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.

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.

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.

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

Sid’s Garage bringing high energy vibe to Desert Ridge Marketplace

Phoenix is getting a new burger restaurant when Sid’s Garage starts serving high intensity burgers, cocktails with an attitude on May 15th. With 2 locations in Idaho, owners Nicole and Will Primavera bring their industrial vibe to The District next to AMC theatres where guests will also enjoy adult games, an outdoor patio and a private dining room for group events.

Get ready to chow down on burgers, award-winning cocktails and boozy shakes not for the faint of heart. Burgers include the Boss Hog Burger – half-pound Wagyu and Black Angus Snake River Farm beef patty, 48-hour roasted pork belly, onion rings with scratch-made Sriracha-bourbon sauce or Sid’s version of Bacon and Eggs – four pieces of candied bacon suspended above two flash-fried deviled eggs with a honey mustard dipping reduction.

Enjoy favorite cocktails and shakes such as the Velvet Revolver made with vodka, tyku, lime, muddled cucumber and sriracha; the 420 shake has crumbled Oreo, vanilla ice cream with a buttercream rimmed glass and a huge dark chocolate ice cream sandwich; the Fat Elvis shake includes a peanut butter rim, raspberry jam, vanilla bean ice cream, crunch berries and a full size strawberry short cake bar.

Sid’s Garage will be open daily at 11 a.m. until  9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 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.

Chef Angelo Sosa to open Tía Carmen at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

Early April will see the debut of Tía Carmen, a contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef” Angelo Sosa. He and seasoned restaurateur Mark Stone’s new signature restaurant at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is named the after Sosa’s aunt. Chef Sosa learned alongside chefs Jean-George Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto before opening his Michelin recommended Añejo Restaurant, a Mexican hotspot in New York City.

“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” said Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”

The menu from Chef Angelo Sosa

Serving dinner, Tía Carmen’s dishes will be made with regional ingredients from local purveyors prepared in a wood-fired grill. The menu will be written in three sections, light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Angelo Rosa’s signature dishes will include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.

Mitchel O. Bushell is creating a cocktail program emphasizing local herbs & spices, distilleries and ingredients for house made syrups and juices. Many of the cocktails will be prepared with artisanal agave spirits. The wine program is being curated by former Morimoto Restaurant Group’s Eduardo Dingler. Emphasis will be on wines from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe and other west coast wineries and emerging wineries in Europe.

The 130 seat restaurant is designed by Thomas Schoos and his L.A. based hospitality design firm Schoos Design. The “Earth meets Art” theme offers a clean and warm ambiance with natural forms from the local landscape. Plateware and the Southwestern tablescape from Phoenix’s Blue Door Ceramics was made exclusively for Tía Carmen. For more information and to stay up to date about the opening follow @TiaCarmen.Phx on Instagram.

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.

Pretzel Fest every Wednesday at Pedal Haus Brewery

The local brew pub with locations in downtown Phoenix, downtown Chandler and downtown Tempe couldn’t wait til Oktoberfest to feature their new Bavarian Board. Each board includes charcuterie meats, olives, a large Bavarian pretzel, beer cheese, maple butter, haus mustard and 2 beers for $16. Upgrade the beers to a Stein for $20 or a bottle of Haus wine for $25.

Hearth ’61 now offers a vegan tasting menu

Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro has created a 4-course vegetable focused menu at the Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant. The menu consists of Celeriac Salad, Parsnip Confit with curry chickpea stew, a Roasted Portobello Mushroom with eggplant cous cous and a Strawberry Lemon Tart with ginger meringue. The menu is available all year long and is $89 plus tax & gratuity.

Society by EVO opening in Tempe

A new restaurant from Nick Neuman and his partners is coming to Tempe in February. The late night upscale dining experience restaurant is looking to hire 50 people and is having a hiring fair today, Friday January 28th from 12 noon til 4 p.m. at EVO on Goldwater Blvd. in Scottsdale. Interested applicants can also send Nick a resume to nickneuman@evoscottsdale.com. The restaurant will be in The Cornerstone at Rural and University and will be open from 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The Mexicano now serving lunch

The new restaurant from Joey Maggiore is now serving lunch 7 days a week starting at 11 a.m. The made from scratch Mexican cuisine restaurant in northeast Phoenix offers a build your own Michelada bar along with agave based cocktails to go along with your Guacamole and Salsa Ferris Wheel, tacos made with blue corn tortillas, lava rock fajitas and a three foot long quesadilla. On weekends rotating DJs play Latin music to enhance the vibrant atmosphere.

The Crepe Club celebrates National Crepe Day

Next Wednesday February 2nd get a free Nutella or Parisian (butter & sugar) crepe at the Scottsdale Fashion Square (in the food court) location from 9 – 11 a.m.

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.

EAT by Stacey Weber giving away a 3 free Thanksgiving meals

You can nominate a family to receive a Turkey and all the fixings (valued at $248) to feed a family of 4 until next Thursday, November 18th. You can nominate a family here or email at phoenix@eatbystacyweber.com. Pick up would be on Wednesday, November 24th between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the 4740 E. Shea Blvd Phoenix 85028.

The Phoenix Pizza Festival is this weekend.

Finally a favorite festival is here in downtown Phoenix’s Margaret T. Hance Park on Saturday and Sunday. See all the details, participants and changes for 2021 here.

2021 Slider Throwdown is this Sunday 11/14

The popular “Battle of the Burger” event returns to High Street in north Phoenix on Sunday. Stop by and vote for your favorite slider and help raise money for Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation from 12 – 4 p.m. Admission is $40 and includes sliders, lemonade from Cuties Lemonade & More food truck and dessert from Kicks Frozen Yogurt. Live entertainment and a silent auction will also be happening.

Seats still available for Miner Family Wines dinner

Assistant winemaker Michelle Safir will be in town for the dinner at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa next Thursday, November 17th. For more details see my September post about how to reserve your seat and December’s Truchard Vineyard dinner details.

Trade “Toys for Tacos” at Mesquite Fresh Street Mex

Until December 15th the fast casual concept has partnered with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect toys in exchange for a free taco. Drop off new & unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods and toiletries at a location near you.

The Montauk adds new dishes to its menu

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant added to its eclectic menu this week. The new dishes are as follows. Playa Salad – Oranges, red onion, pepitas and queso fresco over a bed of artisan greens with coriander vinaigrette to finish. Short Rib Bowl – Overnight braised short rib, house made BBQ sauce, roasted root vegetables, crispy baked potato wedges and scallions served with brown rice. Buddah Bowl– Roasted broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, avocado, grilled onions, edamame and pepitas, served with chipotle tahini and a soft-boiled egg over brown rice. Short Rib Huevos Rancheros (brunch only) – Eggs, braised short rib, refried black beans, red onion, queso fresco, morita-cashew salsa, sour cream, cilantro on a tortilla.

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.

NYC experience coming to new Chompie’s Deli’s Phoenix location

When the new Chompie’s Deli opens this summer it will be like going home without leaving Phoenix. The new location at 32nd St & Cactus Rd. it will be only a mile away from the original location the Borenstein family opened at 32nd St & Shea Blvd. in 1979. For us East Coast transplants it will be like going home to visit NYC.

Enter the new 27,000 square foot restaurant through the bakery and market that will also be the hub for all baking, kosher cooking, and packaged goods. The NYC styled market will offer fresh baked bagels, breads, pastry and merchandise. A barista bar will be serving coffee drinks including cold brew, espresso and a variety of caffeinated beverages. The larger location allows Chompie’s to expand its gluten-free and keto friendly baked good for the menu and retail.

Chompie’s and its new investment partner JRI Hospitality have envisioned this type of NYC experience restaurant since it decided close its Paradise Valley Mall location (closing May 17th) last year as the mall goes into re-development.

“We all are extremely excited to bring Chompie’s back to its old stomping grounds and to be a part of the revitalization of the area,” says Mark Borenstein, co-founder and owner. “We’re so humbled by the support of our loyal customers and proud of everything the Chompie’s brand has come to represent for so many — a great meal anytime, a feast for the holidays, a dozen bagels to bring to the office, a beautiful cake for a celebration, or just a really good cup of coffee or a Bloody Mary to enjoy while catching up with a longtime friend. We intend to be part of our customers’ best memories for years to come.”

NYC state of mind

Entering the restaurant guests will recognize the glitz, a mural of the NYC skyline and memorabilia including the iconic Times Square ball from New Year’s Eve. The patio will remind you of Central Park with greenery, trees and lights among the various seating including a community tables and lounge seating.

“It’s an honor for us to partner with the Borenstein family to help Chompie’s grow and develop well into the future,” says Jason Ingermanson, CEO and president of JRI. “This partnership allows the family to remain an integral part of the restaurants’ day-to-day operations while we explore opportunities to further expand the brand that they’ve worked so hard to build to what is it today.”

When the new restaurant opens it will be filled with grand opening events and fundraisers. The new restaurant will be at 3212 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix and more information is at their website.

Mint Juleps & fancy hats return for the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub

Saturday May 1st brings the return of The Kentucky Derby and in Phoenix that means the Bulleit Bourbon Derby DayClub at Turf Paradise. After 2020 cancelled the Spring event and moved to an audience-less September running of the ponies guests are welcome back to sip on Mint Juleps, dress up and bet on your favorite horses. The 2021 Derby DayClub will have 3 separate viewing areas all with limited capacity and following CDC protocols.

Reserving a seat and tickets

Reserve a table in the Sanderson Lincoln Black Label Lounge air-cooled tent close to the finish line. Betting terminals, a no-host bar serving Mint Juleps, champagne & cocktails and 65″ TVs are all close to food trucks and refreshments. Tables start at $250 for 2 and up to tables of 8 for $1000. Some packages offer complimentary champagne and food.

The Ketel One Botanical Garden offers an open air tent closer to the finish line further back off the track. Tables include a bucket of Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz Seltzers and access to betting terminals and more. Tables of 4 start at $275 and up to $400 for front row seating.

The new VIP Winner’s Circle covered tent and offers the best view of the finish line. Guest in the Winner’s Circle have access to the other tents and comes with a complimentary Mint Julep, French Fry Bar, large screen TVs, access to betting terminals & food trucks and a no-host bar. Tables of 4 start at $750 and up to 8 for $1,600. All tables include a complimentary bottle of Veuve Cliquot or Chandon Champagne.

General Admission to the DayClub are $30 until April 15th, $35 after the 15th and $40 at the door. General Admission does not include a reserved seat. All ticket can be purchased and more information found at their website. Gates open at 10:45 a.m., Turf Paradise live racing at 11:30 a.m. and the Derby broadcasted live at 4:05 p.m.

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