Desert Digest

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Once upon a time, three finicky foodies met up for happy hour at what they’d heard was a hot new restaurant in town. The restaurant had tagged one of the ladies’ social media accounts incessantly in its posts leading up to its opening – a misguided attempt to generate buzz that left her feeling more besieged than intrigued – and they had high hopes. After ordering wine and glancing at the menu, they were underwhelmed. The...

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Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse rolled out a new menu October 1 with four new pasta entrees and a host of other tempting items. Hand Cut’s executive chef (and culinary director for Riot Hospitality Group) Samantha Roberts has graciously shared one of the pasta recipes with PHOENIX magazine. The recipe calls for imported Italian basil pesto, which you can pick up at the grocery store. Roberts says to look for imported Italian pesto that has...

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Ahhh, fall. The pumpkin patches have popped up, PSL is back in our lives, and in comes all things pumpkin flavored. If you can’t get enough of the October special, we’ve rounded up some of the best pumpkin dishes the Valley has to offer: Grilled Fairytale Pumpkin with Soil & Seed Garden Rosemary Essence at Quiessence at the Farm The fairest pumpkin of them all! The French delicacy, the fairytale pumpkin, is the star of...

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Local eateries are thinking pink this October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the whole month, these Valley venues will donate a portion of the proceeds from select menu items to various breast cancer foundations. Here are six places to sip and sample for a good cause. Farm & Craft This trendy Old Town Scottsdale spot is known for the Forbidden Fruit, freshly blended fruit juice cocktail served in a hollowed-out watermelon. All October long,...

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This Saturday, October 19, 13 cideries from six states will come together in the Valley at the second annual Southwest Cider Festival. Hosted by Mesa-based Cider Corps, the Valley’s first fully dedicated cidery, the festival will showcase the growing popularity of craft cider in the region. Festivalgoers can enjoy samples of local and regional ciders while feasting on food truck fare and listening to live music. Attendees can imbibe ciders from Arizona’s four cideries –...

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Husband and wife Jason and Katherine Dwight are bringing something new to the Uptown Phoenix area. The duo recently opened a restaurant and bakery called Persepshen – pronounced “perception” – in the space formerly known as Hula’s Modern Tiki on Central Avenue and Camelback Road. Their menu reflects high-quality, farm-to-table recipes and will change daily to incorporate fresh, local and organic ingredients. Persepshen spent two years at the Uptown Farmers Market selling sandwiches, smoked sausages,...

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It’s the week of Friday the 13th and Lola Forbes and Chris Szydlowski have a rack of 100 sugary hockey masks on cooling racks in their kitchen. This is par for the course at Spooky’s Swirls, the duo’s gluten-free, horror-themed bakery in Chandler. Patrons can find a rotating menu of horror movie-inspired masterpieces in the bakery’s display case. Pennywise, Godzilla and the Demogorgon from Stranger Things have all appeared on pastries in the past. Forbes...

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It’s hard to imagine that Vincent Guerithault has been cooking for 50 years. But the smooth-faced fellow in the chef’s smock with the full head of hair and the handshake like a vise—five decades of squeezing a piping bag, maybe—was the guest of honor at his own place, Vincent’s on Camelback, this past Friday for a “Toast and Roast” celebrating a half-century at his craft. “Did you start when you were eight?” I asked him,...

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If you’re ready to up your meatball game, help is on the way. Danny Grant, chef/partner at Scottsdale’s newest steakhouse, Maple & Ash, is sharing his incomparable dry-aged meatball recipe with Desert Digest readers. Some tips from Grant: If you can’t get your hands on dry-aged ground beef, regular ground beef will do. Same goes for the cheese curds. You can substitute readily available fontina or ciliegine mozzarella (small balls of fresh mozzarella). Also, when...

“A lot of thought and care went into engineering this happy hour,” chef/owner Chris Collins said as he leaned over the table, perusing the happy hour menu with me. I don’t always get to speak with the chef for these little happy hour outings, so I was pleased to hear about The Macintosh’s HH menu from the head honcho himself. “When we came up with this menu, we knew when we were rebranding it from...

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It’s finally October, and there’s much more to this month than apple pie and pumpkin spice. October is also National Seafood Month and there’s a slew of local spots serving up fishy fare. Here are a few of our favorites: Angry Crab Shack This lively Valley staple is known for its spicy seafood boils served in plastic bags. During the month of October, guests can add a lobster tail to their bag for just $10....

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Billed as the “Woodstock of Tacos,” the Arizona Taco Festival returns to the Valley for its 10th year on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13. Listen to live music, sip on beer and margaritas and munch on $3 tacos from more than 50 local restaurants. Here are 10 more taco-themed activities to sink your teeth into this weekend. 1. Lucha Libre Arena and Lucha Bar Watch wrestlers throw down from the bleachers under a...

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Executive chef Lindsey Dale of SaltRock Southwest Kitchen at Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona recently revealed her fall menu and one seasonal dish caught our eye: Beets and Ricotta Salad. Dale makes her own ricotta in house and adds some interesting elements, including a chili tangerine gastrique and vanilla pickled strawberries. “I’m particularly drawn to sauces and vinaigrettes. I really like how they can transform both the presentation and bring brightness to the dishes,...

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Join prominent Arizona chefs at Phoenix’s third annual No Kid Hungry Dinner on Monday, October 7. Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts Sam Fox will host a top-notch four-course meal prepared by guest chefs including Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft, Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery, Cassie Shortino of Tratto and Zach Hunter of Fox Restaurant Concepts to support ending childhood hunger in Arizona and beyond. Begin the night with cocktail hour at 6 p.m....

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