Mystical Pizza Festival launches this weekend in Sedona

Restaurateur and chef Lisa Dahl is celebrating the opening her Oak Creek Village location of Pisa Lisa in a mystical Sedona way. The new Mystical Pizza Festival starts this Friday, September 16th and goes all weekend long with a pizza dough ribbon cutting, flying saucer unveiling, a cookbook signing and more.

The festivities start Friday at 5 p.m. with Kick-Off party and a welcome from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a Dedication and Blessing ceremony by an Uqualla medicine man and Drumming Ceremony with Sabina Sandoval. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. guests can enjoy sound therapy, a gelato tasting, astrology readers, doggie meatball tasting with Chef Lisa, animal massages and more.

The Mystical Pizza Festival goes until 5 p.m. and there is no cost to attend but some weekend events may have a cost. Guests are encouraged to wear mystical attire for the many photo opportunities. Pisa Lisa is at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351

 

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.

A new modern look at Federico’s 25th location in Tolleson

The locally owned Mexican fast food restaurant shows off a new modern look and the same classic tacos, burritos, tortas and more. The new location at 220 N. 83rd Ave. is open 24 hours a day offering daily and Taco Tuesday specials. Co-owners Isidro Araiza, Ricardo Araiza and Carlos Vazquez opened the first Federico’s in 2005 with other locations throughout the Phoenix area, Arizona and New Mexico.

3rd Tuesday dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Three courses paired with California wines is how Chef Romeo Taus shows off his popular dishes and his next dinner is Tuesday August 16th. $39.00 gets you a seat at the table; reserve your seat by calling 480-962-4224.

Walter Station Brewery’s Ale Wagger to raise funds for life saving pet programs

The local brewer and Arizona Animal Welfare league (AAWL) team up for the new Ale Wagger for the rest of the summer or while supplies last. On Saturday August 20th celebrate with a launch party from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to load up on some beer, food and puppy cuddles. A portion of the proceeds will go towards vet services, vaccinations, pet education and more.

Back to school deals at Picazzo’s in August

Every Monday this month Buy One, Get One 50% off lunch combos and Kid’s Eat Free on Wednesday’s. Lunch is from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and kid’s 12 and under get a free Junior Meal with a purchase of $25 or more. Available at all 6 locations in Phoenix and Sedona.

White Castle opening 2nd Arizona location

Love them or hate them, east coast and mid-westerners have an affinity toward these sliders. A new Tempe location has been announced with a mid-2023 opening planned. The first Arizona location opened in 2019 on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation off the Loop 101 in Scottsdale.

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.

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.

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.

Burger and pairings from local chefs

Americans eat almost 50 billion hamburgers a year and there are just as many combinations of toppings for your burger. The debate on whether the hamburger was created in Hamburg Germany or in Texas still goes on. May is National Hamburger Month and May 28th is National Hamburger Day, here a few Arizona chefs offer up their restaurant’s favorite burger and pairings.

The Gringo Burger at Butterfly Burger– Sedona

Chef and Owner Lisa Dahl’s burger was the “People’s Choice” winner at the 2016 Scottsdale Burger Battle and she made it on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay”. She also featured it in her new cookbook and memoir “A Romance with Food” where a chapter, “Bodacious Burgers and Their Buddies” is dedicated to the hamburger.

Topped with Tillamook White Aged Cheddar, Louis Remoulade, Shredded Romaine & Crispy Onion Strings on Artisan Bun, Dahl likes to pair it with a Luscious Skinny Margarita. Feature photo credit: Scott Yates

W & W Burger at Weft & Warp– Scottsdale

Chef Dushyant Singh prepares this burger with Angus chuck/brisket blend, Hobbs Bacon, Organic Tomato Jam, Bibb Lettuce, Chive Gloucester Cheddar, Mustard Aioli. It comes with a side of Truffle Fries and his suggested pairing is See You Amaro – berry-infused amaro, bulleit rye whiskey orgeat, and egg white.

Burgers and pairings
Photo credit: Dushyant Singh

Triple B burger at Black Angus Steakhouse- Multiple locations

Chef Fernando Garcia resurrected this popular burger from years gone by for National Hamburger Month. This hand-formed, half-pound, Certified Angus Beef® ground chuck burger is stacked high with bacon, bleu cheese and balsamic red onions. He pairs it with a cold Bullseye Brew.

 

 

 

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 new Winter seasonal menu

The southwestern restaurant’s Executive Chef Diego Bolanos launched his new seasonal menu this week at at their Scottsdale and Chandler restaurants. 8 dishes were added and include Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Chipolte Short Ribs, Achiote Shrimp Alfredo Pasta and Ginger Apple Cheesecake with a house made churro.

AZ Liquids offers $2 drinks all week for National Green Juice Day 1/26

The online retailer of cold pressed juices celebrates the week of January 24th- 31st. Order 1 drink at regular price and get another cold pressed juice for $2. Choose from Greens 01, Greens 02, Eat Green Machine or Eat Greens Phx. The discount will be applied to one green drink. To order and see ingredients of each visit their website.

Cala at Senna House is now open

The newest restaurant on the Scottsdale scene opened its door to the public this week. An all star cast of local food and beverage personnel are in charge of the Mediterranean inspired cuisine.

La Canasta Mexican Foods celebrates 60 years of Arizona’s best tortillas

The maker of My Nana’s Best Tasting Tortilla Chips started in 1962 by Richard & Carmen Abril and today makes 2.5 million chips daily. The Phoenix based company is run by Josie Ippolito, daughter of the founders and the chips can be found throughout Arizona and western states, The company is known not only for its chips but also for being a successful Hispanic and women owned business.

Sedona chef releases second cook book

Chef and restaurant owner Lisa Dahl releases her second cookbook, “A Romance with Food” on February 1st. The cookbook features 91 recipes and over 150 photos of Latin fusion dishes from her restaurant, Mariposa. Dahl owns 5 restaurants in Sedona and the cookbook offers recipes from salads to main dishes to desserts. Follow this link to pre-order your copy.

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.

The Wilde Resort & Spa opens signature restaurant Rascal

Sedona’s newest resort, The Wilde Resort & Spa, opened in September has introduced Rascal, its signature restaurant with Executive Chef Mercer Mohr. Rascal serves diner comfort food with Chef Mohr’s innovative and market driven ingredients and dishes.

“We are thrilled to officially be opening our doors and can’t wait to share the amazing menu we’ve created with our local community and visitors,” says Mohr. “In addition to incredible food, Rascal will deliver a unique vibe and sense of place that is integral to The Wilde Resort & Spa experience.”

The Wilde Resort & Spa
Dry rub St. Louis pork ribs

The classic diner fare with an upscale twist, Rascal serves breakfast all day & lunch til 3 p.m. with happy hour and dinner starting at 4. Guests can expect all-American dishes including Rascal eggs benedict, biscuits & gravy and beef brisket hash and poached egg. Other highlights include crispy southern fried chicken, lamb chop lolli-pops, grilled salmon with Greek lemon pasta and more.

Handcrafted cocktails compliment the menu serving classic cocktails that are playful and sophisticated. The “Old Rascal” features Old Grand Dad bourbon with baked apple demerara, house bitters and ginger mist. The “Young Rascallion” is made with Rittenhouse rye, peach, orgeat, smoked bitters, lemon and aquafaba. Local craft beers including Mother Road Brewing and Four Peaks are poured as are small format wineries from the Sedona area and beyond.

For more information about Rascal check out their website.

 

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opens 6th location

Arizona and family -owned Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen opened its newest restaurant in Gilbert with a limited schedule. Currently opened Thursday – Sunday the new location will gradually open on other days in the coming weeks. Picazzo’s originally started in Sedona serving organic and healthy pizzas, salads and other Italian specialties but in the years since have grown to include the flavors of Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients.

“We can’t wait to welcome the Gilbert community to Picazzo’s!” says Picazzo’s Operations Manager, Chris Disney. It’s our pleasure to offer a variety of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and allergy-friendly items. Families can enjoy a meal at Picazzo’s and get their favorite dishes, whether they have special dietary needs or preferences or not. We’ve actually had guests cry with happiness when they realize they can order exactly what they want, how they want it!”

The menu in Gilbert is the same as the other locations and includes 95% organic ingredients for its pizzas, pastas, entrees, salads and more. Guests will notice a new modern look that will be rolled out to the other restaurants in the future.  A separate vegan menu is available using plant- based ingredients from Follow Your Heart, Daiya and Beyond Meat.

Picazzo’s new modern look

The restaurant’s spacious 4,300 square feet includes a roll-up garage door connecting the indoors and outdoors. “We thought a lot about our consumer when designing the new restaurant,” explains Disney. “That means creating a space that can accommodate solo diners and couples just as easily as large families. We also focused on selecting aesthetically pleasing textures and surfaces on everything from countertops to walls to the patio decking. We think our guests are going to love the experience here – and we hope they take advantage of the Instagram-worthy setting for taking photos with family and friends!”

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen is at 884 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert 85295 with the other locations in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe/Chandler, Arrowhead and Sedona. To find the location closest to you and to view the menu, visit their website.

 

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.

 

 

Arizona’s four nominees for the 2020 James Beard Awards.

Excitement in Arizona’s restaurant industry was high this week despite current events as The James Beard Foundation announced this week the finalists for the 2020 James Beard Awards. When semifinalists were announced earlier in the year and before the coronavirus epidemic Arizona had 10 in the running to be finalists. When the winners are announced on September 25th, 4 nominees will be representing Arizona.

After FnB’s Charleen Badman won the 2019 Best Chef: Southwest it should come as no surprise to many that 3 others have the chance to bring home the award this year.

The 2020 nominees are….

Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe (Phoenix) for Best Chef: Southwest.

Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot Grille (Scottsdale) for Best Chef: Southwest.

Jeff Smedstad of Elote Cafe (Sedona) for Best Chef: Southwest.

Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix) for Outstanding Restaurant.

Good luck to all.

Winners will be announced via the foundations Twitter feed.

 

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