When Tamara Stanger abruptly left her executive chef gig at Helio Basin Brewing Co., many folks were surprised.
“Hope begins with a meal” is the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s slogan for those in rehabilitation and recovery. At first, the motivational phrase referred to Phoenix Rescue Mission’s soup kitchens, but now, with the opening of the Mission Possible Café, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Instead of only doling out meals to those in need, the Rescue Mission is providing something, though less urgent, perhaps more useful over time: the opportunity to work in a brand-new restaurant and provide meals for hungry customers.
You know the saying, “there’s always room for dessert”? Looks like the same stomach-expanding sentiment can be used in reference to real estate in one of Phoenix’s most sought-after zip codes… even if the dessert itself is meh. I guess that explains Jello.
Last summer, as Phoenicians tried the old fry-an-egg-on-the-burning-asphalt trick, a fellow Valley-ite became a traitor and took his icy talents back east. Just kidding, but former ASU Sun Devil Kyle Billig did jump on a coastal trend and moved back home to Pennsylvania to open Sweet Charlie’s, a Thai rolled ice cream shop in downtown Philadelphia.
The time warps here in the Valley keep closing. You know what I mean: those little rifts in the space-time continuum through which you can slip and feel like you’re back in midcentury America. A couple of years ago it was Monti’s La Casa Vieja in Tempe, and in 1998 it was the Cine Capri at 24th Street and Camelback; now it’s the Bashas’ at 7th Avenue and Osborn that’s in its homestretch of existence.
Call it a revival. Call it old school. But really, this is just old Scottsdale.
The latest opening in Old Town Scottsdale is Ellure Lounge, and with it, the owners are promising to bring back Old Town’s club-tastic heyday. In a press release for the grand opening launch party this weekend, owner Chris Sprow claims, “Old Town has lost its reputation as the world-class leader for high-end entertainment. Ellure promises to deliver just that.” Sprow, the former director of marketing for Scottsdale nightclub SIX, which closed its doors in 2009, says the vision in designing Ellure “was to bring class back” to the area.
The relatively new MATCH restaurant opened inside FOUND:RE hotel in Downtown Phoenix late last year, and has quickly become a destination for locals, who praise its stylish surrounds and ever-changing menus from Executive Chef Akos Szabo.
The Feel: Hipper than the first Lollapalooza festival. Feast your eyes on a giant painting by local artist Randy Slack of a young Burt Reynolds naked on a bearskin rug behind the reception desk before walking around the corner to ultra chic MATCH, with its long and loaded bar, wall of wine, floor-to-ceiling windows and modern minimalist design.
When I went to Italy on a class art trip at 16, I turned my nose up at our nightly four course dinners. I know, I know: poor little girl getting to travel abroad and try new cuisines. But I suppose my palate just wasn't refined enough then, what with all that hormonal brattiness clouding my tongue. Plus it all seemed so overwhelming: bread followed by salad followed by pasta followed by meat followed by dessert. Too much.
Older and wiser, I can now get behind the excess every now and again. At Fat OX, Scottsdale's latest upscale Italian eatery, I got to relive the jubilant surplus that is a multi-course Italian dinner. But this time, I liked it.
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