Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group, a leading hospitality group with over 30 restaurants and another 10 in development in more than a dozen markets, today opens PYRO at The Grove in Phoenix (4300 E. Camelback Road). The Japanese American Bistro, owned by Nick Hogan, Anthony Hitchcock, Tom Allisma and Tony Gentile and designed in collaboration with award-winning firm, AvroKO, is an open-flame concept with the restaurant’s custom-made hearth serving as the culinary centerpiece. The team at PYRO manipulates fire with wood and charcoal to roast, sear, grill and smoke, enhancing the natural flavors of ingredients throughout the menu, consisting of responsibly sourced prime meats and seafoods, and a stand-out beverage program accompanied by a highly allocated whisky collection and globally diverse sake and wine labels. Flagship Restaurant Group prides itself on its sustainability efforts, as part of the brand’s Conscious Earth Mission and the group continues to run one of the largest sustainably sourced seafood programs in partnership with the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, as well as dedicated partnerships with animal welfare organizations and farms throughout the country.
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The Concept: A Japanese American Bistro
PYRO, a refined yet inviting atmosphere, transports guests to a modern articulation of a traditional Japanese home through large architectural movements expressed through the repetition of rectilinear forms, decorative screen work, and the use of dark, heavy woods. Inspired by a 1930s Japanese casino run by “Madam Geisha,” guests will find 1950’s inspired fixtures and furnishings with luxurious velvets and high-end touches, traditional geisha patterns, textiles, and accessories. The 4,200 square feet restaurant features an expansive dining room, lush outdoor patio with an open hearth and bespoke cocktail bar. PYRO was designed by AvroKO, an award-winning interior design firm celebrated for crafting some of the most extraordinary hospitality experiences, in collaboration with Flagship Restaurant Group.
A Culinary Experience for the Senses
At PYRO, the team works with live fire, on a custom hearth, to create unique and compelling flavors. The chefs manipulate fire to roast, sear, grill, and smoke to enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients. All seafood and meats, available at PYRO, are meticulously sourced and animal welfare plays a defining role on what translates to each guest’s plate. The Flagship Restaurant Group team, including veteran chef and James Beard Foundation honoree (2020), Benjamin Maides, spent years sourcing the most premium products, possible, for the concept. From all-natural prime ribeye to house-made noodles to unique spins on traditional sashimi and crudos and branzino raised indoors in a recirculation aquaculture system, menu highlights (click here) include:
40 Day Dry Aged Bone-In Ribeye with House-made Pickles and PYRO Jus: the signature Ribeye is all-natural prime, which makes a difference in quality (beef with no growth hormones becomes more tender, with a better flavor). The team cut the richness of the steak with some acidity and freshness to keep every bite new and exciting. The PYRO Jus, served with the steak, is a reduction of the team’s house-made chicken stock (100 quarts of liquid is reduced to four quarts, leaving a rich flavor)
World’s Best Branzino with Pickled Ginger Shoots, Tokyo Turnip & Herb Salad and Lemon-Chili Vinaigrette: the branzino is raised indoors in a recirculation aquaculture system; it is reverse butterflied, and the skin is brushed with PYRO’s house-made yuzu aioli. The chefs then slow-roast it on the hearth to get the skin crispy
Dungeness Crab Noodles with Meyer Lemon, Crème Fraiche, Chive and Smoked Trout Roe
Iberico Pork Skewers with Tare, Pic/kled Daikon and Yuzu Aioli: the skewers are marinated in a housemade Tare sauce and roasted on the charcoal yakitori (then the tare is added, once more). It comes out crispy, as a result, and glazed to highlight the flavors.
XO Suzuki Tartare with Milk Bread, Striped Bass, XO Sauce, Brown Butter and Yuzu Aioli
Striped Bass Ceviche with Finger Lime, Ponzu, Aji Limo, Cucumber, Radish, Avocado and Rice Chip
Uni Hand Roll with Smoked Trout Roe, Shiso and Fleur de Sel
Creamy Koji Rice with Sunchoke Chips, Pea Tendril and Black Garlic Jus
Miso Potato Au Gratin with Parmesan and Chive
Curry Spinach with Japanese Curry, Coconut Milk and Cashew
Charred Green Beans with Bagna Cauda, Sesame Seeds, Mitsuba and Anchovy Vinaigrette
In addition to signature starters, shared plates and main courses, PYRO’s pastry team has designed a robust dessert menu with dishes including:
Ube Panna Cotta with Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Mango Lassi Froyo and Candied Sesame
Chocolate Hearth Souffle with Passion Fruit Anglaise and Raspberry Powder
Cherry Almond Tart with White Chocolate-Cherry Mousse and Candied Almond
Opera Cake with Chocolate Crumble, Butter Cream and Smoked Ice Cream
Seasonal Housemade Scoops including Japanese Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Black Sugar Caramel and Sweet Potato Crunch
Beverage: Highly Allocated Japanese Whisky, Wine and Sake, Craft Cocktails, Zero Proof Libations
The bar program at PYRO (click here for menu) takes inspiration from classic cocktail culture while highlighting the flavors and sensibilities of Japan. The team’s humble creations are minimalist and unpretentious, while the flavors are exotic and unique yet somehow familiar.
The bottle selections showcase the very best from renowned producers and regions, with an emphasis on highly allocated Japanese Whisky including:
Yamazaki 12 (100 Year Anniversary)
Yamazaki 18 (100 Year Anniversary)
Hakushu 12 Year (10 Year Anniversary)
Hibiki 21 Year
Shibui Nokoribi Kara
Kentucky Owl Takumi Edition
Four Gate Japanese Mizunara Oak
Cocktails and Zero Proof Libations Include:
Calamansi Margarita: Lalo Tequila, Thai Chili + Calamansi Sherbet, Aloe Liquer and Lime
Old Fashioned with Russell’s Rserve 10 Private Barrel, Choya Kokuto Umeshu, Lapsang Souchong and Sansho Bitters
Louis’ Martini: Haku Vodka, Oka Japanese Bermutto, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Yuzu
Sake Spritz: Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, Aperol, Junmai Sake, Sparkling Yuzu, Lemon
Double Tea Old Fashioned (Zero Proof) with Majestic Maple Tea, Kokuto Sugar, Clove and Anise
Thai-Pache (Zero Proof) with Pineapple Tepache, Thai Chili, Lime, Chamoy and Tajin
The wines and producers featured at PYRO combine classic elegance and effortless balance with an element of je ne sais quoi. The wines are evocative of their time and place on earth and of each passing of the sun and moon that it took to make them. Many of the wines are made with minimal intervention, as to preserve their individualities. Sustainability, family farming, and soul are key elements of the wine program.
The wine program is less about what guests already know and love, and more about the unturned stones in life that await them. Alongside well-known grapes and regions are nearly unheard-of indigenous varieties from lost viniferous paradises. At PYRO, it is the team’s unique honor to guide guests towards the adventure– and wines– that await them. Highlights include:
Keush ‘Origins’ NV Brut (Vayots Dzor, Armenia): a Champagne-style sparkling wine made from some of the most ancient grape varieties in the world.
Cantine Patria ‘Femina’ Etna Bianco (Sicily, Italy): born from fire and flame, these vineyards are carved into some of the steepest and rockiest slopes on the active volcano, Mt. Etna
Viña Marty Goutte D’Argent Sauvignon Blanc (Aconcagua, Chile): this unique and awarded Sauvignon Blanc is fermented with rare Japanese No. 7 sake yeast on a French-Chilean estate in Aconcagua.
Ao Yun ‘Shangri-la’ (Yunnan, China): an extremely rare Bordeaux Blend from the world’s first Himalayan Grand Cru
Ovid (Napa Valley, California): luxury red wines from one of Napa’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Pritchard Hill
PYRO is open, daily, for lunch from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, while dinner hours are Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM. The Bar is open daily from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM and “Social Hour” (PYRO’s version of happy hour) offerings are available Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. To make a reservation, please visit PYRO (Phoenix) on OpenTable.