Craig Outhier, Author at PHOENIX magazine

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PHM0421EB15.jpg

Hard to believe it’s been nearly 25 years since Phoenix City Grille brought its brand of casual-but-sophisticated urban dining to North-Central Phoenix. One constant through it all: the restaurant’s now-iconic signature pasta dish, which isn’t so hard to whip up at home. 1 1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked 2 tbsp. olive oil 6 oz. raw chicken breast, diced 1/4 cup Chardonnay or other white wine 1/4 cup chicken stock 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 tbsp. roasted...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PHM0421EB13.jpg

Beer and ramen? We like the sound of that. Such are the dual passions of multi-versed culinarian Tyler Smith, who hopes to open the Kitsune Brewing Co. and Ramen Shop in Cave Creek later this year. In the meantime, Smith has joined forces with Simple Machine Brewing Co. in North Phoenix to can his first generation of brews, becoming Arizona’s first African American commercial brewer in the process. (Know the cans by the elegantly spare,...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/PHM0421EB01a-1-1280x720.jpg

It’s been a surprisingly active six months in the Valley dining scene. We’ve lost several beloved mainstays but gained a few keepers, as well. Here are five stone-cold specimens you’d be remiss to miss.   Photo by David B. Moore Character Distinctive Dining Opened: January 2021 Admittedly jumping the gun a bit, PHOENIX dining critic Nikki Buchanan deemed this Roosevelt arts district restaurant from Valley dining dean Peter Kasperski (Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw) her likely Restaurant...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/MMPR-The-Vig-284-1280x720.jpg

The Vig Burger | Photo by Daniel Kim   The Vig isn’t new,” you’re probably thinking, and you’d have a point. Fifteen years have passed since owners Tucker Woodbury and Jim Riley unveiled the first location of their eating-and-drinking empire (with an emphasis on “drinking”), which makes it an odd fit for First Dish. So why are we here? To taste the handiwork of celebrated Valley chef Jeremy Pacheco, late of Lon’s at the Hermosa,...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/beer.jpg

If the guys at AZ Wilderness stumbled onto a dried piece of bear poop while hiking in the forest, they’d probably throw it into their boil, the old joke goes. That’s how much owners Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware love incorporating the tastes and aromas of Arizona into their award-winning beers. On that level, this toasty, deeply nuanced ale might be the most “Arizona” beer they’ve offered yet, made with cinnamon-roasted Medjool dates from Agritopia...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IMG_1109-1280x720.jpg

“Houston’s for seafood fans.” That was my Yelp-assisted initial impression of this high-toned California import, which debuted in upper Scottsdale’s Gainey Village area in November. It’s the latest and most-inland (by far) location in the emerging chain, which has found success delivering highly repeatable, upscale-but-not-astronomically-priced cuisine to diners in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. For his Arizona landfall, owner David Cortina – a part-time Chandler resident who, interestingly, was arrested in Taiwan two years ago...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Clinkscale-1280x720.jpg

Attention, wine-country enthusiasts: If you love The Tavern Hotel in Old Town Cottonwood, chances are you’ll have similarly positive feelings about the newly unveiled The Clinkscale Hotel, Bar + Grill in Jerome. Originally built in 1899, the six-room boutique property was restored to pedestal-sink perfection in 2020 by The Haunted Group – the growing Verde Valley hospitality company behind the aforementioned Tavern Hotel, along with Pizzeria Bocce and other high-country favorites in the Cottonwood-Cornville-Jerome wine...

https://www.phoenixmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IMG_1077-1280x720.jpg

Set in the storied strip-mall spot formerly occupied by Crudo and, ages ago, an Italian restaurant with mob connections, Nanaya Japanese Kitchen opened in October to minimal fanfare – a “stealth opening,” one might say. This was dictated both by form (the speakeasy-ish, around-the-back location is easy to miss from the street) and function (the restaurant is evidently serving as a “test kitchen” for a future project in Old Town Scottsdale). When the tavern-style Japanese...

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.