It generally pays to follow the “don’t dine in a hotel restaurant unless you’re on vacation” rule. Hey, I like lobster bisque and conservatively seasoned filet mignon as much as the next person, but why settle for reliable standbys?
In the 2014 sleeper hit Chef, the titular character reluctantly forgoes an adventurous menu in favor of cooking his “greatest hits.” Local chef Tom Harvey, formerly of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, goes a similar route at Cuff, a newly-opened American eatery in the West Valley. The movie comparison probably ends there – Cuff owner David Chang (Zang’s Asian Bistro) doesn’t strike me as the kind of seething control freak Dustin Hoffman plays in the flick – but plating things safe is a wise move in downtown Glendale, where culinary piety, not experimentation, is most prized.
Can there ever be enough tacos in Phoenix? Probably not. Because tacos, when done right, are stuffed pieces of paradise. And in Phoenix, there are as many kinds of taco tastes as places to get them – from the juicy lengua at La Frontera food truck at 16th Street and Van Buren to the meltingly soft Yucatán-style cochinita pibil from chef Silvana Salcido Esparza’s legendary Barrio Café.
The authentic Italian menu at Tomaso Maggiore’s new Scottsdale restaurant makes offers we can’t refuse.
When Valley legend Tomaso Maggiore teamed up with a pair of paisans from the old country to open Vivo! Ristorante in September, their goal was to create an authentic Italian experience. With an emphasis on quality ingredients imported from Italy, the trio has built an impressive menu of traditional Italian favorites and assembled a kitchen brigade with some serious cooking chops.
Almost since its inception, America has played the role of cultural melting pot. Or is “stew pot” a more appropriate metaphor? In this 30-page celebration of American culinary traditions, we’ve selected the most singular, defining dishes from all 50 states. Then we scoured the Valley to locate the 50 restaurants that make the best local versions of these regional delicacies. 50 states, 50 plates. Which did we choose to represent your home state? Keep reading, American food lover.
Most nights, you’ll catch chef/owner Jeff Hostenske prowling the dining room at TEN Handcrafted American Fare & Spirits, chatting up guests to ensure their dining experience is topnotch. It’s a nice, personal touch and reflects TEN’s esprit de corps – a chef-driven restaurant that pairs thoughtfully prepared food with attentive service.
Go for the craft drinks, stay for the shockingly competent mod-Asian menu at this tony Downtown hang.
If you’re a tippler who dreams of a cocktail bar with impeccable drinks, spot-on food, and the kind of big-city feel that leaves pretension at the door, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour in Downtown Phoenix may be the place of your fantasies.