Category Archives: Dining
[Source: Roosevelt Row CDC] — On September 29, 2012, Roosevelt Row CDC will host the first-annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival. “The homage to the Southwestern ingredient will feature heapin’ helpin’s of the Valley’s best green chile dishes” from local celebrity chefs, restaurants and gourmet food trucks. Details here.
Get the Best Pizza in the US for Lunch
Pizzeria Bianco, the highly acclaimed eatery located in Heritage Square, has announced they will open for lunch service beginning April 12. The award-winning restaurant has been a Downtown fixture since 1996, known for its handmade ingredients and long lines.
Pizzeria Bianco has been honored as the “Best Pizza in the US” by the New York Times, Bon Appétit and Vogue.
For more information please visit: Pizzeria Bianco to Open for Lunch.
For Pizzeria Bianco’s menu and information on the neighboring Bar Bianco, please visit their website: Pizzeria Bianco
While he continues searching for a permanent home for his new restaurant, he’s just signed a three-month lease to do dinner three nights a week at Welcome Diner, starting in April.
Those nights are Sundays through Tuesdays, and it will be a no-reservation, first-come, first-served operation. And seating is limited: Welcome Diner seats only nine inside and 16 on the patio. Curry will be doing the cooking; his wife, Shantal, who currently works the front of the house at FnB, will be handling those same duties here.
Curry will also be doing dinner on First Fridays, starting April 1 [tonight!]. On those nights, he’ll be inviting food trucks to set up shop in the parking lot, in order to create what he calls a “little street dine-around.”
Payton Curry at Welcome Diner, 924 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix.
Hours: 5 p.m. to close, Sunday through Tuesday; 5 p.m. to midnight, First Fridays.
Mystery Solved: ‘Cycle’ Debuts April 1
Now you see it, now you don’t.
After much guesswork, Phoenix’s first official pop-up restaurant is now on a certain path to life. Murmurs of the “mystery restaurant” have generated momentum since first officially reported here last week. Confirmed to the public this past weekend at the Devoured Culinary Classic, the puzzle is finally connecting.
Accurately labeled as Cycle, referring to both the temporary nature of the restaurant, as well as its planned, continuous rotation of notable guest chefs and bartenders, it will exist inside the Lexington Hotel’s current dining and bar space, at Central Avenue and Portland Street.
Inside the cavernous physical space exists an underestimated front-row seat to the spine of Central Phoenix and Downtown: Central Avenue. Wedged between the Downtown core and Midtown, just south of Deck Park and directly across the street from the Roosevelt light rail station, optimal geography and traffic — pedestrian, bicycle, rail and car — will be paramount to maintaining Cycle’s intended pulse.
Set to debut April 1, and “expire” (as playfully described) this July, as ambiguous as Cycle will arrive into the world, it will leave equally so.
Cycle will be an entirely new, almost improvisational concept to Phoenix. Unlike other, similar dining trends circulating (namely underground dinner clubs), pop-up restaurants are fully functioning enterprises that are anchored in one location, are completely open to the public and advertise predetermined shelf lives. Talented chefs, established and up-and-coming, will be allowed to flex their culinary skill and inspiration instantaneously to the public, with little restriction to creative whims.
Currently being fine-tuned, the space’s inaugural chef and concept will be announced in the coming week. In the meantime, the makeshift facelift of the physical space is already underway.
Cycle will operate at the hotel’s interim restaurant space through mid-summer, when the entire property — Cycle included — will shutter, heading into renovation hibernation. Under recent, ambitious new ownership, the Lexington Hotel is set for a dramatic, modern transformation. The new boutique hotel and its accompanying, permanent restaurant concept (unrelated to Cycle) will open subsequently sometime next year.
Cycle will be located at 1100 N. Central Ave.
ASU expects to finalize a lease with an undisclosed tenant who would occupy a vacant retail space in the southwest corner of the Walter Cronkite School building’s ground floor within a week, a university official said on Wednesday.
Negotiations have been in progress since November, and the potential tenant hopes to open his eatery during the spring 2011 semester, said Patrick Panetta, associate director at the University Real Estate Development Office.
Panetta did not disclose the identity of the potential tenant as the deal is not yet official, but he said one of the specifics preventing the completion of the agreement has been the inclusion of ASU’s Maroon and Gold Dollars program.
“We would like him to take M&G Dollars,” Panetta said. “That’s one of the finer points we’ve included in the lease.”’
Recently, downtown businesses have voiced concerns over the high fees associated with M&G, but many students still feel the M&G program has merit.
“These shops (around the Cronkite School) are convenient, and I would like it if they would use M&G, not just Sun Dollars,” said Aly Galt, a freshman kinesiology major.
The retail space, one of two currently vacant in the building, was occupied by Sbarro Italian Eatery until August 2010, and despite the equipment that is already in place for making pizza and similar foods, the potential tenant wants to execute a different restaurant concept, Panetta said.
Panetta said one possibility that has been considered is a salad and smoothie eatery.
However, he said, “that is not the main thrust of the project. There will be other facets.”
Kate Rosenberg, a graduate social work student, said she would welcome a salad and smoothie alternative. Rosenberg said she spends one day a week on the Downtown campus and eats at Subway.
“Only Subway,” she said. “Nothing else is good.”
According to Panetta, the tenant hopes to make a few changes to the equipment and layout of the space. Depending on how quickly the changes can be made, the new restaurant could be opened as soon as late March, Panetta said.
The potential tenant “wanted to get open this semester to announce to the ASU community that he was there,” Panetta said. “This is what he’ll be offering and will see everybody when they are back from summer.”
In addition to filling the spaces in the Cronkite building, the University Real Estate Development Office is responsible for finding tenants for the empty spots on Taylor Place’s ground floor.
“We’re still actively looking for tenants for all the spaces,” Panetta said. “There have been some tentative interest from some local restaurants, but it hasn’t gone very far yet.”
A relocation of Wells Fargo Bank, currently at the Arizona Center, is “potentially in the future” for an open-retail space in Taylor Place, Panetta said.
“They would have to approve the space,” Panetta said. “That is kind of why it isn’t a done deal yet — they haven’t agreed on anything yet.”
Contact the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org
[Source: Howard Seftel, azcentral.com]
Sam Fox, whose Valley restaurant empire started in Scottsdale in 2001 and expanded to other high-rent districts like Kierland Commons and Biltmore Fashion Park, is moving into uncharted territory. His latest venture, the Arrogant Butcher, debuts in downtown Phoenix, on Monday, Feb. 21.
It’s the first full-service restaurant to open in CityScape, downtown’s ambitious $900 million commercial/retail/hotel development.
Fox says he’s committed to downtown Phoenix for “the long term.” He was one of the project’s first tenants, signing a 15-year lease back in 2007, when the economy looked a lot brighter.
Still, he’s not daunted by the challenging times.
“We will be busy right out of the gate,” he predicts, especially at lunch, pointing to an “untapped audience” drawn from nearby law firms, businesses, government offices and conventioneers. In the evening, he expects to attract neighborhood residents and folks attending shows, concerts and sporting events in the area.
Fox calls the restaurant an “urban grill,” and it will showcase what he says is “boldly flavored, down-to-earth” fare.
At lunch, that means sandwiches like turkey pastrami ($12) and Italian grinder ($11), and salads like Chinese chicken ($12) and chopped salmon salad with kale, cauliflower, currants and almonds ($13). Heartier midday appetites can opt for hot entrees like fish and chips ($16), beef short rib stew ($14) and ricotta dumplings Bolognese ($13).
At dinner, you’ll find appetizers like smoked salmon rillettes ($11) and homemade soft pretzels with provolone fondue ($9). Main dishes range through skirt steak ($24), grilled swordfish ($23), crab-stuffed chicken ($22) and Fox’s favorite, jambalaya fashioned with shrimp, chicken and sausage ($18).
At any time of day, you can also put together a seafood or charcuterie platter.
Fox also believes in his Saturday brunch, which spotlights egg sandwiches teamed with Italian sausage ($10), smoked salmon ($12) and bacon and cheese ($10). Other items include French toast ($10) and a Cajun breakfast burrito with sausage, peppers and cheese ($10). If you prefer your brunch in liquid form, there are five kinds of Bloody Marys.
The kitchen is headed by Clint Woods, who has worked on several Fox restaurant projects.
Why call the restaurant the Arrogant Butcher? Fox says the name has dual connotations.
One is to gently tweak the deal-makers and power-brokers he expects to be dining there. But the other is meant to summon up the image of the proud, old-time butcher who would never sell customers anything less than the best.
2 East Jefferson St. (CityScape), Phoenix,
Lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday;
Brunch, lunch and dinner, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday.
[Source: The New Times Chow Bella]
Pane Bianco, the Italian sandwich take-out shop owned by James Beard Award-winning pizzaiolo Chris Bianco, now serves a full dinner menu from 4 to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
“We wanted to expand the experience at Pane, with iconic dishes from my childhood,” Bianco says.
The restaurant quietly started dishing up dinner last week, offering such rustic fare as Schreiner’s sausage with Anson Mills polenta, ricotta and spinach-filled crespelle (crepes) with tomato sauce, pasta e fagioli with controne beans, vegetables roasted in the wood-fired oven, fresh focaccia, soups, and salads. Snacks include Creminelli sopressata, pecorino, and mixed olives.
“It’s going to change all the time,” says Bianco. “We’re going to use it like an experimental kitchen.”
How does Bianco do it, along with running his successful pizzeria? He’s got extra help now, in the form of chef Claudio Urciuoli, who left Prado last November to join the Bianco team.
Service is still counter-only at Pane Bianco, and seating is on the front patio.
Formaggio and Soppressata (Serves 2)
- Pecorino ol Fosso- 90 day cave aged sheep milk cheese
- Creminelli Soppressata -(Utah)
- Tomato Jam with cinnamon
- Castlevetrano, Nicoise and Picholine Olives marinated in citrus, wild fennel and spicy chile
- California Almonds from Miller Farms
Market Salad P/A
Controne Bean and Escarole Soup 6′
Crespelle filled with Gioia Ricotta, Spinach,
In ‘Lucera’ Tomato Sauce
Pasta e Fagioli di Controne with Pennette ‘Senatore Cappelli’
Anson Mills Polenta, Garbanzo Beans
ALL BEVERAGES 2′
4404 N. Central Ave. Phoenix AZ 85012
What the heck is a ‘mobile hotdog eatery’? Only the tastiest thing on four legs, er, wheels
Seriously, are there two better words in the English language than ‘gourmet hotdogs’? We’re talking hand-crafted sausages and frankfurters from those ground meat gurus at Schreiner’s in Phoenix, who’ve been cranking out casings inside a family-run factory since 1955. And forget ketchup and mustard, these posh puppies are topped with exotic delights such as mango chutney, aged English cheddar and fresh cilantro, and then served on a warm Indian-style flatbread called naan.
Sounds a little froufrou and pricey, you say. Besides, aren’t the best hotdogs served out of the back of a roadside stand? Well, meet Short Leash Hot Dogs, the Valley’s first ‘mobile hot dog eatery.’ Operated by a charming local couple out of a retrofitted trailer, Short Leash has quickly become a star attraction at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market’s Food Truck Fridays. Here, if you brave the lines, you’ll be rewarded with doggie delights such as the Aiko (pictured), a specialty sausage known as a beer hot, topped with mango chutney, jalapenos, red onions, cilantro and mayonnaise. Even better, at $5 a pop you’ll have money left over for superb sides such as deep-fried pickles and a bottle of Mexican coke (i.e. the real-deal stuff made with cane sugar vs. corn syrup).
But why put off until Friday what you can scarf down today? Short Leash is at the Phoenix Public Market every Wednesday evening, and you can also catch them Thursdays at Shady’s, a hipster hangout on Indian School featuring one of Valley’s the best jukeboxes. Yes, a jukebox. Google it, youngin’s. Click here to get the 411 on Short Leash’s far-flung travels, including our fav entry: on Feb 26, Short Leash is scheduled to appear at a ‘private wedding.’ Now that’s a wedding we’d like to crash.
Image via Norm Reyes
The Duce defies what you might imagine about the downtown Phoenix experience.
Where am I again?
To set foot in The Duce — a quirky mix of retail and dining in a cavernous, circa 1928 brick warehouse at Central and Lincoln south of downtown — is to experience a delighted sort of bewilderment, as if you’d stumbled into a funhouse-meets-time-machine, or at least somewhere very, very far from Phoenix.
Part all-American diner, part old-timey cocktail joint, and part soda fountain — not to mention boxing ring, clothing shop, and antiques dealer — it’s an alternate vision of what a downtown hangout should be. And named after the neighborhood’s old moniker, The Deuce, it references the gritty decades before revitalization became a buzzword.
Truly, The Duce is unexpected. For one thing, people don’t take advantage of historic properties here the way they do in some cities, where preserved buildings bring unique character to the urban fabric.
The proposed entertainment district in this part of town — in the orbit of the arena and the ballpark — never materialized, and the city’s set its sights instead on a very different vision, one embodied by the contemporary architecture and pristine walkways of CityScape, just a few blocks north of here.
And yet, here it is — a spot that pretty much defies what you think you might imagine about the downtown Phoenix experience.
The Duce is the brainchild of two Chicago transplants, husband-and-wife team Steve and Andi Rosenstein, who sold their vintage-inspired Fitigues clothing empire in 2006. In the meantime, they rounded up so many antiques that the dudes from American Pickers would drool if they saw the treasure trove in here. A highlight is the exquisite wood-and-glass Art Deco bar, plucked from a legendary Chicago jazz club called The Black Orchid. You can feel the history just oozing from it, as you sip a Cuba Libre and lean into its smooth wooden surfaces. It’s oddly glamorous.
While The Duce’s streetside façade is fortress-like (it was stripped to reveal original signage from the days when the building housed a metal forgery and bus body builder), the two rear entrances are huge and open — one reveals an incredible patio stocked with vintage bar seats, a gleaming silver Streamline trailer that serves as the restaurant’s kitchen, antique soda coolers, and a cheerful Hamm’s Beer bear statue holding a tray.
The other doorway leads to a retail space filled with racks of military surplus clothing and sportswear, vintage bicycles, soaps and lotions, antique kitchen accessories and ceramics, another impressive Art Deco bar, old bleachers, and a retro soda fountain. Just past the honest-to-goodness boxing ring at the far end (where you might see real action some nights of the week), there’s another entrance to the dining area, which is filled with communal tables and heat lamps.
By day, the surreal quality of The Duce seems exaggerated, if only because it’s largely deserted. The stereo blasts everything from Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady” to Elvis’ “Love Me Tender,” and one lone bartender will take your lunch order. There might be a handful of other people eating here, but in general, it feels like a place that time forgot. It’s a novelty that makes you wonder how it can exist and whether it will survive.
But things do rev up in the evening. There could be a DJ spinning an eclectic mix of oldies, and young dudes might be working up a sweat in the boxing ring. Twenty-somethings crowd around the bar for classic cocktails (think Moscow Mules or Greyhounds, served in Mason jars) or working-class beers like Schlitz or Pabst Blue Ribbon, while middle-aged couples with kids in tow gather around linoleum-covered communal tables scattered with baskets of ribs, rolls of paper towels, and bottles of sugary, old-fashioned soda pop. Conveniently, there’s a bunch of Hula Hoops on hand for kids (or adults, for that matter) to work off some steam.
And amazingly, despite the free-for-all atmosphere, the food is pretty decent…
525 South Central Avenue
Hours: 10 a.m. to midnight Wednesday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
French toast: $8
Brisket sliders: $8
Maple-roasted ribs: $14
Chicago-style hot dog: $4