Though controversial, the wave of condo construction on Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix also has certain indisputable benefits. One: The new density has emboldened a new generation of restaurateurs to take a chance on the wily arts district.
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. DTPHX
Gilbert’s award-winning craft brewery brings its woodsy, herbal sensibilities (e.g. foeder-fermented blonde ale with Arizona honey) Downtown, along with an abbreviated version of its gourmet grub menu. Must gets: the umami bomb PB&J burger with house-made peanut butter and jalapeño jelly, and AZW’s legendary duck-fat fries. The massive, beer garden-style patio makes for great people-watching, too.
Nothing wrong with the cocktails at this former freestanding office building off Roosevelt – including the namesake cocktail, a lipsmacking mélange of Woodford Reserve rye, absinthe, orange and sugar – but the bar stands out for two other factors: its sneaky good craft beer program, featuring high-gravity imperials and European styles, and its unabashedly over-the-top baroque décor, including a backsplash that would make Louis XIV himself want to whet his whistle.
The Farish House
Mystifyingly vacant since Matt Pool’s The Roosevelt Tavern shuttered in 2012 (a planned gastropub called The Monocle was waylaid by a sex offender revelation… long story), the historical William H. Farish House finally has a new caretaker. Chef-owner Lori Hassler (House of Tricks) offers a spare, chiseled menu of charcuterie and French classics that fit the space like a satin evening glove. Nosh on a $5-per-item à la carte cheese and meat menu, or go all in with a show-stopping duck confit cassoulet.