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.

Good news National Cold Brew Day is Tuesday 4/20

Those liking a cold brew can get a free can at Press Coffee when you spend $5 or more on their app.

Trapp Haus BBQ pop-up at Found:RE Hotel

Phil “The Grill” Johnson takes his smoker and more around the corner this Sunday April 18th for a pop-up appearance at the downtown Phoenix hotel. From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. hotel guests and locals are invite poolside to enjoy Phil’s smoked meats, a DJ spinning some tunes and creative cocktails from Match Market & Bar. Admission is free, reservations needed.

Kitchen United Mix giving $10 off $30 for vaccine

The Scottsdale ghost kitchen with more than 10 restaurants under one roof is offering $10 off $30 order from any or all restaurants under its roof. Use promo code “Vaccine” when ordering.

Winemaker dinners at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa taking reservations.

The upscale resort with views of the McDowell Mountains released the dates for its upcoming winemaker dinner series. Paul Hobbs Winery is next Wednesday 4/21, Copper Cane Wednesday 5/19 & Miner Family Wines is Wednesday 6/23. Each dinner starts with a reception at 6:30 followed by a 4-course culinary experience of food & wine at 7:00. “Take Home” wines are available for purchase at the end of the dinner. Each person is $145++, seating is limited and reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231.

Cider Corps named 5th Best Cidery in Country

USA Today named the three year old Mesa cidery one of the best out of over 800 cideries vote on by a panel of judges. Started as a hobby during recovery from an injury suffered in Afghanistan, retired SGT. USMC Jason Duren says” it means a lot to be considered as one of the best”.

 

The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival safely returning next weekend

Festivals and gatherings are returning to social calendars after many had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19. One of those festivals first to return is The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival next weekend April 17th & 18th. The Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium co-host the 20th annual event in downtown Camp Verde from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and til 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Each day 8-12 wineries will be sampling their wines and pairing them with a variety of pecans. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, live music, local artists and a competitive pie eating contest. All activities will follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, all areas cleaned and sanitized frequently and recommended mask wearing. Page Springs, Salt Mine Wine, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Winery 101 are a few of the wineries pouring wines at the event.

“We were saddened to have to cancel last year but it was with everyone’s safety and best interests in mind, as this is normally one of the town’s biggest events,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “This annual tradition is a wonderful celebration of two local products of the region and we look forward to its return, with a number of additional safety precautions in mind”.

Entry to the festival is free and for all ages. Those 21 and older can pay $20 for six tasting tickets and a commemorative glass. Additional tickets can be purchased. For more information visit these websites http://www.cvaz.com and http://verdevalleywine.org

Photo credit: Jenelle Bonifeld & Arizona Wine Guide

Cuisine Wine & Bistro taking reservations for Chefs’ Carte Blanche dinner

The dinner on the 12th has been postponed, no new date has been scheduled as of yet.

Chandler’s Cuisine Wine & Bistro has been showcasing French cuisine in the East Valley since 2016. Owned by the Buschtetz family along with Gilbert’s B Gastrobar and Copper & Logs, CWB started their monthly Chef’s Carte Blanche dinner series in December 2020 to much success. Reservations are being taken for the next dinner coming up on Monday April 12th.

“Unlimited Discretionary Power to Act”, Carte Blanche is exactly what guests will be giving the chefs to act upon. The 7-course dinner paired with wines showcases Executive Chef Fabrice Buschtetz classically trained French cooking. By his side will be son Steven, chef de cuisine at B Gastrobar and Chef Michael Maitrel- Burgard, chef de cuisine at Copper & Logs with wines paired by Killian Buschtetz, Sommelier at Cuisine Wine & Bistro.

The Chefs’ Carte Blanche menu

“Part of our fun,’” says Fabrice, “comes from making each course look both delicious and memorable on the plate. There is a real talent — I was going to say skill, but it is much more than that — in arranging each course so that it showcases the food in an especially enticing way.”

The dinner will cover land and sea with the evening starting with a trio of Amuse- Bouche followed by courses of caviar, duck, squid and lamb along with a mid-course palette cleanser of sorbet and ending with dessert.

Guests are asked to arrive no later than 5:45 with dinner beginning promptly at 6:00. Reservations are $225 plus tax & gratuity and can be made by calling 480-275-6700. To see the full menu please visit their website. Cuisine Wine & Bistro is at 4991 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85248.

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.

Whiskey Wednesday’s at Belle’s Nashville Kitchen

The Scottsdale hony tonk bar offers up flights of 4 tastes of whiskey’s every Wednesday for $35-$45. Saturday 3/27 is International Whiskey Day and Belle’s is celebrating with 4 signature whiskey cocktails. Tuesday 3/30 is National Hot Chicken Day and several choices (sandwich, tenders & salad) are on their menu to celebrate with.

Jersey Mike’s donating all sales to Phoenix Children’s Hospital

All 45 sandwich shops around Phoenix will donate 100% of sales on Wednesday 3/31. The day of giving is part of Jersey Mike’s 11th annual month of giving in March and is supported by local valley owners Duane Layton, Bill Mapes and Josh Barton.

New menu items at Trapp Haus BBQ

Phil “The Grill” updated the menu at his Roosevelt Row BBQ joint to include  Chicken Fried Corn & Chicken Fried Pickles and Family Style smoked meats by the pound for dine-in or to-go. New Philly Crack Wings flavors include Jamaican Jerked, Nashville Hawt and BBQ. Wash it all down with the new vodka based Purple Rain cocktail.

Orin Swift wines paired at Match Market & Bar dinner

No foolin’ around on Thursday April 1st when the downtown Phoenix restaurant inside the Found:RE Hotel pairs 5-courses with red & white wines. $99++ gets you a seat at the table that starts at 7 p.m. Seats can be reserved here and for more information click here.

LDV Winery re-opens tasting room on April Fool’s Day, seriously

No joke here when owners Peggy Fiadaca and Curt Dunham re-open their downtown Scottsdale tasting room after almost a year. Covid-19 and structural issues had them closed longer than expected but they’re glad to be back open seeing friends and pouring their award-winning wines.

 

 

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.

3rd Tuesday wine dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Every 3rd Tuesday the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly wine pairing dinner and March’s dinner is Tuesday the 16th pairing wines from Washington and California with owner Romeo Taus’s specially created 3-course pairing menu. Dinner is $39 per person and starts at 6:30 if you’re dining in, if taking out pick-up is between 6 -7. Call 480-962-4224 to reserve your seat or place your order.

Irish Soda Bread from Mediterra Bakehouse now available

From Saturday March 13th – 20th the local bakehouse has its famous bread available. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day the bread is made with whole wheat flour, buttermilk, sea salt, golden raisins & caraway seeds. The loaf sells for $5.99 and can be found at all AJ’s Fine Foods locations, Whole Foods, Uptown Farmer’s Market, Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and other retailers.

It’s National Pi Day at Fired Pie

On Sunday 3.14 all 20 locations will be selling any 1 topping pizza for $3.14 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m with the purchase of a beverage. The deal is available in store or if ordering online use promo code PIDAY. 1 per person and no 3rd party deliveries available.

New seasonal menu at Z’ Tejas launches Monday

There’s more than a change in the weather in the near future as restaurants change menus to use seasonal ingredients. The Southwestern cuisine restaurant’s locations in Chandler and Phoenix introduce theirs on Monday March 15th. Diablo Eggs, Stuffed Artichoke Chicken, Goat Cheese Fritters and Lemon Bar Cheesecake are just a few of the highlights that can be had until May 24th.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day around Phoenix

If you’re feeling a little bit Irish next Wednesday the 17th, you’re not alone. Celebrate with Irish beer, corned beef & cabbage or a dram of whiskey and more at SanTan Brewing Co., Match Market & Bar, Phoenix City Grille, Chompie’s, Pedal House Brewery, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Trapp Haus BBQ STK Steakhouse, and Kona Grill. Slainte!!

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.

 

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens in Scottsdale

The first Arizona location of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant opens in Scottsdale this week offering upscale dining, a tasting bar and wine shop. This is the western most and 43rd location of this unique dining concept that opened its first location in 2005.

“Scottsdale and the surrounding Phoenix area has gained a national reputation for fine-dining experiences, making it a natural fit for the Cooper’s Hawk brand,” founder Tim McEnery said. “The year-round beautiful weather, scenic surroundings and its residents’ active lifestyle were also very appealing.”

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant food and wines

The menu has something for everyone no matter your diet and dishes have wine pairing recommendations. Signature dishes include Mexican Drunken Shrimp, Dana’s Parmesan-Crusted Chicken and Shrimp & Scallop Risotto. The menu includes an impressive choice of 4 risotto dishes.

Cooper’s Hawk wines are sourced from across the country then crushed, fermented and bottled at their Illinois winery. Master Sommelier Emily Wines, yes really her name, helps grow the wineries wine club, trains staff staff on wines and helps guests enjoy their experience. Currently there are over 450,000 wine club members, the largest wine club in the country who enjoy discounts, perks and unique experiences and travel opportunities. A full bar is available for those looking for something other than wine.

Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
Mexican Drunken Shrimp

Entering the restaurant you’re welcomed in the Napa Valley styled wine bar and wine shop before entering the restaurant. Guests can try wines with the help of well trained staff with wines and accessories are available for purchase. One need not dine at the restaurant in order taste wines or make a purchase although the aromas coming from the kitchen will easily change your mind to stay and enjoy a meal.

A Chandler location is planned for 2021 and is in development with a Phoenix location to follow. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is at 7361 E Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. For more information visit their website.

 

Domaine Carneros dinner hosted by Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort

Champagne house Taittinger will be showing it’s Napa Valley sparkling wines off at a dinner on Thursday December 10th. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa hosts Domaine Carneros for the 4-course dinner as part of the resort’s monthly Winemaker Dinner Series. The evening starts at 6:30 with an appetizer and wine reception followed by dinner at 7.

Domaine Carneros was created in the 1980s to create sparkling wine in California’s Napa Valley using the same methods used in making champagne in France. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are grown on the property used to make the award-winning bubbly. During the dinner you’ll hear about their newest project, being the first champagne house to plant vineyards in the United Kingdom. The vineyards were planted in 2015 in Kent South-east England and planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier. No tasting of these sparkling wines, as the first release is set for 2024.

After the dinner wines will be available for purchase for guests to take home at a discount. The dinner is $99++ per person with limited seating and reservations being required. To reserve your seat call 480-629-6231.

 

The Mick Brasserie & Bar, a welcome addition to McCormick Ranch

Any restaurant that’s opened in 2020 faces more challenges than the day to day challenges associated with the restaurant industry. Open in an Arizona summer and you could be behind the eight ball even more. Those challenges haven’t seemed to put a damper on the opening of The Mick Brasserie & Bar in Scottsdale’s McCormick Ranch neighborhood. The modern French inspired restaurant opened last August and on a recent Wednesday night guests seemed to be enjoying as if were 2019.

The Mick Braaerie & Bar
Pate de Campagne. All photos courtesy of Shoshana Leon

Owners John Krause and Chef Brent Menke are serving colorful, small and shareable plates that’s globally inspired and locally sourced. The menu aims to please all with vegan and vegetarian dishes along with plenty for meat and seafood lovers. The two longtime friends date back to The University of Arizona where they were fraternity brothers before both wound up in Rhode Island. Menke cooked on yachts before opening The Farm Table in northwestern Massachusetts. Krause has had several careers and this is his first foray in the restaurant business.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar menus

On my recent visit my guest and I arrived towards the end of happy hour and enjoyed glasses of house wine with our Pate de Campagne, a healthy portion of pork pate wrapped in bacon with pistachios, Shiitake mushrooms and foie gras. Served with pickled red onions, stone ground mustard, cornichons and toasted sourdough bread. A fan of wild mushrooms we ordered Wild Mushroom Napoleon which I was left to enjoy myself as my companion isn’t a fan of the earthy delights. The Bacon Tarte was plentiful and filling.

We split the Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla which we both wished we had all to our self. The pickled pineapple was unique touch to the filo wrapped duck, julienne vegetables and agrodolce. In typical European style The House Julienne Salad was brought after our meal. Chef Menke loves to say, “Food is better when shared.”

The Mick Brasserie & Bar
Duck Confit Moroccan Pastilla

The Mick has an extensively researched wine and craft beer list from around the world including 50 wines by the glass and 24 beers on tap. Four retail refrigerators allow for wines and beers can be sold to take home with you. The spacious patio allows for comfortable outdoor dining while the modern art filled indoor interior offers a well-lit enjoyable dining experience.

The Mick Brasserie & Bar is at 9719 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85258. Hours are Tues.- Fri. 3 p.m. -9p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 3p.m. Brunch is served early on weekends and happy hour is from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. To view the menu and more information check their website.

 

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.

Mediterra Bakehouse seasonal breads available at farmers markets

Handmade breads made with grains grown on their farm in Coolidge are available in 4 seasonal varieties through December. Pumpkin Boule, Fig & Anise, Chocolate Cherry Levain & Christmas Stollen can be found 4 days a week around phoenix at local farmers markets.

Romeo’s Euro Cafe hosts 3rd Tuesday dinner

The popular downtown Gilbert restaurant offers a 3 course dinner with 3 wine pairings for its monthly dinner. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $39++ per person. Reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224 or email

Grgich Hills wine dinner at Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen

The famed Napa Valley winery will have its wines featured with at 5-course dinner in downtown Scottsdale. The Thursday November 19th dinner will be have socially distanced tables of no more than 8 people. $90 ++ per person, to view the menu and make a reservation head to http://tommyvscottsdale.com/ .

Tropical Smoothie Cafe 1st to use edible straws

All 9 Phoenix area locations are serving their seasonal Cranberry Truffle and Cranberry Crisp smoothies with a strawberry flavored edible straw. Each SORBOS individually packed straw stays firm for 40 minutes and is biodegradable.

Winning burger & shake now available at Aioli Gourmet Burgers

The contest had lots of recipes entered but only one could win each category. The FRC burger from Francis Campos of BASIS Phoenix H.S. and The Boo Shake by Kaitlynn and Mackenzie from Adobe Mountain H.S. are now available at the burger shops in Litchfield Park and 2 in Phoenix. 10% of all burgers sold are being donated to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers