“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Sphinx Date Company announces re-opening

The Palm & Pantry market has re-opened Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. in old town Scottsdale. Just in time for the 2020 date harvest and leading into the holiday season.

Dutch Bros Coffee raises money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Friday September 18th all 28 locations will donate $1 from every drink sold to the hospitals Buck for Kids day of Giving.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar celebrates National Cheeseburger Day

The week of September 14th-18th the Scottsdale & Camelback locations are letting you double burgers in celebration. Get another patty for free when you order online and take your burger to go. Use promo code “double” at check out to redeem.

Milkshakes are only $4 at Miracle Mile Deli

Celebrate National Milkshake Day is Saturday September 12th and Miracle Mile Deli all month with a chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milkshake for a low price.

Duckhorn Wine Dinner at Tommy V’s in Scottsdale

The restaurant resumes its series of wine dinners on Thursday September 17th with the Napa Valley winery. Tables of 8 will be 6 feet apart and other safety precautions will be followed. The 5 course dinner paired with 5 wines is $90 per person plus tax & tip. To see the menu and make your reservation visit their website.

Weekend brunch back on the menu at Rusconi’s American Kitchen

Weekends just got better at the intersection of Shea and Tatum as Rusconi’s American Kitchen has re-introduced brunch on the weekend. In the past the scratch kitchen had served brunch only on Sunday’s but added Saturday’s from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to get sweet & savory favorites. Eggs, pancakes, soups, sandwiches and entrees with Rusconi’s twist have returned including……..

-Pork Chile Verde with corn tortillas, sunnyside up egg, cotija cheese, green chile sauce, grape tomato salsa and radish, $14

-The Kitchen Benedict featuring beef short ribs, poached eggs, citrus hollandaise, English muffin and creamy red pepper grits, $12

-RAK French Toast with cinnamon cream, powdered sugar and real maple syrup, $10

-Rico’s New Orleans Beignets with house made jam and chocolate sauce, $9

-Roasted Pork Posole with hominy, corn, avocado, grape tomato salsa, and watermelon radish, $7, bowl; $11, large bowl; add an egg for $2 more

-Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad with rhubarb vinaigrette, praline pecans, granny smith apples and goat cheese, $12

-Harris Ranch “Kitchen” Burger with goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and tomato, $14 (add a fried egg for $3)

Enjoy house made Bloody Mary’s and Mimosa’s for $5 with you meal whether you choose to dine-in or take-out.

Weekend brunch reservations can be made by calling (480)493-0009 or online at https://rusconiskitchen.com/. Rusconi’s American Kitchen 10637 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix 85028

September brings the return of Arizona Restaurant Week

One of the most popular events among the Arizona restaurant community is Arizona Restaurant Week. The 10 day culinary event returns Friday September 18th – Sunday the 27th around the state. Like the June event participating restaurants will offer dine-in or take-out 3 course meals along with liquor to-go. According to the Arizona Restaurant Association almost 80 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The modified event started to include take-out options due to the uncertainty of 2020’s Covid – 19 pandemic. Restaurants create 3-course menus for $33 or $44 per person for the September event with wine at an additional cost. Reservations are recommended for those looking to visit a new restaurant or return to a favorite one.

To see participating restaurants and menus head to the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website. The website is updated as new restaurants sign up.

Carnitas Way delivers California beach style healthy Mexican food

A new concept has a emerged in the restaurant industry as ghost kitchens a.k.a cloud or virtual kitchens have become popular. Theses kitchens don’t have traditional store front locations and don’t offer dine-in service with delivery the only option. Carnitas Way launched last week from Kurt and Colleen Riske, owners of Los Sombreros. California style burritos, bowls and salads are made at the three locations in Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix then delivered via GrubHub, Postmates and Door Dash.

“We’ve been working on the Carnitas Way concept for some time,” says Kurt Riske. “And while it may seem unusual to open a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, it’s actually great timing for this delivery only restaurant that features delicious dishes made with healthy ingredients that offer people serious value.”

Outrigger BowlCarnitas Way

Carnitas Way burritos, bowls & salads.

All menu items are under $10 and burritos can be made into bowls. All burritos and bowls include carnitas except the North Shore.

Baja – black beans, peppers, onions, cabbage, chipotle cream sauce & jack cheese.

Newport – potatoes, poblano peppers, drunken salsa & queso fresco.

Laguna– pinto beans, pico de gallo, & chipotle tomato sauce.

Kapalua – potatoes, carrots, poblano peppers, onions, roasted tomato salsa.

San Carlos – chopped mango, pico de gallo, & habanero salsa.

Outrigger – zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, pinto beans & mole verde sauce.

North Shore – Veggie

Wedge –  ntwo scrambled eggs, cajun seasoned potatoes, bacon, chipotle tomato salsa, pico de gallo & avocado.

Cancun – salsa verde & jack cheese.

Salads include…

Tamarindo Salad – cabbage, spring mix, diced onions, red pepper, roasted corn, honey lime dressing, tajin, chopped cilantro, goat cheese & fried tortilla strips.

Corn Salad

“Carnitas Way was created to make life a little easier and more enjoyable, by delivering satisfying, flavorful meals right to your door,” says Colleen Riske. “From the beach-inspired names of Carnitas Way menu items to our overall vibe, we’re excited to connect with people who appreciate the simple pleasure of a delicious meal done right.”

Orders can be placed at their website.

Fried chicken dinner now on the menu at Salty Sow

The Salty Sow known for its meat focused menu recently introduced fried chicken dinners to its menu. Two family style dinners are offered for take out and four dinners on the dine in menu.

The Jumbo Chicken Tenders Dinner comes with their signature kale coleslaw & cowboy beans with a choice of a 6 piece (with two sauces) for $17, a 9 piece (with a choice of 3 sauces) for $24 or a 12 piece (with 4 sauces) for $29.  Their Southern Fried Chicken Dinner served with kale coleslaw and cowboy beans with 8 pieces of fried chicken bone-in for $26.00.

Dining in you can choose from…..

 

  • Tender Bites- 8 pieces of fried chicken, one sauce for $8
  • Jumbo Tenders- 3 piece, two sauces for $11
  • The O.G. Sandwich with chicken breast, mayonnaise, kale coleslaw, home-made pickles and French fries for $14
  • Southern Fried Chicken- 4 pieces, bone-in served with kale coleslaw for $18

Choose Sow Sauce, Honey Mustard, Ranch, Barbeque and Sweet Chili to compliment your meal. Guests looking to spice it up can choose to make their chicken “Nashville Hot” if desired.

Salty Sow is at 4801 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix 85032. The restaurant opens for dinner daily at 4 p.m.

 

National Tequila Day off the menu cocktails at Taco Guild

Central Phoenix’s Taco Guild has one of the best tequila collections in town with over 200 bottlings. On National Tequila Day, next Friday July 24th the restaurant is offering off the menu cocktails for tequila enthusiasts. As you sip on tequila and pair them with tacos you can flip through the leather bound “Tequila Bible” to see all the favorite tequila brands and exclusive bottles.

National Tequila Day cocktails include The Beginner made with blanco tequila, strawberry, lime & agave. The Purist mixes El Tesoro Reposado with Topo Chico bottled water and a slice of orange. The Sophisticated is a tequila old fashioned with barrel aged Patron Anjejo. All three cocktails are $10.

Prefer your tequila neat or by the shot, enjoy Fortaleza Blanco ($9), El Tesoro Paradiso ($15) or Tapatio Reposado for $8. Top secret tequila flights are available so just ask one of the restaurants tequila connoisseurs about them.

National Tequila Day will be celebrated all day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. with happy hour from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Taco Guild is at 546 E. Osborn Rd. Phoenix 85012.

 

Feed Phoenix initiative wants local food community to help feed the hungry

The city of Phoenix and Local First Arizona have joined forces to feed the city’s hungry for the Feed Phoenix initiative. They are using money from the CARES Act to recruit local restaurants, farmers & food entrepreneurs to provide and prepare meals. By keeping it with local businesses the money spent will stay local, sustain local jobs & supply chain and keep Phoenicians healthy.

“We are proud to be partnering on such a thoughtful and innovative approach to feeding Phoenix families. This initiative will touch all layers of our local food system and make the greatest impact possible for small businesses across various industries. From local chefs featuring three locally-sourced vegetables in every meal to opting for sustainable to-go packaging for delivery, community-driven solutions to complex problems are how we build a stronger local food system,” said Local First Founder Kimber Lanning.

Local businesses looking to participate in the Feed Phoenix initiative have until 12:00 pm on July 17th to submit a proposal to https://www.localfirstaz.com/feed-phoenix . Restaurants, farmers, caterers, mobile markets, and event venues are encouraged to apply for the 3 month program.

Feed Phoenix requirements

Businesses applying have to….

Be located in Phoenix and have proper licenses and insurance to prepare food for consumption.

-Be able to prepare, store, and safely deliver 500 meals per day. A minimum of one day per week for six weeks, using compostable packaging. 

-Use locally-sourced vegetables as part of the meal to be purchased by Local First

“We are excited that through this partnership we are able to feed individuals and families who are most vulnerable to hunger as a result of the pandemic. This effort also allows us to create economic opportunities for our local businesses and build relationships with our local farmers,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This innovative approach will benefit our local food system now and in the future.”

“I think it’s important to note the city could have chosen to hire one very large company to prepare all of these meals using food grown on the other side of the country. But instead, they contracted with us to spread the funds around locally so we can impact as many Phoenix businesses and jobs as possible,” Lanning added.

Statewide support expected for new 10 day culinary event

As restaurants begin to re-open for dine in service while continuing to offer take out a new culinary event “Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out” has emerged. The statewide 10 day event is produced by the Arizona Restaurant Association and is Arizona Restaurant Week with the new take out option. Restaurants will offer special prix- fixe menus from June 19th – 28th and September 18th – 27th. Participating restaurants will adhere to CDC guidelines including social distancing whether customers dine in or take out.

“We are so grateful for the support of our local dining community in the weeks that followed restaurant closures in March,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “The quick creation of Arizona Takeout Weeks and Arizona Restaurant Strong efforts could not have been possible without them. As Arizona Restaurant Weeks returns in a modified format to include dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options, we are hopeful that our wonderful community of food enthusiasts will continue to show their support in any way they feel comfortable.”

Like Arizona Restaurant Week, fine dining and casual restaurants will offer a unique 3 course menus for $33 or $44 plus wine during the 10 days. Restaurant goers tend to find new restaurants to check out or visit favorites for the dishes they aren’t used to having.

Short list of restaurants participating

New restaurants statewide have signed up to participate as have returning restaurants. New restaurants include The Dressing Room, Sel, Josephine, The House Brasserie, The Tuck Shop Kitchen & Bar and Stonegrill.

A few of the returning restaurants….

The Canal Club
Chelsea’s Kitchen
Christo’s Ristorante
The Covenant
El Chorro
Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Litchfield’s
Los Sombreros (Phoenix and Scottsdale)
Marcellino Ristorante
Match Restaurant & Lounge
The Market by Jennifer’s Restaurant and Bar
Ocotillo Restaurant
Pasta Brioni
PHX Beer Co.
Prado
Preston’s Steakhouse

To see a full list of participants and menus as they become available check out the website.

 

 

Dine-in is back on the menu at Phoenix area restaurants

Restaurants can now re-open for dine-in service as of May 11th according to Gov. Doug Ducey. Many restaurants are opening for guests to dine-in while others will wait it out a bit longer while they continue to offer takeout. Many are having staff where masks and adhering to new sanitizing guidelines.

These Phoenix area restaurants are opening their dining rooms and may require reservations to space out diners. Check back as this post will be updated as more restaurants open their dining rooms for service.

Chandler- Downtown Ocotillo

The Living Room, Rock Lobster, CHoP Steakhouse, Press Coffee, Cherish, Humble Pie. Downtown Ocotillo is at 2475 W. Queen Creek Road 85248.

Chandler- Chase’s Diner 2040 N. Alma School Rd. 85224.

Scottsdale- North

The Spotted Donkey at El Pedergal 34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree 85377. Liberty Station Tavern 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd. Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd., Carefreee

Dominick’s Steakhouse 15169 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85254. The Americano 17797 N Scottsdale Rd 85255.

Scottsdale- Downtown/ Mid

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen 7303 E Indian School Rd. 85251. Merkins Vineyards 7133 E. Stetson Dr. 85251. Pomo Pizzeria 8977 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale 85253

Ocean 44 4748 N Goldwater Blvd, Scottsdale 85251. Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street 85251. Paul Martin’s American Grill 6186 North Scottsdale Road 85253.

Glendale

Urban Margarita 6685 W. Beardsley Rd. 85308

Phoenix- Arcadia/ Biltmore

Steak 44 5101 N 44th St. 85018

Phoenix metro

The Stockyards Restaurant 5009 E Washington St. 85034.

Phoenix- North

Original Breakfast House (May 28th) 13623 N 32nd St. 85032, Ocean Prime (5/19) 5455 E. High St. 85054

Phoenix- Central/ Uptown

Joe’s Diner 4515 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix

Phoenix- Downtown

Pomo Pizzeria 705 N. 1st Street

Multiple locations

Angry Crab Shack, Koibito Poke, Fired Pie, U.S. Egg, Barro’s Pizza, Chompie’s

Twin Peaks Restaurants, Wildflower (Deer Valley & Gilbert only for now.)