Tag Archives: Aaron May

Renegade Tap and Kitchen

Renegade Tap And Kitchen's Chef May Serves Unique, Eclectic Cuisine

Photos of James Dean, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dali cover the walls. Dali, a painter, was a master of the creative, radical style of surrealism. Einstein, a physicist, may be considered the most influential scientist of the 20th century. Dean, an actor, was known as a rebel without a cause. What do these men all have in common? In their own unique way, all three were renegades — and could not have been more fitting to decorate Renegade Tap and Kitchen, home to the experimental cooking of culinary artist, renegade chef, Aaron May.

Under the leadership of Chef May, Renegade Tap and Kitchen, formerly Renegade Canteen, has transformed into an environment of innovation and class. General Manager Jon McCoy invites “anyone who is looking for elevated, eclectic American fair” to dine at the Scottsdale restaurant.

Upon being seated, my dinner guest and I could not help but survey the conspicuous layout of the restaurant. Renegade is divided into three unique sections entwined by an upscale design and infused with rustic desert décor. A guitar signed by Mötley Crüe mounted the wall beside our table near the bar; a withering metallic sunflower decorated the dining room; outdoor chimneys lined the patio.

My guest and I began our meal with a taste of Chef May’s house special appetizers, green chili pork stew and the PEI mussels. The stew was rich with tender pulled-pork served with warm flour tortillas and smothered in melted pepper jack cheese while the plethora of mussels were mixed with jalapenos, white wine, butter and various spices.

Upon finishing the appetizers, our waiter Nick suggested the roasted beets salad, a medley of red, gold and candy-striped beets, topped with horseradish, celery and sherry vinaigrette. It was a dish too unique to pass up, and it exceeded my expectations. The salad was exceptionally fresh and doubled as a palette cleanser to prepare us for the main course.

We next indulged in the red snapper and the pan-roasted duck breast. Garnished with braised red cabbage, served on top of mustard spaetzle, the succulent poultry dish was indicative of a Western European meal. Directly from the American gulf coast, the fresh snapper was complimented by quinoa, sweet potato and red chile vinaigrette.

I sat and contemplated with my dinner guest how I could possibly find room for dessert; however, I could not contain my desire to taste Chef May’s irresistible sweets.

A few minutes later, a decadent Velveeta cheesecake and house-special Renegade bread pudding sat before us, waiting to be devoured. The warm, gooey bread pudding melted the cold ice cream served atop the mouthwatering dish while the classic cheesecake competed with the likes of any conceivable comfort food.

Reclined deep into my chair, staring at empty plates, I desired to loosen my belt a notch or two. Everything, from Renegade’s creative configuration to Chef May’s lavish dishes, was spectacular. I left Renegade with only one concern: How in the world will I be able to eat tomorrow?

Photos of Renegade Tap and Kitchen:

Renegade's Green Chili Pork Stew, Photo: Renegade Tap and KitchenRenegade's outdoor patio, Photo: Renegade Tap and KitchenRenegade's Big Burger, Photo: Renegade Tap and KitchenRenegade's Dessert, Photo: Renegade Tap and KitchenRenegade's Charcuterie, Photo: Renegade Tap and Kitchen

Renegade Tap And Kitchen
9343 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
(480) 614-9400
CityScape, Phoenix, Ariz. - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

New Retail And Restaurants To Attract People To Dowtown Phoenix

With the opening of CityScape at One E. Washington St., Downtown Phoenix now has an urban-style, mixed-use development where people can eat, shop, meet friends after work, relax at a boutique hotel, and even blow off some steam at the gym or roll a few frames at a bowling center.

Developers of CityScape envision retail and restaurants as being key to the project’s success. Some of the new downtown businesses include Gold’s Gym, CVS pharmacy, Charming Charlie, Urban Outfitters, Stand Up Live, Five Guys Burger and Fries, and The Arrogant Butcher. Scheduled to open in March 2012 is the 4-star Kimpton Palomar Hotel.

“If you have a comedy club, a couple of bars, a fine dining place, a yogurt shop, a burger place and a taco shop, it gives people more of an incentive to check (CityScape) out,” says Peder Bondhus, manager of Vitamin T, an already established Aaron May restaurant at CityScape.

Part of what CityScape has accomplished is due to its relationship with the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau (GPCVB) and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.

“The Greater Phoenix CVB has been a relentless touring campaign,” says Jeff Moloznik, RED’s development manager. “We spend a lot of time with them touring prospective delegates to the downtown market and CityScape. They also help us with discussing what amenities are available for those who are considering coming to Phoenix for a convention.”

Moloznik says he believes that the success of downtown as a whole hinges on the collaboration of all of downtown’s stakeholders.

“ASU, the (Phoenix) symphony, Comerica, the sporting arenas, CityScape — we all contribute to what is good about Downtown Phoenix,” he says.

Adding to the mix of retail and restaurants are the Phoenix offices of several major law firms including Polsinelli Shughart, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, and Ballard Spahr. The building also houses Alliance Bank, Fidelity Title and RED Development.

And by the end of the year, UnitedHealthcare of Arizona plans to move 600 of its Valley employees to CityScape.

Restaurants scheduled to open later this year offer diverse meal selections, such as American-style breakfast or lunch at The Breakfast Club, Italian cuisine at The Strand, French favorites at La Crepe Nanou, and Japanese options at Silk Sushi.

“We have the utmost confidence in CityScape and the synergy it’s brought to Downtown Phoenix,” says Kyle Shivers, owner of The Breakfast Club. “We’re a breakfast and lunch venue, and the density and daytime market (in Phoenix) is exactly what we’re looking for.”

The only stumbling block CityScape has experienced so far occurred early this year, when LGO Public House pulled out of the project due to zoning and code restrictions relevant to a wood furnace burner.


Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011