Nikki Buchanan, Author at PHOENIX magazine - Page 3 of 17

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Photo by Nikki Buchanan   People had told me — if I’m remembering right, Rene Andrade was one of them — that I should check out Testal Mexican Kitchen a small Chihuahua-style restaurant on Grand Avenue, not far from Andrade’s own. And they were right. It’s been open a little over a year, and I’m sorry I didn’t find it sooner. It’s housed in a cool, angular building with huge windows (surely, there’s some architectural...

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Photo by Nikki Buchanan  What drew me like a spell to a new Mediterranean restaurant in North Scottsdale? Weirdly, its name — Fata Morgana, which sounded exotic yet vaguely familiar. As it turns out, Fata Morgana is the Italian word for the sorceress Morgan le Fay, who was King Arthur’s half-sister and his antagonist. She could work all sorts of magic, including creating mirages in the ocean. Now, here’s where it gets interesting: the ocean...

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If you’re up for eating great food, listening to great music, having a great time and doing some good while you’re at it, here’s a great idea: drop by the Dirty Drummer on 44th Street near Oak on Saturday, February 26 for a fundraiser benefiting The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation in Boston. “Huh?” you may be asking right about now. Hang on and I’ll give you the backstory in a minute,...

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At 1:30 on a Thursday afternoon, Buddha’s Ritual in North Scottsdale entertains a small, relaxed crowd — six or seven jeans-clad guys in their 30s having a beer-y business lunch and three pairs of 20-something women nibbling light bites and sipping cocktails. The garage doors are open, and a breeze blows across the bar, riffling the napkins as two equally young barkeeps make photogenic herb-laden cocktails for a photo shoot that will announce Buddha’s soon-to-launch...

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Photo by Nikki Buchanan   I don’t know about you, but a Caribbean vacation sounds pretty good to me right now. Short of hopping a plane to Jamaica, the next best thing might be a trip to Ms. Martha’s Caribbean Kitchen at 19th Avenue and Northern. The restaurant sits on the west end of a lovely ’40s-era Spanish Colonial building (the former Good Shepherd Home for Girls), and owner Martha Laurencin keeps the religious theme...

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Charles Barber looks happy tooling around in his new restaurant, a sleek North Phoenix spot he named Aftermath to reference what came before and what comes next for him. As you may already know, he partnered with Dom Ruggiero to open Hush Public House in 2019, Barber running the front of the house, Ruggiero manning the stove. The place was a runaway hit and remains wildly popular, but after two years, Barber was ready to...

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There’s been a seismic shakeup at Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, but the changes should be positive for all concerned, including us diners. Food Network super-star Beau MacMillan has resigned his longtime position there as executive chef, and Landon Post, the resort’s banquet chef for the past eight years, has taken MacMillan’s place. MacMillan has morphed to culinary advisor for the restaurant/resort, where he hopes to continue to build the Sanctuary brand,...

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Sottise exterior | Photo courtesy TJ Culp   Just in time for a little holiday frivolity, TJ Culp, chef-owner of Restaurant Progress, and his partner Esther Noh have launched Sottise, a winsome wine bar and restaurant in the Roosevelt Row arts district. Its French name, which means “folly” or “foolishness,” reflects the couple’s lighthearted approach to this venture: “Yeah, we’re a French-inspired wine bar, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously here when there’s wine...

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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.