Tag Archives: posh

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.

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

Posh

Posh Restaurant Boasts Improvisational Cuisine, Interactive Environment

Check, cross, and relax. Dinner is that easy at Posh — but only for the bold and daring.

I had heard of Posh, the contemporary American restaurant located within the Optima Camelview condos near Scottsdale Fashion Square, from a few people; and each have had nearly the same reaction about the improvisational restaurant — “go into with an open mind,” and “get ready to try things you would normally never try.”

So into it with an open mind I did, expecting quite a culinary adventure. Instead of a “choose your own journey,” it was more of a “tell us which paths are off limits, and we’ll surprise you with the rest.” (Control freaks, beware.)

Instead reading a three-page menu front and back a few times, hesitantly choosing an appetizer and entree at the last minute, at Posh all I had was one half-sheet of paper with a few options.

First, you decide how many courses you want, ranging from four to eight; we chose five. Then, you cross off the main ingredients you dislike, which, for me, included frog legs and oysters; I was game to try the alligator and quail. This list of ingredients changes based on “what is fresh and seasonal,” according to Posh’s ever-changing menu. Next, mark the temperature you’d like your meat and fish cooked; and, lastly, specify any other ingredients to which you are allergic and/or ingredients you generally dislike that you want Joshua Hebert, chef and owner of Posh, to avoid completely.

And that was it. Now it was time to wait for the first course, which would be either a salad or soup.

We sat with our wine and chatted in the warm, candlelit environment. The day we visited was the day of a surprise thunderstorm, so it was quite the intimate setting with just myself, my dinner companion and one other table on the far side of the restaurant.

Just before I began to wonder when we’d receive our first course, my salad arrived. Beautifully presented, the glacier lettuce atop beets and topped with thinly sliced apples literally bursted with flavor. The waitress had mentioned the ingredients were locally sourced, and the salad proved it with its clean, fresh flavors.

We received everything from wild boar bacon; shrimp atop cabbage, lettuce, red onions and red wine sauce droplets; and soft shell crab served with white and green asparagus and a drizzle of Chinese BBQ sauce; to a harmonious chocolate symphony of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, white chocolate shavings, shortbread, blackberries, raspberries and banana syrup to drizzle atop. Of course, there were a few other dishes in-between, including foie gras and a cheese platter wiped clean within the first five minutes of it landing on our table.

Each dish we received throughout the night was an appropriately-sized portion — small dishes that gave you just enough food to savor the flavors and hold you over the 20 minutes or so until the next entree arrived. Not once did I feel like a glutton, and only once, at the end of our two-hour-plus culinary ride, did I ask my companion, “Where did the time go?”

What’s unique about Posh is no two similar dishes would be served, ever. However, one must take note that Posh is more than just the presentation and taste of its courses — though, don’t get me wrong, every dish was nothing short of innovative and appetizing. It’s also about taking advantage of the interactive environment and the way Hebert builds anticipation and that element of surprise; you don’t know what you’re going to eat or when you’re going to eat it.

That night, Chef Hebert proved to me that, sometimes, allowing others to make the decisions for me can be a great thing. We all have to take risks sometimes; make your next bold move at Posh.


Posh Posh Posh
Posh Posh Posh
Posh Posh Posh
Posh

Posh

Where: 7167 E. Rancho Vista Dr., Scottsdale
Contact: (480) 663-7674
Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Joshua Hebert, POSH

POSH Goes Loco For Locavore

The culinary masterminds at POSH in Scottsdale are partnering with Chow Locally for a true “Locavore Dinner” on Monday, April 30. The four-course feast for the senses will feature local farmers, including Agritopia, Blue Sky Organic Farms, JH Grassfed and Maya’s Farm.

To kick the event up another notch, POSH’s Joshua Hebert will also be pairing Arizona Stronghold Wine with all the menu items.

To celebrate, we were pleased to sit down with Hebert to talk all things wine — from Arizona and otherwise.

Joshua, tell us a little about you and your start in the business:

When I was in San Francisco working at Zuni Café and Café Kati, I spent my days off studying wine at Hayes and Vine wine bar. I essentially worked for free just so I could learn the ropes from one the top-rated wine bars in the city.

How does the menu at POSH work – and how do you pair wine without a concrete menu?

Our wine list is constantly revolving and evolving. It’s heavily based on the food and ingredients of the season. We have nearly 100 selections with varietals that run the gamut, and at price points ranging from downright affordable to moderately pricey. As far as dining, we don’t have a menu per say. It’s more of a list of seasonal ingredients in which guests cross off any dislikes, and we create a tasting menu based on that.

When I’m putting together the wine menu, I care most about “food friendliness” for our style of cuisine. Food definitely takes a front seat.

What is your personal favorite food/wine pairing at POSH?

My favorite wine/food pairing is Kumamoto oysters and white Bordeaux. We have Chateau Ducasse at the restaurant, which tops my list.

Tell us about any favorite wine events here in town:

Anytime I go to Cowboy Ciao and play with that list, it’s an event.

Tell us about any wine events you have at your venue — either regularly, seasonally or special events:

Every pairing we do is a wine event. In all seriousness though, with the nature of what we do here — improvisational cuisine — our “menu” changes daily, so a lot goes into pairing the right wine with the ever-changing tasting menu. In the past, we’ve had events around “Beaujolais Nouveau Day,” but more as just a fun thing to do … no one takes it incredibly serious.

Tell us about your favorite winery experience – in Arizona or not:

I have a good friend who works at the tasting room (and as a cellar rat) at LIOCO and for the National Process Alliance (NPA) in Santa Rosa. The last time my wife and I were there, we tasted every single barrel, including a Pinot Noir that was so incredible they didn’t even know what to do with it as a wine maker. It was so exotic and tannic, unlike any American Pinot. Matt Licklider, one of the partners, is so interesting to talk to … he’s a wine genius. It was an all-around amazing experience.

Where can readers learn more?

To make reservations for the Locavore dinner, please call (480) 663-7674.

For more information about POSH, visit poshscottsdale.com.