Tag Archives: chef

Crespelle

Crudo Unveils New Seasonal Food and Drink Menus

The kids may be back in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the summer celebration going. Crudo Chef Cullen Campbell and Mixologist Micah Olson have opened up their big bag o’ tricks and created an all-new seasonal food and cocktail menu to end the summer on a high note. Crudo features several new taste adventures including pecan wood-grilled mozzarella, and the new Whole Roasted Pig Head, served for the entire table with gourmet sauces and accompaniments for $60 (72-hour notice). Bar Crudo also features new late-summer cocktails including the Salt River Project (Tapatio Reposado Tequila, salted watermelon syrup, lime, ancho reyes chile liqueur, Peychaud’s Bitters & Galliano Authentico served tall over ice).

Who: Fine food lovers, craft cocktail sippers, and anyone else interested in trying Crudo exciting new food and drink menus.

What: Turn off your oven and let Chef Cullen Campbell do the cooking for you with Crudo’s all-new seasonal food and cocktail menu. Once again, Chef Cullen Campbell and Mixologist Micah Olson have dug deep into their bag o’ tricks to whip up exotic new twists on classic foods & drinks. Over at Crudo, enjoy bold new tastes such as Ahi tuna served with celery, seaweed pesto and shallots, or a smoky, savory pecan wood-grilled mozzarella plate. However, the truly adventurous will want to try the Crespelle, or Italian-style crepes stuffed with snails, soffrito and battuto. Not to mention, the Whole Roasted Pig Head, served for the entire table with gourmet sauces and accompaniments for $60 (72-hour notice required).

Over at Bar Crudo, Micah Olson has also been busy shaking up an all-new menu of late-summer delights. Highlights include the Arizona-centric, Violet Femmes (Arizona Distilling Co. Desert Dry Gin, cucumber, violet, lemon & sparkling wine served in a flute), and the Salt River Project (Tapatio Reposado Tequila, salted watermelon syrup, lime, ancho reyes chile liqueur, Peychaud’s Bitters & Galliano Authentico served tall over ice). Go green with the Chartreuse-spiked Wycked Sceptor (Zucca Rubbarbaro Amaro, John Taylors Falernum & Lime Juice served in chilled coupe). Or pucker up with a Blue Steel cocktail (Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Blueberries, Tarragon Lemon & Fever-Tree Bitter Lemon Soda served tall over ice).

When: Crudo’s Late Summer 2014 menu is available today.

Where: Crudo, 3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, 602-358-8666.

ARS_PATIO2_9463.jpg

Kimpton plans New Sedona Restaurant

Chef Massimo_emailA new restaurant, SaltRock, is opening this September when Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants unveils its signature dining destination at Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona, Ariz., now undergoing a property-wide redesign, where Chef Massimo De Francesca has just been appointed executive chef.

Chef Massimo is currently the executive chef at Taggia, located at Kimpton’s FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, where he showcases coastal Italian cuisine, sourcing local Arizona organic produce, herbs from the on-site garden and top-quality meats and seafood flown in fresh daily. Classic in his training, yet innovative in his approach, Chef Massimo is known for connecting tradition with contemporary musings.

SaltRock will offer Southwest-inspired cuisine marrying the fresh, light and seasonal approach to California cooking with culinary traditions and ingredients of the Southwest and Verde Valley. Drawing on inspiration from the Sonoran Desert and the vibrant city of Scottsdale, Chef Massimo is perfectly at home in this distinct environment.

For Chef Massimo, standouts have already emerged from the menu including Deviled Eggs, chipotle-egg yolk mousse with pasilla maple syrup; King Oyster Mushrooms, confit, charred and marinated in local pine needles and served with warm Mexican chocolate and pinenut gremolata; Mini Bell Peppers, smoked with pecan wood and garnished with spicy aioli; Trout Pâté, local Sedona trout slow roasted over apple wood, made into a pâté and layered in a smoking jar served with toasted baguette; Lamb Tostadas, braised lamb belly, smoked goat cheese and apple-mint chutney and fresh epazote served over freshly made crispy tostadas; Wild So-Cal Swordfish, citrus grilled, layered with tomatillos, pineapple-puree and topped with mango and black bean salsa and Achiote Chicken, marinated organic chicken breast served over jalapeño and cilantro risotto, asparagus, garnished with piñon sauce and pomegranate seeds.

“It has been exciting to dive into the creation of the menu for SaltRock and blend Southwest-inspired flavor with the seasonal approach to California cooking, all while discovering ways to incorporate local, organic ingredients from Sedona and the Verde Valley into each dish,” said Chef Massimo. “I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the Sedona culinary scene and trust that our new restaurant will further enhance the city’s dining experiences.”

The cocktail program at SaltRock will highlight craft margaritas and was created by Kimpton Lead Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout, who oversees the cocktails and spirits program for Kimpton’s nearly 70 restaurants, bars and lounges across the country. The bar will offer a thoughtful selection of tequila and mezcal, along with a curated selection of other spirits, local wines and craft, domestic and international beer favorites.

SaltRock’s design complements the resort’s new “modern native” design esthetic, which infuses elements of Native American patterns, but reinvented in a contemporary way. With charcoal-colored oak flooring, mix-and-match dining chairs, a live-edge wood communal dining table and banquets upholstered in vintage rugs, the restaurant embodies a timeless and comfortable American vibe and spirit. An art-installation of more than 300 antique spoons, found at flea markets across the country and artfully dipped in a variety of colors, adorn the wall. Lush, green air-plants in ceramic pots hang from ropes and leather straps to create a living wall that separates the restaurant from the resort’s living room to connect the spaces, while still allowing for privacy.

Born in Toronto, Chef Massimo’s international culinary passions have led him to positions in such places as Toronto, Canada; Torino and Cesenatico, Italy; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Washington DC; Manhattan, New York and Dallas, Texas. In addition to his diverse experiences, he has worked under world renowned chefs such as Gianpiero Tondina, Vincenzo Cammeruci, Oscar Tuchi and JP Challet.

Chef Massimo joined Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in 2008 where he has served as executive chef at a variety of restaurants across the country over the years. He moved to Scottsdale to lead the culinary vision at Taggia in 2012, where he has earned numerous accolades including “Top 10 Best Italian Restaurants” by Phoenix Magazine. Kimpton is known for its award-winning collection of seasonally-inspired restaurants and bars lead by creative, local chefs that turn farm-fresh flavors into memorable dishes.

In August, Amara Resort & Spa is preparing to unveil a $1 million redesign of the boutique resort’s 100 spacious guest rooms and suites, common spaces including the living room where guests enjoy complimentary wine hour nightly, the outdoor lounge and the 26,000-gallon infinity edge saltwater pool that overlooks the serene Oak Creek and red rocks. As Kimpton’s newest addition to its Arizona properties, Amara is located in the heart of uptown Sedona. Nestled along Oak Creek, the resort overlooks the Cleopatra Red Rock Formation where Camel Rock and the much-loved Snoopy Rock are in perfect view.

While Amara is just steps from the hustle and bustle of Sedona’s uptown shopping, dining and cultural hub, the resort is situated below the main area, nestled on the banks of the creek, which makes it feel worlds away.

To learn more about Kimpton’s Amara Resort & Spa, visit www.amararesort.com or call 928-282-4828.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers. ”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink’s Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

SONY DSC

Binkley Opening Bink's Scottsdale in Late December

Chef Kevin Binkley announces plans for the opening of his fourth restaurant, Bink’s Scottsdale, at the Shops at Hilton Village, 6107 N. Scottsdale Road, Building C, Suite 110, in Scottsdale.

Chef Binkley looks forward to the opportunities of a central Scottsdale location, “I love that so many of our regular customers live in this area. We also have over 2,400 square feet of space, which allowed us to create a larger bar space to accommodate our customers.”

Bink’s Scottsdale promises a fresh, organic look with a casual atmosphere. It will open its doors late 2013.

Bink’s Scottsdale will be open every day with brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner selections. Dishes will focus primarily on locally grown and harvested meats, fruits and vegetables. The restaurant will also provide a full bar with a regular wine list, as well as a reserve wine list.

Kevin, along with his wife, Amy Binkley, own and operate three award-winning restaurants including Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek, Café Bink in Carefree, and Bink’s Midtown in Central Phoenix. Each restaurant sources and promotes seasonal fare in their menus.

A Valley food pioneer, Chef Kevin Binkley has received numerous accolades. Chef Binkley has been nominated every year since 2005 for the James Beard Award Best Chef of the Southwest. In 2013, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awarded him the Lifetime Achievement award for his long-term excellence in the culinary industry.

Chef Kevin Binkley previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington, and with Chef Thomas Keller at the renowned French Laundry in Napa, California. His creative culinary process has earned national distinction since opening his own restaurants in Arizona.

Established in 2004, his first restaurant, Binkley’s, was named Best Restaurant by the Arizona Republic. Bink’s Midtown, established in 2013, was recently named Best New Restaurant by both Phoenix Magazine and Phoenix New Times. Bink’s Midtown also received the Best Happy Hour Award in Central Phoenix, for the 2013 Phoenix New Times awards.

salad-at-gertrudes

Gertrude’s Plans Salt Smitten Dinner Oct. 24

Chef Stephen Eldridge knows a good thing when he sees it, and beyond that, the guy knows how to cook too. A recent trip to Gertrude’s for their Crafty Beer Dinner Part II, featured the Grand Canyon Brewing from Williams and their award winning line of craft beers and unique Flavor Bomb brews.

I was lucky enough to attend the dinner with my husband, my son and new daughter in law, who are both currently serving in the Army. Together, they flew in from Germany after two years away from home and surprised us. Between such a special surprise, the superb dishes created by Chef Eldridge and the ambiance of Gertrude’s, that dinner will live on in my heart and my memory forever.

Gertrude’s is the Desert Botanical Garden’s newest star. Open since January, the restaurant focuses on bringing the best of Arizona’s fresh, local ingredients directly from farm and pasture and to the plate.

Chef Stephen Eldridge states that his focus is highlighting the amazing bounty that Arizona has available, including herbs and vegetables from the chef’s gardens at the Desert Botanical Garden. Eldridge’s style is known as ‘Modern American Cuisine’ which he believes includes good food, great company, and the garden ambiance. If you have the opportunity to dine at Gertrude’s, don’t miss it.

Chef Eldridge is also well known for collaborating with other professionals and creating amazing dinners with unforgettable dishes that accentuate fresh ingredients.

The next amazing dining adventure is Salt Smitten Gertrude’s, which is planned for October 24 at 6:30 pm. Gertrude’s has partnered with Go lb. Salt and the two will prepare an amazing 6 course dinner that will be ‘salt centric’ and will begin with a cocktail flight pairing featuring High West Handcrafted Bourbons and Ryes.

The dinner will feature creative dishes that include 60 day aged Beef Tartar with pickled mushroom, a sunny side up quail egg with sea salt, herbed lavosh and Mediterranean sea salt, local onions with beef broth, fresh tarragon and thyme with Gruyere cheese, and Sel Gris de Guerande and Fume de Sal. As well as confit of wild boar with root vegetable hash, blood orange chutney and mesquite smoked sea salt.

And for a sweet and memorable ending, a Marcona Almond S’More with bourbon an cardamom eggnog, with a pistachio and preserved citrus marmalade frangipane with roasted honey and bourbon ice cream will be served. Tickets are $65 per person, + $25 for bourbon flights.

For reservations, call 480.719.8600.

salad-at-gertrudes

Gertrude’s Plans Salt Smitten Dinner Oct. 24

Chef Stephen Eldridge knows a good thing when he sees it, and beyond that, the guy knows how to cook too. A recent trip to Gertrude’s for their Crafty Beer Dinner Part II, featured the Grand Canyon Brewing from Williams and their award winning line of craft beers and unique Flavor Bomb brews.

I was lucky enough to attend the dinner with my husband, my son and new daughter in law, who are both currently serving in the Army. Together, they flew in from Germany after two years away from home and surprised us. Between such a special surprise, the superb dishes created by Chef Eldridge and the ambiance of Gertrude’s, that dinner will live on in my heart and my memory forever.

Gertrude’s is the Desert Botanical Garden’s newest star. Open since January, the restaurant focuses on bringing the best of Arizona’s fresh, local ingredients directly from farm and pasture and to the plate.

Chef Stephen Eldridge states that his focus is highlighting the amazing bounty that Arizona has available, including herbs and vegetables from the chef’s gardens at the Desert Botanical Garden. Eldridge’s style is known as ‘Modern American Cuisine’ which he believes includes good food, great company, and the garden ambiance. If you have the opportunity to dine at Gertrude’s, don’t miss it.

Chef Eldridge is also well known for collaborating with other professionals and creating amazing dinners with unforgettable dishes that accentuate fresh ingredients.

The next amazing dining adventure is Salt Smitten Gertrude’s, which is planned for October 24 at 6:30 pm. Gertrude’s has partnered with Go lb. Salt and the two will prepare an amazing 6 course dinner that will be ‘salt centric’ and will begin with a cocktail flight pairing featuring High West Handcrafted Bourbons and Ryes.

The dinner will feature creative dishes that include 60 day aged Beef Tartar with pickled mushroom, a sunny side up quail egg with sea salt, herbed lavosh and Mediterranean sea salt, local onions with beef broth, fresh tarragon and thyme with Gruyere cheese, and Sel Gris de Guerande and Fume de Sal. As well as confit of wild boar with root vegetable hash, blood orange chutney and mesquite smoked sea salt.

And for a sweet and memorable ending, a Marcona Almond S’More with bourbon an cardamom eggnog, with a pistachio and preserved citrus marmalade frangipane with roasted honey and bourbon ice cream will be served. Tickets are $65 per person, + $25 for bourbon flights.

For reservations, call 480.719.8600.

Kimpton's Hotel Palomar

Palomar offers superb Staycation options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters, and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the pefect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:
* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

Hotel Palomar_Pool Cabanas

Palomar Offers Superb Staycation Options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the perfect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as I call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:

* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

Hotel Palomar_Pool Cabanas

Palomar offers sublime Staycation options

I’ve been a downtown dweller for a decade now. I’ve lived in the historic district of Phoenix since before First Friday brought in the cool kids, long before there were bars in the Roosevelt district to attract the hipsters, and well before CityScape made downtown Phoenix a destination for something other than a sporting event or employment.

So I’ve never viewed downtown Phoenix as a place to go to get away from it all. Boy, was I wrong.

I took advantage of one of the summer “Staycation options” offered by the Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape. The deals run through September 8 and there are three options:

$102 and a Round of Brew: Deal includes beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, a round of four beers at Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Rates start from $102 (Rate code: BREW).

Laugh Like a Local: Life just seems a bit better when you’re laughing. Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, two tickets to Stand Up Live. Rate starting from $129 (Rate code: LOCAL).

Downtown Discovery Family Package: Beautifully appointed deluxe accommodations, choose your own adventure with two children’s tickets to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or the Arizona Science Center, two welcome kids packs. Rates starting from $124 (Rate code: PFAM).

I’m not a big drinker, so the $102 and a Round of Brew was out. And getting away from the kids is sometimes the reason you NEED a Staycation, so the Downtown Discovery Family Package was out. Since the laughter is the best medicine, the Laugh Like a Local was the perfect pick.

We arrived at the Palomar at around 5 p.m., just in time for the evening wine hour for all guests from 5-6 p.m. It was the pefect way to start our getaway. Immediately, we were on vacation. The Hotel Palomar is as cool as it comes. It is contemporary, connected and cosmopolitan, yet comfortable and welcoming all at once.

After we checked in and put our things in our amazing room with breathtaking views of the city and South Mountain, we went to the pool and its adjacent Lustre Rooftop Garden, which has sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline and recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

We had a couple cocktails — I highly recommend the Vida Del Oro: Square One Vodka, lemon juice, carrot juice, ginger juice — and had perhaps the most amazing burger I’ve ever consumed. The Lustre burger comes with avocado, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and cool ranch aioli. That drip you’re hearing is the drool streaming from the corners of my mouth as call upon the memory.

Lustre is the perfect escape — great food, great drinks, great service, great views, amazing music and the people watching is phenomenal. Lustre was so perfect, we almost missed the 9:45 p.m. comedy show because we didn’t want to leave.

The great thing about the Laugh Like a Local package was the the Palomar has reserved tables for guests at Stand Up Live, so there was no waiting in lines and our seats were great. As it does every weekend, Stand Up Live delivered so many laughs that our abs were sore the next day.

What would a Staycation be without sleeping in, so we stayed in bed until a little after 9 a.m. I was able to get a workout in thanks to the complimentary use of Gold’s Gym, which is adjacent to the Palomar in CityScape. After the workout, I went for a quick swim in the Palomar pool, then soaked in the enormous tub in the room.

We ended our Staycation with a highlight that has the drool flowing again. It was fitting that our brunch at the Palomar’s Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails was on Sunday morning, because it was a religious experience. The Blue Hound is a brilliant blend of modern industrial with a touch of rustic. Friends have been raving about Executive Chef Stephen Jones’ food, but it was my first visit … the first of many. Here is what we chose:
* Eggs Benny with dungeness crab, swiss chard and hollandaise on an english muffin
* Fried Chicken and Waffles with Brown family farms maple syrup

The eggs were poached perfectly, the waffles were heaven-sent (keeping with the religious theme), and the bottomless mimosas were exquisite.

Our Staycation lasted about 18 hours, but eveything the Hotel Palomar Phoenix offers —  its proximity to downtown’s shopping, dining and entertainment; the wine hour; the Blue Hound and Lustre Rooftop Garden; the third-floor outdoor pool with views of the city skyline — made it the perfect quick getaway where we were able to let everything go.

As soon as we got into the car, we both looked at each other and said at the same time, “I want to go back.”

That’s when you know a Staycation has become the perfect vacation.

Booking: www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com or 602-253-6633

pillow

Massive Downtown Phoenix Pillow Fight coming

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a flurry of feathers during the largest pillow fight to ever hit Downtown Phoenix. On June 5th in the hotel’s second-floor Living Room, hotel staff will provide pillows and be on-site to share tips for friendly battles and proper techniques. Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, a Kimpton restaurant, will offer $1 signature cocktails and snacks from 5-6pm in celebration of the anniversary.

Following the pillow fight, the hotel will host a party from 6pm – 10pm to debut LUSTRE Rooftop Garden that recently underwent several upgrades in addition to launching a new menu designed by Chef Stephen Jones. Guests will enjoy complimentary fresh bites, cool cocktails, a juice bar, sphere dancers and games of tennis table all to the beats of DJ Al Page.

Perched on the third floor pool deck, LUSTRE Rooftop Garden is an oasis in the heart of Downtown Phoenix with sweeping views of the city’s stunning skyline. The new menu highlights fresh bites, juice-infused cocktails and a fun and vibrant environment where guests can play table tennis. Local, seasonal ingredients are staples of the new menu, which features leafy green salads, veggies, local and grass-fed beef, a variety of flatbreads, kombucha on tap, fresh-squeezed juices and cocktails.

Both events are free and open to the public. The LUSTRE Rooftop Garden Debut Party is open to guests 21 and older.

To learn more about Hotel Palomar Phoenix at CityScape, visit www.hotelpalomar-phoenix.com.

vincent

Vincent on Camelback headlines Phoenix Art Museum’s The pARTy

Chef Vincent Guerithault, owner of Vincent on Camelback in Phoenix has captured international acclaim for his creative approach to traditional French food. When given the opportunity to headline the menu for Phoenix Art Museum’s annual fundraising gala The pARTy, Vincent didn’t give it a second thought.

Vincent’s talents go well beyond his restaurant doors. He has created a very successful full-service catering business that can handle groups from five to 1,000.

“Vincent’s food is sumptuous with a timeless charm, which is one of the many reasons our committee selected him to headline the pARTy,” said pARTy Chair Diana Ellis Smith.

“It is my passion to make every dining experience memorable,” said Vincent Guerithault. “Combining culinary art amongst the ambiance of the Phoenix Art Museum’s vast collection is sure to be a dining experience of a lifetime.”

Vincent’s love for cooking began in his youth in France, where he worked at L’Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux de Provence, and Maxim’s and Fauchon in Paris. He came to the U.S. in 1976 to be sous–chef at Chicago’s Le Français, and within 10 years opened his own restaurant in the Valley, that helped put Phoenix on the culinary map.

The pARTy is one of the premier events in Phoenix for attracting guests from across the Valley and the United States.

Phoenix Art Museum will host its annual pARTy on Saturday, Nov. 3, which will be held downtown at the Phoenix Art Museum. The event promises to be an elegant evening centered on art and entertainment. Now in its seventh year, the pARTy has raised more than $9 million in support of the Museum’s education programs and exhibitions.

Tickets for the black-tie event are $750 per person and tables start at $7,500. To purchase tickets or to learn about sponsorships, contact Jan Nesburg at 602-257-2101.

For more information about the Phoenix Art Museum, the exhibitions, upcoming events and programs, visit www.phxart.org/theparty.

Spring Group on Horseback

Chef Matney will cook at luxury lodge

One of the biggest culinary personalities in the Valley heads north for the last weekend in August to share his colorful and innovative cuisine.  Chef Eddie Matney, owner of “Eddie’s House” will work side-by-side with Hidden Meadow Ranch’s own Chef Kurt Jacobsen.

Guests dining at the Ranch House Restaurant at Hidden Meadow Ranch, Arizona’s high-country luxury guest ranch located near Greer in Arizona’s White Mountains, can expect a scrumptious and entertaining evening.

Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 25, Chef Eddie Matney will prepare three courses of his classic American and Mediterranean inspired cuisine, ending with a “cherry on top” dessert.

“Usually you can only get my favorite dishes at Eddie’s House, but as a special treat we are going to take some of our favorite recipes on the road and prepare a delicious meal at Hidden Meadow Ranch,” said Matney. “Hidden Meadow Ranch has always been a special place for me and my family and I want to share it with all my friends from Eddie’s House.”

Menu
Appetizer-Trio
Mint Pesto Grilled lamb Chops, mint cumin hummus
Mo’ Rockin shrimp with honey dough balls
Magic Mushroom Bisque Cappuccino

Salad
Smoked Salmon, Peach & Arugula Salad with shaved red onion & toasted white beans

Entrée
Buffalo Osso Bucco over cheesy poblano grits & Jack Daniels Demi Glace

Dessert
Mount Rainier Cherry & Mascarpone Turnover finished with a Thyme Caramel Glace, served with warm Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Reservations required.  Dinner is $60 per person, alcohol, tax and gratuity not included. Space is limited. To make reservations, call 928-333-1000.

Providing first-rate accommodations and service is second nature at Hidden Meadow Ranch. The owners, Tim and Casey Bolinger of Greenbrier Southwest Corporation, were integrally involved in the development of Kierland in northeast Phoenix and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain community near Tucson. Combining their resort and development expertise with their interests in horseback riding, snow skiing and fly fishing, the Bolingers and their team, led by General Manager Jane Lenci, have created a luxury lodging experience at Hidden Meadow Ranch that complements the naturally beautiful, secluded setting, while providing a range of recreational activities and high level of service and comfort in all four seasons.

Chef Eddie Matney Returns With Eddie's House, 2008

Chef Eddie Matney Returns With Eddie’s House

Chef Eddie Matney, Eddie's House, AZ Business Magazine Oct. 2008

The Valley’s original celebrity chef, Eddie Matney, would like to invite you to his house for dinner. Well, it’s not his actual house, but at Eddie’s House, Matney’s newest Valley restaurant, it’s like eating home cooking as only this chef can make it.

It’s been a couple of years since Matney had an eatery in town that bears his moniker, but the wait was well worth it. Eddie’s House in Old Town Scottsdale combines all the things Matney is famous for, plus some new and comforting elements.

Overall, the decor strives for a stylish, but inviting and casual vibe. Those who sit at the head of the table get to relax in large, comfortable armchairs upholstered in a mix of leather and green and purple striped fabric.

But you don’t go to Eddie’s House for decorating tips. You go there for the food, and once again, Matney doesn’t disappoint. His food has always lived in a region where America meets the Mediterranean.

The appetizers reflect all of these influences. Matney’s flatbread and tartar starters change daily. The day my party went, the flatbread was topped with smoked salmon and roasted garlic, while the tartar selection was a tuna blend that had my dining companions raving.

We followed that with the soup and salad portion of the dinner. I jumped at what the menu dubbed the “serious” lobster bisque cappuccino. Unlike other bisques that tend to have a cream base, this lobster bisque appeared to be made primarily of a lobster stock that allowed the sweet, rich taste of the lobster meat chunks inside to really shine.

On to the entrees, where Matney kept to his tradition of hearty portions. The special that night was a pork chop dish, which quickly became a favorite at the table. The chops were tender and tasty, with everyone claiming more than one bite. Another favorite was the bacon-infused meatloaf. Oh Eddie, you had me at bacon. Add to that Yukon gold mashed potatoes and onion strings and we all forgot our diets that night.

Arizona Business Magazine October 2008 Cover

Earning special notice was the EHC or Eddie’s House Chicken. The chicken was cooked to perfection, but what captured everyone’s attention wasthe presentation. While the breast was served on a dish, the legs and thighs were placed in a small, whimsical ceramic “basket” painted to look like a bucket of chicken from that famous colonel.

Although I thought I couldn’t eat another bite, dessert is de rigueur for me. The dessert that earned the most “ooos” and “ahhhs” was the crème brûlée, so rich and sweet and surprisingly light. While the crème brûlée was very good, my personal favorite was the baked chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream. It was almost like a mousse. I became even fonder of the dessert after Matney told the story behind it; he was inspired by his memories of his mother making a similar dish while he was growing up. How appropriate for a restaurant named Eddie’s House.

www.eddieshouseaz.com