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Sam Fox’s Arrogant Butcher opens in Phoenix

[Source: Howard Seftel,]

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.

Mark Henle/ The Arizona Republic

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.


Arrogant Butcher
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.


Top 10 Downtown Phoenix restaurants

Howard Seftel has come out with a list of his top 10 downtown Phoenix restaurants:

Whether you’re looking to catch a bite before the game or destination dining, downtown Phoenix is flush with options these days. So hop on the light rail and take a ride to one of these restaurants.

Top 10 downtown Phoenix restaurants [AZ Central]

Howard’s top ten restaurants are:

Hanny’s reopens as downtown Phoenix restaurant

[Source: Howard Seftel, Arizona Republic] — It took Karl Kopp three years, but the man behind long-running AZ88 has finally opened his downtown spot, Hanny’s.  Hanny’s, old-timers will recall, was downtown Phoenix’s showcase department store for decades, until it closed almost 20 years ago.  The new Hanny’s is at the same address.  Kopp is hoping it will generate the same kind of spirited and spirit-fueled vibe as AZ88, a place, he says, “to eat, meet and talk.”  The late-night hours and wallet-friendly prices, he believes, will encourage downtown dwellers and event-goers to hang out.

The menu is certainly accessible enough.  Appetizers include onion strings ($7), grilled cauliflower ($7.50) and pancetta-wrapped shrimp ($12).  Looking for greenery?  There’s a chopped salad with hard-boiled egg, avocado, hearts of palm and artichokes ($11).  Among the sandwiches are charred pork loin on Italian bread ($8) and a P.A.T. — pancetta, arugula and tomato — on toasted English muffin ($8.50).  Kopp wants you stick around for desserts like tiramisu ($7) and donuts with chocolate sauce ($5).  A variety of cocktails, classic and contemporary, and a well-crafted international wine list are two other inducements to stop in.