Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Events & news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

“Med Meets Mexico” seasonal menu now at Pita Jungle

All 23 locations in Arizona now offer new 10 dishes on their Seasonal Crafts Kitchen Menu. Dishes using the flavors of the Southwest and their Mediterranean inspired menu will be available through April. Highlights of the new menu include Lemon Chicken Rice Soup, Mediterranean Ceviche, Labdeh Dip Mezze Veggies & Dip and a Wood Fired Gluten Free Enchilada. 

Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant

The signature restaurant at The Boulders Resort & Spa hosts a gourmet four-course dinner paired with wines on Friday, February 3rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. Enhancing the experience will be the scenic views of the golf course’s 6th hole and duck pond. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4621.

Cider Corps hosts dinner to raise money for traumatic brain injuries

The downtown Mesa cidery will pair its award-winning ciders with dishes from valley chefs Friday, February 3rd. Guests attending the Speakers Dinner for Traumatic Brain Injury Solutions will hear updates from researchers at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The 21 and over dinner starts at 6 P.m. and is %200 per person. Two other fundraising events are scheduled for the 22 Jumps event with more information and to RSVP click here.

New seasonal dishes at Over Easy launch January 30th

The locally owned and nationally recognized breakfast spot adds two new dishes to its menu on Monday. The scratch made Cinnamon Apple Corncakes ($14) and JohnJay Burrito Bowl ($17) are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery. $1 of every Burrito Bowl will be donated #LOVEPUP Foundation. Also new will be the Spicy Mango Margarita ($8) but only available for dine-in. The new dishes and drink are available at all 11 Phoenix area locations.

Nominations are open for Foodist Awards until February 5th

Its award season and time to nominate your favorite Food & Beverage, Experience, Restaurant and People in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s annual recognition of those in the food and beverage community. The online nominations include 20 categories and 8 new categories for the 2023 awards. Winner will be announced in alive ceremony on Monday April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Van Buren in Phoenix.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Semifinalists for 2023 Restaurant & Chef Awards announced

This morning The James Beard Foundation announced the Semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Arizona is again well represented throughout several categories. Nominees will be announced Wednesday, March 29th and winners announced Monday, June 5th 2023 in Chicago. You can see the list of all 2023 semifinalists here.

The 2023 Arizona semifinalists are……

Outstanding Chef

Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café, Phoenix

Outstanding Restaurant

Proper Meats + Provisions, Flagstaff

Emerging Chef

Christian Lowe, Shift Kitchen & Bar, Flagstaff

Outstanding Bakery

JL Patisserie, Phoenix and Scottsdale

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Glai Baan, Phoenix

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Rene Andrade and Roberto Centeno, Bacanora, Phoenix

Jaren Bates and Brett Vibber, The Table at Junipine, Sedona

Nephi Craig, Café Gozhóó, Whiteriver

Wendy Garcia, Tumerico, Tucson

Fernando Hernández, Testal, Phoenix

Yotaka and Alex Martin, Lom Wong, Phoenix

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Jackson Family Wines dinner at Ling’s Wok Shop

The north Scottsdale flex casual restaurant Ling’s Wok Shop rings in the Chinese New Year with an Asian inspired five course dinner paired with Jackson Family Wines. The wines are sourced from Jackson Family Wines properties in California, Oregon and Italy. Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30 guests will celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with this one of a kind dinner for $88++ per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-801-6524.

FIRST COURSE
Dim Sum Sampler with Steamed Dumpling, Pork & Shrimp Dumpling, and Spicy Chicken Wonton
paired with Brewer-Clifton Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay

SECOND COURSE
Cantonese-Style Sea Bass with Ginger and Lop Cheong
paired with Diatom Santa Barbara Chardonnay

THIRD COURSE
Peking Duck with Hoisin and Green Onion
paired with WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Noir

FOURTH COURSE
Char Siu Pork Tenderloin with Asparagus
paired with Hartford Family Russian River ZInfandel

HAPPY ENDING
Cheesecake with Vanilla-Orange Sauce
paired with Benvolio Prosecco

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

20th anniversary celebration coming to Picazzo’s

One day over lunch in 2002 custom home builders Rick Freedman and Doug Stanton realized there was no good pizza in their new hometown of Sedona. So what did the Portland transplants do, they decided to open their first Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen, now their getting ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary Wednesday, November 9th.

In the 20 years since they opened the Sedona location they’ve opened five more in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Arrowhead, Tempe and Gilbert. Since day one the gourmet pizza restaurant has focused on dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free with allergy-friendly options. They’ve since added Italian dishes with 95% of all ingredients being organic with many including sauces and dressings made from scratch.20th anniversary

“We pride ourselves on providing quality, healthy dining options for individuals who may have dietary restrictions as well as our guests who do not,” says Picazzo’s Managing Partner Chris Disney. “Picazzo’s is excited to celebrate our 20th year in business, and we’re even more excited looking towards the future and our continued growth. Our team can’t wait to celebrate with our many loyal customers, and we hope to see everyone on November 9!”

All 6 locations will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with happy hour specials from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. along with giveaways and fun photo opportunities. The first 20 guests over 18 at each location will receive a $20 gift card and those photos posted on Instagram and tagging Picazzo’s will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a $200 gift card. Details about the IG sweepstakes are available at each location which you can find at their website.

Hear more about Picazzo’s from Chris Disney listen to Episode 29 of Pulling Corks and Forks: The Podcast.

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.

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