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.
Maggiore’s family restaurants dates back to the late 1970’s in Phoenix. Tomaso led the way with his iconic restaurant Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant at Camelback and 32nd St. and his son Joey has learned how to open successful restaurants. In mid February, Joey & Christina Maggiore and partner Flora Tersigni introduce their newest concept The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market.
The Sicilian Baker joins the groups Hash Kitchen and The Sicilian Butcher, favorites among Phoenix restaurants. The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market will be located next door to The Sicilian Butcher in Phoenix.
Build-your-own- cannoli -bar
Sign me up for the build-your-own cannoli bar along with fresh pasta, meats and cheeses from the market. Master pastry chef Giovanni La Rosa, a cousin of Maggiore is working with them from Sicily to create specialized desserts and pastries.
The signature cannoli bar will feature 10 flavored creams for customers to choose from. Mix and match and choose your cannoli shell dipped or not we can have fun here. Small to foot long shells will be available.
“This is definitely something one-of-a-kind in the United States,” said Maggiore. “We’re bringing Sicily to the footsteps of Phoenix with what we’re building next to the Tatum and Greenway location.”
The spacious restaurant designed by Cristina features black porcelain tile, sliding barn doors and colorful food cases. Smell and taste fresh cassattas, sfinci (Italian treats) from pastry chefs as you linger between the 2 concepts.
Expanding the Sicilian Baker
The Maggiore’s have their eyes on 2 additional locations for the Sicilian Baker. The will open next door to the Sicilian Butcher in Chandler and have eyes on the west valley.
The new bakeries are planning for a 2019 opening with more to follow throughout Arizona.
The Maggiore’s should open The Sicilian Butcher in Chandler(3151 W. Frye Rd.) in March 2019 with the bakery to follow.
When one things of red wine from the island of Sicily they think of Nero d’ Avola, but there is another grape that deserves some attention Frappato. La Bella Vita “The Good Life” produces Frappato from the western side of Sicily around the city of Marsala. Frappato grapes makes light bodied wine and has a grapey nose.
Dark red to the eye, Frappato on the palate is offers good fruit and earthy nuances. Medium tannins along with a hint of spice and cherries it’s dry with nice finish. This wine is best paired with red meats and game and could also go nicely with aromatic cheeses.
In a continuing effort to familiarize people with lesser known varieties of grapes grown around the world I present you with this next installment.
PLOUSSARD also called POULSARD is a thin skinned grape found in the Jura region of eastern France. It’s light color makes it ideal for Vin Gris and even for making of white wines.
FRAPPATO is a red grape found mostly on the island of Sicily and is related to Sangiovese and other Italian varieties. It’s a lighter bodied wine with fruity aromas. Coincidentally, there is also a Italian white grape called FRAPPATO too.
AIREN is a white grape found mostly Spain and has the distinction of being the most widely grown grape in the world.
NORTON is native to North America and is a red grape found mostly in Mid Atlantic and Mid Western region of the United States. It’s the state grape of Missouri and widely planted in Virginia.
With an estimated 10,000+ varieties of grapes used to produce wine around the world, why are only familiar w/ a small portion of them. Some grapes grow in specific regions in the world, some are grown throughout the world. Some are used exclusively for blending and some are bottled by themselves. Some grapes are the same but called by different names in different parts of the world i.e. Shiraz & Syrah or Grenache & Garnacha.
In on going posts “What grape is that..” I will shed some light on lesser known varieties that are slowly making their way onto the international wine scene. Quite often we’ve tasted theses wines, but never knew what they were. Think about it, 10 years ago who knew what Gruner Veltliner, unless you were from Austria. Here we go……
GRILLO is a Sicilian white grape that is used in Marsala and some producers bottle it by itself and it makes for light, refreshing glass of wine. It should not be confused with the red grape GROLLEAU from the Loire Valley. This grape is often used for rose or blending. It also has a very unique taste profile.
TORRONTES from Argentina is white wine that is very aromatic on the nose and is starting to get some recognition in the U.S. after riding Malbecs coat tails.
Just a few wines for today. Continue to check back for other grapes/wines you may not have heard of.. yet!