Hush Hush Dishes

Written by Carey Sweet Category: Three Bites Issue: May 2012
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Romeo’s Euro Café
207 N. Gilbert Rd.
(in Heritage Court), Gilbert

Chef-owner Romeo Taus trained with one of the Valley’s legendary chefs, Nick Ligidakis, who was known for his menu that spanned hundreds of dishes. When Taus opened his Mesa eatery in 1991, he brought several of those recipes with him (with Ligidakis’ blessing). But in 2004, when he moved to a smaller space in Gilbert, he performed some judicious trimming. Euro’s menu still reads like a book, yet for die-hard fans, it’s not enough. Happily, Taus will accommodate, dishing up special requests for such off-the-list favorites as grilled chicken Ibiza – scattered with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, capers, caraway, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a sherry wine sauce over linguini topped with chilled balsamic beans and focaccia – or chicken Tomas tossed with shrimp, mushrooms, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, onions and capers in tomato cream over linguini. Off-menu recipes aren’t for the faint of appetite, with ambitious and delicious combos like shrimp Toscano Romano brightened with whole garlic cloves, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, capers, basil, pear tomatoes and garbanzo beans in sherry wine sauce over mostaccioli.

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7167 E. Rancho Vista Dr.,

All of chef-owner Josh
Hebert’s dishes might be considered “secret,” since his entire concept is improv. Diners choose from a list of daily ingredients (i.e, prime New York strip, short ribs, duck breast, wild boar bacon, frog), and Hebert assembles them in custom tasting menus with impromptu flair. Most dishes are unique, and customers don’t know what they’ll be eating until their plates arrive. But savvy fans know there’s even more to explore at this elegant restaurant, with a slew of whimsical specials starting with late night “staff” meals offering more casual, bargain-priced suppers advertised solely via Tweets and Facebook; treats like ramen, oknomiyaki Japanese savory stuffed pancake, duck gyoza, pig’s ear ravioli, goat tacos and chorizo fundito. Insiders also look for über-valuable Facebook-only promotions, such as when Hebert waives the supplement charge on caviar, foie gras and truffles. The dishes and deals change every week, so your best bet is to follow the chef through his ambitious social media efforts, and be ready to dash in for dinner when your favorite meal flashes across the webpage.

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