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.

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.

Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen offer Healthy Hour menu

All 6 locations (5 in Phoenix area and 1 in Sedona) kicked off the new summer Healthy Hour recently. Daily from 3 -6 p.m. enjoy popular food items and cocktails such as Baked Wings, Mama’s Meat-Za-Balls and Baked Brie for $8. Hot Artichoke Spinach Dip and Avocado Toast are $7 and Cheese Bread is $6.

Wash them down with $4 Local Drafts, glasses of house wines for $5 and Zo’s House Made Sangria for $6. Signature cocktails including the Prickly Pear Margarita and Smoky Cadillac are $7 and both use the locally owned Shrubwell‘s rimming salt.

 Dole Whip only $2 on Monday at Koibito Poke

Cool off on National Pineapple Day at the Gainey Ranch location of Koibito Poke with the the popular frozen treat. The 5 oz. Dole Whip is available all day from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Chef Brett Vibber and Pedal Haus Brewery team up for beer paired dinner

Master Brewer Derek Osborne and Wild Arizona chef Brett Vibber team up for a five-course dinner on Thursday June 30th. Dinner will take place at the brewer’s downtown Phoenix location at 214 E. Roosevelt St. starting at 6 p.m. Foraged and locally sourced dishes including Wild Mushroom Potstickers and Arizona Wagyu Brisket will be paired with Mexican Amber Lager and Haus IPA. Seats are limited and are $120 and can be reserved here.

Venezia’s Pizza in Chandler now open

The 6th location of the poplar locally owned restaurant I featured last month is now open for business. Known for pizza and wings they offer daily lunch specials and the “Slice of the Day”. Owner Domenick Montanile opened his first location in Tempe in 1998 right after graduating from ASU.

Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar now open at Chase Field

When it was announced in February that Guy Fieri would we be opening a new restaurant at Chase Field little information was known. Now we know that “Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen +Bar” has opened this week inside the new Caesars Sportsbook. Executive Chef Kayla Laasko offers scratch made food along with classic cocktails, beer & wine. Several of Fieri’s classic dishes including Trash Can Nachos and the popular Bacon Mac n Cheeseburger are on the menu along with new dishes.

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.

Venezia’s Pizzeria to open its 6th location in Chandler

Locally owned Venezia’s Pizzeria is opening its newest location along the Price Corridor of Chandler in June. The New York style pizzeria has been serving the valley for over 20 years with two locations in Mesa, one in Tempe, Gilbert and north Phoenix. Once opened they will offer dine-in, pick-up, delivery and catering.

“Chandler is a rapidly growing community, so it seemed like the perfect fit for our newest location,” said Domenick Montanile, owner and president of Venezia’s New York Style Pizzeria. “The East Valley has really welcomed us over the years, so we wanted to continue to grow our strong presence there. One of our first locations was in Chandler so we are excited about being back and serving our authentic New York style pizza to the local community.”
The Chandler location will have a modern look with white brick accents and drop lighting indoors and a patio with fire pit for outside dining. 8 large screen TVs and a community table and a state of the art kiosk for ordering are also featured. The menu will include classic New York style pizza, pasta, wings, calzones, sandwiches and salads along with gluten-free options and Zero Crust Pizza Bowls. Daily specials include the Slice of the Day, Slice combinations with salads, wings and a drink.
Venezia’s Pizzeria is hiring for all positions in front and back of the house and offer a management training program for those looking to grow with the company. Interested applicants can apply online. Hours will be Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Chandler location will be 1245 S. Price Rd. Chandler 85286. 480-447-5555

Deep dish pizza legend Lou Malnati’s now open in Chandler

Las Tiendas Village in Chandler is the home of the newest Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria to open in Arizona. Their famous deep dish pizza is served fresh along with thin crust pizza, sandwiches, salads, pasta and more. Guests can dine-in, take-out or have their favorite pizzas delivered with catering also available.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lou Malnati’s to Las Tiendas Village,” said Kim Pitt, Property Manager of Las Tiendas. “The addition of such a quality pizzeria fills a void in our tenant mix and I am confident will be be welcomed by the neighborhood and community.” The new Las Tiendas Village restaurant is the 7th location for pizzeria in the Phoenix with other locations in Chicago, Milwaukee and Indianapolis metro areas.

Still owned by the second generation of Malnati’s, the family continues to make their famous deep dish pizza from the original recipe and give the great service Lou started 50 years ago. “Since our first location opened in Arizona, we’ve been welcomed with open arms and are so grateful to our loyal fan base,” said Marc Malnati. “Our team is excited to expand in the Valley and make a home in the city of Chandler.  “We’re committed to providing jobs at our restaurants while supporting the local communities we serve. We’re thankful for the overwhelmingly positive response of customers who love our food, family and hospitality,” Malnati added.

The restaurant opens at 4 p.m. til 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday and from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday- Sunday. Las Tiendas Village is at 2815 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85286. For more information visit their website.

Goodyear welcomes newest Babbo Italian Eatery this week

Local restaurant Babbo Italian Eatery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the grand opening of its eighth location on Thursday, April 7th. With the opening of the Goodyear location all eight restaurants will donate 100% all the day’s proceeds to the Seena Magowitz Foundation.

“The Seena Magowitz Foundation is an incredible organization that seeks to spread awareness about pancreatic cancer and helps extend the quality of life for those inflicted with this disease by investing in research and amplifying its message,” said owner of Babbo Italian Eatery, Ken Pollack. “Their mission is important to our entire family and we are very proud to partner with them on April 7—and beyond.”

For the Day of Giving, Foundation Founder and CEO Roger Magowitz will personally match all donations received dollar for dollar. “The foundation accepts the challenge in pursuit of an eventual cure and we are excited to partner with Babbo Italian Eatery to help spread that awareness,” said Magowitz. “Our vision is inspiring vigilance and keen awareness on how people can minimize the risk of getting the most brutal of cancers which has the lowest average five-year survival rate of any other cancer. If not us, then who?”

The Goodyear restaurant will accommodate up to 236 guests looking to dine on house-made Italian food. Classic dishes include Spaghetti & Meatballs and house-made Focaccia bread along with new, modern Italian dishes Chicken Chipolte Pasta and Wild Mushroom Spaghettni. The 6,000 square foot restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a private dining room for up to 74 people.

The Goodyear location is at 15705 W. McDowell Rd. 85395 on the southwest corner of Pebble Creek Pkwy. For more information or to view their modern Italian menu visit 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.

Specials for National Pi Day next Monday 3.14 around Phoenix

Normally closed on Monday’s, downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps will open from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. for the special occasion. At 3:14 p.m. they will tap new pie-styled ciders Brambleberry Pie, Cherry Peach Pie and Key Lime Pie and sell 8 oz. pours for $3.14. They will also offer 10 oz. Apple Pie Slushies for the same price.

Fired Pie get a 1 topping pizza for $3.14 with the purchase of a beverage at all 19 Phoenix area locations.

At Streets of New York buy 1 pizza at regular price, get a 2nd at 1/2 price at their 17 Phoenix area locations and Prescott.

Meet the winemaker tonight at Aridus Wine Company

The tasting room in old town Scottsdale welcomes winemaker Lisa Strand to town from the winery in Willcox. Stop by from 5-8 p.m. for a glass of wine to celebrate Women’s History Month and Arizona Wine Month.

3rd Tuesday 3-course dinner at Romeo’s Euro Cafe

The European style cafe hosts its monthly dinner prepared by owner & chef Romeo Taus. A salad, entree and dessert paired with wine at the downtown Gilbert cafe is $39. The dinner next Tuesday, March 15th starts at 6:30 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 480-862-4224.

Roxx Vodka donates to Polish charities helping Ukrainians refugees

The locally owned spirit, made in Poland is donating $1 of each bottle sold for a good cause. Distilled six times and made with naturally grown grains contains no sugar, corn or pesticides. Roxx is available at AJs Fine Foods for between $26 -$32.

Angry Crab Shack opens newest location in Casa Grande

The restaurant that specializes in seafood boils with an Asian and Cajun influences opened its 14th location in Arizona this week. The new location at 1601 E. Florence Blvd. sources seafood from the coastal waters off the United States and Canada also includes seafood entrees, Po’Boys and more.

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.

Calzone Connection now available online from Crust Simply Italian

Specialty calzones are now available for delivery or pick-up from the kitchens of Crust Simply Italian locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. The new concept, Calzone Connection offers football sized calzones for sharing or a very hungry person with fillings such as lobster ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs and linguini Alfredo with bacon.

Founder Mike Merendino came up the idea for Calzone Connection from years in Italian restaurants for serving staff meals that aren’t on the menu. “We go beyond the dishes we’re serving – we love to create our own,” Merendino explained. “These menu items we put together are what we used to eat growing up in my father’s pizzeria.”

During the recent pandemic when staff at his restaurants would eat together and have fun creating new things to eat. “We started making these wild calzones,” he recalled. Soon after staff would to have them made again and asking if they could start serving them to guests.

If you’re craving a calzone you can order online from 11 a.m. to 9:00p.m. daily & 11am to 9:30p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pick-up or delivery from third party delivery services is available.  Calzones can be picked up at Crust’s restaurants at 8300 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, and 10 N. San Marcos Pl., Chandler. A third location will in Gilbert will be opening at Williams Field & Recker Rd. later this year.

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.

Woo Woo Burgers coming to Scottsdale with pop-up kick off

Z’ Tejas ghost kitchen that launched last June in Chandler is coming to Scottsdale starting Monday January 3rd 2022. With a pop-up launch by the lake at their McCormick Ranch location the first 200 guests get a free burger, side & a drink. Starting Monday the full menu will be available in Scottsdale for curbside pick-up or third party delivery. The pop-up starts at 11 a.m. and goes until there are no more burgers to serve.

Start 2022 with National Bloody Mary Day at Daily Dose

Drink too much ringing in 2022, get back in the saddle first thing Saturday morning January 1st 2022 with the classic cocktail. All 3 locations kicking it off with their Bacon Bloody Mary and more with brunch.

New hours at Maui Pasta

The popular Gainey Ranch pasta shop and eatery come January 3rd 2022 will be open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The new hours reflect a continued focus by Chef Patty & her staff on making fresh pasta and scratch made Italian & Hawaiian food for dine-in, take-out & catering.

New year, fresh salad specials at Miracle Mile Deli

Those making resolutions to make better eating decisions can head to the central Phoenix deli for weekly $12 salads in January. Starting the 3rd-8th The Mediterranean Salad followed every Monday by the Aloha, Fiesta and Big City Chopped Salads are available.

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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