Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Barro’s Pizza replaces Chandler location with a new one

The locally owned pizza restaurant has been at its original Chandler location for over 20 years and the family felt it needed a change. They’re moving to a new location in the Ocotillo neighborhood at Queen Creek and Alma School Rd. beginning Tuesday January 24th. The closing location will be open right to the end closing at the end of service on the 23rd. The new modern decor will still have the comfy neighborhood feel customers have come to over 40 years.

Ling & Louie’s Lunar New Year celebration starts tomorrow

As featured last month the north Scottsdale Asian fusion restaurant celebrates the Year of the Rabbit for 2 weeks. The celebration with food and drink specials start tomorrow with all details found in here.

Sunday grilled cheese pop up at Garden Bar

Fates Bread Co. will be making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches every Sunday at the downtown Phoenix cocktail bar. Starting at 5 p.m. until they sell out guests can choose from a BLT Melt or The Secret Garden. Sundays also feature industry specials for hospitality workers. Reservations are suggested for all visits.

Jackson Family Wine dinner next week at Ling’s Wok Shop

If you haven’t made reservations for the 5 course dinner next Wednesday there is still time to do so. The Asian inspired dinner will be paired with wines from across the globe. For reservation details and to see the menu, see my post from earlier this month.

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

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

Holiday Breakfast Box available from Morning Squeeze

Looking to feed friends and family breakfast Christmas morning? If so, each Breakfast Box serves up to 10 people and pre-orders are being taken from December 1st until the 20th. Each box includes 1 meat quiche, 1 vegetable quiche, potatoes, fruit, French toast casserole and orange juice. Orders can be picked up on December 23rd & 24th at their new catering kitchen at 1725 W. University Dr. Tempe and each box is $140. To order call 480-967-6610 or email TakeHome@morningsqueeze.com

Tracey Dempsey Originals to host Holiday Market

Now that we’re in the gift giving season make plans to attend the Local Love: Holiday Market next Saturday December 3rd. Baked goods and wines from Tracey Dempsey Originals/ ODV Wines along with other local partners including Ernest +Humble Coffee, The Sober Somm with alcohol free libation options, Broom Brush Tea, candle maker Cactus + Vine and 8 other local vendors. Non-profit partners The Joy Bus, Blue watermelon Project & Sun produce Co-Op will be selling gift cards, tickets to future fundraiser and food delivery subscriptions.

The market will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Tracey Dempsey Originals 1325 W. University Dr. Tempe.

Pork on a Fork Friday specials available for pre-order

Not wanting to cook dinner at the end of a long week then pre-order a smoked meat dinner from their North Phoenix or Chandler restaurants. Starting on Monday you can place your order for Tri-Tip for December 2nd pick-up and order Beef Ribs on Monday the 5th for pick-up on the 9th. Quantities are limited and pre-orders are necessary.

New Happy Hour menu at Sfizio in North Phoenix

The Italian restaurant in Desert Ridge just released a new menu available daily in the bar from opening til 6 p.m. Enjoy Shrimp Risotto, Mussel Marinara, Meatballs and Truffle Garlic Bread in house or consider them inspiration for your holiday cooking.

Oro Brewery Company brings home the gold from GABF

The Mesa craft brewer won was awarded a gold medal by the Brewers Asoociation at the 2022 Great American Beer Festival in October. The gold medal beer was the Café Oro, a Blonde Ale infused with cold-press coffee in the “Coffee Beer style” category. The cold press coffee used is from local Village Coffee Roastery.

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.

Dia de los Muertos Festival at Cien Agaves

The newly re-modeled restaurant and bar in Old Town Scottsdale is showing off its new look this Sunday, October 30th. From 1 – 4 p.m. festival goers can taste 15 different agaves, enjoy live music & get a swag bag. Capacity is limited and tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.

Tommy V’s hosts The Carlton Winemakers Studio dinner

Next Thursday, November 3rd the Scottsdale restaurant hosts a 5-course dinner paired with wines starting at 6:30 p.m. Red & white wines will be paired with Shrimp & Tuna Wheat Ceviche, Hazelnut Risotto, Braised Short Ribs and more. Seats are a $135++ and reservations can be made by calling the Scottsdale restaurant at 480-427-2264.

Trinchero Family Estates wine dinner at The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Tara & Travis Rawlings purchased Moon Valley’s Aiellos and Isa’s Pizza in May and changed it to The Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar making some changes to higher quality ingredients and adjusted the menu to regional Italian. They host a six course dinner featuring Italian wines from the California based wine company on Wednesday, November 9th. They’re offering two seating’s at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. for $125++. You can reserve your spot for this memorable evening at their website.

Blue Hound Kitchen welcomes a new chef and new menu

Executive Chef Alex Robinson joined Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails at Hotel Palomar in August and hit the ground running working on a new menu. The menu and new cocktails from Clint “Spotty” Spotelson debuted in early October and features chef’s signature BHKC 900 Hot Stone with Australian Wagyu or Yellow Fin Tuna, Net of  The Sea, Roasted Airline Chicken Breast to name a few. Cocktail highlights include the bourbon based Stealth Bomber, Open Sesame with black sesame infused George Dickel rye and Pedro Conejo, an interesting combination of liquors, carrots and lime.

Halloween weekend around Phoenix

There are too many spooky events to mention this weekend around the Phoenix area. Look and you’ll find spooky cocktails, costume parties and more at your favorite restaurants, bars and breweries. Have fun and be safe!

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

Bartenders compete to create new Fall cocktails at Spinato’s

There’s no better way to create new cocktails for the Fall season than to go to those who make them on a daily basis. That’s why Spinato’s Pizzeria  bartenders organized a friendly contest with the bartenders at their six locations to see which cocktails make the final list.

“Our bartenders did a phenomenal job creating unique recipes for this contest,” said Erin Schultz, Spinato’s Marketing Director. “We’re really proud of them, and we hope our guests will enjoy the new cocktails as much as we do!” The creative cocktails will be on the menu until Spring and all participating bartenders received a gift card to several local breweries.

Bartenders new Fall cocktail list

The 6 new Fall cocktails are as follows.

Crystal Mirtillo: Crafted by bartender Milan Watt in Scottsdale. Featuring Hornitos Tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, agave, Triple Sec, a splash of Sierra Mist and served with edible glitter and a sugared rim. $12

Dolce Delizioso: Crafted by bartender Janet Blau in Ahwatukee. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, Kahlua, heavy cream, caramel sauce and served with a salted caramel rim. $16

Harvest Apple: Crafted by bartender Allison Brackenbury in Scottsdale. Featuring Captain Morgan spiced rum, cider simple syrup, lemon juice, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, soda water and served with 3 apple slices and fresh grated cinnamon. $12

Orange You Feeling Cran’d: Crafted by bartender Andrew Brent in Tempe. Featuring Del Bac scotch whiskey and cranberry simple syrup. $16

Porch-Side Smash: Crafted by bartender Conan Zimmerman in Phoenix. Featuring Blue Clover vodka, creme de mure, lemon juice and a press. $10

Spinato’s Spritz: Crafted by bartender Mike Danner in Ahwatukee. Featuring your choice of Blue Clover gin or vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled Luxardo cherries with a press. $10

Danner also created a 3 Halloween themed cocktails.

Butter Beer Cocktail: For all the Harry Potter fans out there! Pinnacle Whipped vodka, butterscotch liqueur, Frangelico, caramel sauce and Grateful Spoon vanilla gelato. $14

Poison Apple Cocktail: Blue Clover vodka, apple liqueur, simple syrup, green edible swirl glitter and one Luxardo cherry. $8

Zombie Blood Cocktail: Kahlua coffee liqueur, creme de menthe and cream with a side of eyeball. $11

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.

Tequila Corrido pairing dinner at Hotel Valley Ho

The locally owned tequila is being paired with a special menu by the hotel’s Executive Chef Russel LaCasce on Thursday, October 27th. The four course dinner includes Shrimp & Abalone Ceviche, Duck & Pork Tostadas with pickled escabeche, Bone-In Short Rib “Colorado” with Spanish rice and beans, and Elote Cake with mascarpone citrus and tequila gelée. Seats are $109++. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and seats can be reserved by calling 480-421-7997.

Third Tuesday wine pairing dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

Next Tuesday, October 18th the downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly three course dinner. Ahi- Nicoise Salad, Beseme Mucho and Red Velvet Cake are paired with wines from California and Oregon. Seats are $39 and reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.

Liberty Station Tavern celebrates 10th anniversary

Originally named Market Street Kitchen before the Keeler family rebranded it to Liberty Station Tavern in 2016, the two celebrate its 10th anniversary Thursday, October 20th. The DC Ranch restaurants invites guests to night of food, drinks and entertainment starting at 6 p.m. Five food stations along with wine, beer & cocktails are $110.10++ with more information on their website and limited seating reservations can be made by calling 480-278-7044.

Pink Out tomorrow at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurants

A reminder of the Pink Out tomorrow at all 4 locations and free mammogram at their downtown Chandler restaurant. Details of how you can participate tomorrow and all month are here at the featured post.

Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy has arrived this weekend

The Italian Association of Arizona hosts its annual food and music festival at the Scottsdale Waterfront tomorrow and Sunday. All the details can be found at last month’s featured post.

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.

Summer Supper returns at Marcellino Ristorante

When downtown Scottsdale’s Marcellino Ristorante returns next Thursday August 4th after a couple weeks of rest and relaxation so will their Summer Supper dining experience. Guests can enjoy a three course for only $49 per person choosing from antipastos, award-winning handcrafted pastas and ending with house-made biscotti for dessert. Imagine a Caprese salad with imported mozzarella or entrees Gnocchi Sorrentina or Filetto Di Maiale without leaving Arizona. The Summer Supper is available nightly from 4 p.m. til closing for parties up to 6 people.

Also returning is their weekly Dinner and a Movie program. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening through the first week of September at 5:30 p.m. guests can enjoy dinner from the menu or the Summer Supper menu. Enjoy the private dining room with others for a date night, girl’s night out or just letting Marcellino do the cooking. Admission is free but dinner and reservations are  required.

The movies are as scheduled.

August 9; and August 24: “The Talented Mr. Ripley”
August 10; and August 30: “Only You”

August 16; and August 31: “Roman Holiday”

August 17; and August 23: “Eat, Pray, Love”

August 28; and September 7: “When in Rome”
September 6: “The Big Night”
Reservations are suggested for the Summer Supper. To make a reservation call 480-490-9500. For more information and to view their menus visit their website.

 

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen brings a taste of Italy to north Phoenix.

Father and son Rocco and Marco Pezzano are no strangers to owning and operating Italian restaurants. In the summer of 2021 after a few years out of the business they were drawn back in and opened Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen in the Desert Ridge neighborhood of North Phoenix. Sfizio is Italian for “you don’t need it, but you want it” or a “craving” and you’ll want this authentic Italian cooking.

Rocco was born in southern Italy’s Calabria region and moved to Torino at 16 working in his aunt’s bakery and pizzeria. In 1986 after visiting family in the United States he re-located to Arizona and opened “That’s Italian” and “Caffe Italy” in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Marco, an architecture student at ASU often worked in the restaurants growing up and learned to love it the way his father does. Like many in the industry Rocco got burnt out and started a wholesale company opting for a desk job.

Young Marco noticed his dad, although successful, wasn’t happy and had a “unspoken passion” for owning his own restaurant, inspired him to get back in the kitchen. That was 2019 and the idea for Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen started to become a reality. Mom Zee and Marco’s sister round out the family and can be found at the restaurant when not working or in school.

The food at Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen

All the food at Sfizio is scratch made with all the ingredients imported from throughout Italy. Fresh bread and pizza dough is made twice a day and pasta is made in house every day. Popular dishes include the seafood Frutti Di Mare with shellfish tossed in a spicy red sauce over squid ink pasta, plump Lobster Ravioli and Pollo Parmigina. Pizza Napoletana get tossed and baked in the brick oven in full view of the bar and dining room. Salads, small plates, entrees, antipasto boards and pizzas are served daily at dinner. The lunch menu includes pizza, sandwiches and a couple of pastas until 3 p.m. A full bar is available as is a mostly Italian wine list.

By the time you read this a new menu should be introduced including “The Original Sfizini” available during lunch.  Created by Rocco, hollowed out fresh bread is filled with classic Italian ingredients. Sausage & Peppers, Chicken Cacciatore and Eggplant Parmigiana are just a few of the fillings. Make sure you save room for classic Italian desserts of cannoli, tiramisu and more

Sfizio Modern Italian Kitchen is open daily Monday – Friday at 11 a.m. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. 7 days a week. Happy hour is available daily in the bar. Find them at 21050 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85050. Visit their website for more information and to view the menus.

%d bloggers like this: