Peter Kasperski returns to the valley’s dining scene with Character

2020 brought many surprises good and bad to the valley’s dining scene. One of the biggest surprises was the return of restaurateur Peter Kasperski in December. He and valley mixologist Richie Moe III have again joined forces to open Character Distinctive Dining in the Roosevelt Arts District. The two have known each other for over 30 years going back to their days in Chicago when Moe’s father was Kasperski’s mentor.

Moe helped Kasperski open Cowboy Ciao in the 1990s then Kazmierz Wine Bar before they went their separate ways. Moe had gone on to open and run cocktail programs at Citizen Public House, The Gladly and Bourbon and Bones. Kasperski has been lying low the last few years plotting his next move since he closed Cowboy Ciao.

Photo courtesy of Modern Vision Media

Downtown Phoenix’s Character Distinctive Dining is a classic American dinner house with cuisines from around the world made using modern cooking techniques. Kasperski’s love for eclectic wines and Moe’s inventive cocktail list have also made their way downtown from Scottsdale. Some will see similarities with Cowboy Ciao especially the popular dinner events. One of those events is the monthly Somm Showdown with Peter Kasperski and a local wine sommelier go head to head picking the best pairings for a five-course dinner. The first Somm Showdown is Sunday January 24th 2021 with Synergy Fine Wines’ Steve Cannon. Seating is limited to 30 people and dinner is $90 ++ per person.

The pair are also opening Alias, a speakeasy, later this year out back of Character. Three nights a week Moe and Chef Justin “Red” Hauska will create mixology/gastronomy dinners pairing cocktails and food with science and surprises. After dinner starting at 9 p.m. Alias will become a craft cocktail bar until 2 a.m.

Character / Alias is at 218 E Portland St. Phoenix, AZ 85004. For more information check their website, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Commander Hamburger opens inside The Churchill

Chef Bernie Kantak and partner Andrew Fritz have stepped out of their comfort zone of full service restaurants to open their first casual concept, Commander Hamburger. The two own the critically acclaimed restaurants The Gladly in Phoenix and Citizen Public House in Scottsdale. The superhero inspired burger stand opened this week in downtown Phoenix’s The Churchill, an opened air shipping container food court.

Much like the pairs other restaurants and comic books Commander Hamburger should have a cult like following. Guests can expect hamburgers and chicken sandwiches on Noble Bread buns, fries, Danzeisen soft-serve ice cream and more. Fans of Kantak know of his famous Original Chopped Salad and they shouldn’t worry as he’s saved the day as it’s on the menu too. The atmosphere will be of the vintage comic style. Commander joins 9 other small businesses at The Churchill and the only one focusing on burgers.

“Let’s bring back memories of sitting in your best friends’ basement, trading cards, flipping through comics and watching old-school cartoons,” said Kantak, of the vibe at his latest endeavor. “Throw a great hamburger in that scene and we’re set.”

Commander Hamburger and The Churchill is at 901 N. 1st St. Phoenix 85004. For more information check out their website.

Summer Cocktail Camp tickets on sale for cocktail mixing classes

If all classes were like the six offered at Summer Cocktail Camp I would’ve been an “A” student. For six weeks campers will learn the art of cocktail mixing from local mixologists while making cocktails from new recipes. For one Saturday in June and 5 Sunday’s in July and August from 1 – 3 p.m. classes will be held at restaurants around Phoenix.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://summercocktailcamp.com/ and are sold on first come, first serve basis. Last years camp sold out in only a few days. Phoenix Magazine editor Craig Outhier will be camp counselor for each weeks class along with a revolving list of mixologists. Each class is $38 and 2019’s Summer Cocktail Camp will be at…

  • June 29th (Sat)- The Gladly
  • July 7th- Social Hall
  • July14th- Mowry & Cotton
  • July 28th- Clever Koi (Gilbert)
  • August 4th- The Phoenician Tavern
  • August 11th- Chico Malo

 

The Gladly celebrates its 5th anniversary with $1 chopped salad

Phoenix restaurant The Gladly celebrates its 5th anniversary and will offer fans 5 days of food and drink specials to celebrate. Kicking off Monday September 10th guests will be able to enjoy the popular Chopped Salad for $1 followed by these special below.

chopped salad
The Chopped Salad. Photo courtesy of The Gladly.

Monday, Sept. 10 – Enjoy $1 Original Chopped Salads (dine-in only; dinner service only; limit one per table).

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Enjoy 50-percent off all draft cocktails including The Gladly Manhattan, Moscow Mule, Spiced Daiquiri, Penicillin, Thai Margarita and Aperol Spritz.

Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Enjoy $1 oysters during happy hour and dinner service.

Thursday, Sept. 13 – Enjoy $10 bottles of rosé.

Friday, Sept. 14 – Enjoy a special, signature dish from The Gladly’s Scottsdale sister restaurant, Citizen Public House, for one night only.

If you can’t make in during the week, stop in anytime during the month for a celebratory cocktail for only $5 created just for the anniversary.

“This is our way of saying thanks to the community, and to those who came through our doors over the last five years,” said co-owner Andrew Fritz. “We can’t wait for you to see what’s in store for the future.”

The Gladly is at The Anchor Centre at 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. https://www.thegladly.com/

The Gladly to host clam boil with local dream team collaboration.

The Gladly and chef Bernie Kantak are teaming up with local artisan food & drink purveyors for a clam boil Sunday August 19th. Chula Seafood, Wren House Brewing Co. and Cutino Sauce Co. join the fun for the New England style clam boil.

Mussels, clams and shrimp will be steamed and served with sausage, corn on the cob and more for a family style dining experience. This one-day only event will offer two seating’s at 1 and 3 p.m.

Gladly
garlic white wine clam in black pot on wooden tray in asian restaurant

Tickets for the clam boil are $40 all inclusive with beverage being sold separately.

Scotch dinner at The Gladly

If you can’t make it to the clam boil The Gladly will be hosting Glenfiddich and Balvenie scotch dinner on Saturday August. 25th. Chef Bernie’s innovative dishes will compliment the scotches for this multi-course dinner. The dinner starts at 7:00 p.m. and is $65++ per person. Reservations can be made by calling 602-759-8132.

To attend the Clam Boil and view both menus check out their website https://www.thegladly.com/menus#ClamBoil

The Gladly is at The Anchor Centre 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016.

The Arizona Seven chef collective re-unite for chef Kelly Fletcher

The local food and restaurant community can never be accused of not helping one its own or its local communities, whether it’s an unfortunate occurrence(fire, theft) or medical need of a staff member we always rally when we hear the cry.The cry went out for chef and all around good guy Kelly Fletcher(House of Tricks, El Chorro Lodge & Zen Culinary) and the medical expenses incurred when Kelly fell ill with a life-threatening infection that had him in the hospital for weeks and at rest back at home.

We heard the cry and jumped into action with 2 Fund Up meals cooked by the “Arizona Seven” chef collective at Crudo restaurant in coming weeks.

The 2 Fund Ups will feature chefs Keenan Bosworth (Pig & Pickle), Cullen Campbell (Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails), Jacob Cutino (Homeboy’s Hot Sauce), Josh Hebert (Posh Improvisational Cuisine, Hot Noodles Cold Sake), Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ), Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta), Bernie Kantak (Citizen Public House, The Gladly) and Gio Osso (Nico, Virtù Honest Craft).

A pig for Kelly Fletcher

100% from both Fund Ups will be donated to pay the medical expenses with the 1st Fund Up taking place next Sunday June 4th for a Communal Pig Roast. Chef & host Cullen Campbell will be roasting a whole hog at his Crudo restaurant with the other 6 chefs will be preparing gourmet side dishes, sauces, desserts and more smoked meats.

Beer from local brewery Huss Brewing Co. will be poured along with wines & cocktails from The Whiny Pig and Tito’s Vodka. The family style roast starts at 2 p.m. and is $50++ per person.

Multi Course dinner

On Monday July 31st the Arizona Seven will re-unite at Crudo for a Multi- Course Dinner to help pay down Kelly’s medical expenses. The menu will be created by Kelly with the other chefs putting their unique twist on each of the courses. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is $150 ++ per person.

For tickets to the Arizona Seven Fund Ups go to http://7cheffundup.bpt.me/

Who are the Arizona Seven chef collective?

Chefs who own restaurants are friends more than competitors who wish all the best in the day-to-day operations of locally owned restaurant survival. To bring awareness of the local Phoenix food scene the Arizona Seven chef collection debuted in 2014 with events for all to collaborate in and showcase their talents outside of their restaurants. The goal is to bring the James Beard Award back to Arizona.

Crudo is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.