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.

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.

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.

Ofrenda brings Latin influenced cuisine and art to Cave Creek

Two creative minds in the Valley’s food scene have partnered to bring Cave Creek a restaurant like no other. Michael Stone and Carlos Marquez opened Ofrenda last week in the Stagecoach Village’s spot that was Marquez’s former Indigo Crow restaurant. In Spanish “ofrenda” means “offering” and that restaurant is inspired by the Aztec tradition where families build altars to loved ones and their eternal souls.

Stone owner of central Phoenix’s Taco Guild has wanted to partner with Marquez for some time. “After several conversations we came to a decision,” Stone said. “Both Carlos and I experienced some recent tragic losses in our lives, and then the pandemic. We decided to change the concept to something more meaningful; something that reflects our intent and feeling for the brands we create.

Throughout the two-story restaurant guests will experience not only Latin cuisine but also art in various forms around the restaurant. A focal point is metal marigold at the entrance and the “Dia des Muertos”, Day of the Dead caricatures donning windows and statues inside and out.

The foods and tequilas of Ofrenda

Marquez not only created the menu but also did much of the work around the restaurant transforming from one to another. In the kitchen he’s created a menu of salads, appetizers, tacos and entrees. Pork Empanadas and a Carbon Board of pepita hummus, carbon grilled vegetables, fried hominy, guacamole and fresh tortillas. He prepares carne asada, duck, lobster and shell on crab for taco offerings.

Entrees include a Tomahawk steak and Huarache Nopales (grilled nopales, fried blue corn masa, black beans, vegan cheese, pea tendrils, and huitlacoche); Carne (house-marinated sirloin steak, black bean puree, ash-roasted papas, and rojo).

The pair will have the largest selection of Agave liquors and are well on their way with several hundred under lock and key in the Agave Library upstairs. The gate securing the agave was built by Marquez. Signature cocktails, Mexican wines and draft beers were created and selected by beverage director Luke Detraz.

“Michael and I wanted to create this as a way to honor loved ones and those we still hold dear, whether they are close to us or far away,” Marquez said.” Ofrenda celebrates life and all those who have touched us profoundly. It’s a place to make new memories while cherishing loved ones far and near.”

Ofrenda is at 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd. Cave Creek 85331. (480)488-2187. For more information visit their website. Open daily at 3 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. at 11 a.m. for brunch.

Trevor’s Liquors to offer retail and a beer & wine bar in south Scottsdale

With all the new development in the southern part of Scottsdale new businesses are opening to provide amenities in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the valley. With the new Papago Plaza under construction and other developments along Scottsdale and McDowell roads residents new and old will have a new wine and beer retailer when Trevor’s Liquors opens in November. It will be joining RIFT Tap & Wine Bar which just opened nearby that I posted about in July.

Trevor’s is the sister to Prescott’s Park Plaza Liquors & Deli and is owned by Jeff McDonald and Trevor Philips. Over 15,000 sq. ft. of space will include a large selection of single barrel bourbons and Arizona’s largest selection of agave. Beers will be housed in a walk in beer cave and and 50 reach in cooler doors. Trevor’s will also offer a 400 sq. ft. cigar humidor and a dedicated cigar patio. A craft beer and wine bar with a covered beer garden patio will let customers to enjoy beverages and socialize.

There’s a game area with corn hole boards and a rotating schedule of food trucks will be scheduled for customers. Trevor’s will be at 7340 E. McDowell Rd. 85257. For more information check out their website.