Marcellino Ristorante moves to Scottsdale

One of the Valley’s premier Italian restaurants, Marcellino Ristorante, opens the doors to its new Scottsdale home on Friday, April 30.

After six years in north central Phoenix, it’s changing neighborhoods, moving into the SouthBridge space that has already seen two Italian restaurants – Digestif and Tutto — come and go in about two years.

If anyone can break the spell of misfortune, it’s chef Marcellino Verzino, who’ll be working with pretty much the same menu that made his reputation. But expect him to take full advantage of a new piece of equipment, a wood-burning oven. (One of its uses: lunchtime pizzas.)

Among the menu favorites are antipasti like caprese salad ($14.95), mussels in white wine ($13.95) and polenta with mushrooms ($14.95). Main dishes range through veal scaloppine with Gorgonzola ($28.95), cognac-flamed lamb with grapes ($25.95), Italian seafood stew ($31.95) and chicken breast layered with prosciutto and Fontina cheese ($23.95).

But homemade pasta is what really sets Marcellino apart. Recent daily specials have included pappardelle with lamb ragu, saffron linguini in tomato sauce and fettuccine blackened with cuttlefish ink tossed with lobster, clams, mussels and shrimp.

For the first few weeks, Marcellino Ristorante will be dinner-only. Look for lunch sometime later in May.

Details: Marcellino Ristorante, 7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, 602-216-0004. Hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. fivestaritalian.com

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Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Andrew Weil at True Food Kitchen in Phoenix

Good-health guru Dr. Andrew Weil is an Oprah favorite, the founder and director of the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine and the author of such bestsellers as “8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Spontaneous Healing and Healthy Aging.”

He’s also partners with restaurateur Sam Fox in True Food Kitchen, the good-for-you restaurant at Biltmore Fashion Park. (A second branch will open this fall in Scottsdale.)

At 10 a.m., on Thursday, May 6, Dr. Weil will be at True Food Kitchen to give a talk about the importance of breakfast. Chef Michael Stebner will also be on hand, demonstrating recipes for True Food Kitchen’s new breakfast menu.

While Weil is well-known today for his work in integrative medicine, his early career was somewhat more controversial. While a Harvard undergraduate in the early 1960s, he worked with professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass), who were researching mind-altering drugs. According to a new book by Don Lattin, “The Harvard Psychedelic Club,” Weil began undertaking his own experiments. (Weil’s undergraduate thesis was entitled, “The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent.”). Lattin says that a jealous Weil was responsible for the expose that resulted in the expulsion of Leary and Alpert from the Harvard faculty.

Admission is free for the Weil breakfast talk, but reservations are required. Call 480-751-2176.

True Food Kitchen , 2502 E. Camelback Road (Biltmore Fashion Park), Phoenix. 602-774-3488

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Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Eats At The Ballpark

A new season with Arizona Diamondbacks brings new foods to Chase Field for fans.

Fans requested more “bar-like” cuisine, and as a result, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants, which provides food at the ballpark, are serving up sliders, sausage samplers from Niman Ranch, steak burgers and more. And for a crowd, there’s the two-pound victory knot – a gigantic pretzel that can feed about four people. The pretzel includes three dipping sauces: chipotle honey mustard, sweet cinnamon cream and beer cheese, which is a mixture of cheddar cheese, cream cheese and stout beer.

“Every year, it’s our goal to provide something new and it’s fun for us as chefs,” executive chef Michael Snoke said.

His new favorites include the meatball sub, the steakhouse burger and the crispy southern chicken sandwich at Ribbies.

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Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Free BBQon May 5 at Joe’s Real BBQ, Gilbert

On May 5, Joe’s Real BBQ celebrates 12 years in business and sends out a great big “thank you” to its patrons by holding its 11th annual Free BBQ Day.

What that means to you is, indeed, a free lunch or dinner, if you’re willing to stand in line with thousands of other ‘cue heads and freebie lovers. The meal includes either a pulled pork or chicken breast sandwich with two sides (cole slaw and BBQ pit beans) plus soda or bottled water. Kids are offered a downsized sandwich.

Given that Joe’s has fed more than 38,000 hungry barbecue buffs since the yearly ritual was started (6,000 last year alone), a few rules have been put in place to keep things running smoothly: Stand in line; one meal per person; no getting a meal for someone not there; and no substitutions. The regular menu will not be available.

The hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 4 to 8 p.m.

Joe’s Real BBQ
301 N. Gilbert RoadGilbert
480-503-3805
joesrealbbq.com

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Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 6:25 am  Leave a Comment  

ChezVous Crepes and Gelato opens in Scottsdale

What would it take to convince a couple to quit executive-level careers, sell a painstakingly remodeled home, uproot their family and move from Paris to serve fast food in a shopping center in Scottsdale?

Sunshine, apparently.

That and the opportunity for Richard and Isabella Horvath to realize a long-held dream of running their very own creperie.

ChezVous Crepes and Gelato opened this week in the Shops at Gainey Village, offering savory and sweet paper-thin pancakes, salads, sandwiches, desserts, omelets and croissants.

The French-born Horvaths met as children. Richard worked in financing for 25 years and Isabella in publishing. The couple fell in love with Scottsdale while vacationing here last spring.

“When we went home, we couldn’t stop thinking about Scottsdale and how nice it would be to live here with the sun shining every morning – something you don’t see in Paris,” Isabella said.

Anchoring the menu are crepes, stuffed with a variety of savory ingredients like ham, Swiss cheese, mushrooms, tomato coulis and egg or smoked salmon, sour cream, capers and lemon.

Sweet selections include a Caribbean of shredded coconut, dark chocolate and strawberry or banana or homemade plain yogurt with cinnamon. An a la mode scoop of gelato is optional.

In the salad area, the French Riviera tosses rice, tomatoes, tuna, black olive and egg, while a Country tumbles sautéed potatoes, prosciutto, Comte cheese and greens. Sandwiches cover classics like the Croque Monsieur or Madame.

At dessert, look for a ChezVous signature Floating Island, made with dollops of meringue bobbing in a sea of crème anglaise and caramel.

Once the liquor license goes through, a variety of French wines will join the lineup. And that piano in the corner? Richard is an accomplished pianist.

8787 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale
480-443-2575

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Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aaron May Named To Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame

Aaron May — the restaurateur behind a stable of Valley restaurants including Over Easy, 18 Degrees, The Lodge,Mabel’s on Main — is the newest chef named to the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame.

He was named Culinary Chef Extraordinaire at Monday night’s Culinary Hall of Fame awards ceremony at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. May beat out chefs Lee Hillson of T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix; Michael Rusconi, formerly of Lon’s at the Hermosa in Paradise Valley; and Dierdre Pain, owner of Malee’s Thai Bistro in Scottsdale, for the 2010 honor.

David Blom of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess won Pastry Chef Extraordinaire and Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale won in the best wine list
category.

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Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Eat A Cupcake, Save The Planet

In honor of Earth Day, Sprinkles Cupcakes is teaming up with local tree planting and environmental organizations in each of its markets.

Starting on Monday, April 19, 100 percent of the proceeds from Sprinkles’ limited edition Earth Day cupcakes (tree-adorned and vanilla flavored) sold in Scottsdale will be donated to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

The cupcakes cost $3.25 each or $36 a dozen.

According to their figures, Sprinkles has raised $21,250 for environmental care organizations in its local markets since 2008.

9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
April 19-23
4501 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale
480-970-4321
sprinkles.com

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Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Arizona Wines VS. The World

On May 24, 1976, a British wine merchant named Steven Spurrier organized a wine tasting in Paris, pitting California cabernets and chardonnays against their French counterparts.

He assembled a distinguished panel of wine experts, all French. The results of the blind tasting – dubbed the “Judgment of Paris” — made international headlines: To everyone’s astonishment, the judges preferred the California wines.

Fast forward to June 2, 2010. That’s when Pavle Milic of FnB hopes to rock the wine world with what may someday be known as the Judgment of Scottsdale. He’s put together his own group of high-profile judges, who’ll be blind-tasting Arizona wines and their global counterparts in a contest he’s hoping will put Arizona on the world wine map.

Of course, Milic is hardly a disinterested spectator. FnB has an all-Arizona wine list, a daring move that’s already gotten him national attention in the New York Times.

Milic has asked Arizona’s wine growers to send him their best bottles for sampling. Then, in a few weeks, he and other local oenophiles will do a blind-tasting, choosing the state’s five best reds and whites. Once those are selected, he’ll match them up with others from around the globe, of similar style and price.

The judges include Gary Vaynerchuk, host of Wine Library TV; Laura Williamson, Master Sommelier; Tadeo Borchardt, a Napa Valley winemaker; Anne Rosenzweig, a top New York chef; Mark Tarbell , Arizona Republic wine columnist and owner of Tarbell’s restaurant; and Chris Bianco, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Pizzeria Bianco.

A confident Milic says he wouldn’t be surprised to see the contest bring about a “paradigm shift.” Arizona wines, he believes, are good enough to be part of the national and international wine community conversation.

The event, however, will not be open to the public.

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Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 5:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Nude Phoenix Arizona Chefs (For a Good Cause)

Strategically placed bread, bowls of vegetables, cookbooks aprons, and kitchen utensils help hide what would otherwise be a very revealing calendar of Phoenix, Arizona chefs.

Taking off their white kitchen jackets for charity was an easy choice for Matt Carter and Rochelle Daniel of Zinc Bistro and the Mission in Phoenix and Scottsdale; Michael Stebner of True Food Kitchen in Phoenix; and Lee Hillson of T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

Called “In The Raw”, the calendar runs April-March and the proceeds will go to Scottsdale League for the Arts, American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti and American Diabetes Association’s summer camp for kids.

Conceived by Ken and Lee Singh, who run an organic farm on a 20-acre parcel leased from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, they thought the chefs might have second thoughts when in came time to pose. “We were happily proven wrong,” said Lee.

Wearing only an apron, Payton Curry of Caffe Boa says he wears it “as my armor. I really had no problem posing nude in my apron because, as you can see, I’m not a chef who is into a lot of butter and cream.”

He adds, “I really don’t think we are sex symbols or celebrities, and my message to chefs who do is this: Get over yourself. You are just a cook.”

You can find the $14.95 calendar filled with the best chefs from Phoenix restaurants all over the city, photographed by John Ormond, at:

• Singh Farms, 6929 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, open 7 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturdays

• Borders bookstores

• Whole Foods Market stores

“I really don’t think we are sex symbols or
celebrities, and my message to chefs who do is this: Get over yourself. You are
just a cook.”

“I really don’t think we are sex symbols or
celebrities, and my message to chefs who do is this: Get over yourself. You are
just a cook.”

So if you’re looking for Phoenix Food, not just pizza, check out Phoenix Restaurant.

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Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Legendary Boxer Chavez Opens Restaurant in Arizona

Six-time world champion boxer Julio Cesar Chavez has opened a new restaurant in Mesa, Arizona called Campeones.

Costing $4.5 million dollars, the 30,000-square-foot facility, with seating for 3000, comes with a restaurant, sports bar, arcade and family center for family events and concerts, boxing museum, and of course a boxing ring for weekly matches.

It is expected to generate $7 million in revenue during is first year of business, said Brian Weymouth, who with Chavez and two other partners own the venue. Other partners include Dan Wergin, and Brian Day O’Connor, the son of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. mexican phoenix az

Three years ago, entertainment and sports marketer Bill Weymouth saw an opportunity in the under served Hispanic market. Weymouth found that Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona contained the 3 highest concentrations of Hispanics in the state.

Once he saw his customer base, Weymouth thought the best way to market to that community was with Mexico’s number one sports hero, former world champion boxer Julio Cesar Chavez. Weymouth also brought along Dan Wergin and Brian Day O’Connor, son of the former Supreme Court justice, to the ownership group. az food

Weymouth is not new to the restaurant business, he also created the popular Phoenix sports bar Cooper’stown with rock star Alice Cooper. But he calls his new supersized restaurant complex, “Cooper’stown times 10.” Built in a former Home Depot, Julio Cesar Chavez Campeones (campeones means “champions”) will be serving real “authentic” Mexican food. phoenix restaurants az

This is just one of many Mexican AZ and Phoenix Restaurants in the Phoenix area.

Julio Cesar Chavez Campeones
Open everyday at 11am
Country Club & Southern
Meza, AZ
480-610-1500
juliocesarchavez.net

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