Chef Peter DeRuvo and Mario Rana Jr.’s seasonal Roman-style dishes bring fresh flair to Old Town Scottsdale.
Have you ever known a couple that seems to have nothing in common, and you wonder how they ever got together? That’s what I thought when I heard Chef Peter DeRuvo – who made a name for himself at Sassi in North Scottsdale – had partnered with Mario Rana Jr., who runs Mad Chef Gastropub in Ahwatukee Foothills with his father, Mario Rana Sr. Not only are the eateries geographically at opposite ends of the Valley, their reputations are not exactly in line (Sassi serves southern Italian cuisine in a swank, sprawling villa; Mad Chef dishes American pub-grub in a cozier setting).
Say “yes” to this menu-less omakase restaurant serving innovative Japanese plates tailored to your palate.
Noh may sound like an oddly negative name, but look closer and it’s entirely apropos. In Japanese, the word means “talent” – something its improvisation-minded sushi chefs possess in spades. And it refers to a form of 14th-century Japanese theater where actors are disguised by masks – a fitting metaphor for a hard-to-find omakase restaurant serving courses that unfold like dramatic plot lines.
Don’t be fooled by the unlucky-sounding name and moody décor – appealing, inexpensive food and a friendly atmosphere are this north Phoenix eatery’s winning combo.
Neighborhood nosh spot Thirteenorth Grille exudes a welcoming, hunker-down vibe for fans of no-frills food – something a variety of folks can apparently get behind. Cooing couples, families, groups of friends,
WHERE TO Eat Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch & Happy Hour.
Consider yourself lucky if you live in the West Valley, because it’s home to the best breakfast in town. On Sundays only, BYOB bistro Amuse Bouche presents a five-star feast fit for royalty but priced for commoners. Pair hot, fluffy beignets buried in a cloud of powdered sugar with dark, rich coffee. The eggs Benedict, served with an angelic hollandaise, is an absolute must no matter what the weekly special is, but cross your fingers it’s the phenomenal house-made corned beef hash. Parisian crêpes are divine, as is light-as-a-feather quiche. Bring a bottle of bubbly and make it a celebration. 17058 W. Bell Rd., Surprise, 623-322-8881, amusebouche.biz. Breakfast 8 a.m.-1 p.m Su; lunch and dinner Tu-Sa. $-$$$$
The Valley is in the midst of a burger boom, grilling the gamut from fast-food favorites to haute hamburgers.
But who’s busting out the best? We graded nine of the city’s favorite meat retreats – rating everything from beef to bun and sides to service – to discover the winner.
Decked in a striking palette of royal blue and black, with dramatic wrought-iron design flourishes and a picture-window-framed desert view, the Scottsdale location of this local mini-chain is one cool burger joint.
Travis Watson has cooked professionally for 25 years, toggling between savory and sweet. In his current job as the executive pastry chef at T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort, he’s firmly back on the sweet side and riffing on old-school desserts.
“I like to do traditional desserts you’ve heard of but just have never seen interpreted like this before,” he says.
Consider his new butterscotch crème caramel ($13). Unlike a traditional French crème caramel, a cousin of Spanish flan, Watson presents it in a tiny Le Creuset pot instead of unmolded on a plate.
A native Arizonan, Debrah Roberti briefly lived in New Mexico, where she fell in love with chiles and heirloom beans and developed an appreciation for the freshly ground spices that define Southwestern cuisine.
Back in Mesa, Roberti started the Arizona Spice Company in 2008 because she couldn’t find salsa and spice mixes that weren’t too salty or loaded with preservatives, or in the case of dry spice mixes, didn’t contain anti-caking additives.
“Other spice companies have called me and asked me what anti-caking ingredient I use, and I say ‘a butter knife,’” she says with a laugh.
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