75 Never Looked So Good
Next time it’s your birthday, invite the world famous Dale Chihuly to come. That’s exactly what the Desert Botanical Garden is doing to commemorate its 75th anniversary. Credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art, Chihuly has long held a love affair with the Sonoran Desert. And now he’s putting that love affair on display for the second time at DBG during Chihuly in the Garden. The exhibit blends the distinct shapes and colors of the desert region – think agave plants and the bold and brilliant sun – with Chihuly’s signature touches like brightly adorned glass balls in wooden boats. Behold Chihuly’s brilliant ability to weave his ornate pieces of art into the garden’s 50,000 indigenous plants including the iconic saguaro, cholla cactus and palo verde November 9, 2013 – May 18, 2014. The last exhibit, which ran in late 2008 and early 2009 attracted more than 550,000 over six months.
Wild West Lassoes New Cowboy Joints
Sure Scottsdale is nicknamed “The West’s Most Western Town,” but today the scene is more old west meets new west and a bit more Miranda Lambert than John Wayne. Two new modern-day saloons are adding to the collection of more than 80 hotspots in downtown, dubbed a “desert version of Miami’s South Beach” by The New York Times. The Western swung open its wooden doors with its name written in chalk on April 25, 2013. This honky-tonk is all about local country bands, home-style grub and whiskey cocktails with a cool western meets modern motif as the backdrop – think old church pews, a faux-leather bar, iron bar stools and a well-worn couch.
Just down the street, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row made its debut on Independence Day as a 1920s-style saloon with a new country vibe and live tunes from national and local acts performing on a stage hanging from the ceiling directly above the bar. The owner, Bentley, who just so happens to be a Grammy-nominated country star and Phoenix native, is bringing a taste of the South to the desert with a comfort-food menu with items such as shrimp and fritters, fried pickles and BBQ grilled chicken chockfull of local ingredients. Self-serve beer and liquor on tap will quench any cowboy’s thirst.
Taste the Flavors of Real Mean Cuisine
Where can you get a satay daging beef skewer for dinner and a s’mores sandwich for dessert? Look no further than the Food Truck Caravan in downtown Scottsdale, which takes place each Saturday from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Featuring eight or more gourmet trucks from foodie havens such as Grilled Cheese Truck, Liberty Biscuits, Satay Hut, Spice It Up, Stickaberry, SuperFarm Food Truck and Udder Delights, expect everything from Southern comfort food and organic sliders to curriesand classic diner cuisine. This family and dog-friendly roundup is complete with picnic tables, live music and a caravan concierge, offering discounts at participating nearby local shops and art galleries for those who spend $8 or more on dinner.
Scottsdale – Shaken, Not Stirred
Scottsdale loves to shake things up when it comes to crafting cocktails. And there’s no better place to sip on a martini than jade bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, set to debut its new face this October. Named one of the best bars in America by Esquire magazine, this chic lounge is undergoing a major renovation that will nearly double its seating both inside and out but maintain its signature feature, floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valley. Cozy up with a friend or loved one at the stand-up drink bar made of authentic jade or on the patio, featuring a retractable shade, heaters and a fireplace.
You love cocktails, and you’re a fan of all things local. Then it’s time to mix it up, literally, at The Mix Up Bar, at Royal Palms Resort and Spa. Opening in September, this fun cocktail haven is the brainchild of Kim Haasarud, founder of nationally acclaimed beverage consulting company Liquid Architecture, and Paul McCabe, the new executive chef at T. Cooks, whose passion for locally sourced items is as much a part of him as his Arizona roots. Expect the unexpected with garden-to-glass cocktails featuring a lineup of ingredients like AZ Bitters Lab’s flavored bitters, La Bella Terre’s botanical sprays and vinegars from Outrageous Olive Oil & Vinegars, plus fresh produce and herbs grown in the new T. Cook’s garden. Pair a cocktail with a meal that’s designed to enhance the flavor of the alcohol.
One of Scottsdale’s original cowboys, Lon Megargee, founder of the upscale, yet rustic The Hermosa Inn would be proud of the transformation at Last Drop at the Hermosa. This casual dining bar and grill was expanded to include outdoor seating. Daily happy hour features live entertainment and a new menu from Chef Jeremy Pacheco that includes everything from salads and sandwiches to shared bites and pizzas. All handcrafted cocktails are made by Last Drop’s Travis Nass.
On the Edge of Ingenuity
Home to more than 100 galleries, Scottsdale has long been an art mecca that’s inspired some of the greatest creative minds of the 20th and 21st century. On The Edge Gallery, an artist co-op featuring work by more than 40 artists, tells the story of just a few of these great minds through jewelry, ceramic and paintings. Step in the 2,000-square-foot gallery in downtown and encounter artists such as Dave Bigelow, whose starkly beautiful crosses are carved locally in a small woodshop; Wyatt Moody, whose sculptures tell the story of mankind’s journey and connectedness to the Earth; and Sherry Herradence, whose mixed media prints depict her fascination with bold colors, flowers and the four seasons. This one-stop shop harnesses the creative of the Southwest and Scottsdale.