Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

“Med Meets Mexico” seasonal menu now at Pita Jungle

All 23 locations in Arizona now offer new 10 dishes on their Seasonal Crafts Kitchen Menu. Dishes using the flavors of the Southwest and their Mediterranean inspired menu will be available through April. Highlights of the new menu include Lemon Chicken Rice Soup, Mediterranean Ceviche, Labdeh Dip Mezze Veggies & Dip and a Wood Fired Gluten Free Enchilada. 

Orin Swift Wine Dinner at Palo Verde Restaurant

The signature restaurant at The Boulders Resort & Spa hosts a gourmet four-course dinner paired with wines on Friday, February 3rd with the reception starting at 6:00 p.m. Enhancing the experience will be the scenic views of the golf course’s 6th hole and duck pond. Seats are $175 per person and reservations can be made by calling 480-595-4621.

Cider Corps hosts dinner to raise money for traumatic brain injuries

The downtown Mesa cidery will pair its award-winning ciders with dishes from valley chefs Friday, February 3rd. Guests attending the Speakers Dinner for Traumatic Brain Injury Solutions will hear updates from researchers at Cohen Veterans Bioscience. The 21 and over dinner starts at 6 P.m. and is %200 per person. Two other fundraising events are scheduled for the 22 Jumps event with more information and to RSVP click here.

New seasonal dishes at Over Easy launch January 30th

The locally owned and nationally recognized breakfast spot adds two new dishes to its menu on Monday. The scratch made Cinnamon Apple Corncakes ($14) and JohnJay Burrito Bowl ($17) are available for dine-in, take-out or delivery. $1 of every Burrito Bowl will be donated #LOVEPUP Foundation. Also new will be the Spicy Mango Margarita ($8) but only available for dine-in. The new dishes and drink are available at all 11 Phoenix area locations.

Nominations are open for Foodist Awards until February 5th

Its award season and time to nominate your favorite Food & Beverage, Experience, Restaurant and People in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s annual recognition of those in the food and beverage community. The online nominations include 20 categories and 8 new categories for the 2023 awards. Winner will be announced in alive ceremony on Monday April 24th at 5:30 p.m. at The Van Buren 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.

Semifinalists for 2023 Restaurant & Chef Awards announced

This morning The James Beard Foundation announced the Semifinalists for its 2023 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Arizona is again well represented throughout several categories. Nominees will be announced Wednesday, March 29th and winners announced Monday, June 5th 2023 in Chicago. You can see the list of all 2023 semifinalists here.

The 2023 Arizona semifinalists are……

Outstanding Chef

Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café, Phoenix

Outstanding Restaurant

Proper Meats + Provisions, Flagstaff

Emerging Chef

Christian Lowe, Shift Kitchen & Bar, Flagstaff

Outstanding Bakery

JL Patisserie, Phoenix and Scottsdale

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker

Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program

Glai Baan, Phoenix

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

Rene Andrade and Roberto Centeno, Bacanora, Phoenix

Jaren Bates and Brett Vibber, The Table at Junipine, Sedona

Nephi Craig, Café Gozhóó, Whiteriver

Wendy Garcia, Tumerico, Tucson

Fernando Hernández, Testal, Phoenix

Yotaka and Alex Martin, Lom Wong, Phoenix

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

Kitsune Brewing Co. goes from a dream to a dream job

Tyler Smith went from corporate life to his dream job when he opened Kitsune Brewing Co. in October 2022. The final blessing to make his dream happen came from his wife and business partner Rebecca who told him to do what made him happy. His dream was to push the envelope when making beer and to have local beer drinkers want more. Combine that of his love of Japanese culture and Kitsune “a protector” was born.

“I’ve been home brewing for more than 15 years. A family friend introduced me to it and I fell in love with the process,” says Smith, who’s worked for Nike and PetSmart. Throughout his career home brewing has remained his one constant in his life. “Right before I was about to take another job and move my family, my wife asked me if that would really make me happy or if I wanted to take my home brewing to the next level.”

With the Covid pandemic slowing his plan he used the time to find fellow brewer Marshall Norris of Simple Machine Brewing Company as a mentor and friend. Norris gave Smith space at Simple Machine to bring in two fermentation tanks and after a year and a half Tyler and Rebecca were ready to go at it on their own.

What’s brewing at Kitsune Brewing Co.

Known at first for IPAs, Kitsune Brewing Co. has become now known for its sour beers and pushing the envelope. Tyler wondered “How far we can push it” and released “Dirty Snowflake” a gray beer in appearance. He then wondered “Are people willing to try a gray beer?” and the response was “yes” they were.

There are between 14 and 16 beers rotating on tap with names and images inspired by Japanese culture. Kitsune Brewing Co. has also collaborated with local breweries Tombstone Brewing and Dark Sky Brewing Company. Food trucks on a rotating schedule park outside allow guests to enjoy food with their beers. They also have a BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) policy and allow for food to be delivered.

Future plans include distributing popular beers to local bottle shops and to open a ramen shop next door. “We want to expand so we can get more tanks,” he says of their future growth. “Hopefully, we will be successful enough to need more space.”

Guests can expect activities such as Trivia night every Tuesday at 6:30 and happy hour from 3 – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. Kitsune Brewing Co. is at 3321 E. Bell Rd., Ste. B-5. Phoenix 85032.

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.

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.

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.

High praise for Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion from Gayot Guide

Christopher Gross is no stranger to racking up accolades over the years for his cooking and restaurant’s experience. He can now add being named one of the “Best Restaurant’s in the U.S.” and “Most Memorable Meals of 2022” from Gayot- Guide to the Good Life to his resume. Sophie Gayot gave Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion an 18/20 score for his French/ Contemporary cuisine.

Gayot says “During my soirée at the 32-seat restaurant, my head spun at each of the modern French cuisine dishes presented to the table. There is no show, no eccentricity, just perfectly calibrated and balanced execution.”

Bubbles wine tasting at GenuWine Arizona

Just in time to toast the New Year the downtown Phoenix wine bar hosts a tasting on Thursday, December 29th from 6- 8 p.m. 4 sparkling wines will be tasted for $10 with 20% off any bottles purchased that evening. Tickets are available here.

New Year’s Eve and Day at Ghost Ranch

The Tempe restaurant is offering its NYE Chef Series Menu on a first come, first serve basis until it sells out. The four course dinner offers chicken, seafood & Wagyu NY Strip before dessert. New Year’s Day enjoy specials on Bloody Maria’s, Birria Tacos & Burritos.

B & B Cocktail Lounge now serving weekend brunch

You can now check out weekend brunch from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the new lounge that opened earlier this year in Old Town Scottsdale. Bacon Steak & Eggs, B & B Breakfast Fries are included on the gourmet menu. You can even “Build Your Own” Avocado Toast with 25 toppings to choose from. For the sweet side there is Bourbon Coffee Cake, Sweets Board with fruit, bacon and sweet garnish.

Of course brunchy cocktails are served including Breakfast Bee, a bourbon-infused milky play on Honey Nut Cheerios, a Mimosa Flight with 9 juice options and Lemon Basil Squeeze with Haku Vodka, Chandon Rosé, lemon juice and more.

Hundred Mile Brewing releasing its first beers

The newly opened Tempe brewery started releasing its own beers the past couple of weeks. New beers include Natural Blonde Ale, Pinetop Pilsner, Infinite Coyote a West Coast IPA, Crowd Surfer a Mexican style lager and Desert Neon hazy IPA.

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

Crowd funding is getting popular for local concepts

Have you ever wanted to own a business without all the headaches of owning a business? Now you can as several local food and beverage businesses are using crowd funding to raise money for expansion or relocation. In some cases is an investment where you should get a return on your investment and some your just giving you’re money to support the local business.

A business sets a goal of how much they want to raise and a deadline to raise the money. If the goal isn’t raised in the time frame your money is refunded. Several companies handle crowd funding campaigns such as Indiegogo and SeedInvest & Mainvest help raise money as an investment. All hold money until the goal is met and then release the money to the business. Some choose to self-raise the money themselves and as with any transfer of funds one should do their due diligence before contributing or investing.

Who’s crowd funding around Phoenix

Tater Traderz

The gourmet loaded fries company working out of a cloud kitchen is looking to raise $65,000 for a concession stand, trailer and equipment to expand and become a mobile concept.

“Everything worthwhile starts as a dream and dreamers are the hardest working people we know,” says Marrero, co-founder with Patrick Wills of Tap That Concepts, which owns and operates Kitchen 602 and Tater Traderz.

“We’re ready and eager to get to work! Even so, it takes more than that. It also takes community, support, and capital; that’s why we’re coming to you. Dreams can be expensive. Our team is truly passionate about what we’re doing and believe that Tater Traderz can change the way everyone enjoys food.”

For more information and to help them reach their goal head to their Indiegogo page.
 

Santé

The north Scottsdale health conscious restaurant and market is looking to expand by raising $75,000 with the investors set to receive 1.7x their investment in return.

“We love our little farmers in AZ and our great partners in middle America that create the best environment for the animals and for climate change. We are looking at growing our grab and gourmet market with keeping our purpose and mission in mind. We are expanding and adding new items as well as in plans to create a stand-alone marketplace near you!” Co-owners Nico and Nick.

Their Mainvest page has all the details.

Cider Corps

The Mesa based cidery is looking to raise $300,000 due to some unfortunate circumstances with their Gilbert location they opened 2 years ago. The story of why and how you can help is found on their Goodbye 685 page of 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.

Sip & stroll with your favorite adult beverage when shopping

Who doesn’t need to sip on a cocktail, beer or glass of wine when shopping, even more at this time of year. Soon you will be able to at certain outdoor shopping centers including Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace thanks to Governor Ducey signing A.R.S. 4-215 into law. Vestar, the owner of both properties and others in Arizona lobbied to test the program in 2019 but much of the 3 year test was hampered by the pandemic.

“You can get a drink at a movie theater and walk around resorts and golf courses with a cocktail, so why not retail centers?” asked Pat McGinley, President of Management Services for Vestar.

The company did their homework working with the state legislature and the Department of Liquor to deal with the liquor laws. The new law allows retail properties of over 400,000 square feet with large pedestrian areas to allow one or more of its existing bars and restaurants to allow customers to sip and stroll with beverages in hand.

“We are proud that in 2019, Desert Ridge Marketplace was the first and only shopping center to take advantage of the ground-breaking legislation,” stated McGinley. “The program was met with strong support from our tenants and the community at large.”

The new law also includes security and must be reviewed by the city in which the shopping center lies before being approved by the Director of the Department of Liquor. Vestar recently submitted applications to both Phoenix and Tempe to get approval from the state. “As a local restaurant owner, I appreciate the importance of providing fresh and interesting experiences for the consumer,” said State Representative Jeff Weninger. “Making it possible for people to enjoy an alcoholic beverage as they go about their shopping elevates the customer experience in a fun, creative way and can help drive business to retailers.”

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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