Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

GenuWineArizona celebrates its 5th birthday

Tomorrow January 14th the downtown Phoenix wine bar and retailer celebrates 5 years on Roosevelt Row with free wine samples, a DJ and Hot Sauce & Pepper Food Truck. Raffles will be awarded to attendees with the party going from 2 – 10 p.m.

3 course dinner next Tuesday at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Chef & owner Romeo Taus rings in 2023 with another of his monthly 3rd Tuesday 3 course dinner paired with wine. On January 17th the downtown Gilbert restaurant will feature Osso Bucco paired with a Portuguese wine as its main course. Chorizo and Papas will start the dinner and YAYA’s Chocolate Cake will give the dinner a sweet ending. Seats are $44 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224.

Hundred Mile Brewing Company celebrates grand opening

The new Tempe brewery celebrates its Grand Opening from January 18th – 22nd. Daily specials on food & beer, a community charity drive, a Lap Around the Lake and more are planned from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

PHX Beer Co. releases a new IPA dedicated to the “Zanjeros”

For over a hundred years Zanjeros would travel the state making sure the water flowed to our homes and farms. Without the “ditch riders” there would be no water to make beer and now the Phoenix brewery offers the new “Zanjeros” citrus fruit forward IPA. The beer is available at its downtown Phoenix brewery and Scottsdale restaurant.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Wing Wednesday specials at The Bar in Gilbert

Have you heard the news, people are flocking to downtown Gilbert to get their hands on the flavorful, crispy & juicy John Blaze Honey Hot, Buffalo, BBQ, “Blow Your O-Ring” and Teriyaki wings. The Bar‘s grilling then fried wings are specially priced every Wednesday from 3 p.m. – 1 a.m. for $9 for 6 wings or $14 for a dozen. Each order comes with celery & carrots and your choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Pillsbury Wine Co. and more pouring at Arizona Wine Festival

20 Arizona wineries and other vendors will make downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square home January 28th -29th. Beer and food trucks will also be on hand with tickets for $35 on Saturday and $30 on Sunday. Friday night will be a benefit for Horses Help and the festival starts at 11 a.m. on both days. Information and tickets can be purchased can be found at Eventbrite.

Outerbound Wines featured at Hyatt Scottsdale Winemaker Dinner Series

The Gainey Ranch resort and spa continues its Winemaker Dinner Series in 2023 with its first dinner on Thursday, January 19th. High end wines from Sonoma County will be paired with a five-course dinner from Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. and his team. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with Phillip Kube of Outerbound Wines followed by dinner at 7:00. Seats are $170 per person and can be reserved by calling 480-629-6231.

Save your receipts for 50% off at Koibito Poke

For the month of January purchase lunch between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. then return for dinner from 5 p.m. til closing and get half off. The “Save Your Receipt” promotion is good on the same day 7 days a week at all 4 locations.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Free bowl of menudo on New Year’s Day

All 35 Food City locations in Arizona celebrate National Menudo Month and National Hangover Day January 1st 2023 with a free bowl of menudo. The popular hangover remedy is available from 9-11 a.m. in the deli for dine-in only.

Famous 48 now serving lunch & weekend brunch

The standalone restaurant in the Shops at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. Saturday & Sunday brunch starts at 10:30 a.m. until 3:00p.m.

Sunday Funday taco specials at Urban Margarita

Every Sunday from 1:30 p.m. til closing the Glendale restaurant has street tacos for only $2 each. Choose from grilled steak, chicken or carnitas and don’t forget the margarita to wash them down.

Batch Cookie Shop coming to Queen Creek in 2023

The family owned cookie shop in Gilbert announced its second location will be coming to Queen Creek this summer. It will be in front of the new Costco at Rittenhouse and Ellsworth Rds. More details will be available as they get closer to opening day.

OpenTable names local restaurants Top 100 Restaurants in America in 2022

Steak 44, Ocean 44 and Dominick’s Steakhouse in Phoenix and Scottsdale have been named to the prestigious list. All 3 restaurants are owned by father and sons Dennis, Michael & Jeff Mastro and partner Scott Trolio. The list is curated from over 13 million customer reviews on the website from October 31st 2021- September 30th 2022. Also making the list from Arizona is Mariposa in Sedona and The Henry 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.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

The last Third Tuesday dinner of 2022 at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

A delicious wine pairing dinner ends the year at the popular downtown Gilbert restaurant next Tuesday, December 20th. Three courses including The Lafayette Kraut, Spuds Veggies & Pork and Chocolate Temptation Cake will be paired with wines from Washington, Oregon and California. Seats are $44 per person and the dinner starts at 6:30, for reservations call 480-962-4224.

Rooftop Disco Bash on New Year’s Eve at Pedal Haus

The downtown Phoenix restaurant hosts a fun and unique way to ring in 2023. A buffet, complimentary champagne toast, a disco ball drop and a Disco DJ will make this a memorable evening. General admission is $20 with guaranteed seating for 6 and all the amenities are $180. You can purchase tickets at this link.

Chompie’s offers Chanukah and Christmas catering meals

If the shopping is done it’s now time to focus on the food for next week’s holidays. All 4 locations are taking orders for meals for all 8 nights of Hanukkah and Christmas. 24 hours advanced order is required and 72 hours for whole turkeys and larger catering orders.

The Unforgettable Chanukah at Home Package features all the favorites. Choose from sliced brisket & gravy, roasted chicken or turkey breast with Challah stuffing accompanied with Matzoh Ball Soup, a choice of two sides, dinner rolls and one of Lovie’s Holiday desserts. The dinner is $249.99 and serves 8.

For Christmas choose The Traditional ($299.99) or The Basic ($249.99) dinners. XL whole oven roasted turkeys with homemade stuffing & gravy, cranberry relish, fresh baked dinner rolls and a two 9 inch pies (pumpkin and apple) make up The Basic. Add candied yams, mashed potatoes and home-style green beans and you’ve got yourself and family The Traditional dinner. Both dinners feed 12-15 people.

Scottsdale’s new ski lodge is now open

Wait what, a ski lodge in Scottsdale you say. Yes as Old Town Ski Lodge is open Thursday – Sundays from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. in the hideaway upstairs at Wasted Grain. Enjoy Après-Ski cocktails Smores Martini, a Jack Frost Martini and boozy snow cones and winter vibes all year long. The Ski Lodge atmosphere also offers a large selection of bourbon, whiskey and scotch to keep you warm. It’s available for private parties and events.

Barros’ Pizza raises a lot of money for St. Mary’s Food Bank

Last week’s 11th Annual Doran Barro Holiday Hunger Fight raised more than $415,000 almost $85,000 over last year’s fundraiser. All proceeds from all the day’s sales the 46 locations in Tucson and Phoenix were donated. Co-owner Mike Barro thanks loyal customers for coming out year after year that has raised more than $2.5 million dollars in the 11 years.

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

New Camelback Smokers coming to Joe’s Real BBQ

After 25 years in Downtown Gilbert’s Joe’s Real BBQ is undergoing an expansion to offer guests a better experience. The biggest change is the addition of two Camelback Smokers to enhance the flavors of their signature smoked meats. The restaurant will continue using its three Oyler BBQ pits and its Ferris wheel type smoker with racks.

“Camelback Smokers allow for ideal air flow during the smoking process, which really helps bring out the flavor of the meats,” says Joe Johnston, owner of Joe’s Real BBQ. “With more smoke particles flowing over the meat and getting embedded throughout the cook, guests will enjoy a delicious crispy bark and tender, juicy meat. We always strive for customer satisfaction and we are really excited to further improve the food we are serving our guests and the experience they have with us from start to finish.”

Guests will have full view of the new smokers and meats from a fenced off area outside the restaurant. Other changes to the restaurant will help maximize efficiency and keep costs down at the restaurant. A second carving and dish-up line, a to-go window and an additional door for catering are being added. Almost half of Joe’s business has been from take-out and catering since the start of Covid-19. The expansion will help the kitchen meet and exceed demand and will be completed in January 2023.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Pita Jungle offers an assorted Baklawa Box for the holidays

Whether for holiday parties or giving as a gift Baklawa makes for a delicious treat. The layered phyllo dough, honey and pistachio Mediterranean treat is made in house and available at all 23 locations starting at $16 through the holidays and into 2023.

“Die Hard” dinner at Found: RE Hotel

The downtown Phoenix hotel hosts a four course themed dinner of the blockbuster Bruce Willis film on Saturday, December 17th. The restaurant will be transformed into the 30th floor of Nakotomi Plaza for a fun evening with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Seats at $79++ per person and reservations can be made here. The menu is as follows….

Nakatomi Seafood Tower with lobster claw, jumbo shrimp and oyster with cocktail sauce and lemon mignonette  

Yippee Kai Yay MotherClucker Salad — mixed greens and napa cabbage salad with scallions, pea shoots, ghost chili-dusted wonton strips, roasted chicken and spicy sesame dressing 

The German Twins — pork and beef schnitzel with warm German potato salad and Jagerschnitzel sauce

“Sugar-enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, polysorbate 60 and yellow dye No. 5. Just everything a growing boy needs” Cake — yellow sponge cake filled with buttercream frosting, Crunch bar pieces, broken sugar glass and raspberry sauce 

Taittinger Champagne dinner at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Thursday December 15th is when the celebrated champagne house’s bubbles will be paired with a 5 course meal. The dinner is part of the resort’s monthly Winemaker Dinner series held in Alto Ristorante with dinner curated by Chef Joaquin Estolano Jr. The reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6:30. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-629-6231 and seats are $170 per person. After dinner guests will have the opportunity to purchase champagne at a discount.

Pint for a Penny at PHX Beer Co.

Buy gift card of $25 or more at the local brewer’s Phoenix taproom or Scottsdale restaurant and get a pint of beer for one cent while you wait. The deal is available until Christmas Eve and is only available on location and at time of purchase.

Source to open December 19th in Gilbert

Monday December 19th brings the opening of the new upscale fast fine dining Mediterranean concept. Founders Akshat Sethi, founder of Thai Chili 2 Go, and Chef Claudio Urciuoli, of Palaphx and Noble Bread fame, will offer fresh baked breads, sandwiches, salads, tapas and more. Natural wines will be offered with your dishes and in the retail market. Come January opening specials will be announced with more details to come.

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

The Blue Heron opens alongside Crust Simply Italian in Gilbert

Crust Simply Italian continues their expansion with their newest location in the Verde at Cooley Station development in Gilbert. With the new opening comes the new speakeasy themed cocktail bar, The Blue Heron. It’s not owner Mike Merendino’s first dual concept as his Chandler location of Crust also houses The Ostrich cocktail bar downstairs.

“We have been looking in Gilbert for some time now, and when we found the Verde project in Cooley Station we fell in love with the neighborhood,” says owner Merendino. A Mesa location is expected to open in mid-2023.

The East Coast Italian restaurant serves up classic dishes and pizza Merendino used to make in his father’s pizzeria on New York’s Long Island. Authentic pasta dishes, Italian style Rustica shaped pizza’s and craft cocktails are signature to Crust. Happy hour happens Monday -Friday from 3- 6p.m. and offers specials on their popular appetizers and cocktails.

“Crust Simply Italian is looking forward to serving the local Gilbert community with delicious authentic East Coast Italian food! We want our customers to come in as friends and to walk away feeling like family!” says Merendino.

“Dealer’s Choice” at The Blue Heron

The Blue Heron specializes in craft cocktails and the popular “dealer’s choice” cocktail. The “dealer’s choice” is perfect for those aren’t sure what they want to drink so the bartenders create custom cocktails based on the customer’s preference of ingredients. Merendino continues his Birds of a Feather theme in naming The Blue Heron, a native bird to Arizona. Doors open daily at 5 p.m.

Both Gilbert locations offer catering and have space for private dining and events. Crust opens daily at 11 a.m. and is at 2470 S Recker Rd #101,Gilbert AZ 85296.

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

 

 

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.

The TLC eXperience returns with Friendsgiving at Agritopia

The monthly supper club is back after taking the summer off with its first dinner of the season Friday, November 18th at Agritopia in Gilbert. Seating is limited for the 4-course dinner created by Chef Tom Baumbach and his team. Cocktail hour starts at 5:30 with dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $150 per person and can only be purchased here.  Tables of 8 or 10 are also available for purchase.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. Craft Beer & Music Festival happens Saturday

Tomorrow November 5th welcomes NASCAR fans, country music lovers and beer drinkers to Bell Bank Park starting 6 p.m. The popular Hillbilly Deluxe is the headliner with DJ Jeffro and the Get Lit Dancers opens the show. VIP Happy Hour hosted by Michael starts with early entry at 5 p.m. Tickets for the 21+ older festival are available at BellBankPark.com or at Tixr.

Press Coffee opens today inside Sprouts

The first in-store location of the locally owned coffee roster is now open inside the Sprouts at 3320 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix. All weekend long small drip coffees are $1 and all of the proceeds will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Foundation. Give away will be happening on Saturday and Sunday with more details here.

Loco J’s Tacos & Tequila now open in Cave Creek

Navy veteran Jason Clouse opened his new taco joint in this week making it the first Mexican restaurant to open in town in a long time. He was the former owner of nearby Rosati’s Pizza and sold it to focus on Loco J’s. The restaurant is at 28260 N. Tatum Blvd. and opens daily at 3 p.m.

LDV Winery hiring for their Scottsdale tasting room

Looking to make some extra money for the holidays or keep up with inflation, put your wine knowledge and customer service skills to work in the fun and friendly atmosphere.  Submit your resume to info@ldvwinery.com and learn more about the winery at their website.

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.

YC’s Mongolian Grill opens a new Scottsdale location

Locally owned YC’s Mongolian Grill returned to Scottsdale last week with the opening its new Loop 101 & Raintree location. Loyal customers couldn’t wait to get back to building their own stir fry bowls as was evident when I visited with owner Geoff Stansic recently. The previous Scottsdale location was at The Pavilions but was shut down with the other 4 locations due to the pandemic. As the pandemic waned and the economy improved Stansic decided to re-open 3 of the locations in Gilbert, Tempe and Scottsdale with a 4th location slated to open sometime in 2023.

“After a tough few years of working through adversity during the pandemic and beyond, we are ready to open the doors to an all-new YC’s experience and reconnect with our Scottsdale customers,” Stanisic said. “We take pride in the food we serve and love being able to provide our customers with the best ingredients and a bowl full of authentic flavor.”

Stansic took over in 1996, five years after the first location in Tempe was opened by the original owner YC. He knew a thing or two about the restaurant business as he was kitchen manager for Hyatt Hotels and Houston’s before going into business for himself. It shows as he greets his returning customers by name, knows what bowls they will build and sauces they will have them tossed with. He even has a few signature sauces named for long time customers. He credits much of the success to his attentive staff, several who have been with since before he took over almost 30 years ago.

YC's Mongolian Grill
Beef & Broccoli bowl

What is YC’s Mongolian Grill?

Folklore has it that in the days of Genghis Khan, his army would cook their food on their shields over a hot fire, similar to how it’s done at YC’s. In each location after you’ve piled high your meats, vegetables, noodles and sauces the cooks will grill them on 600 degree circular flat top grill in full view. During peak times 4 cooks will toss the ingredients on the grill rotating around the grill.

There is no one demographic at YC’s Mongolian Grill as the food has something for everybody. Vegan and gluten free diets can be accommodated as there are plenty of vegetables, noodles and sauces for all.  Want meat in your bowl, add white or dark meat chicken, pork and or beef with shrimp available during dinner. Don’t be afraid to pile your ingredients high, it’s encouraged. Their signature noodles are sourced from Chinatown in L.A. with vegetables coming from local distributors.

A separate bowl is used combine ingredients for your Asian inspired sauce. A menu board offers several signature sauces recommending how much and which water based sauces and rice wines to use. The staff is always nearby to help create your sauce before grilling making tastes and combinations endless.

Free Stir Fry Day

To celebrate the new location, customers coming in Wednesday, November 2nd will get free small bowl from 11 a.m. – 7p.m. The new location is at 14850 N. 87th St., Scottsdale, AZ. For more information visit their website.

%d bloggers like this: