Photo courtesy ADERO Scottsdale
All the news that’s fit to nosh.
Globe-al Dining: We may not get snow in the Valley (except for the odd desert flurry that makes us all lose our minds), but you can see what it’s like to be inside a snow globe with ADERO Scottsdale’s new holiday offering. From December 16-January 23, the resort’s on-site restaurant The Village at SkyTop will host four-course dinners in ethereal globe structures set outside against a stunning desert backdrop. Menu highlights include roasted Wagyu, craft cocktails and chocolate terrine. On Friday and Saturday nights, diners will be treated to live music from Goode Time Production Carolers. Two seatings per day, from Thursday-Sunday: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Reservations are required – book here.
Supergroup: Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment’s mixology empire just gained another key player. Mat Snapp, most recently of Fox Restaurant Concepts, joined the UnderTow and Century Grand folks as vice president of operations. “Mat is a well-known and respected leader in our industry,” says Rich Furnari, Barter & Shake co-owner and executive vice president of concept development. “His experience in growing and deploying brands nationally puts Barter & Shake in the position to grow our business model in Arizona and beyond. Additionally, Mat is an extremely talented creative writer and mind. We are looking forward to the opportunity to dedicate our collective energy towards the creative efforts to provide our guests the most memorable and entertaining experience in beverage entertainment.” Barter & Shake devotees will recognize Snapp’s work, even if they don’t yet know him personally – he is the wordsmith ghostwriter behind the company’s fanciful narratives, so integral to the bars’ concepts.
If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird: We are in a golden age of canned cocktails. To wit: Superbird, a ready-to-drink paloma made with 100 percent blue agave tequila, zippy natural grapefruit juice, lightly sweet agave nectar and sparkling water. It’s a refreshing, quaffable tipple perfectly suited to year-round consumption in the Valley of the Sun. The brand is owned by New York City-based Casa Komos Brand Group and made in Mexico, but it recently made its Arizona debut and is available in (Phoenix-based) Circle K stores throughout the state ($15.99/four-pack). Superbird Free is its low-cal sister, with 95 calories per can.
Whiskey Win: Speaking of Arizona spirits, Tucson-based Whiskey Del Bac just made a splash in the international liquor world with a spot on Wine Enthusiast’s list of “The 100 Best Spirits of 2021.” Honored for its Classic American Single Malt, Whiskey Del Bac was one of two spirits from The Grand Canyon State on the list. “We are humbled to be considered one of the top single-malt whiskies by Wine Enthusiast. We started this dream over 10 years ago with the simple idea that we could make a world-class whiskey right here in Arizona. This award validates that vision, and we couldn’t be more proud,” co-owners (and father and daughter) Stephen and Amanda Paul said in a joint statement.
New Restaurants on the Block: Itching to try something new? Add these to your to-dine list:
- The Mexicano: The Valley’s Italian restaurant powerhouse, The Maggiore Group, shook things up by opening its first Mexican restaurant on December 7. The North Phoenix eatery is helmed by chef Joey Maggiore and his wife, Cristina, and features Mexico City-inspired design, a mobile churro cart, a Michelada bar (akin to its headline-grabbing cousin, the bloody Mary bar at the Maggiores’ Hash Kitchen), piñata margaritas and more.
- Neighborly Public House: Chef/restaurateur Christopher Collins is at it again, adding this Uptown Phoenix spot to his growing family of Common Ground Culinary concepts. It occupies the building at The Colony that used to house Stock & Stable. Menu highlights include grilled California artichoke, double-thick pork chop and interesting cocktails like the Peach Old-Fashioned.
- The Genuine: Genuine Concepts will continue its recent winning streak (Campo Italian Bistro & Bar, the reopening of The Womack) with this namesake restaurant. Set to take the space currently occupied by The VIG Uptown (which will be relocating; details to be released later), The Genuine will have a wood-fired oven and be shepherded by culinary director Jeremy Pacheco. It is slated to open in February 2022.
- Skysill Rooftop Lounge: Another day, another rooftop bar opens. We’re here for this trend, and can’t wait to visit this newcomer on the 18th floor of The Westin Tempe. In addition to an ambitious lineup of events, Skysill offers noshes like nachos, ahi poke tacos, smoked short rib sliders and s’mores fondue.
- Mesquite Fresh Street Mex: As part of its bonanza of openings this year and next, Mesquite Fresh Street Mex (formerly Mr. Mesquite) will debut its first drive-thru-only restaurant in February 2022. The Gilbert location will boast two lanes for maximum efficiency.
- eegee’s: Hot on the heels of its first Valley location in Gilbert this year, the beloved Tucson-based chain opened its second Phoenix metro outpost this week in Mesa.
Eligible Men(us): Exciting new menus are popping up at some of your favorite Valley restaurants – and most of them have more than a dash of holiday spirit. To wit:
- Z’Tejas: From December 20-31, enjoy house-made Mi Abuelita eggnog at these Southwestern restos. The executive chef uses his grandmother’s (abuelita’s) recipe, warm with spices and rum ($9).
- Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: In a stroke of menu-naming genius that I hope and pray will teach the masses the difference between these two spellings, the brick-oven pizza chain will be offering the Margherita, Margarita menu through March 7. It includes margheritas (the Italian pizzas) and margaritas (the Mexican cocktails), but also boldly flavored dishes and drinks inspired by them, from a black cherry cheesecake to a tart and tangy arugula salad.
- Los Sombreros: Not to be outdone, this local chain is also offering margarita specials. Margarita flights ($14) boast three versions of the tequila classic – your choice of strawberry, raspberry, prickly pear, watermelon, guava, jalapeño and traditional. Takeout margaritas are also back (gracias a Dios), in 16-ounce single servings or 32-ounce buckets.
- Nonna Urban Eatery: Happy fifth anniversary to Nonna, which will celebrate through the end of 2021 with an exclusive prix-fixe menu. Highlights include pastor pork rib, sweet potato gnocchi, chicken Milanese and limoncello tiramisu. $48/person, not including tax and gratuity. Reserve here.
- Cream of the Crop: Enjoy holiday ice cream flavors including apple sorbet, eggnog snickerdoodle, white chocolate peppermint bark and hot chocolate with marshmallow. The Barnone scoop shop uses produce grown in the fields of Agritopia for truly farm-fresh flavors.
- Mix Up Bar + Lounge: Keep the holiday festivities going with the Kris Kringle & Cocoa event this Friday, December 17, from 3-7 p.m. at Royal Palms Resort & Spa’s on-site bar and lounge. Guests and locals can sip complimentary hot cocoa, time with Santa Claus and live entertainment. Elevated bar bites and specialty cocktails will be available for purchase.
- Dapper & Stout: Hit this coffee shop for its Love and Libations menu, which includes such wintry delights at Hot Cider Apple Pie (a drink, not a pastry), lavender white macchiato, peppermint bark mocha macchiato and Campfire S’mores. The Libations sips include Mexican Mistletoe with mezcal, agave, ponche, lime and orange bitters.
- Snooze, An A.M. Eatery: New winter offerings at this breakfast and brunch chain run the gamut from cocktails (spiked peppermint cocoa, Cosmopolitan mimosa) to hearty dishes (cranberry-orange pancakes, Holiday Harvest Bowl).
- Original Breakfast House: OBH always hast a host of monthly specials. This December, indulge in gingerbread pancakes with eggnog whipped cream ($12), New Mexico Christmas hash ($15) or blackened salmon penne with creamy Cajun Alfredo sauce ($15), among other tempting treats.
- ZuZu: Hotel Valley Ho is ringing in the holidays with a number of specials, from Fireside Nights fire pit rentals (food and drinks for four ranging from $195-$245, not including add-ons; make your reservation at 480-421-7997); the Mistletoed 2.0 cocktail (rye, Chambord, lemon, blackberries, raspberries, turbinado syrup, black walnut bitters, $16, available throughout December); and, of course, the latest Show Stopper Shake. Saint Mint features a mix of chocolate ice cream, mint simple syrup and Andes mints, topped with a stack of mint and chocolate cookies, a mega chocolate cupcake, candy canes, cookie crumble, additional Andes mints, chocolate chips (white and dark), chocolate snow, snowman marshmallows and candy cane pieces. Proceeds ($1 from each $20 milkshake) benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona.
$aving$: Watching the old budget? Who isn’t? Here are some sweet deals to help you $ave.
- Rise Uptown Hotel: To celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day, the Uptown Phoenix hotel’s bars – Lylo Swim Club and Don Woods’ Say When – will reward guests who don ugly sweaters 20 percent off their tabs on Friday, December 17. The promo will run throughout normal hours at both bars, and their staffs will de decked out in their holiday worst as well.
- Crumbl Cookies: Local franchises of the national chain are collecting donations through December 17 for Harvest Compassion Center. Customers can bring in new toys in their original packaging and/or gift cards ($10 value or more) to select Crumbl locations. In return, Crumbl will give the donor a free chocolate chip cookie (one per person per donation).
- Daily Dose Kitchen & Bar: Looking ahead, January 1 is National Bloody Mary Day. Daily Dose will offer a trio of “bloodies”: traditional, bacon and “Maria,” i.e. made with tequila.
- Looking to save on restaurant gift cards this holiday season? Check out our blog, where we’re keeping a running tally of bonus offers.