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.

The Ostrich brings in new talent for new craft cocktails

The downtown Chandler speakeasy starts a new era in announcing 5 new hires. They welcomed Craft Operations Manager Tyler Zhorne, Craft Bar Manager Jared Ammon, lead bartender Samantha Dengler, bartender Adam Slaton and server Tyler Yenkala to the team. With the new hires comes a new reverse happy hour to accommodate hospitality employees and collaborations with other local bars and restaurants for events & specials.

Society by EVO opens for dinner tonight in Tempe

Announced in January, Society by EVO opens tonight night at 4p.m. according to co-founder Nick Neuman’s Facebook page. The hip & high energy restaurant in Tempe will serve top notch cocktails and food until 1:30 a.m. every night. The menu will feature popular dishes from Neuman’s Scottsdale restaurant EVO along with new Mediterranean influenced dishes. A grand opening is scheduled for next Friday, March 25th.

Mother Road Brewing & Rombauer Vineyards battle it out at Zuzu

It’s beer vs. wine at the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series Dinner next Thursday, March 24th. Seats are still available for when the Flagstaff brewer meets the popular Napa Valley winery paired with Chef Russell LaCasce’s has special four course menu. Seats are $159 ++ per person and you can make a reservation by calling 480-421-7997

Mesquite Fresh Street Mex opens new location in Gilbert

The newest location opens Saturday March 19th is the first that is walk-up and drive-thru only for the locally owned fast casual concept. During the grand opening a “Golden Ticket” promotion will give free burritos for a year to several winners. The new location is at 4875 S. Val Vista Dr.

The James Beard Foundation narrows down list of Award finalist.

The list of 15 Arizona nominees was whittled down to 4 finalists for the June 13th awards ceremony.

Outstanding Restaurateur– Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Best New Restaurant- Bacanora, Phoenix

Outstanding Baker- Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ

Best Chef: Southwest- Giovanni Scorzo, Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ

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.

Chef Angelo Sosa to open Tía Carmen at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

Early April will see the debut of Tía Carmen, a contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef” Angelo Sosa. He and seasoned restaurateur Mark Stone’s new signature restaurant at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is named the after Sosa’s aunt. Chef Sosa learned alongside chefs Jean-George Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto before opening his Michelin recommended Añejo Restaurant, a Mexican hotspot in New York City.

“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” said Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”

The menu from Chef Angelo Sosa

Serving dinner, Tía Carmen’s dishes will be made with regional ingredients from local purveyors prepared in a wood-fired grill. The menu will be written in three sections, light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Angelo Rosa’s signature dishes will include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.

Mitchel O. Bushell is creating a cocktail program emphasizing local herbs & spices, distilleries and ingredients for house made syrups and juices. Many of the cocktails will be prepared with artisanal agave spirits. The wine program is being curated by former Morimoto Restaurant Group’s Eduardo Dingler. Emphasis will be on wines from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe and other west coast wineries and emerging wineries in Europe.

The 130 seat restaurant is designed by Thomas Schoos and his L.A. based hospitality design firm Schoos Design. The “Earth meets Art” theme offers a clean and warm ambiance with natural forms from the local landscape. Plateware and the Southwestern tablescape from Phoenix’s Blue Door Ceramics was made exclusively for Tía Carmen. For more information and to stay up to date about the opening follow @TiaCarmen.Phx on 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.

Pretzel Fest every Wednesday at Pedal Haus Brewery

The local brew pub with locations in downtown Phoenix, downtown Chandler and downtown Tempe couldn’t wait til Oktoberfest to feature their new Bavarian Board. Each board includes charcuterie meats, olives, a large Bavarian pretzel, beer cheese, maple butter, haus mustard and 2 beers for $16. Upgrade the beers to a Stein for $20 or a bottle of Haus wine for $25.

Hearth ’61 now offers a vegan tasting menu

Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro has created a 4-course vegetable focused menu at the Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant. The menu consists of Celeriac Salad, Parsnip Confit with curry chickpea stew, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom with eggplant cous cous and a Strawberry Lemon Tart with ginger meringue. The menu is available all year long and is $89 plus tax & gratuity.

Society by EVO opening in Tempe

A new restaurant from Nick Neuman and his partners is coming to Tempe in February. The late night upscale dining experience restaurant is looking to hire 50 people and is having a hiring fair today, Friday January 28th from 12 noon til 4 p.m. at EVO on Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. Interested applicants can also send Nick a resume to nickneuman@evoscottsdale.com. The restaurant will be in The Cornerstone at Rural and University and will be open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The Mexicano now serving lunch

The new restaurant from Joey Maggiore is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. The made from scratch Mexican cuisine restaurant in northeast Phoenix offers a build your own Michelada bar along with agave based cocktails to go along with your Guacamole and Salsa Ferris Wheel, tacos made with blue corn tortillas, lava rock fajitas and a three foot long quesadilla. On weekends rotating DJs play Latin music to enhance the vibrant atmosphere.

The Crepe Club celebrates National Crepe Day

Next Wednesday February 2nd get a free Nutella or Parisian (butter & sugar) crepe at the Scottsdale Fashion Square (in the food court) location from 9 – 11 a.m.

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.

AZ Women in Food Collaborative Dinner is next week

Three of Arizona’s top female chefs and restaurant owners share the kitchen next week for the AZ Women in Food Collaborative Dinner inspired by the James Beard Foundation Women’s Leadership Program. Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus Diner, Jennifer Russo of The Market & Bar by Jennifer’s Catering and Tracy Dempsey of Tracy Dempsey Originals will prepare the 5-course dinner next Thursday January 13th hosted by The Market & Bar by Jennifer’s Catering in Phoenix.

AZ Women in Food was created in 2020 to support women led restaurants and food businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The first AZ Women in Food dinner was in January 2021 and featured 15 the Phoenix’s women chefs and restaurant owners collaborating for dinners over several weekends. Other events later followed in 2021 and more are planned in 2022. AZ Women in Food40 seats are available for the in-person experience along with take-out dinners being prepared for pick-up. The in-person dinner starts at 6 p.m. with take-out dinners available for pick up between 5:30-5:30 p.m. at The Market + Bar.  Each dinner is $85 per person plus tax & gratuity with a wine pairings available for those dining in person for an additional charge. For more information and to reserve your seat or place your order head to Tock. The Market + Bar is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

Mark Tarbell to host 7th Harvest Moon Feast to benefit C-CAP

Tickets are on sale for the 7th Harvest Moon Feast hosted Chef Mark Tarbell, owner of Tarbell’s Restaurant, Tavern and The Wine Store. The event will be under the stars on Wednesday, October 20th in the parking lot outside Tarbell’s restaurants at 32nd St & Camelback Rd. The Feast will start at 6:30 and will be raising money for the Careers through Culinary Arts Program(C-CAP).

The 31 year-old non-profit provides Arizona students with culinary & life skills and scholarships for high school students looking to pursue a career in the culinary arts. On the evening of the 20th attendees will have the chance to taste creations from 25 students and their culinary mentors.

In addition to tasting the culinary creations, cocktails and wine those in attendance will enjoy the sounds of Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s featuring host Mark Tarbell. Celebrity chef and mentor Beau MacMillan and James Beard award-winning chef Scott Conant will be in attendance with Conant signing his new book, Peace, Love and Pasta.

General Admission tickets are $95 and include admission, food & wine/cocktails. GA tickets go up to $125 on August 1st. VIP tickets are $175 per person and include 5:30 early entry, food & wine/cocktails, a VIP gift bag with a signed copy of Conant’s book. If you’d like to donate to the event or purchase tickets head to this link.

Laurent Halasz hires Brian Archibald as executive chef at FRANCINE

Things are moving right along at the new Scottsdale restaurant from Laurent Halasz, FRANCINE. The restaurant has named local Brian Archibald as executive chef and is holding a job fair July 7th & 8th. At first the restaurant will open for dinner on August 14th at Scottsdale Fashion Square’s new luxury wing then will open for lunch & brunch in September. The restaurant planned to open in April but delays were caused by the coronavirus shutdown. Laurent Halasz owns other restaurants in L.A. and other locations.

Archibald will work alongside Halasz at the new fine dining Mediterranean restaurant inspired by the south of France. Archibald has almost 30 years of cookimg experience at The Phoenician, Boulders Resort and JW Marriott at Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. He’s also worked at several top resorts around the world.

“When you walk into the dining room we want our guests to feel like they’ve been transported to the French Rivera. We have created a relaxing and warm coastal feel with casual elegance and similar to the atmosphere, FRANCINE’s cuisine will feature all the seasonal flavors one would find in the Mediterranean prepared in a very soulful way,” said Archibald.

FRANCINE is hiring 60 employees and the job fair will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Those interested can email resumes to jobs@francinerestaurant.com or find more information at https://francinerestaurant.com/ FRANCINE is at 4712 N. Goldwater Blvd. Scottsdale 85251.

FRANCINE from restaurateur Laurent Halasz to open in April

Every few weeks it seems another restaurant is opening at the new luxury wing at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Come late April we’ll have a new restaurant from Fig & Olive and Farmhouse owner Laurent Halasz. FRANCINE will join Nobu, Toca Madera and other restaurants that have opened in recent months. This will be Halasz’s most passionate project serving cuisine from the south of France where he grew up. Halasz also owns several locations of FIG & Olive and L.A.’s Farmhouse.Francine

“Everything on my mother’s table was fresh, seasonal, and full of flavor, and that is exactly what FRANCINE will offer our guests,” says Halasz. “We are so excited to bring our new take on classic French Mediterranean and open FRANCINE this April in Scottsdale.”

The fine dining restaurant will serve lunch and dinner with guests gathering in the plant filled restaurant of 5,000 square feet. In his youth Halasz’s mother would host meals around beautiful foods and draws inspiration and pays homage to those days with friends and family.Francine

Signature dishes to be on the menu include Zucchini Terrine, Grilled Octopus, Salmon Carpaccio and Seared Duck a la Provencal. A less formal lunch will serve a selection of pizza, salads and shareable dishes.

Check back for updates about the opening or head to their website.

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.

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.

Kazimierz Wine Bar gets new life with wine, whiskey and a new owner

Everybody was surprised to wake up in October to hear that Kazimierz Wine Bar had closed the night before. The iconic wine bar in downtown Scottsdale was a favorite “speakeasy” for the wine crowd and fans of live jazz. The bar gets a new lease on life this week as restaurateur Tommy Plato takes over the space opening Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar.

Plato founded The Gelato Spot and owns Second Story Liquor Bar around the corner from Kazimierz. The atmosphere will be the same but guests will see a new decor, furniture, a VIP area and whiskey program.“Peter was a pioneer in Old Town and what he created here with Kazimierz in this space is exactly what Scottsdale needs,” said Tommy Plato.  “I’m excited to keep this tradition alive but with an updated twist on a high-end establishment where you can go to have after-dinner drinks, light bites and great live music all night long in an upscale environment that caters to wine and cocktail enthusiasts,” said Plato.

New menu at Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar

Happy hour will be offered daily from 4 – 7 p.m. and a new full menu will be available until closing. Plato will introduce a new chef, menu and Whiskey Ambassador Program when the Kazimierz opens on Thursday, January 24th.

Kazimierz Wine Bar
All photos courtesy of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public and Online Relations

The new menu will include charcuterie plates, bruschetta, oysters, flatbreads and more. Ingredients will be sourced from local purveyors including Noble Bread and Chula Seafood. Desserts are Plato’s strong point from his experience at The Gelato Spot.

Whiskey selections

Over 100 wines and 500 whiskeys, bourbons, ryes offerings from the U.S., Scotland, Ireland and Japan will be available. Included will be hand-picked selections and rare bottlings.

“Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar is the perfect blend of good food, upscale atmosphere and the best wine and whiskey selection in Old Town. I am so excited to bring a new late-night concept to a familiar place that has had an incredible following for many years,” said Plato.

Kazimierz Wine & Whiskey Bar is at 7137 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. 480-495-3004

 

 

 

 

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