Mystical Pizza Festival launches this weekend in Sedona

Restaurateur and chef Lisa Dahl is celebrating the opening her Oak Creek Village location of Pisa Lisa in a mystical Sedona way. The new Mystical Pizza Festival starts this Friday, September 16th and goes all weekend long with a pizza dough ribbon cutting, flying saucer unveiling, a cookbook signing and more.

The festivities start Friday at 5 p.m. with Kick-Off party and a welcome from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a Dedication and Blessing ceremony by an Uqualla medicine man and Drumming Ceremony with Sabina Sandoval. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. guests can enjoy sound therapy, a gelato tasting, astrology readers, doggie meatball tasting with Chef Lisa, animal massages and more.

The Mystical Pizza Festival goes until 5 p.m. and there is no cost to attend but some weekend events may have a cost. Guests are encouraged to wear mystical attire for the many photo opportunities. Pisa Lisa is at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351

 

Lisa Dahl opens second location of Pisa Lisa

Sedona’s Culinary Queen, Lisa Dahl has brought her popular restaurant and pizzeria Pisa Lisa to the Village of Oak Creek. This is Dahl’s sixth restaurant in the Sedona area and the first with a second location. The first Pisa Lisa opened in west Sedona in 2013 with the new location offering an expanded menu with favorites including wood-fired thin crust pizza, organic salads, tapas and locally made gelato.

Pisa Lisa gets its name from what Dahl’s father would affectionately say to her when giving her a pinch growing up, “I wanna little piece of Lisa”. “I put my heart and soul into the first Pisa Lisa location which is a testament to my dedication to serving people special experiences that will turn into cherished memories while honoring the adoration I feel for my family members who are no longer with us,” said Dahl.

A personal touch from Lisa Dahl on the menu

Guests will find many personal touches on the menu including naming dishes after family members. Da Dororthy pizza is named after her mother and made with Mother sauce, provolone-mozzarella, fennel sausage, picante peppers, Parm-Reggiano. The Justino pizza is dedicated to her late son and made with Ricotta, provolone-mozzarella, San Danielle prosciutto gold, organic arugula, and white-truffle oil.

New are the antipasto plates including Lisa’s Plate, an antipasti sampler with fresh bocconcini mozzarella, tomatoes, finnochio slaw, magic mushrooms, caselveltrano olives and fire-roasted artichokes. New from the pastry team for dessert is the Cookie Monster, a warm and molten giant chocolate chip cookie sundae with Strawberry-stracciatella plant-based gelato (vegan and gluten free).

Beverages include natural sodas, local mead, 16 taps for craft beers, and top selling wines. A wide-range of healthy grab-n-go items including paninis, prepped pizzas, morning treats, and locally sourced roasted coffee are available.

The restaurant has an industrial and bohemian look in its 3,500 square feet. The raised bar is surrounded by Rock n Roll memorabilia from Capitol Records from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Indoor and outdoor seating is available as is communal seating at two large tables.

“This new location enables us to expand this heartfelt concept to a larger audience as it is ultimately a culmination of my work and passion for the Sedona culinary scene and my gratitude for those who dine at Pisa Lisa and stand with me in the belief that Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay!”

Pisa Lisa in the Village of Oak Creek is located at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351. For more information visit their website.

Italian Association of Arizona brings a taste of Italy to Scottsdale

Scottsdale City Hall will be the place to be on Saturday, November 6th if you like Italian wine and pizza. The Italian Association of Arizona presents the first annual Italian Pizza & Wine Festival as a preview of the Italian Festival coming on February 26th & 27th 2022. In addition to pizza & wine, the family friendly festival will offer imported beer, Italian sandwiches and plenty of entertainment and Italian culture.

Francesco Guzzo, Executive Director of the Italian Association of Arizona, said: “We want to give families an opportunity to come out this Fall, and simply have fun for a day outside, and eat what might be Italy’s most popular food, pizza!”

Fabio on Fire, Bored Baker Pizza Maker and Ri de Roma are a few tossing fresh handmade pizza. Hand crafted sandwiches and other Italian foods will be available for purchase from Sogno Toscano and Lulu’s Sorbetto. Classico Fine Wines will be pouring tastes of Italian wines and Peroni & craft beers will be available for beer drinkers. Street musicians, face painters, live music and more will entertain festival goers all day.

“And anything worth celebrating in Italy comes with fantastic wines, and beer – Peroni!  Add the excellent Italian and Italian-American musical entertainment, some roving acts for the kids, and it lends the perfect excuse to come out and support our fabulous Italian pizza makers.” says Guzzo.

The Italian Pizza & Wine Festival goes from 12:00- 9:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Children under 12 are free and there is a 20% discount for Italian Association members. All proceeds go to the association.

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.

Merkin wines and gelato pairing at GenuWine Arizona

The Roosevelt Row wine shop is giving you 2 chances to taste Arizona’s Merkin Vineyards wines with Merkin’s homemade gelatos. Next Tues Aug. 17th or Thurs. the 19th pair 3 wines with 3 gelatos for dine-in or take-out. To place an order or save a seat head to their website.

Free Mimosa for early diners at Z’ Tejas

Did you know the Southwestern restaurant serves brunch?? Daily starting a 9 a.m. in Scottsdale and on weekends in Chandler starting at 9 a.m. Join them at either location between 9 -10 a.m. and get a free Mimosa with the order of any entree.

Catch a flight at Renata’s Hearth

The Arizona Biltmore’s signature restaurant is offering several new flights of Mezcal & Tequila, Cocktails and a Vermouth flight. Each flight consists of 4 samples starting from $33 -$275 depending on the uniqueness and the limited availability of each spirit. For more information visit their website.

Napa’s Duckhorn Vineyards wine pairing dinner at Tommy V’s

Join Zoran at his downtown Scottsdale restaurant for an evening of wine & food on Thursday Aug. 26th. The 5 course dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and pairs white and red wines from the popular winery with seafood, lamb and vegetable dishes. The dinner is $100++ per person and to see the menu and make your reservation visit their website.

National Sandwich Month continues with weekly specials at Miracle Mile Deli

You still have 2 weeks to enjoy a favorite deli sandwich and save a few $$s in August. The central Phoenix deli is offering its Pastrami & Corned Beef Combo for $11 from Mon. Aug. 16th -21st. From Mon. Aug. 23rd – 28th get The Straw also for only $11. Each sandwich comes with a side and pickle spear and is available for dine-in or take-out.

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.

I spent my Spring Break eating my way through Salt Lake City

Most people spend their Spring Break heading to beaches or somewhere exotic. I spent my Spring Break road tripping to Salt Lake City to explore the city and food scene. I enjoyed meals at locally owned restaurants based on the recommendation of my friend who has spent the last year living in the area.

The 10 hour drive from Phoenix to Salt Lake City we knew we’d have to stop for at least one meal on the way up. Heading through Page and past Lake Powell into southern Utah you don’t have a lot options once you cross the border. Most meals were under $20 with a couple just above.

First 24 hours in Utah

We decided to stop for dinner in Kanab and pulled into Big Al’s Burgers Drive-In. Kanab is the main route as you head from eastern Arizona to the national parks of southern Utah and points north. A nice little town before you head up the back roads towards I-15. Big Al’s is exactly what you’d expect, burgers, fries, shakes and a few other drive-in favorites. I went with Double Rustler Burger value meal, a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake. Friendly service and made to order food made for a positive first impression of the Utah food scene. It was also my first experience being asked if I wanted “Fry Sauce”. Expect to be asked for this mayo ketchup combo in Utah when ordering fries and other fried foods. I declined as I prefer only ketchup but did taste my friends sauce. It was exactly what you’d expect.

After we made our way through the canyons and over the mountain pass into the night and a snowstorm we arrived late in the night at our destination.

After sleeping in and eggs and coffee at my friend’s place for breakfast we made our way for a mid-afternoon dim sum lunch at Cafe Anh Hong. In a small strip mall full of far east restaurants Anh Hong wasn’t the traditional dim sum restaurant. No ladies pushing carts full of dim sum delicacies but a picture menu under the plexiglass table top. Tell them what you want and everything is made to order. Many dim sum favorites to satisfy your dim sum cravings.

A late dinner was a homemade 24 hour sous vide short rib over risotto prepared by my host was so good I had to mention it.

Breakfast & lunch in Salt Lake City

Waking up the next morning we made our way to the Draper location of La Barba Coffee. Considered one of the if not the best coffee in SLC we sat there sipping our coffee pondering where to go for breakfast. Sipping on a Guatemalan drip coffee I paid more attention to it than I normally would a cup of coffee, it was good cup.

Desiring a breakfast burrito we drove to Taqueria El Gallo Loco in Sandy. I went with Chorizo burrito which was a little light on chorizo for my liking. My friend went with a bowl of Tripe thoroughly enjoying it. We ordered the Flan for dessert (yeah at breakfast) and glad we did, it was topped with toasted coconut and was so good. The owner and our server were friendly and offered good service. I’d give them another shot at a Chroizo burrito.

A mid-afternoon lunch had me desiring an Italian deli sandwich and my friend knew right where to go. We made our way to the 15th & 15th location of Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli where I went with The Caputo. Prosciutto, mortadella, salami, provolone and all the fixings. They dress it with balsamic vinegar as opposed to red wine vinegar which was an interesting choice. Served on an artisan roll I’d come back again. Check off Italian deli off my list.

Enjoying the neighborhood that Tony’s is in we went across the street to Sweetaly for a cup of gelato. It hit the spot after my meaty sandwich.

Park City here we come

With the ski town of Park City less than an hour away we headed into the mountains for lunch. It’s “Mud Season” in Park City so some restaurants close down for a few weeks. We found out the hard way when we wanted to grab a bite to eat at High West Distillery & Saloon. We wound up the brew pub of Wasach Brewing with brunch in full effect. Sipping on an Apricot Hefe with my Wasach burger made for a tasty Park City experience. The Wasach burger is made with buffalo meat and topped with a spicy Cajun remoulade.

I vetoed lunch a Tekila for the brew pub but my friend highly recommends it.

In case you’re wondering dinner at friend’s house back in SLC for homemade corn chowder and cake.

Final day in Salt Lake City

A lazy Sunday morning had us getting a slow start and finally motivating in early afternoon. We picked up a friend and decided to head for something new to me.

A couple of doors down from dim sum was Kungfu Hotpot where I experienced Hotpot cooking for the first time. A pot of mild and spicy boiling broth we filled it with beef, pork, mushrooms, vegetables and more letting it cook to our desired temperatures. The All-You-Can-Eat restaurant had us ordering more piles of beef, greens and seafood balls until I threw down my chopsticks and said “no more”. An interesting experience I’m not sure I could find in Phoenix.

Just a few miles from downtown SLC we made our way to Temple Square to see the gardens, the state capitol and the University of Utah. One last stop before we headed to my friend’s place for the night, Dolcetti Gelato. The Blueberry Balsamic & Rosewater treat to finish my foodie visit to SLC hit the spot after the spicy hotpot.

SLC looks to have a great restaurant scene as I scanned local magazines and websites. Locally owned restaurants and several chains I’ve never seen before looked interesting. I hope to return one day to eat my way through more of what there is to offer. If you find yourself in Salt Lake City on a Sunday be aware that many restaurants aren’t open, even those you’d expect to be including coffeehouses.

To see pictures of my trip to SLC follow me on Instagram @SandyWass

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