The Craftsman Cocktails and Kitchen opens in north Scottsdale

You can’t keep the valley’s restaurant scene down as new restaurants continue to open. In October we saw the opening of Chantico in central Phoenix and Match Market & Bar in downtown Phoenix among others. New to north Scottsdale is The Craftsman Cocktails & Kitchen with Chef Christopher Nicosia running the kitchen.

Foodies should remember Chef Nicosia from the closed Italian restaurant Sassi and his induction into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. “Our menu is unlike anything even seasoned foodies have seen before,” said chef Nicosia. “The Craftsman puts a modern twist on conventional American dishes. From infusing dishes with craft beer and in-house distilled spirits, to including as many locally grown ingredients as possible, this menu allows me to pair quality with creativity.”

The Craftsman Cocktails and Kitchen
Chef Christopher Nicosia

Situated in a bustling retail center at Hayden Rd. and Thompson Peak Parkway, The Craftsman serves up traditional American fare with global flavors is inspired by a hard working farmer and grandfather who loved his family, the land and working with his hands.

The Craftsman Cocktails and Kitchen dishes and spirits

On a recent visit for happy hour I couldn’t stop eating the house-made chips with queso dip, wished I’d ordered more than two AZ Hot Chicken Lollipops with barrel aged hot sauce and tasty blue cheese slaw and Scallop Toast. A full menu of innovative dishes includes Bone-In Volcano Pork, Tuna Poke Sandwich and Lamb Belly Sausage Flatbread.

AZ Hot Chicken Lollipops courtesy of Tara Schultz

The Craftsman Cocktails and Kitchen also offers its own line of distilled spirits. Vodka, gin, rum, barrel aged amaro, bourbon and coffee liquor are available to sample and purchase. Currently distilled off-site they will soon distill the spirits in-house. Craft beers and wines are available in what will be a go-to neighborhood joint for good food, drinks and atmosphere.

The Craftsman Cocktails and Kitchen is at 20469 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale AZ 85255. For more information visit their website.

Opinion: Pump down the volume, why are restaurants so loud?

I consider myself as a blogger a messenger of information about the local restaurant and food community. Posts on food festivals, restaurants opening, wine tastings and on rare occasion my opinion may get in the way based on an experience(s).

Was it Gene Simmons or David Lee Roth who said “if it’s too loud, you’re too old”. I remember me and my sister telling that to our parents as teenagers as we cranked up the radio listening to Van Halen and Led Zeppelin around the house and in the car. Now it’s me that’s too old as I can’t understand why restaurants need to crank it up with DJs or loud music during our dining experience. Loud music is one of  a few pet peeves I have about the restaurant industry.

Recently I visited an establishment for brunch hoping to enjoy several dishes, cocktails and a visit with friends. Instead we were one and done as it was simply to loud to hold a conversation. On weekends it’s the norm in old town Scottsdale and other parts of the valley to wake up to loud music with your eggs bendict and Bloody Mary, but why?

It’s not just brunch you need to bring ear plugs to as were seeing more restaurants turning the volume up during lunch and dinner.

Loud music in restaurants isn’t new.

This trend isn’t new as this Bon Appetit article from 2010 suggests. I guess to a certain demographic loud music says a restaurant is “lively and successful”, to me it means ” you’re not getting my business at this time”. Many articles have been written since then and not just in restaurant related magazines and websites.

This Vox article mentions how the loud decibel level can be a health threat and this 2015 Bloomberg article calls out chef’s and restaurateurs to turn the volume down.

Acoustic technology and a restaurants design have effected the decibel level but the volume dial can cure that on a daily basis.

Good thing the Phoenix area has a diverse community of restaurants so I’ll patronize those offering good food, service and dialed down noise level.

What do you think about restaurant noise levels? Drop me an email or comment about what your restaurant pet peeves are and I may address it.

Picture credit: Seattle Times

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