“Chopped” champion Chef Nick LaRosa has a new menu at Nook Kitchen

Arcadia’s Nook Kitchen has re-opened this week with a new menu from Chef Nick LaRosa. The restaurant moved to a new larger location along Indian School Road in December and was humming along as it did at the old location when Covid- 19 broke out. They did take out until several nearby restaurants were hit with the virus and owner Frank Vairo and partners decided to close for the summer.

Nicholas Winger, managing partner, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back our guests.  We are operating with limited-seating and dining socially distanced due to pandemic regulations, so we encourage reservations, especially with our small dining room. It fills up quickly.”

What’s on the menu from Chef Nick LaRosa

With the opening comes a new menu of Italian favorites with a modern twist from LaRosa. House made pastas and fresh ingredients are on the menu such as Casarecce Bolognese for meat lovers and Veggie Campanelle for vegetarians. Napolitano styled pizzas are still coming out of the pizza oven along with entrees such as pan-seared salmon, a double bone-in pork chop and the Nook Burger.

LaRosa was champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2017 and has earned other local accolades.

Chef Nick LaRosa
Aracini

“We’re excited and want to shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re back!’ ” LaRosa said. “And we’re really happy to be back, too.  The time off has given us the opportunity to add new menu items, plus fantastic desserts and still focus on the dishes we know our patrons love. “The specialness of our food is Italian with a twist.  If you want to eat hearty, we’ve got it.  If you’d rather eat light, we’ve got that too in spades.”

The menu also includes appetizers including Brussel Chips, Aracini and more. Exciting new desserts include a gelato flight from Cool Gelato and Nook’s version of Affogatto. Sommelier Matthew Wohleb has created a new and old world wine list to compliment the cuisine and mixoligist Gabe Chavez mixes up the cocktail program.

Nook Kitchen opens Wednesday thru Sunday at 5 p.m. and is at 4231 E. Indian School R. Phoenix 85018.

S & V Urban Italian to open 2nd Scottsdale location this fall

Scottsdale restaurant S & V Urban Italian has announced it will open a second location a few miles north later this year. The original location at 9343 E. Shea Blvd. has served authentic Italian cuisine seven days a week since 2011. The new location will be in a new development called SOHO at 16580 N. 92nd St. and will offer views of the McDowell Mountains from the patio. A large main dining room and spacious bar will also offer a peek outdoors with its adjustable garage doors. The new location will continue to serve the same Italian dishes customers have come to love during lunch, happy hour & dinner.

In other S & V Urban Italian news, they’ve recently started serving Family Meal Deals that feed four. Choose a Caesar or Mista salad, and pasta dishes including Spaghetti & Meatballs ($50), Fettuccine Alfredo ($50; add chicken or sausage $60), Penne Vodka ($50) or Rigatoni Bolognese ($55).

Other great specials include their Pizza & Wine Oh My deal on Mondays from 3PM to 9PM where you can enjoy a pizza and a bottle of wine for only $20. All are available for dine-in or take out. Come in on Wednesdays from 3PM to 9PM, to enjoy half off bottles of wine with your meal or by itself.

For more information and updates on the new location visit their website.

Canned wines Tank available from Aridus Wine Company

Arizona wine producer Aridus Wine Company has released its new line of canned wines, Tank. The grapes for the canned wines is sourced from Aridus’s vineyards in Cochise County along with purchased fruit. The fruit for the Rose is 100% Zinfandel and comes from New Mexico. The White is a blend of 72% Malvasia and 28% Picpoul which are the wineries two signature white grapes.

The wines were vinified separately then blended in early 2019 and held in stainless steel tanks until May 2020. The Viognier sees one year in neutral oak before stainless steel. The canned wines are different wines than those sold by the bottle and have a high residual sugar content. Tank is perfect for drinking by pool, camping trips or at home after a long hot day.

The Viognier, Rose and White Blend come in 4-packs and are available at their tasting rooms in Scottsdale & Willcox for $28. Each can holds 375 ml or about two glasses of wine. Buy a 4 pack and get a free Tank Koozie Can Cooler. The Scottsdale tasting room is at 7173 E. Main St. 85251. The Willcox tasting room is at 145 Railview Ave. 85643. For more information visit https://www.ariduswineco.com/ 

Rift Tap and Wine Bar opening in south Scottsdale

If all goes as planned with the expiration of the current Covid-19 lock down on Monday July 27th south Scottsdale could have a new beer and wine bar in early August. Regardless of the lock down Rift Tap and Wine Bar opens for curbside pick-up and delivery that same Monday. Rift is the brainchild of owners Damien Kanser, a wine industry veteran and friend Jon Coppins, the winemaker at Su Vino Winery.

Named after a Phish album that inspired Kanser since his childhood, Rift converted a spot that was a convenience store at Fillmore and Scottsdale Rd.. With little or nothing for craft beer and wine between old town Scottsdale and Tempe they felt this would be the perfect location for their neighborhood bar. The neighborhood is home to many service industry people and young professionals who have had nowhere to gather since Papago Brewing Co. closed a few years ago.

Rift will feature affordable wines and beers from local brewers and wineries and from across the country and the world. 25 beers on tap will be poured along with wines by the glass as guests gather at the 23 seat bar, high top tables or couches. Food trucks will be scheduled for guests to enjoy a bite to eat with their beer and wine. Coolers will house cold beers to go along with a few racks of retail wines. Kanser envisions Rift’s retail component as a quick grab n go for people to purchase on a regular basis to enjoy with dinner or by the pool. They’re sourcing limited production small batch beers directly from brewers giving the shop a unique selection by the bottle and tap.

Rift owners Damien Kanser and Jon Coppins

The wine club at Rift Tap and Wine Bar

This fall Rift will house a studio for their “Spilling the Truth” podcast they started in late 2018. Windows to the studio will allow guests to view podcasts live with brewers and winemakers joining the podcast.

Two wine clubs will be offered featuring local wines and wines to a national audience based on wineries visiting the podcast.

Rift is at 431 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85257. For updates check out their Facebook page.

Wine Country BBQ returns for another year at LDV Winery

Cochise County’s LDV Winery is keeping its popular Wine Country BBQ going for another year on Saturday August 8th. The winery in the Chiraicahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona opens its door from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for BBQ foods, wine tastings, outdoor games and tour to wine club members and the public.

Tickets for the Wine Country BBQ are $40(+tax & fee) per person and $30(+tax & fee) for wine club members. Each ticket gets you a plate of BBQ, a glass of wine and a winemaker led tour at 2 p.m. Addition glasses of wine are available for purchase.

Phoenix area restaurants have Mother’s Day meals for takeout

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, May 10th and Phoenix area restaurants are preparing for takeout meals. Prie-fixe meals, family style meals and a la carte options are be available but hurry up as time is running out to place your order.

Phoenix area restaurants celebrating mom

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen is offering a 3-course, prie-fixe meals are available for $35 per person. Add a bottle or 2 of pre-selected wines for $15-$30 a bottle. Pre-order by calling 480-427-2264 for pick up Sunday between 2 – 7 p.m. 7303 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

The Roaring Fork gives mom the choice to choose from signature items with entrees, sides & dessert for up to 4 people. A la carte items are available too. Meals are $65- $75 and can be picked up Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. To order head to their website or call 480-947-0795. 4800 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

Fired Pie is giving discounts at all 21 of their Phoenix area locations.  $5 off orders of $20 or more and $10 off $40 orders. Only available with online ordering and not available on 3rd party deliveries.

Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley has created a special Mother’s Day menu from executive chef Chuck Wiley. A stuffed Roasted Chicken comes with salad, sides and dessert for $39 per person. Add a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label for $45 or a bottle of Prosecco & a bouquet of flowers for $55. Orders are being taken until Thurs. May 7th at 4 p.m. and can be made by emailing or calling the restaurant at 480-624-5431. Pick up between 11a. m. – 4 p.m. 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley 85253.

PHX Beer Co. celebrates mom on Sat & Sun. with $20 crowlers filled with Bloody Mary’s, Margaritas and Mimosa kits with oj & champagne. $10 of will be donated to Homeward Bound.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen has a “Beignets & Bubbly” family style meal that feeds 4. Orders can be place by calling 480-659-6145 or by heading to their website. Not available with 3rd party deliveries. 1325 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 106, in Tempe.

Chase’s Dinner is giving mom half off her entree all day long from its full menu. Pick up or have it delivered by Postmates and GrubHub. Call your order in at 480-855-3663. 2040 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85224.

Padre Murphy’s in Glendale has 3 course family meals of Chicken Marsala ($84.99) or Grilled Salmon ($99.99). Each can be had a la carte too along with beers and cocktails available for purchase. 24 hour notice is required and orders can be called in at (602) 547-9406. 4338 W Bell Rd Glendale 85308.

Downtown Chandler restaurants offering takeout

Crown Plaza San Marcos Resort in the heart of downtown Chandler has a 5 course family meal with main dishes, quiche and more. $125 plus tax and you can add a Mimosa drink pack for $15. Orders need to be placed by May 6th by calling 480-812-0900. One San Marcos Place, Chandler 85225.

Mingle & Graze offers a Mother’s Day Mingle Box charcuterie board, chocolates and more for $50 for four or dinner for 4 at $90. Orders are being taken until May 7th by calling 480-726-2264 or on their website. Pick up Sunday between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 48 S San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

SanTan Brewery has Prime Rib, Honey Glazed Ham and more by the pound on its special Mother’s Day menu. Call 480-917-8700 or head to their website to place an order. Pick up or delivery is on Sunday. 8 S. San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

Serranos Mexican Restaurant will satisfy mom’s sweet tooth with churro donuts topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. 2 for $3.99 or 6 for $12. order on line or by calling 480-899-3318. 141 S. Arizona Ave. Chandler 85225.

The Hidden House offers  a al carte brunch with bagels $14, Mixed Berry French toast $14 and more from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. wanting more a celebratory dinner several family meals are available from 3 – 8 p.m. The Filet Family Pack ($150), Duck Breast Family Pack ($90), Chicken Breast Family Pack ($70) or a combination Family Pack ($115). Each family meal comes with two sides and a dessert. Call 480-275-5525 or order online. 159 W. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler 85225.

Peixoto Coffee has boxed pastry for her morning coffee. Call ahead of time for curbside pick-up at 480-275-2843. 11 West Boston Street, Suite 6 Chandler 85225.

Facebook Live cooking classes & pairing tips from LDV Winery

LDV Winery owners Peggy Fiandaca & Kurt Dunham are doing more than making wine and running a winery, they’re hosting Facebook Live cooking classes. Every Thursday at 4 p.m. MST thru May 7th the couple is hosting “From the LDV Winery Kitchen”. Join them on their Facebook page to learn how cook these special meals and learn about which wines pair best with each. There is no cost to participate in the classes.

Guests are encouraged to cook with them while you SIP (shelter in place) on a glass of wine or 2. Wines are for sale on their website with the LDV Winery Kitchen package of 10% off . Wines can be picked up at their wine gallery in downtown Scottsdale or shipped to you for a $5 fee. Recipes will be posted on their Facebook page every week.

The schedule for the Facebook Live cooking classes are as follows.

April 16 — Spicy Shrimp Pasta paired with 2014 Sky Island Syrah

            23 — Flatbreads Three Ways paired with 2013 Sky Island Petite Sirah

            30 — Grilled Ribeye Steak with fire cracker onions with roasted potatoes paired with 2014 The Signature Petite Sirah

May 7 — Pork Tenderloin with two fire roasted peppers sauces and Mexican corn paired 2015 DECADE Red Wine Blend

 

Spirit of Arizona Tours announces wine tours to Scottsdale & Verde Valley

Bookings are now being taken for Spirit of Arizona Tours new experiences to old town Scottsdale and to the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Winery Tour includes spending the day visiting 3 wineries between Jerome and Sedona, visit Cottonwood for shopping, lunch and more wine tasting and an interpretive tour of of the Sonoran desert and the Verde Valley. Tours leave the Phoenix area at 8:30 a.m. and return between 6 – 7 p.m.  Cost is $129 per person.

The Scottsdale Wine Tasting Experience visits up to 4 tasting rooms, checking out Scottsdale landmarks & points of interest and time to do a little shopping. Drop off and pick up is available when per-arranged. The tours are 3 hours long and are multiple times a day for $60 per person.

Wine tastings are not included in price as individuals can determine what and how much they want to drink. To book these or any other Spirit of Arizona Tours visit their website.

 

Uncorked: AZ returning to Scottsdale for its third year

Wineries from around the world will be represented when the 3rd annual Uncorked: AZ wine festival makes its way back to Salt River Fields, Saturday April 18th 2020. The national tour brings over 40 wineries pouring more than 100 wines to town along with local gourmet food trucks serving wine friendly sweet and savory dishes. Dueling pianos and other entertainment will make for a fun evening with friends under the stars.

A few wineries in attendance include Chronic Cellars, Etude, Smith & Perry and K Vintners. Food trucks include Cousins Maine Lobster, Re Di Roma, Wok Sticks and Seoul Good and more.

Uncorked: AZ is a 21 and over (no babies) event and goes from 7 – 10 p.m. VIP tickets ($70) allow early access with shorter lines at 6 p.m. General Admission are $55. Admission includes unlimited wine tastings but food will be sold separately. No pets and no refunds. For more information and to purchase tickets check out their website.

Part of the proceeds will benefit local non profit Cortney’s Place which strives to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

 

New restaurants join the line-up for Arizona Restaurant Week

If you score a reservation for the 13th year of Arizona Restaurant Week you’ll be lucky you did as its one of the most popular culinary events on the Arizona food scene. Spring 2020 ARW starts Friday May 15th until Sunday May 24th where foodies can try new dishes at favorite restaurants or visit a new restaurant. Over 40 restaurants have signed to date with 7 restaurants making their debut on the list.

Twice a year (Save the date Sept. 18th- 27th 2020) the Arizona Restaurant Association hosts ARW to showcase chefs and culinary accomplishments of restaurants big or small. Each restaurant prepares a 3 or 4 course menu exclusively for the week for only $33 or $44. Several restaurants include wine or cocktail pairings for an up charge.

Returning and new restaurants

New to this year’s line- up include….Josephine, Sel, Meritage Urban Tavern, The Dressing Room, House Brasserie & Tuck Shop Kitchen and Bar. They join those returning ….Los Sombreros, Alexi’s Grill, Arrowhead Grill, Salty Sow, Urban Margarita & ZuZu Restaurant to name few.

“We are so proud that Arizona Restaurant Week continues to be such as a popular and well-attended event that our locals and out of town visitors look forward to each Spring and Fall,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “ It is our privilege to have a hand in bringing Arizona’s culinary excellence to the forefront for 10 delicious days and to give our local restaurants a platform to present some unique and creative dishes that aren’t always offered on their daily menus. We feel this gives chefs a chance to really showcase their creativity in new ways.”

To see the full list of restaurants visit the Arizona Restaurant Week website. The list is being updated daily and menus will be uploaded once finalized.