Superchef Aaron May answers the prayers of Old Town-area gastropub enthusiasts.
The name is the first clue that Chef Aaron May’s newest endeavor, Praying Monk, is the polar-opposite of Iruña, the Basque-inspired tapas joint he formerly operated in the same Old Town storefront. Iruña sounds like a sexy, standoffish Spanish sophisticate; Praying Monk – named after the signature rock formation on Camelback Mountain – conjures a celibate Belgian beermaker. While Iruña was sparklingly upscale, the new eatery resembles an earthy, wood-paneled roadhouse with an open beam ceiling. Iruña served food people didn’t seem to understand; Praying Monk dishes recognizable yet elevated comfort food, with 20 draft beers – including a few Belgian breeds brewed by actual monks – and a selection of flights. The $300 jeans crowd is gone; a more relaxed clientele has moved in.
If your idea of “camping” is polishing off mesquite-grilled elk tenderloin while comfortably seated in the gentrified rancher outpost of Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House, we’ve got a dessert for you: Cowboy S’Mores ($11).
But hold on, pardner, this is no ordinary campfire treat. Pastry Chef Amanda Crick, who has been with Cartwright’s and sister restaurant Tonto Bar & Grill since 2001, makes each component of the flaming crock dessert from scratch.
Here’s mud in your eye? No thanks, we’d rather have beer in our pie. Check out these delicious brew-based dishes.
3622 N. Scottsdale Rd.,
We’re all familiar with ye olde rum cake. But leave it to wild child chef Payton Curry to give the boozy
Despite its spooky setting, this Mesa maverick scares up surprisingly good grub.
It sounds implausible, kitschy and just plain weird: a restaurant/bar/nightclub permanently decorated as a Halloween-style “house of horrors.” From the animatronic Grim Reaper peeking over your shoulder as you slurp soup to the illuminated eyeball pendants that watch you knock back a beer, Monsterland is far more likely to jar spine-tingling childhood memories of touching grape “eyeballs” than make you recall your last great sit-down meal. And therein lies the most shocking surprise: Monsterland’s bar-and-grill fare is actually quite good.
The latest dining concept in CityScape puts a sumptuous spin on American South cuisine.
A Bluetick Coonhound – or Blue Hound – is a breed of Louisiana working dog. Known for its hearty and engaging nature, the hound can also be hard to train – an equally apt description for Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, the new Bayou-influenced gastropub in Downtown Phoenix.
Reclaimed wood and steel accents set a chic-industrial tone in the second-floor restaurant, housed in the Palomar Hotel. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls overlooking CityScape give diners a great view, and the trendy American South menu is flecked with fancy French twists and locavore touches.
Cozy and cost-effective, this Scottsdale deli-market hybrid is all locavore, all the time.
Go ahead and accuse Richard L. Fredrickson III of discrimination. The owner of Prime Provisions wouldn’t have it any other way. “All of our products will come from local suppliers,” Fredrickson said before his local-only Scottsdale deli-market opened last May. “Our beer and wine will be all Arizona, too.”
Locavorism has mushroomed across the Valley but hasn’t flourished in north Scottsdale – especially in the field of lower-priced eateries. And while many restaurants sprinkle local foods across their menus, few take the “all local” mantra to literal extremes.
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