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.

Park West’s “Follow the Fork” event is tomorrow

West valley foodies can join Jalapeño Inferno and over a dozen more restaurants for a progressive dining experience from 6 – 9 p.m. Live music from Rock Lobster, interactive art and more will help to raise money for the Peoria Education Foundation.

National Taco Day is Tuesday October 4th

Next week’s Taco Tuesday has more tacos than most days as its National Taco Day and there are some deals to be had. Agave del Scottsdale has Happy Hour tacos all day. Z’Tejas offers 1/2 off Gringo Tacos all day with 3 beef tacos & toppings only $7.

Farmer’s Markets return this weekend

October bring the return of the popular community gathering spots that feature local produce and more. The High Street market returns to North Phoenix on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Park West is at the Loop 101 & Northern on Saturday’s starting at 9 a.m. Also on Saturday morning’s is the Old Town Scottsdale farmer’s market returns tomorrow at 8 a.m.

October is National Pizza Month

The Streets of New York is celebrating all month long at their 16 locations with a 16″ one topping pizza for $20. You can save almost $4 when dining in, taking-out or for delivery, make sure you mention when ordering in use promo code $20PIZZA when ordering online. The restaurant is also launching its new seasonal menu from October 10th – December 31st. Enjoy Beer Cheese w/ Passion bread for $9, Baked Mac & Cheese for $12 and Pumpkin Cannoli for $4.

Halloween specials at Morning Squeeze

All 3 locations in Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale start October with a couple of new specials all month long. Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast ($14) is a twist on the restaurant’s annual pumpkin themed dish. The pumpkin sauce is made in house and comes topped with pumpkin granola. The Spooky Brunch Punch ($10) combines tequila, amaretto, lime and orange juice then tops it with an eyeball garnish. A syringe of raspberry puree comes on the side to drizzle into the drink or add appropriate bloodshot effects to the ghoulish eye. 

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 Hector Godinez rolls out seasonal dishes at Grimaldi’s

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria introduced several new dishes and cocktails featuring the new Fall season that is upon us. Corporate Chef Hector Godinez and his team have been working on the 5 new dishes and 2 new cocktails since early summer. Grimaldi’s rolls out new seasonal dishes every 3 months as the seasons change and seasonal ingredients become available.

Chef Hector Godinez takes inspiration from his years working in various restaurants in Phoenix and Ahwatukee including the last 10 years at Grimaldi’s and 6 as Corporate Chef.

New on the menu at all locations for a limited time are…..

Fallin’ Wedge Salad- Traditional ingredients but swap out the Iceberg lettuce for higher quality Romaine and toss the ingredients.

The Bridge Board- Grimaldi’s version of a charcuterie board that changes seasonally and named after the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza- Chef Godinez’s take on Buffalo wings but with no fryer he puts all the ingredients including the crunchy celery on a pizza with Sweet Baby Ray’s hot sauce.

Pumpkin Cheesecake- Can’t have a Fall menu without a pumpkin spices.

Coco’nana Cheesecake– Godinez’s play on a childhood favorite, chocolate covered banana. Banana cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust and chocolate chips.

Italian Old Fashioned– Whiskey, Tiramisu syrup and bitters over ice with a Luxardo cherry and orange peel.

Amalfi Martini- Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Limoncello and lemon juice shaken and garnished with a lemon wheel and rosemary. 

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.

Z’Tejas new Fall menu launches Monday

Executive chef Diego Bolanos adds new seasonal dishes to the menu for a limited time. Pan Seared Dumplings ($11), Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas ($17), Pasta with Poached Lobster ($25) and Pumpkin Cheesecake ($11) are a few available for lunch or dinner in Scottsdale and Chandler.

Barro’s Pizza teams up with Dr Pepper for tuition giveaway

One lucky student will win $10,000 for tuition during the 2022 Barro’s Pizza Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Any Arizona resident 18 & over can submit an entry until December 19th. The winner can use the money for expenses, tuition or to pay of student loans with the winner picked at random. $95,000 has been awarded to students from the giveaway since 2012.

1/2 priced quesadilla’s at Jalapeño Inferno

Sunday, September 25th the local restaurant with 2 locations in north Scottsdale and one in Peoria is offering their Sonoran Grilled Quesadilla for National Quesadilla Day. The quesadilla comes with shredded Mexican cheeses, green chiles, sour cream, and guacamole.

National Chimichanga Day deal at Macayo’s

Who isn’t looking to save a couple of bucks every now and then, if that sounds like you then head down to one of the 8 Macayo’s locations on Monday, September 26th where their signature Original Chimichanga is only $10. Get it with shredded chicken or beef all day long with a side of rice or beans for $.76 each.

Get Oktoberfest food at Pedal Haus Brewery until the beer runs out

Brats, schnitzel, German style flammkuchen and more are on the menu at all 3 locations until their Oktoberfest beer runs out. Next Saturday, October 1st the local brewer celebrates with a festival with SanTan Brewing Co. in downtown Chandler.

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 from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

California vs. Oregon: Pinot Battle at Hotel Valley Ho

The hotel’s monthly Versus Series dinner tries to answer the age old question, who makes better pinot noir, California or Oregon? Diners at the Thursday September 15th dinner will help decide. The four course dinner featuring seafood and duck will pair perfectly with the chosen wines. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $129 ++ per person. To make a reservation call 480-421-7997.

National Cheese Pizza Day at Streets of New York

All 16 Arizona locations will be celebrating one of the best foods ever made on Monday September 5th. Buy one pizza get another at 1/2 off whether you dine-in or take-out. If ordering online use promo code 50%OFFPIZZA.

Labor Day specials around Phoenix

Take Monday September 5th off and enjoy yourself and save some hard earned money on food & drinks around town.

Fired Pie is giving 20% off entrees when you order online or in person use or mention code LBR20.

Pedal Haus Brewery in Chandler and downtown Phoenix offer its new “World’s Best Happy Hour” starting at 11 a.m. Enjoy $4 select Haus beers, $5 well drinks, $6 Haus margs/Haus wine and $7 steins. Plus, $3 bacon popcorn, $4 Haus mac & cheese, $5 loaded fries, $6 Haus smoked wings, $7 happy burgers.

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill celebrates the end of summer all weekend long.

    • Friday, 9/2/2022 – $5 Frozen Thai Mai’s and Ginger-Lime Margaritas all day long!
    • Saturday, 9/3/2022 – BOGO Half Price Sushi Rolls… buy one sushi roll, get another sushi roll for half price
    • Sunday, 9/4/2022 – 15% off Take Out Orders
    • Monday, 9/5/2022 – All Day Happy Hour… enjoy Happy Hour food and drink specials all day long!

Chef’s Table: A Night of Favorites at Hearth ’61

Wednesday September 14th’s special five course dinner will feature each culinary team member’s all-time favorite dish. Start with passed hors d’ oeuvres and sparkling wine before dinner that will be paired with award-winning wines. A complimentary room for the night is also included. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is $250 per person, or $500 per couple. To reserve your seat and room visit http://mountainshadows.com.

Everything Lobster all month at STK Steakhouse

The Scottsdale steakhouse is featuring the seafood delicacy until September 30th with a special lobster focused menu. Choose one or all for an appetizer or entree; Lobster Roll ($49), Lobster Caviar Salad ($45), Maine Lobster Ravioli ($42) and Spicy Lobster Rigatoni ($62).

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.

Gastromé Market bringing specialty wine & cheese to Gainey Ranch

The finishing touches are being taken care of for new wine and cheese market in Scottsdale’s Gainey Ranch neighborhood. Gastromé Market will open on Saturday September 10th with a grand opening celebration from co-owners Jenny Le and Tiffany Chavez. Over 5,000 square feet will include the market, a restaurant, a temperature controlled Eurocave for wine and a classroom. Come mid-Fall the outdoor patio will be available to enjoy our beautiful weather.

“This has been a true labor of love for us, and we can’t wait to get the doors open and meet the community,” says Le. “We’ve worked hard to create an inclusive environment where you can feel free to ask whatever you want – you won’t find any stuffiness or intimidation here.”

The inviting space will encourage guests to grab a bottle of wine and more to enjoy in one the nooks and alcoves throughout the market. For those on the run, the grab-n-go counter will let customers take lunch or dinner with them. Cheese cases will showcase domestic and international cheeses, the bakery offers pastries from around the world and a gift basket station will let you create the perfect gift.

Passionate experts will assist customers with choosing boutique wines, curated meats & cheeses and handcrafted items from local artisans. Gastromé Market will offer fun classes and seminars including food & wine pairings and how to build a charcuterie board.

Grand opening at Gastromé Market

The open the doors at 10 a.m. on the 10th and the first 100 guests through the doors will enjoy a champagne toast on every visit once a week for up to four people for a year. Throughout the event guests can sample wine & cheese, speak with the vendors and shop the wide range of goods.

“Whether you’re in search of something specific or you just want to see what we’re all about, stop by this September and we’ll show you around,” Chavez said. “We’re wine and cheese lovers ourselves, and we’re really passionate about food and drink, in general. Our goal is to make you as excited about it as we are, and if we can get you to try something new, even better!”

Gastromé Market is at 7704 Doubletree Ranch Rd. The market opens at 10 a.m. and the restaurant at 11 a.m. 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.

 

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.

1/2 off bottles of wine at Kasai for National Red Wine Day

Sunday August 28th the Japanese steakhouse in Scottsdale celebrates all day with $2 off all glasses and 1/2 all bottles of wine. Red wines make great pairings for several entrees including Caymus Cabernet pairs well with Mongolian Lamb Chops, Angeline goes well with Wagyu Sliders and Yolo with the NY Strip.

Schmooze welcomes back students & teachers this weekend

All students and teachers can get 15% off their order today through Sunday at the downtown Scottsdale coffee shop & cafe. Mention “Back to Schmooze” and present a valid ID when ordering to get your discount. Looking to buy gift cards? If so, their also offering a free $20 gift card when purchasing a $100 gift card. Both offers are only available in store when ordering from a team member.

Pork on a Fork gives police and fire personnel 50% off

The new Chandler location is saying “thanks” to all members on Tuesday & Wednesday August 30th & 31st. The first responders will need to show ID to get the discount.

Cult favorite peach topped pizza back at Myke’s Pizza

The popular downtown Mesa eatery brings back it’s uncommon fruit topped pizza. While supplies (peaches) last, usually into October, guests can get a pizza topped with aged Gouda and mozzarella cheeses, crispy sage, pistachios, and golden Utah peaches for $18.50. Owner Myke Olson was inspired by his mother’s peach pies she made when he was growing up in Utah. The pizza shop has gained national attention for his use of peaches and other fruits on his pizzas.

Koibito Poke offers student discounts at all locations

All Phoenix area locations offer students with ID 15% off your entire purchase daily from 2 – 5 p.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.

The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week in September

As plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options when dining out. The return of Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week, September 11th-18th, people can get a chance to dine on special plant based meals at full service restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, meal delivery services and more.

Founders Jozh Watson (PHX Vegan) and Chef Jason Wyrick (The Vegan Taste) want to continue to bring awareness to plant-based diets get more popular diners are looking for more restaurants and food options to dine out at. “According to Watson, “Last year, Phoenix Vegan Restaurant Week was so well received by the community. Every eatery that participated reported a significant increase in traffic during the event. This year promises to be even bigger and better.”

During the week-long event diners will be treated to plant based meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner at participating restaurants not normally found on their menu. Breakfast will be capped at $15, lunch will offer an appetizer, entree and drink for $20 and a three course dinner for no more than $30 with a 5 course meal no more than $44. Reservations are now being taken for the week at restaurants including Salvadoreno Restaurant (Phoenix and Mesa), Dilla Libre (Phoenix and Scottsdale), Early Bird Vegan, Freak Brothers Pizza and others.

A list of restaurants and menus can be found at their updated website as the list continues to grow. Non-vegan restaurants are encouraged to participate to showcase their plant based options. Menus are available for both dine-in and take-out. According to Wyrick, “Restaurants are realizing they need to appeal to a variety of food preferences. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is here to stay, and we’re proud to show off the amazing culinary mark Phoenix is making.” Photo credit Debby Wolvos

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.

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.

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