It’s no secret that my agency is working behind the scenes on this this year’s Arizona Restaurant Week — helping to make it bigger and better for diners and restaurants alike. People keep asking me for a prescribed itinerary. So here you go, a list of must-visit spots.
See some obvious picks missing? Well I thought I’d leave my clients out of the post — hell, there are plenty of amazing restaurants in the state that I don’t represent –yet.
Get your gourmand game day face on and let’s eat.
Criollo Latin Kitchen – Pictured above. It’s a rare occasion. You sit at a restaurant, pick up the menu and immediately want to order one of everything. Head north to Flagstaff and drop into Criollo Latin Kitchen to enjoy a must-order-everything experience. (While you’re there, visit their sister restaurant Brix. Both are destination-worthy spots.)
Roka Akor – Butterfish Tataki for a starter? Done. Go here.
Feast – This really belongs on a wish list. I’ve never been, but many trusted foodniks fantasize about return visits to this southern AZ belle. If you go, also stop by Scott & Co. for cocktail nirvana.
Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen & Bar – In the location previously occupied by Café Caramaba near Old Town Scottsdale, this new Tommy V’s is victorious. My colleague and front-of-the-house aficionado Zoran Kilsara delivers a polished service backed by menu of Italian favorites. You’ll love it, promise. Hi Zoran!
Talavera – Anyone renting a spare bedroom in north Scottsdale? I’ll happily take up a second residence in the north Valley just to be nearer to Chef Mel Mecinas. His two-night pop-up restaurant at Cycle was outstanding. Back on his home turf at Talavera, he’s definitely one of my culinary crushes.
St. Francis – For some reason, people think I’m not a St. Francis fan. Wrong. To the contrary, I probably visit this restaurant once a month. Walking into the space is like putting on a stylish suit. You feel like a million bucks. Chef Aaron Chamberlin’s stellar food keeps this fashionable spot on the foodnik rotation.
Noca. – Chef Matt Taylor, I love you. There. I said it. Welcome home… now let’s eat.