Can you handle “A Day at the Deli” Challenge at Chompie’s

Think you can eat a lot of food in a short amount of time? If so Chompie’s invites you to stop in to any of its Phoenix area locations and try the “A Day at the Deli” Challenge. Those that accept the challenge will need to eat 4 pounds of food in 30 minutes to win the challenge.

Make sure you wear your stretchy pants to consume deli favorites that include 6 pastrami & Swiss sliders on potato latkes, a bowl of Matzo Ball soup, a bowl of cole slaw and 6 Black & White cookies. Eat all in a half an hour and win two 40th anniversary travel mugs, their winning picture on Facebook and bragging rights to friends and family. Win or lose the day’s worth of food will cost you $40.

The “Day at the Deli” Challenge is available during business hours at their Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale and Glendale locations. For more information visit Chompie’s website.

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen to open in March from famed chef

James Beard award winning chef Alex Stratta is preparing to open his new healthy concept restaurant in Scottsdale early in 2020. When Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen opens it will serve dishes that he prepared to overcome colon cancer and lose over 100 pounds. Natural and seasonal whole foods will be on the menu with an emphasis on Mediterranean styled diet.

“My passions have always been found and developed in the kitchen,” says Stratta. “This new concept is so personal to me and I am thrilled to once again share my passions with our local and visiting diners who have come to expect, and deserve, an elevated yet wholesome meal in a quick-casual atmosphere.”

Healthy eating at Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen

The popular quick serve concept will let customers dine-in or take out, a departure for Stratta from his upscale dining days at The Phoenician and in Las Vegas. The menu will appeal to all diets and will include gluten-free, naturally dairy free and vegetarian dishes.  The menu will offer five sections including “To Share or Not to Share”, “Greens”, “Grains”, “Proteins” and “Sweets”.

“To Share or Not to Share” will include Vegetable and Potato Frittata, Baked Artichoke, Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip and more.

“Greens” include Beets and Apples with Arugula, goat cheese cracker, pistachios and balsamic crunch and more salad based dishes. “Grains” offers Vegetable Pistou Soup and Terra with wild mushrooms, green lentils, spinach, Brussel sprouts, asparagus and purple yams.

“Proteins” allows guests to choose from Alaskan Sterling Salmon, Free Range Chicken, Char-Grilled Strip Steak, Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom and more. “Proteins” can be customized with sauces including Moroccan Spice Tahini, Chimichurri and Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette.

Indulge in healthy desserts with “Sweets” including Goat Cheese and Honey Panna Cotta, Warm Walnut Date Cake and Pistachio Baklava.

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen will be at 8260 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale.

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen pairs food with Orin Swift wines

Downtown Scottsdale’s Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen will be hosting a wine pairing dinner on Thursday, December 19th with wines from Orin Swift.

The popular California winery was founded by Dave Phinney in 1998 with a couple of tons of Zinfandel after studying in Italy and working harvest at Robert Mondavi Winery. Today the winery makes 15 wines with four of them being poured during this 5-course dinner.

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m and is $90 per person plus tax & gratuity. To make a reservation call 480-427-2264. The locally owned Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen is at 7303 E. Indian School Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

Served that night will be……

1st Course-Seafood Salad
Octopus, Calamari & Scallops
Orin Swift ‘Blank Stare’ Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River
2nd Course-Tortellacci
With Butternut Squash in Butter Sage Sauce
Orin Swift ‘Mannequin’ Chardonnay, California
3rd Course Eggplant Involtini
Eggplant stuffed with ricotta topped with a light tomato sauce
Orin Swift ‘8 Years in the Desert’ Zinfandel Blend, California
Entrée-Surf & Turf
Small Filet with Shrimp, Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Tomatoes
Orin Swift ‘Palermo’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Dessert-Chocolate Temptation
Chocolate and hazelnut cream with hazelnut crunch, finished with chocolate glaze
Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling, Columbia Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuts new look and menu

After being on the Scottsdale steakhouse scene for more than 15 years Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuted a new look to the restaurant along with new Japanese beef dishes. The four month refresh was done after the restaurant was closed each night after dinner service. New lighting, art, flooring, furniture and live music area were updated and also included a new wine wall. The bar has a new bottle display above the bar and new lighting. The staff will don new uniforms and table side wine service is available. The fireplace on the patio received a new Mastro’s logo.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Wagyu & Kobe On A Stone

The new menu includes Japanese A5 Wagyu and Kobe beef. City Hall is one of two restaurants in Arizona to serve True Japanese Beef. The restaurant secured Kobe Association License to serve 100% Hyogo Prefecture Kobe Beef and A5 Kobe Beef from 100% Tajima Cattle, the most expansive beef in the world.

New dishes include Sliced A5 Japanese Wagyu and True Kobe Beef served on a Hot Stone, Wagyu Beef Sushi Roll, Spinalis Ribeye Gold Cap, Heart of the Rib Eye and Dover Sole.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Dover Sole

The restaurant expanded its wine list to include wines and spirits from around the world exclusively for Mastro’s City Hall.

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse is at 6991 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale announces 2020 Winemaker Series Dinners

With five weeks left in 2019 restaurants and resorts are looking beyond the holiday season as they plan for 2020. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa has announced their monthly Winemaker Dinner Series schedule of featured wineries for the first six months of 2020. The six wineries featured are from premiere California growing regions of Napa Valley, Russian River Valley and Paso Robles.

The popular dinners take place on the 3rd or 4th Thursday of every month beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts with hors d’oeuvres at a wine reception before the featured wines are paired with a four course dinner.

January 23rd Grgich Hills Winery

Grgich Hills Estate is a winery located in Rutherford, California in the heart of the Napa Valley. The winery changed its name (from Grgich Hills Cellar) in 2006 when it first began producing only “estate grown” wines made from grapes grown exclusively in vineyards owned by the winery.

February 27th Alpha Omega Collective

Alpha Omega, a family-owned boutique winery, features Bordeaux-inspired releases. It began its journey in 2006 being recognized as one of the great wine estates in the world. Founded by Robin and Michelle Baggett, Alpha Omega handcrafts wines from historic vineyards throughout Napa Valley.

March 19th Copper Cane by Joe Wagner

Owned and operated by Joseph Wagner in Napa Valley, Copper Cane Wines & Provisions houses a collection of brands that are crafted to offer a touch of luxury for everyday indulgence.

April 16th ZD

Founded in 1969, ZD Wines is owned and operated by the deLeuze family. Over three generations of the family showcase their passion for wine as ZD has gained the recognition of being one of Napa Valley’s favorite wineries, offering unrivaled world-class wines. The winery is located in Rutherford, a premium Cabernet Sauvignon growing region in the heart of the Napa Valley.

May 21st Silverado Vineyards

In 1981, Ron and Diane Miller established Silverado Vineyards in the heart of the Stags Leap District. They had purchased the vineyard several years earlier from Harry See who identified and propagated a special field selection of Cabernet, which UC Davis has designated as a “Heritage” clone, one of only three Cabernets in California to be given this distinction.

June 25th JUSTIN Winery

World-class wines from the heart of California. JUSTIN specializes in Bordeaux-style varieties, combined with traditional winemaking practices.

July 23rd La Crema Winery

Located in the Russian River Valley and established in 1979, the winery specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from cool-climate vineyards throughout California. La Crema Winery is part of Sonoma-based Jackson Family Estates, owned by Laura Jackson-Giron and her sister Jennifer Jackson.

Seats are limited for each epicurean experience and cost $115++ with reservations being made by calling the Hyatt Regency at 444-1234 x 8650. “Take Home” wines can be purchased after the dinner at a discount with repeat guests receive a 10% off the next dinner.

 

PHX Beer Co. to open Brewery & Tap Room this week

Friday November 15th is when PHX Beer Co. will pour the first beer at their new brewery and tap room. Throughout the day there will be tours of the 15,000 square foot facility and first pour will be at 4 p.m. “We’re thrilled to be the newest addition to the great local craft beer industry,” said PHX Beer Co. Brewery Director, Adam Wojcik. “Our team has done a great job building a new and unique portfolio of beers we are incredibly proud of. We’re excited to share them with the community.”

The 20 barrel system will allow PHX Beer Co. to increase production its 12 beers it beers. The re-modeled tap room offers high and low tables, full bar and sliding barn doors will allow for private events. A garage door has been installed and when lifted it will give customers a behind the scenes look at the brewing process. Darts, shuffle board, Foosball and other games are available for guests to play.

The menu at Phx Beer Co. will include paninis, flatbreads and shareable plates including a meat & cheese plate and Morenci Ale Pretzel Bites. All 12 beers will be poured including Arizona Gold, Orange Grove IPA and the new seasonal Cranberry Oatmeal Stout. The brewer recently opened a Scottsdale restaurant that pours all 12 beers.

“We are incredibly proud of what we are creating here,” said Wojcik. “The last few months we have improved the space, added some delicious menu items and we are ready to share it with everyone.”

The Brewery & Tap Room will be open daily at 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Mon – Fri and 6 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Phx Beer Co. Brewery & Tap Room is at 3002 E. Washington Phoenix 85034. For more information visit their website.

 

 

 

Upscale Mexican restaurant Toca Madera has opened.

A year and a half after I posted about it, the upscale Mexican restaurant Toca Madera has opened at Scottsdale Fashion Square. The Madera Group from West Hollywood is behind Toca Madera and its sister restaurants, the quick casual Tocaya Organica. Tocaya has two locations in the Phoenix area at Kierland Commons and next door to Toca.

Sashimi Mexicano

Co-founders Tosh Berman and Amrou Manaseer spared no expense at the 8,000 square foot Toca Madera. A lush courtyard with a retractable roof for patio dining leads to the dining room with the exhibition kitchen. Natural light from skylight breathes life onto the Ficus trees in the restaurants. A lounge with full bar is located off the courtyard serving signature margaritas and cocktails.

“At our Scottsdale location, we want guests to feel as though they’re stepping into another reality,” CEO Berman said. “From the sophisticated design to the theatrical spirit through which we serve food and beverage, every element has been precisely chosen to provide an unparalleled dining experience. The community has been incredibly supportive since opening Tocaya next door so we’re excited to introduce another one of our concepts to the area.”

Baja Rosa

Executive Chef Joseph Castillo comes to Toca Madera from the nearby Sushi Roku at the W Hotel. Castillo, a native of southern California goes from upscale sushi and Japanese food to an upscale Mexican cuisine. His culinary team creates signature dishes such as Enchiladas de Mole, Tiger Shrimp Tacos and Pescado de Dia (seafood of the day).

Dinner starts at 5 p.m., the lounge opens at 4 for happy hour and weekend brunch begins on November 9th. To view the menu and for more information check out https://www.tocamadera.com/

 

Mediterranean diet favorite dishes return to Pita Jungle

For the last 25 years Pita Jungle has been serving up healthy Mediterranean diet inspired dishes. Many customers have their favorite’s over the years but they tend to come and go with seasons. As part of their Seasonal Kitchen Crafts Menu they’ve brought back many fan favorites from the past.

All 23 locations throughout Arizona are serving dishes with a balance of Mediterranean diet and global cuisine. The menu is popular with all dietary needs including keto, paleo, vegan and gluten-free. The seasonal menu will be available thru the rest of the year. Dishes include……

  • Cauliflower Hummus (V) – cauliflower, tahini, garlic, evoo, lemon juice, cucumbers, pita (gluten free with blue corn chips).
  • All Veggie Pita Pocket – avocado, baby greens, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, sprouts, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, in a pita pocket, severed with tahini (vegan with no tabbouleh, gluten-free with gluten-free pita upcharge).
  • Bone Broth Ramen with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – beef bone broth, with miso, kimchi, red onion, gluten-free soy sauce, garlic and ginger, shirataki noodles, spinach, green onions.
  • Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles (GF) – stir-fried fresh vegetables and kimchi, shirataki noodles, spicy ginger sauce, beef bone broth, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, pea sprouts (vegan with no kimchi and no beef broth).

    Mediterranean
    Ginger Stir Fry with Shirataki Noodles
  • Wood-Fired Medchilada (GF) – savory garlic-cilantro chicken in a beef bone broth enchilada sauce, cheddar and feta, turmeric cauliflower rice, cabbage-kale super greens, fresh jalapenos, radish, pico de gallo, pine nuts, gluten-free pita.
  • Chicken Avocado Pita Tostada with Cauliflower Hummus – grilled and chopped marinated all-natural chicken breast, avocado, cilantro-avocado crema, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, bell peppers, cauliflower hummus, feta, pine nuts, baby arugula, pea sprouts, chipotle vinaigrette, pita tostada or low-carb pita or gluten-free pita (vegetarian option without chicken.
  • Mediterranean Tuna Pita Pocket – albacore tuna, avocado, seasonal mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, tabbouleh, lemon vinaigrette, pea sprouts, in a pita pocket.
  • Baklawa Bread Pudding sweetened with stevia and agave syrup.

To find a Pita Jungle near you head to their website.

OEB Breakfast Co. to open first U.S. location in Scottsdale

Italian-Canadian chef Mauro Martina is bringing his eclectic breakfast concept to north Scottsdale in November. When OEB Breakfast Co. opens it will give the classic breakfast staples an upscale twist from the north. At almost 3,000 square feet, the open kitchen restaurant seats over 100 people in the dining room and on the patio.

“Breakfast means so much more to me than just the first meal of the day,” said Martina, owner and founder of OEB. “It’s about elevating the whole breakfast experience. That’s what OEB is all about.”

Light blue and yellow painted walls give a clean look to the restaurant and guests will notice wood beams throughout with the focal point being the Terrazo bar.

The classically trained Martina learned his skills in Europe before moving to Canada in 1992. At the age of 21 he was already an executive chef and has worked in Michelin Star restaurants since then. He opened the first OEB in 2009 and sources much of his ingredients from local farmers. “We care about where the food comes from and what happens to it before it hits the table,” said Martina.

Photos courtesy of Liz Lastra at Evolve Marketing

The menu at OEB Breakfast Co.

Martina’s eclectic menu will take guests on a culinary journey and will include Holy Crab Eggs Benny, Nutella French Toast and Hog & Scallop Poutine. The restaurant will serve hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer and Frizzante on tap from the full service bar. Martina’s philosophy is to raise the bar during the breakfast experience through its cuisine.

“There are not too many places out there that have truffles on the menu or sturgeon caviar and duck and scallops,” said Martina. “Some think fine dining but I think people can have all of that for breakfast.”

The restaurant is currently looking to hire 50 people for all positions. Those interested can send a resume to chaunceylane@eatoeb.com

OEB Breakfast Co. is at 17757 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Scottsdale & Chauncey Lane) 85255. For updates about the opening and more information visit their website.

 

New menu and new look as a re-vamped Zuzu re-opens

Hotel Valley Ho’s Zuzu is back open after getting a new look and menu. Hotel guests and locals will notice the restaurant’s new mid-century modern look is in-line with the hotels 1950’s style. Designed by Mendil + Meyer Design Studio, new features include a Zuzu neon sign, 1950’s inspired wood screens and new lighting. The lounge and dining room has been combined for welcoming space and the hotel’s signature circle design is noticeable.

“We are beyond excited to re-introduce ZuZu, not only to our wonderful Scottsdale community, but also to the guests of Hotel Valley Ho,” said Executive Chef Russell LaCasce. “Our new menu is meant to surprise and delight, while still satisfying those classic cravings.”

look
Crispy Pork Shank. All photos courtesy of Kristin Heggli at Hotel Valley Ho

Look at the new menu

LaCasce’s new menu features smaller, shareable plates with a few guests’ favorite dishes remaining. Many of the menu’s ingredients come from the restaurant’s new 240 foot herb and vegetable garden. Zuzu continues to work with local farmers and purveyors including Pinnacle Farms, Schreiner’s Fine Sausage and Hickman’s Family Farms.

New signature dishes include Oxtail Pappardelle with foie gras & Parmesan and Crispy Pork Shank with sour apple molasses glaze, cucumber tarragon yogurt and pita. Two new monthly revolving dishes will be available….. Cut of the Moment will be a savory dish with a unique plating design and Farmer’s Plate will offer seasonal vegetables making for a great vegetarian meal. Those looking for a unique dining experience can let LaCasce Take the Wheel. For $75 per person chef will create a hand selected meal. Weekend brunchers will notice a few changes and brunch is now served all day during the week.

Zuzu Chocolate Bar

Save room for dessert as Zuzu’s famous Show Stopper Shake is still available along with new desserts. Le Cordon Bleu trained Pastry Chef Clarissa Robinson brings her chocolate expertise to new desserts Zuzu Chocolate Bar, a Donut Sundae and Buttermilk Pie. Adults can add their favorite spirit to dessert to spike it up.

Private dining, wine room and more

Speaking of spirits new cocktails have been added including the Zuzu Mango Tango along with a new wine room. The new “Vine Vault” house wines from around the world. “The Rosie Room” is a new hidden private dining room named for Rosalyn “Rosie” Bennett Lyon, the matriarch of the family that owns the hotel. Her grandchildren called Rosie “Zuzu” and the inspiration for the restaurant comes from her cooking and warm hospitality.

I’ll be visiting Zuzu next week to check out the new menu and more. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @SandyWass for pictures.

Zuzu and Hotel Valley Ho is at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.