Tag Archives: Arizona Restaurant Week

SumoMaya's pomegranate and dried fruit guacamole. Photo by Shavon Thompson

Sneak peek at Arizona Restaurant Week, Fall 2014

Fall is the time of harvest, and what a better way to kick off a celebration of food than with the fall Arizona Restaurant Week? From Sept. 19 to 28, more than 100 restaurants offer prix-fixe menu options for a discounted prices (between $33 to $44 for three courses) is by far one of the savviest ways to try some of the restaurants out there where the tabs have seemed intimidating. (There are also many participating restaurants in Tucson offering deals between $20 to $40.) Visit Arizona Restaurant Week’s website for more information.

Below, we give a sneak peek at three Scottsdale locations that should be considered in your restaurant week itinerary. (Emphasis on itinerary! Reservations for a lot of these places fill up fast!)

Green Magic mojito from SumoMaya. Photo by Shavon Thompson

Green Magic mojito from SumoMaya. Photo by Shavon Thompson

1. SumoMaya (6560 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale)
SumoMaya, one of the Valley’s newest restaurants, is already making a name for itself among Mexican-Asian fusion lovers (and those who didn’t know how much they loved it) and even the Ferarri Happy Hour club is known to stop in for a few.

First of all, SumoMaya is gorgeous from the inside out. Walking into SumoMaya, you’re greeted a window full of mixed-matched lanterns. The restaurant, featuring an open-sapce bar, a 24-foot tree, modern dining tables, booths, brightly colored mixed-matched chairs and a feng shui appeal of shurb-covered walls, exposed metal ducts and wooden high beams, the place is as zen as it is chic.

What to drink: Green Magic mojito (it’s a minty classic mixed with coconut rum and horchata ice cream). These are dangerously delicious. We still can’t believe they’re alcoholic. If you want something stronger (much stronger), try the Sumorita (a blended margarita that’ll knock your socks off with one sip).

The guacamole: SumoMaya couldn’t just let guacamole be, and we’re thankful for that. There are two noteworthy twists to try: one that contains thick cuts of bacon for a more savory experienec and a pomegranate and dried cherry guacamole that we may be a spoonful more partial to. We prefer the latter slathered all over the tahin-dusted tostada chips served with the avocado dip for the best of both salty and sweet worlds.

Yellow fin hamachi at SumoMaya. Photo by Shavon Thompson

Yellow fin hamachi at SumoMaya. Photo by Shavon Thompson

The hamachi: This is one of SumoMaya’s most popular dishes. The buttery yellow tuna is light and served over an apple puree with truffle oil drizzled over the raw fish. This is delicious, even if you’re not big on ceviches.

The bacon-wrapped dates: Chorizo and cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon and dipped in a peanut sauce is by far the standout app to try at SumoMaya. The sentiment seems to be among the Scottsdale Living taste testers, “the best date” of our lives. Seriously, we could have made a meal of those alone.

The spicy shrimp tempura: This crunchy salad topped with spicy shrimp tempura was a little heavy on the cream-based sauce that had a tinge of mayo taste. However, the flavors, despite being a bit overshared, were delicious.

 

SumoMaya masterfully blends multiple cuisines into dishes with a balance that doesn’t always have to scream “fusion.”

2. Paul Martin’s American Grill (6186 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale)
Another new restaurant in Scottsdale, Paul Martin’s American Grill has built a buzz around its organically sourced meats, dairy and produce. It has a dark wood feel of a smoky bar that is appropriately leaking the croons of Frank Sinatra over the light clanks of heavy silverware on plates and dinner conversations. Just like the ambiance, the entrees tend to be pretty hearty. We suggest starting dinner off with something easy to share while waiting for the main course. Our favorite is a bit of a classic, the Butcher’s Block (a charcuterie board served with light, crusty bread).

Short ribs and mashed potatoes at Paul Martin's American Grill. Photo by Shavon Rose

Short ribs and mashed potatoes at Paul Martin’s American Grill. Photo by Shavon Rose

What to drink: Paul Martin’s has a fair cocktail menu, though its wine selection seems to be a bit more of the restaurant’s focus, probably due to its California roots.

The entrees: Out of the chicken, beef and salmon options — our favorite dish is the moist short ribs with a side of creamy, slightly lumpy garlic mashed potatoes. We would go back for the mashed potatoes with a side of potatoes, they are so good. The ribs are made with “never ever beef,” which means the cow is never exposed to toxins or hormones, and is prepared in a four-day process by chefs at Paul Martin’s. The brick chicken is crispy and has a great taste but was a little dry. The river-caught salmon would have been underwhelming by itself. However, it was served on a bed of nutty, slightly citric quinoa salad we wouldn’t also mind ordering an extra side of itself.

3. Roka Akor (7299 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale)
Roka Akor’s name combines Japanese words for hearth and burning fire. This meaning is evident in the walkup to the restaurant, where two larger vases of fire warm the entrance of the London-based restaurant in Scottsdale. The restaurant prepares Robata Japanese cuisine and includes steaks, seafood and sushi in a sophisticated, yet relaxed, setting.

The Wait List, by Roka Akor. Photo by Shavon Thompson

The Wait List, by Roka Akor. Photo by Shavon Thompson

What to drink: Roka Akor’s “Wait List” cocktail will be a delight for all grapefruit fans. It’s sweet, tangy and perfectly balanced. Typically, we like to keep our expensive cocktails to one per a meal, but we could easily go back for seconds.

The dishes: The butterfish tataki is the restaurant’s most popular appetizer. It’s spicy, buttery and light enough for those who don’t usually go for raw fish.

Roka Akor is usually a happy hour and sushi stop for Scottsdalians. But you would be missing out if you don’t reach for the dessert menu. Roka Akor serves a toffee cake filled with fudge and topped with peanut butter ice cream. The dessert menu also includes a rotating list of sorbets in seasonal and creative flavors. These are a must-try for the lighter appetites.

Restaurant Industry

Arizona Restaurant Week Returns Sept. 19-28

Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) will return this fall with 10 nights of incredible edibles, commencing for the first time on a Friday night. Arizona Restaurant Week, Fall Edition will be held Friday, September 19 through Sunday, September 28.

During Fall ARW, over 150 Phoenix restaurants will offer specialty prix-fixe dinner menus for $33 and $44 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

“Arizonans can be proud of the wide expansion of local dining options and culinary genius the state has experienced during the past few years,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “Poised for continued growth, Arizona Restaurants will gross sales just under 11 billion dollars, outpacing the country in new jobs, and employing over 265,000 people this year.”

Restaurant Week gives a twice-annual boost to these numbers as foodies get set to spend their dollars and celebrate the craft that is booming in our state.

Social Media will play an extra role this season, as diners will curate their own dining experiences through interactive promotions, contests and more.

Look for a special Instagram scavenger hunt and contest in partnership with Buick that will encourage diners to dine out at as many local places as possible and to capture their adventures using #TourARW.

This year Arizona favorites like Rusconi’s American Kitchen, Posh and Roaring Fork will join newcomers like Paul Martin’s, Southern Rail and Barrio Queen for this celebrated line up to savor. A full list of participating restaurants and menus will be featured on www.ArizonaRestaurantWeek.com with an easy-to-use interface for searching for a favorite local chef, type of cuisine or restaurant wish list.

With a local food culture rich in tradition, James Beard Award-winning chefs, and the best cities in the West, Arizona is rich with home-grown flavors, top chefs, winemakers, authors, storytellers and food enthusiasts.

“Arizona’s food scene is thriving, thanks in no small part to trailblazing culinary chefs, mixologists, entrepreneurs, and restaurateurs who make certain that it never gets stale,” said Chucri.

Don’t miss a bite: check the website often as new restaurants and menus will be added as they become available. Until then, find out all the delectable details by following Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The gastronomical guide to Arizona Restaurant Week

Some people think this is the loveliest time of the year in Arizona until monsoon season chills our blistering summers for fall. As far as we’re concerned, the most beautiful thing about spring, between the Cactus League and April pool parties, is Arizona Restaurant Week (May 17 to 26). You get 10 glorious gluttonous days to try three-course, prix-fixe dinners at the state’s best restaurants for what’s generally discounted prices of $30 to $40 per person.

Though we wish we could have taste-tested all the participating restaurants’ special menus for you, dear reader, we also know that half the fun of trying something new is the surprise! Luckily, you probably won’t find too many disappointing spoonfuls while on your gastronomical journey.

To get your saliva glands going, we took a bite (or two) out the restaurant week menus at three central Phoenix restaurants.

Here’s the scoop!

Confit pork from Bink’s Midtown.

Confit pork from Bink’s Midtown.

1. Bink’s Midtown
2320 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix
All of Bink’s Midtown has an open-air feel. When you arrive, you have the option of sitting outside on its romantically lit patio, inside at its cozy bar or at a table or in its white-walled “sun rooms.” There’s no bad seat in the house, in so many words. Bink’s Restaurant Week menu is modern American cuisine with a range of healthy and indulgent options in each course.
First Course
The first course leads with crispy spring vegetable fritters served in a romesco sauce prepared with young garlic. The kale and salanova salad is a tart little treat, though it’s a little overshadowed by the crispy fritters. The third option will have you fork-fighting over the last chicken karaage — think less “Lady and the Tramp” and more Joey from “Friends.”
Second Course
The second course hands-down must be the “no knife necessary” confit pork. The pork is marinated for four to five days in its own fat and is so, so buttery smooth and tender. The spicy broccolini bring you back to earth, so save those and the white bean ragout for last — to keep you grounded.
Other second-course options include corn pasta with veggies and grilled rainbow trout.
Third Course
The third course is intriguing. It includes a vanilla yogurt semifreddo, hibiscus sorbet and flourless chocolate cake.

Tomato and melon salad and steak cobb salad from The Clever Koi.

Tomato and melon salad and steak cobb salad from The Clever Koi.

2. The Clever Koi
4236 N. Central Ave., #100, Phoenix
Jared Porter and Joe Absolor’s brainchild is a modern American-Asian fusion menu that has a lot to offer the adventurous eater. The vibe is dim diner chic with an open kitchen grill and a cocktail menu to literally flip over. Clever Koi also brews its own fernet, which is serves on tap, as a digestive aid. One patron was overheard saying it tasted like “the war,” so prep your gut! The Clever Koi’s Restaurant Week menu offers three vegetarian and four gluten-free choices.
First Course
The vegetarian tomato and melon salad is served with tempura avocado and a bit of sass (lemongrass vinaigrette). Other options include the delicious-sounding gluten-free and vegetarian edamame fritters and gluten-free Sriracha roasted pork ribs. Choosing between these really depend on the diner’s mood, but, really, who is going to eat a salad during Restaurant Week? Go for the fritters or ribs!
Second Course
For a main course, Clever Koi is serving a gluten-free steak “cobb” bibimbap (grilled Bulgogi flat iron, bacon, tomato, scallion, tempura avocado and a soft egg). The combination of ingredients was underwhelming, though it looked very pretty propped up on a scoop of dry, bland rice. However, the steak was delicious! The spicy seafood hot pot sounds really intriguing with its wood-grilled octopus, catfish and shrimp with cilantro. The entree options wouldn’t be complete without some gourmet ramen. The vegetarian summer corn ramen wish is served in corn broth with summer squash, chilis, asparagus and miso butter. The soups really win here. Bottoms up!
Third Course
The Clever Koi is only giving you two options for dessert: roasted banana fritters and gluten-free “Almond Joy” rice pudding. We didn’t get a chance to try either, but we trust your sweet tooth won’t steer you wrong after two courses of spicy and salty fare.

An array of Sierra Bonita Grill’s Arizona Restaurant Week menu.

An array of Sierra Bonita Grill’s Arizona Restaurant Week menu.

3. Sierra Bonita Grill
6933 N. 7th St., Phoenix
Sierra Bonita Grill is a romantic, rustic place inspired by its namesake, which is a historic ranch in southeastern Arizona. It is one of two restaurants in the Valley with a subterranean wine cellar and has more than 100 Western paintings, photos and sculptures near and dear to owner Nate Hopper. If you want to impress your date, we recommend asking someone if you can tour the wine cellar (they may escort you if there isn’t already a private party!).
First Course
Sierra Bonita Grill serves up delicious Mexican fare so for tradition’s sake one of the appetizer options is guacamole and salsa. There are also more unique options of ceviche and Hopper’s Poppers, which are halved jalapeños stuffed with a blend of four cheese.
Second Course
This is where Sierra Bonita shines. Its carne asada, buttermilk chicken, smoked red or green chile pork roast and pan-seared trout are going to be a tough pick and we don’t envy you. If you need a tie-breaker, go with the smoked red chile pork roast. It’ll knock your tastebuds right into Tucson.
Third Course
And now this: peach cobbler, buttermilk pie and croissant bread pudding. The bread pudding is ah-mazing, served with Jack Daniel’s whiskey-lime-and-caramel sauce. However, we’re pretty certain we would have flipped for the cobbler and pie, too.

For more restaurants, visit the Arizona Restaurant Week website: http://www.arizonarestaurantweek.com/restaurants.

dinner

AZ Restaurant Week Partners with Phoenix Children’s

Eat. Drink. Give.

This fall’s Arizona Restaurant Week gets a little sweeter as diners will have the chance to celebrate and honor Phoenix Children’s Hospital throughout their 30th birthday month! During Fall Arizona Restaurant Week hungry Arizonans can text a donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital at the end of each meal during this popular week celebrating Arizona’s rich food scene September 21-29. Diners can text “PCH30″ To 50555 and specify their donation amount or visit HappyBirthdayPCH.com for more information. Donations are being accepted via text or website immediately.

“Phoenix Children’s Hospital is thrilled to be celebrating our 30th birthday with Arizona Restaurant Association and being a part of Restaurant Week,” said Steve Schnall, the hospital’s senior vice president and chief development officer. “We’re honored to have gifted so many birthdays to our patients over the years – many of which I’m sure have been celebrated at the very eateries that will be participating.”

Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will offer diners a choice of over 200 restaurants to sample and taste during the 10 day event. Currently, over 30 restaurants have uploaded menus to www.arizonarestaurantweek.com, timed perfectly to announce the partnership with Phoenix Children’s Hospital in celebration of 30 years saving children’s lives.

dinner

AZ Restaurant Week Partners with Phoenix Children's

Eat. Drink. Give.

This fall’s Arizona Restaurant Week gets a little sweeter as diners will have the chance to celebrate and honor Phoenix Children’s Hospital throughout their 30th birthday month! During Fall Arizona Restaurant Week hungry Arizonans can text a donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital at the end of each meal during this popular week celebrating Arizona’s rich food scene September 21-29. Diners can text “PCH30″ To 50555 and specify their donation amount or visit HappyBirthdayPCH.com for more information. Donations are being accepted via text or website immediately.

“Phoenix Children’s Hospital is thrilled to be celebrating our 30th birthday with Arizona Restaurant Association and being a part of Restaurant Week,” said Steve Schnall, the hospital’s senior vice president and chief development officer. “We’re honored to have gifted so many birthdays to our patients over the years – many of which I’m sure have been celebrated at the very eateries that will be participating.”

Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will offer diners a choice of over 200 restaurants to sample and taste during the 10 day event. Currently, over 30 restaurants have uploaded menus to www.arizonarestaurantweek.com, timed perfectly to announce the partnership with Phoenix Children’s Hospital in celebration of 30 years saving children’s lives.

Restaurant Industry

Arizona Restaurant Week Returns Sept. 21-29

Valley food lovers rejoice! Arizona Restaurant Week will return this fall from Saturday, September 21 through Sunday, September 29 for nine action-packed and scrumptious nights.

The Arizona Restaurant Association proudly hosts this week of extravagant edibles to showcase the state’s vibrant restaurant industry. This chef-powered event sets the stage for menus and dining trends for the fall and winter months and helps put Arizona on the map as a nationally known culinary destination.

“When you think of Arizona food, you may think of tacos, burritos, menudo; but that’s not the whole story,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “There are so many different cuisines and foods available in Arizona beyond traditional Southwestern food.”

Diners will have the opportunity to try up to nine restaurants during Arizona Fall Restaurant Week. Many restaurants have already joined forces and signed up to take part in this exciting event and the Arizona Restaurant Association is actively seeking more restaurants to participate in the Phoenix metro area and Tucson.

“We’ve got fan favorites like Beckett’s Table, Binkley’s and Lon’s already signed up as well as newcomers like Searsucker, the Salty Sow and Taggia at Firesky Resort and Spa,” said Chucri.
Other loyal restaurants like Monti’s La Casa Vieja, The Melting Pot and Vincent on Camelback never miss a season of Arizona Restaurant Week and this fall is no exception.

During Fall Arizona Restaurant Week, more than 200 Phoenix area and Tucson restaurants will offer specialty prix-fixe dinner menus for $30 and $40 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

“Arizona Restaurant Week is a celebration of Arizona’s finest tastemakers and one of the state’s biggest industries,” said Chucri. “The twice yearly event allows us to highlight Arizona as a top culinary destination in the country.”

Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will feature everything from superior steaks and burgers to award winning white tablecloth establishments throughout Phoenix and Tucson and is sure to satisfy every craving.

“There’s something special about Arizona food. Some of our restaurants have been family-owned for nearly a century. Others have grown from new ideas and fresh ingredients,” added Chucri. “And the cuisine is just as diverse as the restaurants that serve it. It’s all on the table here in Arizona.”

A full list of participating restaurants and menus will be featured on www.ArizonaRestaurantWeek.com with an easy-to-use interface for searching for a favorite local chef, type of cuisine or restaurant wish list.

Check back often as new restaurants and menus will be added as they become available. Until then, find out all the delectable details by following Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

174162148

Arizona Restaurant Week Returns This Fall: Sept. 21-29

Valley food lovers rejoice! Arizona Restaurant Week will return this fall from Saturday, September 21 through Sunday, September 29 for nine action-packed and scrumptious nights.

The Arizona Restaurant Association proudly hosts this week of extravagant edibles to showcase the state’s vibrant restaurant industry. This chef-powered event sets the stage for menus and dining trends for the fall and winter months and helps put Arizona on the map as a nationally known culinary destination.

“When you think of Arizona food, you may think of tacos, burritos, menudo, but that’s not the whole story,” said Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “There are so many different cuisines and foods available in Arizona beyond traditional Southwestern food.”

Diners will have the opportunity to try up to nine restaurants during Arizona Fall Restaurant Week. Many restaurants have already joined forces and signed up to take part in this exciting event and the Arizona Restaurant Association is actively seeking more restaurants to participate in the Phoenix metro area and Tucson.

“We’ve got fan favorites like Beckett’s Table, Binkley’s and Lon’s already signed up as well as newcomers like Searsucker, the Salty Sow and Taggia at Firesky Resort and Spa,” said Chucri.
Other loyal restaurants like Monti’s La Casa Vieja, The Melting Pot and Vincent on Camelback never miss a season of Arizona Restaurant Week and this fall is no exception.

During this Arizona Restaurant Week, more than 200 Phoenix area and Tucson restaurants will offer specialty prix-fixe dinner menus for $30 and $40 per person, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity unless otherwise noted.

“Arizona Restaurant Week is a celebration of Arizona’s finest tastemakers and one of the state’s biggest industries,” said Chucri. “The twice yearly event allows us to highlight Arizona as a top culinary destination in the country.”

Fall Arizona Restaurant Week will feature everything from superior steaks and burgers to award winning white tablecloth establishments throughout Phoenix and Tucson and is sure to satisfy every craving.

“There’s something special about Arizona food. Some of our restaurants have been family-owned for nearly a century. Others have grown from new ideas and fresh ingredients,” added Chucri. “And the cuisine is just as diverse as the restaurants that serve it. It’s all on the table here in Arizona.”

A full list of participating restaurants and menus will be featured on ArizonaRestaurantWeek.com with an easy-to-use interface for searching for a favorite local chef, type of cuisine or restaurant wish list.

Check back often as new restaurants and menus will be added as they become available. Until then, find out all the delectable details by following Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

About Arizona Restaurant Week:
The most edible time of the year, Arizona Restaurant Week, is making its return Saturday, September 21- Sunday, September 29, sending diners on a nine-day tasting tour of the state. Participating restaurants are not only known for their exceptional cuisine, they also spare no expense to give diners an extraordinary culinary experience. Arizona Restaurant Week’s goal is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the more than 8,500 dining opportunities available as well as stimulate business and revenue for restaurants throughout the state.

Arizona Restaurant Week is produced by the Arizona Restaurant Association and in partnership with participating restaurants, the Arizona Office of Tourism, American Express, Young’s Market and several convention and visitors bureaus around the state.