Lisa Dahl opens second location of Pisa Lisa

Sedona’s Culinary Queen, Lisa Dahl has brought her popular restaurant and pizzeria Pisa Lisa to the Village of Oak Creek. This is Dahl’s sixth restaurant in the Sedona area and the first with a second location. The first Pisa Lisa opened in west Sedona in 2013 with the new location offering an expanded menu with favorites including wood-fired thin crust pizza, organic salads, tapas and locally made gelato.

Pisa Lisa gets its name from what Dahl’s father would affectionately say to her when giving her a pinch growing up, “I wanna little piece of Lisa”. “I put my heart and soul into the first Pisa Lisa location which is a testament to my dedication to serving people special experiences that will turn into cherished memories while honoring the adoration I feel for my family members who are no longer with us,” said Dahl.

A personal touch from Lisa Dahl on the menu

Guests will find many personal touches on the menu including naming dishes after family members. Da Dororthy pizza is named after her mother and made with Mother sauce, provolone-mozzarella, fennel sausage, picante peppers, Parm-Reggiano. The Justino pizza is dedicated to her late son and made with Ricotta, provolone-mozzarella, San Danielle prosciutto gold, organic arugula, and white-truffle oil.

New are the antipasto plates including Lisa’s Plate, an antipasti sampler with fresh bocconcini mozzarella, tomatoes, finnochio slaw, magic mushrooms, caselveltrano olives and fire-roasted artichokes. New from the pastry team for dessert is the Cookie Monster, a warm and molten giant chocolate chip cookie sundae with Strawberry-stracciatella plant-based gelato (vegan and gluten free).

Beverages include natural sodas, local mead, 16 taps for craft beers, and top selling wines. A wide-range of healthy grab-n-go items including paninis, prepped pizzas, morning treats, and locally sourced roasted coffee are available.

The restaurant has an industrial and bohemian look in its 3,500 square feet. The raised bar is surrounded by Rock n Roll memorabilia from Capitol Records from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Indoor and outdoor seating is available as is communal seating at two large tables.

“This new location enables us to expand this heartfelt concept to a larger audience as it is ultimately a culmination of my work and passion for the Sedona culinary scene and my gratitude for those who dine at Pisa Lisa and stand with me in the belief that Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay!”

Pisa Lisa in the Village of Oak Creek is located at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351. For more information 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.

Local restaurateurs do more with less

The restaurant business has always been a tough go fueled by passion more than profits. Add the post-pandemic supply chain and staffing issues have made it tougher with tough decisions having to be made. Local restaurateurs, the Buschtetz family had to make those tough decisions to close two of the four restaurants.

The recipe seems to have worked at Chandler’s Cuisine & Wine Bistro which earned 4.8 out of 5 stars on Open Table. The “Exceptional” rating in the “Diner’s Choice” category describes the food and service as “superb”, “delicious” and “a hidden gem.” The bistro also gets high marks on Google with a 4.7 and 4.5 on TripAdvisor and Yelp!

Fabrice and Máiréad Buschtetz also own Copper & Logs in Gilbert with their three children and their spouses. Earlier this year the local restaurateurs had to close Gilbert’s Frenchie Pizza and sold B Gastrobar due to lack of staff. Downsizng from four to two restaurants has given them the dedicated staff needed to provide the excellent service for the great reviews.

“Having to let go of two of our restaurants makes the success of our remaining concepts even sweeter,” said Máiréad. “We have top-notch management and staff, and the most loyal and supportive customers we could ask for.”

Cuisine and Wine Bistro is at 4991 S. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85248. For more information visit their website.

The Tipsy Egg brings an elevated brunch experience to Chandler

With the growth of restaurants and bars in downtown Chandler locals and visitors have few breakfast options to start their day. Local developer and owner Niels Kreipke wanted to change that so he took one of his properties on the corner of Arizona Ave. and Boston St. and opened the Tipsy Egg in early May. His experience as partner with other restaurant concepts around the valley gives him the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and so far this concept exceeds his expectations.

Encompassing 3,000 square feet the modern decor and design is eye catching and features mid-century modern booths and brass finishes. “Tipsy Egg is bringing a wide range of all age groups and is a growing destination area for locals and out of town visitors,” said Kreipke. “We are excited to provide a unique and playful menu, a welcoming indoor/outdoor bar setting and a menu that is anything but typical for our guests to enjoy.” This food first and cocktail forward concept, hence the name, is the first of what will be others throughout the valley.

Photos courtesy of Evolve Public Relations & Marketing

Bold flavors at the Tipsy Egg

The menu offers guests breakfast and lunch all day including Mom’s Post Roast Benedict (go with the Party Potatoes on the side), Yuzu Masco Mint Pancakes, a Chinese Chicken Salad and an Uptown Burrito filled with filet mignon, eggs, roasted garlic, vegetables, Gouda cheese and more. The cocktail menu offers more than Mimosas and Bloody Marys for those looking for something other than coffee or juice in the morning. The BRKFT in Bed blends Sailor Jerry Rum, butterscotch schnapps, orange juice, lemon lime soda and an orange wheel. The Early Morin Margarita features Tepozan Añejo tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda, homemade tajin, a lime wheel and pineapple spear. Non-alcoholic mocktails are also on the list along with a selection of Bloody Marys and local craft beers.

The Tipsy Egg is 1 E. Boston St. Chandler and is open daily from 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and is available after hours for private parties and business meetings. 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.

 

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

Sip + Shop at the Hotel Valley Ho’s Summer Market Series

As things heat up in the valley, farmer’s markets tend to wind down until the Fall and the Hotel Valley Ho is filling that void with its Sip + Shop Summer Market Series. Hotel guests and locals are invited to attend the monthly market on the 3rd Saturday morning of June, July August and September from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sip + Shop is reminiscent to the hotel’s Chef + Farmers Market series from 2018 & 2019.

Each month’s market will have a theme with live music and feature local chefs & purveyors offering samples. It’s free to attend and each guest will receive a wristband allowing for 6 tastes of wine, spirits and beer. Guests will also receive a voucher for 20% off at Zuzu to be used before the next month’s market. Cocktails will be available for purchase and will include recipes.

Sip + Shop dates are June 18thRosé + Bubbles, July 16th–  Olé! Latin Flavors, August 20thViva Italia, September 17thBourbon + Big Reds.

To hear the hotel’s Executive Chef Russel LaCasce’s story listen to Episode 26 of Pulling Corks and Forks: The Podcast.

 

 

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.

Humble Bistro opening second location in Gilbert

East Valley residents will soon have a new restaurant to visit as Humble Bistro will be opening at Val Vista and Williams Field Rds. This will be the neighborhood eateries and marketplace’s first East Valley locations with the first at North Phoenix’s High Street and a Humble Pie in the Happy Valley neighborhood. Guests can expect house-made pastas, artisanal pizzas, wines from around the world and more from Chef and Partner Jorge Gomez.

“We’re beyond thrilled to open our new concept in one of the hottest communities in the East Valley,” says Gomez. “The freshly renovated space will feature the signature Humble Bistro charm with the inclusion of the marketplace and coffee bar. A visit to Humble Bistro is not just a meal, it’s an experience. We think these additions will add to that.”

Guests can dine for lunch, brunch, happy hour and dinner while enjoying the atmosphere of a European bistro. Classic Italian and American dishes will give guest a diversity of menu options. The marketplace will offer Humble made pastas, pizza dough and breads along with wine and other food products from artisan producers. There will be an ice cream bar and top quality meats and cheeses will be imported from Spain and Italy.

The restaurant will cover 5,000 square feet with a 1,500 square foot patio and the decor will be similar to the other location. An early Spring opening is planned. Humble Bistro will be at 1524 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert 85295. For more information and to stay updated on the opening visit their website.

Pyro to be first restaurant at The Grove

The intersection at 44th St. & Camelback Rd. has always been one of the busiest in Phoenix and will get even busier when the mixed-used development The Grove opens later this year. The first restaurant to announce it will open there will be the Japanese bistro Pyro from Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group.

“The Flagship Restaurant Group team and I are very excited to bring Pyro to The Grove,” said Nick Hogan, CEO and co-founder of Flagship Restaurant Group. “We felt that it was the right time to bring our brand-new concept to this location, as there is much development taking place in-market and residents and travelers in Phoenix are always looking for the right mix of creativity coupled with responsibly-sourced fare. Everything we serve our guests is fully transparent, from the farms the vegetables come from to the areas where each of our fish is sourced. We are looking forward to another new chapter in the city.”

Flagship’s other concepts in Phoenix are Châm Pang Lanes, Palma and Ghost Donkey in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.

What to expect at Pyro

When opened Pyro will be 4,200 square feet including large outdoor patio with an open hearth and full bar. The restaurant uses an open flame for cooking sustainably sourced seafood and proteins. The fire will give each dish its own unique layers of flavor and texture. The cocktail bar will offer classic and signature cocktails from a wide variety of spirits and wine.

“The Grove is dedicated to bringing innovative and exclusive dining options to the Valley with a sophisticated flair,” said Mike Ebert, managing partner at RED Development. “Pyro is setting the standard for the caliber of culinary offerings we’ll be welcoming at The Grove, we couldn’t be more honored to announce an original concept as the first restaurant to call it home.”

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.

$6 pitas all day at Pita Jungle on National Pita Day

Tuesday, March 29th at participating locations get a Gyro, Mediterranean Roasted Chicken Shawarma, Falafel, Grilled Chicken Pita and the Philly Chicken or Steak Pita when you dine-in or when you order online. Wraps not included.

Peace, Love & Bubbles every Sunday at The Hot Chick

Nothing like a cooling off from a hot chicken sandwich or warm temperatures than a bottle of cold refreshing champagne. That’s the new plan every Sunday from 12 – 3 p.m. at the Old Town Scottsdale restaurant. Get a bottle of champagne for a $1 with the purchase of an entree.

The KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival is tomorrow

It’s getting hot in Chandler for Saturday’s festival with plenty of BBQ, cold beer and country music superstars taking the stage. Tumbleweed Park now hosts the festival as it outgrew its original location. Tickets are still available online and at the door.

Z’ Tejas introduces Build Your Own Bloody Mary

The Scottsdale and Chandler locations now let guests choose from 7 Bloody Mary’s during breakfast & weekend brunch. Start with the house-made classic or spicy base and choose from Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno, Southwest Slider, Candied Jalapeno bacon, Sriracha beer battered shrimp, Chipotle-glazed chicken tender, Diablo egg – spiced up hard-boiled egg or Z’Sausage.

Win a trip to San Diego courtesy of Lenny & Larry

With the weather in Phoenix hitting 90+ degrees this weekend you may want to think about a summer getaway. Cookie maker Lenny & Larry’s are launching their Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie-fied Bar Sweepstakes at 9:00 a.m. Monday, March 28th. Enter to win until 5:00 p.m. June 6th for the grand prize of a trip for 4 to San Diego. The trip includes air transportation, 2 night hotel stay and an inside look at The San Diego Zoo.

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.

%d bloggers like this: