Tag Archives: french cuisine

Ron Pacioni-Coup De Tartes_01

Coup Des Tartes being forced from historic location

Coup Des Tartes, Phoenix’s longest running and most well known B.Y.O.B. restaurant, is being forced out of its location at 4626 N.  16th Street in Phoenix through no fault of its own.

Coup Des Tartes is being offered a 180-day notice as of June 1, 2013 by the new landowners, the Van Tuyl Group, which owns several car dealerships in the area.
Coup Des Tartes has been serving award-­winning French cuisine in the same small, historic farmhouse located on 16th Street and Highland for the past 17 years.

Coup Des Tartes Owner Ron Pacioni said, “They want to pave our paradise to put up a parking lot, literally.”

He added, “Their representative has told us they have plans to demo this historic 1932 farm house on and turn it into an overflow parking lot for their nearby corporate car dealership. It breaks our heart.”

Although Pacioni continues talking with a Van Tuyl’s representative in hopes to prevent the move, the deadline date to be out of their current location has been set for the end of the year.

Relocating the restaurant will require a great deal of time and planning, but Pacioni is adamant that they will not close their doors during this disruption.

Pacioni, said, “We want to let our regular customers and our newfound foodies know that our doors are still open. We have every intention of continuing to offer our seasonal menus and award-­winning cuisine that you’ve come to know and love throughout the transition.”

Prime Bone In Ribeye

J&G Steakhouse Makes The Former Mary Elaine’s Location Its Own

Over the past two years, the dining scene at the Valley’s top resorts has undergone an extreme makeover. The most high profile of those makeovers took place at The Phoenician, where that staid first lady of dining for 20 years, Mary Elaine’s, was shuttered last year. Now occupying the spot where Mary Elaine’s once stood is the far trendier and far less formal J&G Steakhouse.

Gone are the high-backed chairs and linen tablecloths. In are butcher-block tables and modern designs. Out is French cuisine; in is a new take on steak and seafood. But one thing has remained the same — those fabulous views Mary Elaine’s was so famous for.

The restaurant’s interior is swathed in purple and gold, a palette the establishment’s owners say was inspired by steak and wine. A tempesta onyx wraparound bar welcomes patrons as they head into the main dining room. There are also two private dining areas and the terrace has oval banquettes and fire pits.

J&G Steakhouse, which opened in December, is the creation of Michelin-starred chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He has developed a menu in which the classic fare of a big city steakhouse is re-imagined with a modern twist.

After getting over the initial wonder of how the space that had once housed Mary Elaine’s has been transformed, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of food on J&G Steakhouse’s menu. For a steakhouse, it has a generous selection of seafood.

Our dining party started the meal with J&G’s specialty cocktails. While most of the drinks were variations of more familiar libations, such as a grapefruit gimlet, others were of the kind I thought went out with the Rat Pack. Case in point is the Sazerac, made with 100-proof Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Pernod Absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters and Angostura bitters. You don’t want anyone lighting a match around this drink.

The appetizers were an unexpected treat. Many restaurants fail to find a balance with their appetizers; they are either afterthoughts or so good they overshadow the main menu. At J&G, the appetizers are inventive and tasty. The restaurant succeeds in not overwhelming the main courses by keeping portions small. Of the four appetizers we chose, every one was a winner. Special mention goes out to the savory French onion soup, the rich sweet corn ravioli in basil butter and the salmon tartar, served diced with warm garlic toast and mustard oil.

With so much good seafood on the menu, we couldn’t resist splitting our orders into two meat dishes and two fish entrees. First up was the 8-ounce filet mignon, which, good thing for a steakhouse, did not disappoint. The milk-fed veal porterhouse was also a treat. Normally, I won’t eat veal because I don’t like the taste, but J&G’s rendition of the cut may make me a convert. The first fish entrée was a roasted striped bass encrusted with chilies, herbs and lime.But the true star of our evening at J&G was the sautéed Dover sole grenobloise. Carved tableside, the sole was light and flavorful, and was a wonderful alternative to the meat dishes.

Like many steakhouses, J&G is a la carte, so if you want side dishes you have to order them separately. The sides at J&G are pretty straightforward fare, but they don’t take a backseat to the entrees. Of particular note were the roasted mushrooms with herbs — if you have a large party, make sure to double your order.

The multilevel Estate House offers elegant and cozy dining.

Estate House Provides An Evening Fit For The Upper Crust

With the sounds of trickling water and candlelight dancing across the tables, the Estate House in Scottsdale is as inviting as your own home. The multilevel restaurant includes a lounge, as well as indoor and outdoor dining, facing the beautiful Waterfront area of the Arizona Canal. Plants climb up the elegant columns, unique chandeliers exude soft lighting and whimsical wall embellishments make up the Euro-Sonoran décor. All these elements create a lovely backdrop for a relaxing meal.>

The contemporary French cuisine was complemented by soft jazz music, floating delicately throughout the restaurant, adding to the intimate ambience. Our evening began with a delicious amuse bouche, a chilled parsnip soup served in a shot glass and topped with a crunchy panchetta. The bread basket proved too good to pass up and selections such as blue cheese rolls and baguettes were warmly placed on our plates. It was hard to say no the second time the basket came around, but alas, some room had to be left for dinner. A delicious wine and cocktail list enticed the taste buds even further, including a crisp pear martini made from freshly pureed pears. Yet, with such a plentiful menu in front of us, simple water allowed us to savor the rich taste of the food itself.

With several ambrosial appetizers to choose from, our party decided on three starters with varied ingredients to please the palate. The wild mushroom robiola strudel was the hands-down favorite of the table, but the others were praised as well. Interesting elements in the dishes, such as a habanero tangerine mousse served with the chilled pomegranate duck breast, were found in each course. The tangy mousse was an unexpected flavor when biting into the duck, but proved to be a tasty addition.

Small surprise details were found throughout the meal, keeping your taste buds on their toes. Even if you don’t enjoy eating greens, the salads were very well-prepared and tasteful, with choices for the pickiest of eaters. The grilled marinated feta salad was a delicate mix of romaine hearts, lemon oregano marmalade and a touch of olive oil. The baby herb salad was also a favorite with a muscat vinaigrette dressing, and roasted walnuts and grapes that together make eating your veggies a fun and flavorful experience.

After all these courses, we realized that we hadn’t even had entrées yet! Luckily, our appetites were re-invigorated when we set our eyes on the delectable plates. The consensus among the table was that the shiraz molasses braised short rib was the most appetizing, yet the chef spared no expense when it came to the other dishes. The filet mignon was tender and juicy. Full of strong flavors of sun dried tomato and roasted garlic, the handmade tagliatelle was a great pasta dish. Butternut squash puree and garlic braccoli rabe complemented the entrees nicely, and rounded out the French feast. Conversation was hard to keep up with because the myriad of delectable foods kept our mouths full.

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, dessert menus were placed on the table. While freshening up with warm hand towels, we decided to sample several desserts. All the delicacies were regarded as perfect endings to the satisfying meal and declared “rich” and “delicious” between bites. One standout from the sweet treats was the gianduja raspberry torte, an exquisite mélange of chocolate and raspberry. A warm, hazelnut chocolate cake was served with a chilled shot of raspberry sorbet that was infused with a hint of mocha. Divine.

The wonderful presentation of the dishes and friendly service matched the understated elegance of the restaurant. Whatever the occasion may be, from a romantic rendezvous to a corporate event, Estate House is the perfect place to go.