Bootleggers is one of those concept restaurants that instills our faith in Phoenix food culture. It’s surprising that there are not a lot of BBQ places around here. That’s why we love the fact that Old Town Scottsdale is home to Bootleggers. The modern American smokehouse has just announced that Chef Stephen Jones, of Blue Hound Kitchen fame and more, will be taking the reigns as executive chef. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, Chef Jones has made waves in some of the Valley’s best restaurants. At Bootleggers, he will be overseeing both kitchens, menu development, the catering division and with his roots in Southern cooking, we believe he is pretty good match for the BBQ concept.
Are you ready? The local culinary elite will once again be going head-to-head for the annual Arizona Restaurant Week. From Sept. 19 to Sept. 28, more than 150 Valley restaurants will offer prix-fixe dinner menus, for $33 and $44 per person, that show off their skills. This year, the pros like like Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Posh and Roaring Fork will take-on newcomers like Paul Martin’s, Southern Rail and Barrio Queen for bragging rights. The ARW website will offer complete menus for each participant and will also an interactive feature that will allow you to search for a favorite local chef, type of cuisine or restaurant. Arizona is really becoming a foodie state with events like these. It’s important to support local businesses so we can keep growing. That said, go to the website and get ready to chow down on some great food.
Have we mentioned that Little Cleo’s is our new favorite restaurant in the Valley? If you love oysters or anything seafood for that matter, you should probably head there. Anyway, the restaurant just announced the finale to their Legendary Dinner Series. Taking place on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 pm, Executive Chef Eric Ramirez has a very special lineup of seafood delicacies ready for your consumption. The price is $55 per person plus tax and gratuity, with an option for a bottle of wine for the table at an additional $20 per person. To make a reservation, call 602.680.4044. Here’s a look at the dinner, seafood puns and all:
Bait: Fluke crudo, red curry coconut emulsion, samphire, Thai basil, lime
Cast: “Hog & rock” deviled eggs, bacon, fried oyster, pimentón
Nibble: Lobster and corn “chowder,” brandy, tarragon, lemon panna cream
Bite: Cajun shrimp and local grits, roasted jalapeno, Amish cheddar, watercress
Hook Line: Miso glazed black cod, shiitake mushrooms, sunchoke chips, dashi
Sink Her: Cream cheese ice cream sandwich, carrot cake cookies, sultanas
Eating healthy is an important part of life. It is quite easy for people, especially children, to become dependent on and addicted to fast food. A balanced meal is absolutely fundamental to a growing child’s well being. To celebrate the kids going back to school, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill has just announced that they will be providing healthy meals for kids, for free, for an entire week. Starting Monday, Aug. 24, just stop by either Garbanzo location to treat your kids to quick healthy meal. It’s imperative to introduce kids to healthy eating habits early and Garbanzo is doing that right. The deals is good for either lunch or dinner. So, if you don’t have time to cook a good meal next week, let Garbanzo do it for you.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, according to economists. This is about as close are you’re going to get. Fired Pie will be celebrating its Grand Opening in downtown Phoenix this Saturday, Aug 23. If you decide to pay them a visit from 11:30 am to 6:0 pm, you can get yourself a free pizza or salad while dining. Free pizza? That’s the best news we’ve heard all week. When you dine in there on Saturday, you have your choice of a pie or salad. We’re thinking of indulging in the pie. Remember, this deal is only good at the Collier Center location in downtown Phoenix. We’re growing hungry just thinking about it.
Fired Pie | 201 East Washington Street #111 | Phoenix
Café ZuZu seems to host some of the most unique dinners in the Valley. The restaurant inside Hotel Valley Ho has done it again with their upcoming dinner. On Monday, Aug 18, they will be hosting a chef’s table featuring wine from Fess Parker Winery. A unique menu has been paired with some of Fess’ finest wines.
Marinated Watermelon Salad
Goat cheese, toasted pine nuts + basil vinaigrette
2012 Riesling “Santa Barbara County”
Wild Mushroom Tortellini
Roasted butternut squash, crisp pork belly + sage butter
2012 Viognier “Santa Barbara County”
Ancho Chile Glazed Beef Tenderloin
Sweet potato au gratin + grilled corn succotash
2011 Syrah “Santa Barbara County”
2010 “The Big Easy”
Georgia Peach Cobbler
Dulce de leche ice cream
Have you been to Little Cleo’s yet? In our opinion, it is Fox Restaurants’ best concept, as of yet. The atmosphere, the service, the menu, and the quality of food are all spectacular. Located at The Yard on 7th street and Bethany Home, Little Cleo’s should be your go-to spot for anything seafood related. That being said, they have just announced a heck of a deal happening next week. On Aug 5, the restaurant will be offering $1 oysters. On that Tuesday, which happens to be National Oyster Day, you can indulge in your favorite shellfish all day long. We’re guessing it’s going to get crazy there, so, you might want to head over there early. Remember, they open at 5:00 p.m. That gives you five hours of oyster-related heaven.
When dining in the Valley, seldom are you able to enjoy waterfront views. We’re in the middle of a desert, after all. The Watershed, a new restaurant and bar in Tempe, wants to give you that experience. Located on the edge of a lake, the restaurant is the perfect stomping ground for people wanting to escape the heat while trying to mix up the culinary and bar scene. Every Thursday, they a hold a complimentary tasting event. For example, in the last couple of weeks, they tasted Ace Ciders and. champagnes and sparkling wines. Complete with live music nightly Tuesday through Sunday, The Watershed is looking like a very promising addition to central Tempe.
The Watershed | 5250 South Lakeshore Drive | Tempe 85283
One of our favorite breakfast and brunch spots is opening its third location in the Valley. Sun Devils and Tempe residents are lucky, Snooze is coming to you. Opening later this year inside the remodeled Art Annex Building at Arizona State University on College Ave and 6th street, the eatery will have all of your favorite breakfast and brunch items. It’ll be an interesting place to dine with its signature colorful atmosphere and retro-futuristic décor, which kind of sounds like “The Jetsons meets Happy Days.” Tempe is really the perfect place for the new restaurant. Think about it. Hungover college students love breakfast. Forget Denny’s and breakfast burritos, Snooze is the way to go. We’re not sure when they will open their doors, but we will be sure to let you know when we find out.
Scottsdale will soon be home to its first nano-brewery. Think of it as a smaller microbrewery. Union Barrelhouse will pair artisanal beer with delicious pub food with an element of class and sophistication. Opening its doors in early July at the former Salty Senorita location in Old Town, Union Barrelhouse, Modern Ale will produce its own beer. Any craft beer aficionado will be excited about what’s to come. The restaurant will feature five specialty craft beers, made in house, including Barrelhouse Golden Ale, Barrelhouse IPA, Barrelhouse Imperial Porter, Barrelhouse Hefeweizen, and Barrelhouse Wheat Bock. Chef Brian Feirstein’s menu will concentrate on fresh foods from farmer’s market salads to outstanding burgers. Their signature food items will be the Modern Melt selections. These are the chef’s take on the classic grilled cheese. For example, the “PB & J” (Pear, Brie and Jam), is crafted of triple crème brie, bosc pears, bacon jam, and wild arugula on sourdough. Fancy, right? Be on the lookout for Union Barrelhouse early next month.
Local businesses and philanthropy go hand-in-hand. Momenti Local Pizzeria will be celebrating their Grand Opening this Friday, June 27. From the group that brought us Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt, both of the restaurants will be donating 50% of their sales to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The casual pizzeria is known for their personal size 12-inch homemade, thin crust pizzas. The pizza and salad menus are pretty standard, but what’s cool here is the donation to the Children’s Hospital. It always nice to see businesses doing their part to help the community. If you want to support children, head to Momenti this Friday.
Alright, folks. We’re getting down to the wire, here. Mother’s Day is just a couple days away and if you haven’t figured out what you’re doing, you’re in some serious trouble. Don’t worry, we have your back. Here are a couple more ideas for where to take mom on Sunday.
Salut Kitchen Bar – The popular Tempe restaurant has a pretty killer mimosa deal going on. You can get them for $1 a piece, all day long. If vino is more of mom’s thing, they will also be offering half-price bottles of wine. The menu is the same but the drinks specials are where it’s at.
Paul Martin’s American Grill – Paul Martin’s is the place to be for a classy meal this Mother’s Day. They will be offering their offering their 3-Course Prime Rib Dinner all day for only $25. The $25 will get you organic green salad, all natural prime rib served with mashed potatoes, and house made ice cream for dessert. Sounds good, right?
Now go out there and make mama proud.
Regardless if you’re are on a health kick or not, who seriously doesn’t like a good burger? Well, vegetarians, but we’re not talking about them. We’ve mentioned it before, but May is National Burger Month. That’s a movement we can get behind. To celebrate the month, Kelly’s at SouthBridge has a pretty cool deal going on all month. When you purchase one of their burgers, you can get a second one for 50% off. Not that you want to eat two, but you can bring a friend or a date. In case you were wondering, their burgers are good. So good, in fact, they win awards. That’s probably because they’re made with Short Rib, Sirloin, Chuck and Brisket. Pictured is the Kelly’s Original Four Cut Burger. Who’s hungry?
If you could eat some delicious food and support a great cause at the same, all of life’s ailments would be cured. Sadly, that’s not the case, but by eating pretzels and fondue, you can do a little bit to support the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. If you dine at either of the Culinary Dropout locations in the Valley on Tuesday, May 13, you can help support medical research and raise awareness for Angelman Syndrome. How? When you order the Soft Pretzel & Provolone Fondue, all proceeds of that item will go to the foundation. Angelman Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes neurological and developmental issues like seizures, speech impairment, sleep disorders and difficulty walking and balancing. Your support will go to a good cause, so, we recommend you get a craving for pretzels and fondue on May 13.
Ladies, grab your floppy hats because it’s Kentucky Derby time. Okay, not everyone really cares about the Kentucky Derby. It does kind of seem like animal abuse, doesn’t it? Regardless, thousands of people flock to the tracks and have viewing parties of this famous horse race every year. If you’re looking to get in on the action, American TapHouse in Gilbert will be hosting a derby party, this Saturday, May 3. Complete with their Mint Julep for $3 and their BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich for $5 all day long, you can lounge on the patio or enjoy a table inside while watching your favorite horse race to be the best.
Alright, folks. This is another friendly reminder that Mother’s Day is coming up. Sunday, May 11, is the day to treat mom right. She put up with all your crap growing up. The least you can do is take her out for a nice meal. On you, of course. One suggestion from us is Crudo. On that day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the special Mother’s Day menu includes a gourmet three-course meal. Check it out:
Course One (choose one)
Grilled beets w/ cauliflower & olive oil whipped goat cheese
Arugula, kohlrabi, strawberry & dill salad
Burrata with pickled grape & Campari tomatoes w/ radish sprouts
Ricotta with lemon curd, olive oil & grilled bread
Testino fritto w/ herbed vinegar, beans
& fried egg
Crudo salad w/ local vegetables & greens
Course Two (choose one)
Ham & yam crespelle w/ easy eggs
Grilled brisket w/ beet hash and poached eggs
Chicken and biscuit Gnocchi w/ carrots, celeriac & herbs
Hoe cakes w/ syrup braised bacon, easy egg & (add foie gras $5)
Polenta & meatballs w/ easy eggs
Spinach scramble w/ Iitois, avocado toast & quark
Course Three (choose one)
Desserts By Tracy Dempsey
Carrot cake w/ marscapone
Key lime tart w/ whip cream
Fox Restaurant Concepts really knows how to make a good eatery. Scottsdale Quarter is home to the newest location of the always-great Zinburger. This is good news because May is National Burger Month. This isn’t McDonald’s. Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar adds a touch of gourmet and class to the hamburger. The restaurant has won every single Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Burger Battle since it opened its first restaurant. There are 17 signature burger, which obviously includes their namesake, award-winning Zinburger. They even have a breakfast burger. Yes, you read that correctly. Their breakfast burger is made up of Angus beef with Neuske’s applewood smoked bacon, fried egg, avocado and American cheese. If you need a good burger and are in north Scottsdale, Zinburger is the place to be.
The weekend seems to fly by too quickly, doesn’t it? You’ll be having fun and relaxing and before you know it, you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work to start the grind all over again. Mondays don’t have to be like that, though. When you feel like you need a break and it’s only Monday, Paul Martin’s American Grill should be your destination. Just $49, couples receive an organic green salad and entrée for each guest, along with a choice of one bottle from a selection of 25 wines to share. You could make Mondays your new date night, it could be for night out with a friend, or just because you feel like downing some wine and good food.
It’s already been one year since one of our new favorite restaurants opened their doors. Tempe’s Salut Kitchen Bar has it all. Atmosphere, ambiance, a delicious menu, and great drinks. We’re glad to see this place thriving. To say thanks for keeping them in business, Salut will be having some great deals to celebrate their first birthday. On Wednesday, April 30, you can enjoy $1 Hummus Nachos (normally $8) and when you purchase a bottle of wine you can get another one for $1. There are over 100 different types of wines to choose from. If you haven’t check out Salut yet, we highly recommend that you do.
The Local might be one of the most refreshing places to be added to the famous Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix on third street and Roosevelt. In the heart of the arts district, the new restaurant adds an element of class to the neighborhood. With stunning views of the downtown skyline from its patio and giant doors that can be opened wide, you get the sense of a community lunch counter that doubles as a hip restaurant and bar. The Local stays true to its name by using as many locally grown and raised ingredients as possible. Their beer list is strictly local brews. That’s something a lot places don’t do. The restaurant will also be serving food until 2:00 am every night. Now, that’s unheard of. They will be celebrating their grand opening next weekend, Saturday, April 12. But stop in now while it’s still kind of a secret. We’re guessing this place is going to blow up.
The Local | 1011 North 3rd Street | Phoenix, Arizona 85004
No, that isn’t a joke. Seriously, we know it’s April Fools and all, but we’re totally serious. This Saturday, April 5, Steak 44 officially open its doors to the public. The new Phoenix restaurant is one of the most anticipated of the year. The owners of Dominick’s Steakhouse, Jeffrey Mastro, Michael Mastro, Dennis Mastro and Scott Troilo, have all teamed up to show central Phoenix some love. The upscale restaurant will offer delicious steaks and succulent seafood. A great feature of the restaurant, aside from the food, is the aesthetics. When entering Steak 44, you will walk through a 3,000-bottle wine vault in the entryway. From there, a beautiful sunken bar or multiple dining rooms will be your options for seating. For food, Petite or Bone-in Filet Mignon, Denver Lamb ribs, veal chop, Shetland Island Salmon, and a raw bar featuring an extensive shellfish selection are just some of the bites you’ll find. Really, Steak 44 is magical. Is your mouth watering, yet?
Steak 44 | 5101 North 44th Street | Phoenix, AZ
Has it really been five years since J&G Steakhouse first opened its doors? Time really does fly when you’re eating great food. To celebrate a half decade of business, the restaurant will be serving a special five year anniversary menu for five days. From April 14 to April 18, French-born, NYC-based celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s menu is nothing short of exquisite. For just $55 per person, the menu features two courses of former J&G favorites, one current best seller, and a sneak peek at two new dishes to come. With all that food, wine is a must. There will be five exquisite bottles of red and five bottles of white all priced under $50. Want to see the menu?
J&G Chopped Salad
Avocado, Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade
Slowly Roasted Alaskan Halibut
Vegetable Vinaigrette, Cilantro Seasoning
Caramelized Beef Tenderloin
Carrots with Miso Mustard
Warm Chocolate Cake
Caramel Ice Cream
When you think of brunch, eggs benedict, mimosas, and bagels and lox are generally what come to mind. This is the southwest, isn’t it about time we had a brunch that caters to our needs? Taco Haus has just started serving brunch every Sunday. From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Scottsdale restaurant will be serving two types of items, eggs or no eggs. Ones with eggs like Huevos Rancheros, a chorizo skillet, and Chilaquiles (basically, brunch nachos). Some without eggs include breakfast fajitas, an exotic fresh fruit platter, and more. Every Sunday, the restaurant will also feature live mariachi music from the award-winning, all-female group Mariachi Pasion.
Taco Haus | 7318 E Shea Blvd | Scottsdale, AZ 85254
We think Carmel’s Breakfast House deserves a round of applause. The Arcadia restaurant was just named one of the top six places in the world for breakfast by Travel + Leisure Magazine. We’re not sure if you’re grasping this. IN. THE. WORLD. Other winners included locations like Amsterdam, Vienna, Istanbul, and Copenhagen. Eating at Carmel’s, a 1940s home rebuilt for a restaurant, is like having breakfast at grandma’s on a Sunday morning, according to owner Patrick Flanigan. With entrees like the Warm Croissant Egg & Bacon Sandwich, Breakfast Panini-eggs, French Toast Croissant, and Sweet Crepes, we can see why it won the prestigious title. It puts our little Arcadia on the world stage and we couldn’t be happier. If you haven’t been to Carmel’s, go. Go right now.
Carmel’s Breakfast House | 4233 East Camelback Road | Phoenix, AZ
The beer connoisseur in you is going to love this place. TapHouse Kitchen has just opened in the Valley and we’re pretty excited about it. Located at the at the Hilton Village in Scottsdale, the new restaurant is filled with modern American cuisine, along with an excellent beer list. A rustic feel fills the building and is complimented by the wine bottle chandeliers. The menu comes to us from Chef Patrick Karvis, formerly of Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore and he’s cooking up some pretty interesting things. Our favorite part is the twenty craft beers, 5 select wines and 3 different types of whiskey that are all served on tap. That’s pretty spectacular itself. You should really check it out.
TapHouse Kitchen | 6137 North Scottsdale Road | Scottsdale