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.

 

Domaine Carneros dinner hosted by Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort

Champagne house Taittinger will be showing it’s Napa Valley sparkling wines off at a dinner on Thursday December 10th. Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa hosts Domaine Carneros for the 4-course dinner as part of the resort’s monthly Winemaker Dinner Series. The evening starts at 6:30 with an appetizer and wine reception followed by dinner at 7.

Domaine Carneros was created in the 1980s to create sparkling wine in California’s Napa Valley using the same methods used in making champagne in France. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are grown on the property used to make the award-winning bubbly. During the dinner you’ll hear about their newest project, being the first champagne house to plant vineyards in the United Kingdom. The vineyards were planted in 2015 in Kent South-east England and planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier. No tasting of these sparkling wines, as the first release is set for 2024.

After the dinner wines will be available for purchase for guests to take home at a discount. The dinner is $99++ per person with limited seating and reservations being required. To reserve your seat call 480-629-6231.

 

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.

Mediterra Bakehouse seasonal breads available at farmers markets

Handmade breads made with grains grown on their farm in Coolidge are available in 4 seasonal varieties through December. Pumpkin Boule, Fig & Anise, Chocolate Cherry Levain & Christmas Stollen can be found 4 days a week around phoenix at local farmers markets.

Romeo’s Euro Cafe hosts 3rd Tuesday dinner

The popular downtown Gilbert restaurant offers a 3 course dinner with 3 wine pairings for its monthly dinner. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and is $39++ per person. Reservations can be made by calling 480-962-4224 or email

Grgich Hills wine dinner at Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen

The famed Napa Valley winery will have its wines featured with at 5-course dinner in downtown Scottsdale. The Thursday November 19th dinner will be have socially distanced tables of no more than 8 people. $90 ++ per person, to view the menu and make a reservation head to http://tommyvscottsdale.com/ .

Tropical Smoothie Cafe 1st to use edible straws

All 9 Phoenix area locations are serving their seasonal Cranberry Truffle and Cranberry Crisp smoothies with a strawberry flavored edible straw. Each SORBOS individually packed straw stays firm for 40 minutes and is biodegradable.

Winning burger & shake now available at Aioli Gourmet Burgers

The contest had lots of recipes entered but only one could win each category. The FRC burger from Francis Campos of BASIS Phoenix H.S. and The Boo Shake by Kaitlynn and Mackenzie from Adobe Mountain H.S. are now available at the burger shops in Litchfield Park and 2 in Phoenix. 10% of all burgers sold are being donated to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers

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.

“Thank a Nurse” with Tea of A Kind in November

Tempe based Vessl and its Tea of a Kind ready-to drink tea have partnered with Nightingale 2030 Resilience Fund and American Cancer Society for their #ThankANurse campaign starting November 1st. 5% of all tea and product sales will be donated to local nurses.

GuacStar Kitchen & Cantina opens November 5th

New plant-based Mexican food eatery opens its first location at the Cornerstone Mall at University & Rural in Tempe.

AZ Paint Night returns to Padre Murphy’s

Glendale’s oldest bar and restaurant welcomes artist Lexie Swan every Tuesday for an evening of socially distanced painting on the patio. Canvas and paint are $20 and you get to take home what your art. Food and drink are sold separately and AZ Paint Night goes from 6:30 – 8:30.

Chef Danielle Leoni partners with World Central Kitchen Phoenix for meal kits.

The owner of the Breadfruit & Rum Bar has been keeping busy preparing farm to table meal kits for local organizations. Last week she delivered 400 meal kits to those in need at A New Leaf and Roosevelt Community Church. Another 400 meal kits will be prepared this Sunday November 1st with some going to those standing in line to vote on Election Day.

Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery featured at Sunday Supper Club

Hearth ’61, the signature restaurant at Mountain Shadows Resort hosts its monthly 5-course dinner. The unique menu is created by executive chef Charles Wiley to be paired with wines from California. This month’s dinner is on November 15th and cost $109 ++per person. To view the pairing menu and make a reservation visit their website.

Kids eat free on Halloween at Angry Crab Shack

No tricks are needed but costumes are at all 11 locations on Saturday October 31st. Until 6 p.m. all kids under 12 years old get a free kid’s meal. Choose from chicken tenders, mac n cheese, fried shrimp, kid’s cheeseburger or min corn dogs. All meals come with a fountain drink and choice of side.

 

 

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

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

Hopdoddy Burger Bar gives free burgers to First Responders

Wednesday, October 28th is National First Responder’s Day and the Camelback & Scottsdale locations are responding. Show your badge or come in uniform for a free Classic burger or cheeseburger when you dine-in or take-out.

Marcellino Ristorante begins Fall Wine Dinners

The downtown Scottsdale restaurant known for homemade pastas and authentic Italian cuisine has its first dinner on Tuesday October 27th. Paired with Italian wines chosen by sommelier Dario Soldan of Classico Wines, Chef Marcellino decides on what to serve at the 4-course dinner the day of. Prepaid seats are $75 ++ per person for the 6 p.m. dinner and can be reserved by calling Bettina at 480-990-9500.

“Crazy for Curry” then head to Thai Chili 2 Go

Until Wednesday October 28th, curry fans can get a bowl for half price when a bowl is purchased at regular price. Red, yellow, green, Massamann and Panang curries are available at all locations for pick-up and delivery.

Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza now available at Fired Pie

All 20 locations of the fast casual pizza restaurant are now selling the new specialty pizza. Made with house-made dough Nashville Hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, then topped with Nashville Hot Chicken, spicy cole slaw & chopped Dill pickles. It can be made with regular, cauliflower and gluten-free dough.

Hotel Valley Ho launches The R + R Show virtual cooking class

Executive Chef Russel LaCasce and hotel General Manager Ronen Aviram debut their first free episode of their monthly cooking, cocktail and recipe podcast. Details of each month’s classe and link to the podcast can be found at an earlier post.

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine community.

Thai Chili 2 Go has 1/2 off noodle entrees

Tuesday October 6th is National Noodle Day with 1/2 off noodle entrees when an entree is purchased at regular price. All 10 locations offer this special for pick-up and delivery.

Tommy V’s & J. Lohr partner for dinner to raise money for breast cancer

This 5- course dinner on Thursday October 15th will support the National Breast Cancer Foundation as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The dinner starts at 6:30 and will be taking necessary steps for everybody’s safety.  Tables of no more than 8 people will be 6 feet apart. To see the menu and for more information visit http://tommyvscottsdale.com/ Call 480-427-2264 to make a reservation.

Save money on pizza at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria on Monday’s in October

For the four Monday’s that there are during National Pizza Month guests can save 25% off a 16 inch cheese pizza. The special $12 price is for dine-in or carry-out orders. No 3rd party deliveries. For online orders use promo code “MANGIA” when ordering at all 7 locations in the Phoenix area and Flagstaff.

Macayo’s celebrates National Taco Day Sunday October 4th

$3 gets you Crispy Tacos (shredded beef or shredded chicken) which are regularly $6.59. All locations are offering this for dine-in, pick-up or Macayo Delivery.

Art & Chocolate Artwalk kicks off 46th season

The Scottsdale Gallery Association starts another season on Thursday October 8th for its Gold Palette Artwalk. Glendale’s Cerreta Candy Company will be supplying galleries with pre-wrapped chocolates for guests strolling into view the art. The Artwalk goes from 6:30- 9:00 p.m. in the Arts District near Main St. & Marshall Way in Old Town Scottsdale.

 

Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick bits of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine scene.

Sphinx Date Company announces re-opening

The Palm & Pantry market has re-opened Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. in old town Scottsdale. Just in time for the 2020 date harvest and leading into the holiday season.

Dutch Bros Coffee raises money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Friday September 18th all 28 locations will donate $1 from every drink sold to the hospitals Buck for Kids day of Giving.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar celebrates National Cheeseburger Day

The week of September 14th-18th the Scottsdale & Camelback locations are letting you double burgers in celebration. Get another patty for free when you order online and take your burger to go. Use promo code “double” at check out to redeem.

Milkshakes are only $4 at Miracle Mile Deli

Celebrate National Milkshake Day is Saturday September 12th and Miracle Mile Deli all month with a chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milkshake for a low price.

Duckhorn Wine Dinner at Tommy V’s in Scottsdale

The restaurant resumes its series of wine dinners on Thursday September 17th with the Napa Valley winery. Tables of 8 will be 6 feet apart and other safety precautions will be followed. The 5 course dinner paired with 5 wines is $90 per person plus tax & tip. To see the menu and make your reservation visit their website.

Verde Valley Wine Festival is back for its 5th year Mother’s Day weekend

Update: Re-scheduled for Nov. 6th & 7th.

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a glass of wine or two with dear old mom. You can purchase tickets for you and your mom for the 5th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival, Saturday May 9th 2020. Four Eight Wineworks presents the festival that will host 20 Arizona wineries along with local breweries, distilleries, food trucks and restaurants. The festival takes place at Clarkdale Town Park from 12 – 5 p.m. Each year the festival donates part of the proceeds to a local non-profit, this year’s festival benefits The Arizona Vignerons Alliance and the Arizona Winegrowers Association. Participating wineries, food trucks and other vendors is will be announced soon.

“Wine’s economic impact on our state demands more resources to defend, protect and grow this incredibly delicate, yet robust industry in Arizona,” said David Baird, festival director and co-owner of oDDity Wine Collective. “Guests fly in from all over the world to attend this festival. For many people, the first time they understand the depth of Arizona wine is at our festival. We’re honored to be a conduit for that magic.”

General Admission tickets for the Verde Valley Wine Festival are available on-line for $35 in advance and $45 at the festival. VIP tickets are $125 and get you early entry at 11 a.m., access to the VIP Lounge, additional tastings and a swag bag. Platinum VIP tickets are $199 and include dinner and live auction on Friday May 8th. Festival goers are encouraged to spend the night and accommodations for glamping are available on the website.

Clarkdale Town Park is at 1001 Main St. Clarkdale.

 

 

 

Robert Sinskey Vineyards and Huss Brewing dinners coming to Quiessence

February is quick upon and social calendars are filling up. Quiessence at The Farm is hosting two special dinners’ pairings its seasonally grown vegetables, herbs and edible flowers with food friendly wine and beer. Chef’s Dustin Christofolo’s Tasting Menus pairs with wines from Robert Sinskey Vineyards followed a week later with beer from Huss Brewing Co. Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Robert Sinskey Vineyards dinner

Thursday January 30th at 6:00 p.m. the Napa Valley winery food driven wines will compliment Chef’s menu with much coming from the farms own Seed to Soil Garden. The five course meal is $95 per person plus tax & 20% gratuity.

First Course paired with 2016 Abraxas

Cauliflower Soup- Poached Scallops, Braised Greens, Currants

Second Course enjoyed with 2016 Vin Gris

Arizona Aged Beef Carpaccio -Bread Spoon, Parmesan Aioli, Pickled Shallots, Tempura Herbs

Third Course pairs 2014 Pinot Noir

Tortelli di Zucca- Rabbit Confit, Crushed Hazelnuts, Borage Flowers

Fourth Course paired with POV

Guinea Hen Roulade- Wrapped In Tessa, Crimson Lentils, Wild Mushrooms,  Grilled Daikon Radish, Red Pepper Jam, Fried Sage

Fifth Course paired with Pinot Gris Late Harvest  

“The Farm At South Mountain” Preserved Apple Pie- Vanilla Ice Cream, Lavender Honey Drizzle

Huss Brewing Co. beer pairing dinner

Huss Brewing’s Brewmaster Jeff Huss will join guests for this dinner on Thursday February 6th at 6:00 p.m. Starting on the patio with a beer cocktail and passed appetizers. The Arizona Beer Week celebration moves to the solarium for dinner. Limited seating is available for $85 per person plus tax & 20% gratuity.

1st Course Paired with Scottsdale Blonde

Wild Shrimp And Carrot Risotto- Roasted Carrots, Tomato Vinaigrette, Parsnip Chips, Chervil

2nd Course paired with Koffee Kolsch

Smoked Diver Sea Scallops Dusted With Espresso- Sunchoke Puree, Fingerling Potato Chips, Tempura Button Mushrooms, Koffee Kolsch Gastrique

3rd Course paired with Papago Desert Sage

Two Wash Ranch Chicken Fried Cornish Hen- Herb Aioli, Sous Vide Turnips, Preserved Farm Buddha Hand Citrus, Kale

4th Course paired With Copper State IPA

Artisanal Cheese Board- Nuts And Savory Jams Served With Grilled Noble Bread And Lavosh Crackers

Seats are limited for both dinners and can be reserved by calling (602)276-0601 or going to the Open Table links for the Sinskey dinner and for the dinner with Jeff Huss. Quiessence at The Farm is at 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix 85042.

 

Bevan Cellars winemaker to host dinner at Keeler’s Steakhouse

Things tend to slow down a bit in California wine country during the winter. The “down time” gives winemakers the opportunity to leave the vineyard and visit customers throughout the country. Bevan Cellars winemaker and co-founder Russell Bevan will be leaving St. Helena as he heads to Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse for a January 9th dinner.

The 5- course dinner will have Chef Anthony Apolinar’s creative menu complimented by the wines of Bevan Cellars. During dinner Russell will share his story about how the winery got started, growing up in wine country and the wines themselves.

The pairing is as follows.

1st Course: Steelhead Crudo with arugula salad, cucumber and Meyer lemon oil paired with Dry Stack Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

2nd Course: Pan-Seared Monkfish with sautéed spinach, blistered tomatoes and balsamic reduction served with Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

3rd Course: Grilled Duroc Pork Chop with sweet potato puree and pinot noir reduction complemented by Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

4th Course: Prime Petit Filet with adobo marinade, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussel chips and demi-glace paired with Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

5th Course: “Berries and Cream” served with Ontogeny Red Wine, Napa Valley

The dinner starts at 6:30 and is $125 per person plus tax & gratuity. Seats are limited, to reserve your seat call 602-374-4784 or visit http://keelerssteakhouse.com/

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse is at 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. Carefree AZ.