Tag Archives: Beckett’s Table

Gelato War Spoons

The scoop on this year’s Gelato Wars

The Gelato Spot’s annual Gelato Wars are back! Through August 31, patrons of Gelato Spot can try 10 flavors whipped up by local chefs and vote for their favorite.

Gelato Wars is a month-long competition for bragging rights, a customized copper trophy and $500. It’s also a fund raiser with the goal of donating at least $5,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

“Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy…and what’s more joyful than gelato,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato said getting 10 chefs — 5 new and 5 returning — to all come together and create unique gelato flavors was like “herding cats into a cold bathtub.” But we’re here to tell you that the delicious results will beat out a cat bath any day.

Scottsdale Living’s Social Media and Digital Manager Perri Collins taste-tested all 10 flavors and ranked them from best (No. 1) to less-best (No. 10) — come on, there’s no such thing as bad gelato. To even the playing field a little, Associate Editor Amanda Ventura weighed in, too.

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie
Justin Beckett and Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
This creamy and sweet gelato flavor is a delightful mix of marion berries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from the northwest, where Jeff Schoening hails from.
Where I ranked it: No. 9
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was like a cheesecake wrapped up in sweet ribbons of berry mixture. I think it was simple, delicious and something I’d eat a few more scoops of, but it’s not novel enough to stand out among the competition.]

Camelback Crunch
Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals
The 2013 defending champion, Tracey Dempsey, made a dessert homage to her residence near Camelback Mountain. This gelato is a nice balance of flavors and textures that don’t seem to have much in common at first, but they blend really well together.
Where I ranked it: No. 1
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three, but that’s in large part due to the fact that Tracey Dempsey used all of my favorite flavors in one gelato.]

Honey Toasted Almond Biscotti
Gio Osso, Virtu
“I grew up eating with toasted almond bars from the neighborhood ice cream truck, so I used that as my inspiration and added salt for a more sophisticated taste,” says Osso. If you like sweet, then this flavor is for you. It was tasty, but the sugary sweetness overwhelmed the nuts.
Where I ranked it: No. 3
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was actually a bit too salty for me — though I do love some almonds and salted caramel.]

White Chocolate Stracciatella
Josh Hebert, Posh
The cherry and chocolate combination was nothing new and exciting. It was subtle and refreshing, but rather middle of the road.
Where I ranked it: No. 6
[Editor’s Note: I agree here. I think the flavor was delicious but lacked the novelty of the other competitors.]

Sage Brown Butter & Candied Cashew
Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
The candied cashews had an amazing flavor. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Where I ranked it: No. 5
[Editor’s Note: Yep. This was a balanced cup of sweet nuttiness.]

Carrot Cake
Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
This was a good idea with bad execution. It tasted nothing like carrot cake, although you could really taste the goat cheese in the gelato.
Where I ranked it: No. 7
[Editor’s Note: Maybe I built this flavor up more in my head because I love carrot cake; I eat it every year for my birthday. However, I did like the incorporation of the goat cheese. It was in my top five.]

Chocolate Sorbet with Smoked Almonds and Caramel
Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (set to open later this year)
A chocolate gelato won last year’s competition, so Walter Sterling chose something with chocolate in hopes of stealing the trophy, but we think his dreams are about to be dashed. The chocolate was very bitter, the caramel wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been and the nuts were too large and crunchy.
Where I ranked it: No. 8
[Editor’s Note: This vegan dark chocolate sorbet was delicious. You really do have to like bitter chocolate, though. When I was vegan, I learned to really love dark chocolate so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If anything, this is one of the more decadent flavors better enjoyed in small portions.]

Mole
Michael Dowd, Urban Vine
Mole is an ambitious flavor with 17 different spices and nutella folded into this gelato for a spicy explosion on your tongue. It tasted like a kid grab handfuls of every spice he could find in a middle-eastern market and mixed them together with chocolate milk.
Where I ranked it: No. 10
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three. It reminded me of eating peppery German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, as a kid.]

Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey
Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
It was hard to taste the corn or honey over the overpowering thyme in this gelato flavor. The layers of corn and blueberry would have made a better impression
Where I ranked it: No. 4
[Editor’s Note: I agree, but the sweet corn ice cream is a must-try. I can still kind of taste it as I type this.]

Smoked Banana Pudding
Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
“We’re a BBQ place, we had to smoke something!” says Scott Holmes. This is a simple idea with complex flavors and a delightful finish. Well done!
Where I ranked it: No. 2
[Editor’s Note: Yes! Remember those vanilla wafer and banana puddings your mom made for pot lucks? This is the next level of that. There could have been a bit more caramel to balance every bite into perfection, but overall this was a top three flavor.]

Gelato Spot Locations:

Biltmore/Arcadia
3164 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85016
602.957.8040

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
602.494.4010

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251
480.425.8100

Top5-American-Contemp

Top 5 American Contemporary Restaurants

[cjtoolbox name=’Experience AZ Top5′]

Get ready to experience Arizona’s spring/summer 2014 Top 5 Restaurants American Contemporary! And use Experience AZ to guide you toward a visit that will make you want to come back time after time to keep crossing the must see hot spots off your Top 5 lists.



Top 5 Restaurants: American Contemporary

Beckett’s Table
3717 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 954-1700
Website
Chef Justin Beckett has created a menu that features a hearty assortment of seasonal, American dishes. The neighborhood restaurant is a safe haven for sophisticated foodies and families alike. Expect incredible comfort food and service without pretension or fluff.

Quiessence Restaurant
6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix, AZ 85042

(602) 276-0601
Website
Featuring one of the Valley’s only true “daily menus,” Quiessence invites guests to savor award-winning handcrafted contemporary American cuisine inspired by tradition and seasonality.

elements
5700 E. McDonald Dr. Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

(800) 245-2051
Website
Award-winning cuisine and spectacular views make dining at elements a Sanctuary highlight.

Tarbell’s
3213 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 955-8100
Website
One of the Valley’s most happening places with bistro fare, using locally grown and organic produce when possible.

The House Brasserie
6936 E. Main St. Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(480) 634-1600
Website
Tucked away in a shaded corner of Old Town Scottsdale, The House is a place of culinary artistry that allows guests to be a part of cutting-edge world cuisine, as well as leaving them slightly nostalgic for Grandma’s kitchen.

fun-fact-american-contemp
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.