The term “Art Bar” may sound a bit pretentious at first blush, but it’s really the most apt descriptor of the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows’ gorgeous, midcentury-modern-inflected bar and restaurant. No design detail has been spared, from pale brunette wood chairs to plush pillows covered in eye-catching geometric fabrics. Actual art is everywhere, from an installation of wavy wooden slats (so groovy) to a blonde wood étagère stacked with books, vintage vases and nostalgic curios.
The clientele is similarly chic – traveling creatives grabbing a bite after meetings, well-heeled locals popping in for a drink and the occasional artist from the neighboring Cattle Track arts compound taking advantage of “Art Bar Hour,” aka happy hour. (Many Cattle Track artists contributed pieces throughout the Andaz, so keep an eye out if you explore the property.)
Thanks to chefs Nate Larsen and Chelsea Cummings, everything is snacky and delicious at W&W during Art Bar Hour, and there’s not an item on the menu my friends and I would pass up. Blistered shishito peppers come with a sprinkling of bright and funky cotija ($5) and the caramelized onion dip takes the potluck classic up several notches with deeply developed onion flavor and fun accoutrements of desert corn chips and micro cilantro ($9). Wagyu beef sliders are rich thanks to the glistening meat and the roasted garlic aioli, but also bright and peppy thanks to pickled red onion, salsa verde and pepper jack cheese ($11). The Cheese & Charcuterie board ($12) boasts an assortment of cheeses, cured meats, berries, Arizona olives and grilled bread from local Wildflower bakery. It’s the perfect spread for mixing and matching.
My favorite bite, though, is the crispy cauliflower, which is fried until it has a glorious golden sheen and then gussied up with smoky romesco sauce, crushed pecans and springy chives. I could order two plates of this and call it a meal.
Beer – craft cans, drafts and domestic bottles – is $5 during Art Bar Hour. Wines range from $8-$10 per glass, with a selection of house wines being the least expensive. Well drinks run $9.
Two signature cocktails (each $11) take center stage on the drinks list. The Rosemary Wild is beloved by my bourbon-swilling friends, and I’d love it as well if I loved whiskey: Four Roses bourbon, lemon, simple syrup and fresh rosemary unite for an herbal, well-balanced sipper. My pick is the Diamondback Fizz, which swirls together Sauza reposado tequila, grapefruit, lime, jalapeño agave, cucumber and soda water. It’s like a spicy, spa-inspired Paloma – perfect for cooling off as August attempts to melt us.
THE INSIDER SECRET
Don’t sleep on the house-made lavender almonds, the most sophisticated bar snack we’ve ever encountered. Come for Wine Wednesdays and enjoy $16 flights and 15 percent off all bottles. And on the weekends, you can take advantage of bottomless mimosas ($25) and Rosé All Day ($35) from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Art Bar Hour is held daily from 3-5 p.m.