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.

Arizona Restaurant Week kicks off today

10 days (Sept. 16th -25th) filled with special multi-course menus at over 100 Arizona restaurants. The Arizona Restaurant Association’s twice annual celebration has meals at three price points $33, $44 & $55. I’m visiting restaurants I’ve never been to and can’t wait, see the full list of restaurants and menus at the ARW website, reservations highly suggested.

Third Tuesday dinner at Romeo’s

The popular downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly dinner coming next Tuesday September 20th. The 3 course menu starts with Char- Siu Pork Soba Noodle salad followed by Jägerschnitzel and Chocolate Carrot Cake Pops for dessert. $39++ includes wine pairings for each course with the dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. For reservations call 480-962-4224.

Still time to enjoy Serrano’s September specials

Early birds can head in starting at 3 p.m. for the Early Bird menu for $9.99. Available Tuesday – Thursday until 5 p.m. get an entree and more with 2 sides at all 4 locations. Get $10 off all to-go orders of $50 when you order take-out online, use promo code GET10. Food & drink specials include Fall Flight of margaritas including Passion-Fruit, Orange Cherry & Mango and Raspberry ($10.99). Ernie’s Pronto Burrito is filled with carne asada and all your favorite burrito fixings ($13.99). Save room for dessert and get a Snickerdoodle Delight for just $5.99.

Koibito Poke donating $2 of each Signature Bowl sold

If you’ve order a Signature Bowl in September you’ll be glad to know $2 went to the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children. Its part of their promotion as September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Choose from 5 Signature Bowls at all 4 locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix (Arcadia) and Chandler until the end of the month to continue raising money.

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers at Chase Field is now open

The newest location of the popular burger joint opened in downtown Phoenix in the left field of the ballpark. The new location will be open year round for lunch and dinner with guests able to enjoy all their favorite burgers, totchos, hot dogs and more. Exclusive at this location is The Big Unit, named after Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, the cheddar cheese filed Juicy Lucy burger comes with LTO and served between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

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.

Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy arrives in October

The Scottsdale Waterfront will host Italian food, culture, opera singers and more when the Italian Association of Arizona hosts Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy on Saturday & Sunday October 15th & 16th. The 2 day festival will also feature two stages with live music including Michéal Castaldo considered the next Andrea Bocelli. Non-food vendors will be set up so you can shop off the calories.

Foodies will want to indulge in Italian cuisine from food trucks including L’Impasto along with pizzas, and Italian desserts cannoli, biscotti, gelato and more. Nothing goes better with Italian food than Italian wines and there will be wine tasting as well.

Tickets for Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy and Music Festival will be sold online for a limited time and can be purchased in advance for $10. Day of tickets are $20 and children under 12 are free. The festival starts at 11 a.m. both days and goes until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Gastromé Market bringing specialty wine & cheese to Gainey Ranch

The finishing touches are being taken care of for new wine and cheese market in Scottsdale’s Gainey Ranch neighborhood. Gastromé Market will open on Saturday September 10th with a grand opening celebration from co-owners Jenny Le and Tiffany Chavez. Over 5,000 square feet will include the market, a restaurant, a temperature controlled Eurocave for wine and a classroom. Come mid-Fall the outdoor patio will be available to enjoy our beautiful weather.

“This has been a true labor of love for us, and we can’t wait to get the doors open and meet the community,” says Le. “We’ve worked hard to create an inclusive environment where you can feel free to ask whatever you want – you won’t find any stuffiness or intimidation here.”

The inviting space will encourage guests to grab a bottle of wine and more to enjoy in one the nooks and alcoves throughout the market. For those on the run, the grab-n-go counter will let customers take lunch or dinner with them. Cheese cases will showcase domestic and international cheeses, the bakery offers pastries from around the world and a gift basket station will let you create the perfect gift.

Passionate experts will assist customers with choosing boutique wines, curated meats & cheeses and handcrafted items from local artisans. Gastromé Market will offer fun classes and seminars including food & wine pairings and how to build a charcuterie board.

Grand opening at Gastromé Market

The open the doors at 10 a.m. on the 10th and the first 100 guests through the doors will enjoy a champagne toast on every visit once a week for up to four people for a year. Throughout the event guests can sample wine & cheese, speak with the vendors and shop the wide range of goods.

“Whether you’re in search of something specific or you just want to see what we’re all about, stop by this September and we’ll show you around,” Chavez said. “We’re wine and cheese lovers ourselves, and we’re really passionate about food and drink, in general. Our goal is to make you as excited about it as we are, and if we can get you to try something new, even better!”

Gastromé Market is at 7704 Doubletree Ranch Rd. The market opens at 10 a.m. and the restaurant at 11 a.m. 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.

 

The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week in September

As plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options when dining out. The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week, September 11th-18th, people can get a chance to dine on special plant based meals at full service restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, meal delivery services and more.

Founders Jozh Watson (PHX Vegan) and Chef Jason Wyrick (The Vegan Taste) want to continue to bring awareness to plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options to dine out at. “According to Watson, “Last year, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week was so well received by the community. Every eatery that participated reported a significant increase in traffic during the event. This year promises to be even bigger and better.”

During the week-long event diners will be treated to plant based meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating restaurants not normally found on their menu. Breakfast will be capped at $15, lunch will offer an appetizer, entree and drink for $20 and a three course dinner for no more than $30 with a 5 course meal no more than $44. Reservations are now being taken for the week at restaurants including Salvadoreno Restaurant (Phoenix and Mesa), Dilla Libre (Phoenix and Scottsdale), Early Bird Vegan, Freak Brothers Pizza and others.

A list of restaurants and menus can be found at their updated website as the list continues to grow. Non-vegan restaurants are encouraged to participate to showcase their plant based options. Menus are available for both dine-in and take-out. According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are realizing they need to appeal to a variety of food preferences. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is here to stay, and we’re proud to show off the amazing culinary mark Phoenix is making.” Photo credit Debby Wolvos

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.

Breweries team up to host Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest

Two local breweries are combining their efforts to throw one hell of a beer festival. SanTan Brewing Co. and Pedal Haus Brewery host the Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest on Saturday October 1st at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park from 3 – 11 p.m. Both are familiar with downtown Chandler as SanTan has its brewpub their and Pedal Haus has a taproom nearby.

“Oktoberfest is always one of the most festive and fun times of the year,” said Alejandro Fontes, sales director with SanTan Brewing Company. “We’re excited to partner with our friends and neighbors at Pedal Haus Brewery and look forward to serving our award-winning brews and spirits to patrons of the 2022 event in Chandler.”

Both breweries will be pour beers including German styled Oktoberfest and seriving foods including pretzels, brats and more. Put down the beer and have fun with Oktoberfest games including Stein holding, a wiener toss and sausage eating contests. A Desert Polka party and live music from Hit Rewind and The Dirt will entertain the crowds.

“We are stoked to be joining forces with our friends at SanTan to throw one of the best Oktoberfest events in the Valley this year,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “I’ll be emceeing the stein holding and sausage eating competitions, so grab your friends and lederhosen, this is going to be a fun event!”

Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.

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.

 

 

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.

Arizona Restaurant Week starts today

The twice yearly Arizona Restaurant Week gives locals & visitors a chance to visit new restaurants and try something new at their favorites. 126 restaurants are ready to serve a special 3 -course menu starting today and running until Sunday May 29th.  Prie-fixe menus of $33, $44 or $55 allow guests to discover unique dishes specially created for the next 10 days. Visit the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website to see participating restaurants and their menus.

Meet the owner of Aridus Wine Company

Founder & owner Scott Dahmer will be stopping by their Scottsdale tasting room today from 5-8 p.m. He’ll be telling his story of why he founded the wine company and about what’s next with the brand.

Pedal Haus downtown Phoenix add to brunch menu

Saturday’s and Sunday’s just got a little better in downtown Phoenix as the newest location of the award-winning brewery adds to their brunch menu.

The “You Wake, We Bake” special are the Southwest Gourmet Breakfast – fluffy scrambled eggs, chicken apple and chorizo pork sausage links, bacon, seasoned breakfast potatoes, black beans, pico de gallo, grilled peppers, and tortillas. Also the Haus Gourmet Breakfast – fluffy scrambled eggs, chicken apple and pork sausage links, bacon, seasoned breakfast potatoes, baked beans, roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, and toast.

Each entree comes with your choice of a select Pedal Haus beer, a BEERmosa, a regular mimosa or a Bloody Mary for $16.

“Dinner on Us” returns to the Roaring Fork

It’s been a Memorial Day tradition at the Scottsdale restaurant when you buy one entrée you get a 2nd for free on Monday, May 30th. Choose from Rotisserie Chicken, the Big Ass Burger, Bacon Wrapped Beef tenderloin and other wood-fired favorites. Reservations are suggested for dinner that starts at 4 p.m. and more information is at their website.

The Culver’s Food truck rolls into the Phoenix Zoo today.

All things are good as the “From Wisconsin With Love” Food Truck Tour makes its way to Phoenix today. As mentioned on Monday the truck will be serving up cheese curds and frozen custard from 10 a.m. – 4p.m. today.

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.

Tempe Beach Park is the place to be for Foodie Fri-YAY in May

Food trucks, beer & wine and live music is a good way to end the work week. Those looking to unwind can head to Tempe Beach Park Friday’s in May for Foodie Fri-YAY from 5 – 9 p.m. Each week offers different food trucks, breweries and musicians with May 6th hosting Hot Bamboo, Seoul Good Food Truck and Kingpin BBQ. Huss Brewery will be pouring cold beer and Nomadica red, white and rose wines will be available for wine drinkers. Admission is free with food, beer & wine available for purchase. Alcohol purchases will be cashless with only credit card payments.

“Tempe Beach Park has always been a top destination for festivals, concerts and other enjoy all that Downtown Tempe offers,” said Kate Borders, Executive Director of the Downtown Tempe Authority. “With Foodie Fri-YAYs, we’re welcoming everyone back to this beloved hot spot while celebrating the best of local food, drinks and musicians.”

Tempe Beach Park is at 80 W. Rio Salado Dr. Tempe 85281. For more information and to see the complete line-up of food trucks. beer & wine partners and live music head to 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.

Mavrix has a new chef driven menu

The locally-owned family entertainment venue’s new menu has over 20 new dishes from Executive Chef Scott Nelson. Take a break from bowling and arcade games to try the Ribeye Bites & Bread, a Chipolte Lime Steak salad, a Green Chile Pork Chop, Fish Vera Cruz, Mav & Cheese and more throughout the menu.

Limited seating for the TLC eXperience’s Spring Fling Dinner

A private residence in Ahwatukee will be the setting for April’s monthly supper club from Tom & Lin Baumbach. Chef Tom’s menu will be revealed at the dinner on Saturday, April 23rd that starts with cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. and dinner at 7. Seats are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

STK Steakhouse launches a new $3,$6,$9 happy hour menu

Treat yourself to new cocktails and something to eat at the steakhouse along the canal in downtown Scottsdale. Choose a craft cocktail such as the Dirty Pearls, Perfect Margarita and a Paloma Bucket while snacking on Short Ribs Croquettes, Green Goddess Salmon Sliders, Truffle Fries and more.

Pillsbury Gone Wild dinner features chefs from the Food Network

Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber is joined by Chef Alicia Watson of Arkansas’ Vito & Vera for this month’s dinner. The two were recently featured on the Food Network’s “Big Restaurant Bet” and will be preparing at 6-course menu on Saturday, April 22nd at the wineries Cottonwood tasting room. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $98 per person with wine pairings an additional $40 and you can reserve your seats by calling or texting Val at 949-466-1054.

The FRIED French Fry & Musical Festival is tomorrow

Saturday April 9th brings the return of one of most popular events in downtown Phoenix. Foodies from across the valley will make their way to Margaret T. Hance Park to taste everybody’s favorite side dish and its unique toppings. My post from January’s announcement has all the details and how to get your tickets.

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.

Cory Oppold to Course it out later this year

Chef Cory Oppold has been working on his restaurant concept since 2016 and if all goes as planned Fall of 2022 Course will become a reality. Serving dinner, Course will be a hyper-seasonal 5 and 8-9 course dining experience changing menus every two to three months. There will be cocktail program but his focus will be on wine pairings to compliment his cooking.

“This has been a long process for me and almost an obsession to make it work. The pandemic was actually what kind of kick started Course. During the shutdown I started a smaller company called “Simmer Down”. The menu was driven to be extremely easy for the guest to make as most or part of the meal was pre-made but sealed in Cryovaced pouches for easy heat up and clean up. More importantly it was designed to be safe alternative at that time of the pandemic for delicious food that was easily delivered to the public”.

The cooking philosophy of Cory Oppold

Cory studied at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and built his reputation as Executive Chef at Atlas Bistro. He credits other valley restaurants including Binkley’s, Tarbell’s and Different Pointe of View as shaping his cooking philosophy. It wasn’t until he started teaching at Le Cordon Bleu that his philosophy made sense. “In order to teach you have to research and learn for yourself. This was the time period in my life that I really started to understand my approach to food.”

His philosophy is vegetable driven and believes Mother Nature is the “greatest menu writer”. “I approach each ingredient as to take as much care of it as possible. There is no ranking system in ingredients importance – The carrot is just as important as the caviar or lobster tail. I try to create the complexity of a dish from multiple simplistic items allowing each component of a dish to be pure and a direct representation of itself.”

Until Course is ready to open he will continue his in-home dining where he prepares 6-7 course meals. Cory loves the intimacy of cooking for people in their homes but the menu’s lack consistency so he felt a brick and mortar restaurant was needed. Course will be in the “Restaurant District” of East Shea Village on Shea Blvd. just east of Scottsdale Rd. For more information and to book Cory Oppold for an in home dining experience visit his 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.

Rio Verde on the map for March’s TLC eXperience dinner

The sunset, desert and the stars will be the setting on Sunday, March 27th for the monthly supper club’s dinner. The Vista, a private ranch in the northeast valley will play host when Chef Tom’s mystery menu is served. Cocktail hour starts at 4:30 with dinner at 5:30. Seats are limited and are $175 per person and can be reserved here.

No spring training, no problem at Il Vinaio.

The downtown Mesa restaurant is giving locals and out of towners an exciting evening next Tuesday, March 8th with its Daylight Wines Pairing Dinner. The 4-course dinner will be paired with winemaker Doug Bezenberg in attendance. The dinner & wines are $48 per person and starts at 6:30 p.m. Il Vinaio is at 270 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201.

A few seats left for the Pillsbury Gone Wild dinner

Sam Pillsbury pairs his award-winning wines with dinner next Friday March 11th for the 6 course dinner at their Cottonwood tasting room. The dinner is $139 with wine, $98 without and you can reserve your seat(s) by calling Val at 949-466-1054.

Pedal Haus Brewery brews a special beer for International Women’s Day

The female leadership at the local brewer will be brewing Desert Classic Pale Ale to celebrate women on March 8th. The beer, part of their rotating hop series at their 3 Phoenix area locations won’t be available until April. When it is $1 of every pint will be donated to the non-profit Pink Boots Society.

Gilbert Pizza Festival postponed til 2023

Organizers had hoped to have the inaugural pizza festival in the east valley in March 2020 and you know by now what happened. Rescheduled to March 2021 and another postponement came again. All things were good for March 2022 but the venue was booked. Fast forward a year from now organizers are planning March 18th 2023 to make the festival happen. Tickets purchased will be honored in 2023 but if you want a refund email dave@phxfest.com

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.

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