
  • The O.G. Sandwich with chicken breast, mayonnaise, kale coleslaw, home-made pickles and French fries for $14
  • Southern Fried Chicken- 4 pieces, bone-in served with kale coleslaw for $18

Choose Sow Sauce, Honey Mustard, Ranch, Barbeque and Sweet Chili to compliment your meal. Guests looking to spice it up can choose to make their chicken “Nashville Hot” if desired.

Salty Sow is at 4801 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix 85032. The restaurant opens for dinner daily at 4 p.m.

 

National Tequila Day off the menu cocktails at Taco Guild

Central Phoenix’s Taco Guild has one of the best tequila collections in town with over 200 bottlings. On National Tequila Day, next Friday July 24th the restaurant is offering off the menu cocktails for tequila enthusiasts. As you sip on tequila and pair them with tacos you can flip through the leather bound “Tequila Bible” to see all the favorite tequila brands and exclusive bottles.

National Tequila Day cocktails include The Beginner made with blanco tequila, strawberry, lime & agave. The Purist mixes El Tesoro Reposado with Topo Chico bottled water and a slice of orange. The Sophisticated is a tequila old fashioned with barrel aged Patron Anjejo. All three cocktails are $10.

Prefer your tequila neat or by the shot, enjoy Fortaleza Blanco ($9), El Tesoro Paradiso ($15) or Tapatio Reposado for $8. Top secret tequila flights are available so just ask one of the restaurants tequila connoisseurs about them.

National Tequila Day will be celebrated all day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. with happy hour from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Taco Guild is at 546 E. Osborn Rd. Phoenix 85012.

 

Celebrating 4th of July around the Phoenix restaurant scene

We’re half way through 2020 (let it be over already) and that means the 4th of July is a few days away. Celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States around Phoenix at restaurants with specials for the holiday.

North central Phoenix

Aioli Gourmet BurgersIs open for take-out or dining on their patio with these 2 specials and online ordering is available.
$6 Independence Day Celebration ShakeBrownie & Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbles, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, topped with Fresh Whipped Cream, Chocolate Sauce, M&M’s, Mini Cookie and Sprinkles.

$12 Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich- Spicy Fried Chicken Breast, Pickles, Iceberg Lettuce, Green Chili Aioli, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika.

Aioli is at 10652 N 32nd Street, 85028.

Original Breakfast Househas American favorites and a special Italian sweet treat for breakfast & lunch until 2 p.m. Beef Tenderloin Eggs Benedict, $16.50, Crab and Avocado Omelette topped with hollandaise, $16.50 and Tiramisu Pancakes, $12.00. 13623 N. 32nd St. 85032 (602) 482-2328.

Central Phoenix

Miracle Mile DeliThe deli will be closed on the 4th but customers can call in orders for pick-up by 6 p.m. on Friday July 3rd. Family meals and sandwich kits from $55 – $95 and $25 growlers of local craft beer. Find details on each of the platters at website. 4433 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85016. 

Glendale

Padre Murphy’sSpecials include 1/2 rack of pork ribs, fries & cole slaw for $11.99. Watermelon Mojito and Frozen Blue Margarita for $4, Fireball shots $3.00 and drafts of Bud $2.50. Dine- in or take-out. 4338 W. Bell Rd. 85308

Paradise Valley

Salty Sow It’s the return of the restaurants annual “Dinner on Us” meal deal. Buy 1 Get 1 Free when you order one of their signature dinners including Pork ribs, Smoked Brisket and more. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. 4801 E. Cactus Rd. 85032.

Scottsdale

The Roaring ForkLike their sister restaurant Salty Sow, the popular Roaring Fork is offering a Buy 1 Get 1 free “Dinner on Us”. Starting at 4 p.m. choose from wood fired favorites such as the Big Ass Burger, Rainbow Trout or Spit Fired Rotisserie Chicken. 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd. 85251.

Phx Beer Co. – is offering The Bird City Beer Brat for $11. The brat is cooked in Bird City Lager with onions and green peppers, served on a hoagie roll with Iron Horse Porter mustard. Choose from seasoned fries, house-made coleslaw or Cowboy Caviar on the side.

Also the Red, White and Bleu burger is available for $15. 8 oz. of AZ grass fed Angus burger is topped with bleu cheese and bleu cheese dressing, served on a challah roll with sliced tomato, onion. Choose a side from above to accompany your burger. 8300 N. Hayden Rd.

Kasai Japanese SteakhouseGet 10% off your entire bill when you wear red, white & blue or the American flag on Sat. or Sun. 14344 N. Scottsdale Road.

The Americanois offering a Bourbon & Family Style Barbecue meal to celebrate. Start with Salted Watermelon Sour, then share a variety of appetizers including Ligurian Onion Focaccia, Waygu meatballs and Caesar salad. For the main course enjoy Americano Smokehouse Barbeque Mary’s Chicken, house salsiccia, Linz Beef “Long Island cut” steak, Cavatappi alla Cacio e Pepe with garlic crumble, corn on the cob and Italian potato salad. Save room for the Tiramisu Cheesecake for dessert.

$55 per person, for reservations, call 480-573-0001. 17797 N. Scottsdale Rd.

Multiple locations

Fired PieGet 20% off your order when you dine-in or take out. Not valid on 3rd party deliveries. Use promo USA to redeem.

Pedal Haus BreweryThe Tempe and Chandler brew pubs are offering a Independence Party Pack all weekend long. For $44 you get two American Flag wristbands, two pairs of Pedal Haus sunglasses and an 8-Pack (or two growlers) of Pedal Haus Day Drinker Light Lager. Add two brats with all the fixings and German potato salad for $15. Pick up Fri, Sat or Sun in Tempe at 720 S. Mill Ave #102 or in downtown Chandler at 95 W. Boston St.

Thirsty Lion GastropubAll day happy hour on cocktails beer & wine. $1 off draft pints and $5.95 for well drinks, house wine & margaritas.

U.S. Egg Save $3 off Mimosa flights all through the month of July. Enjoy the 4th with Stars & Stripes Waffle ($10.99) featuring U.S. Egg’s classic, fresh-made fluffy waffle topped with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream to create a vision of the American flag.

Tempe

Ghost Ranchis offering a special brisket dish for the holiday. 1006 E. Warner Rd. Suite 102-103.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen – will have live music all day from Cheryl Thurston Dixie Land Jazz Band. $5 for 4th of July Hurricanes and other drink specials will be available. 1325 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 106.

Tortilla Flat

Spend the day visiting the historic western town east of Phoenix in Superstition Mountains. Plenty of room for social distancing and cooler temperatures at the towns restaurant, saloon, museum and country store.