It was a banner year for the Valley dining scene – such an abundance of great new restaurants, in fact, that PHOENIX magazine was forced to cut several worthy candidates from our final roster. It was agonizing, but we did it. So dig in.
745 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa
OPENED: May 2013
HOURS: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tu-Th; 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. F; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sa
Ethnic restaurant names often get lost in translation. Cases in point: Portland’s Hung Far Low and San Francisco’s Kaka Udon Kitchen. Beaver Choice owner Hanna Gabrielsson isn’t ashamed her eatery landed on Zagat’s 10 Worst Restaurant Names list – she named it after Canada’s national mascot, not some grade-school double entendre. Name-related guffaws aside, locals were instantly hooked on Gabrielsson’s Swedish-Polish comfort fare. Her brie-topped schnitzel cordon bleu is a masterpiece, and the creamy dill sauce of Captain’s Fish would seduce the hardest haddock-hater. Valley “Beaverites” practically burned pierogi in protest when Gabrielsson and her husband Marek closed shop earlier this year