Yup. I’m sending my gourmand garments (eatin’ dress + drinkin’ shawl) to the dry cleaners ASAP. The Arizona Restaurant Association is launching the first-ever, Spring Arizona Restaurant Week starting this Friday and over 80 Phoenix-area restaurants want you to eat your face off for 10 days, May 13th-22nd.
I’m sharing my top picks plus menu highlights via the food blog. If you do check them out, write a comment below and let me know how much you loved ‘em. TIP: Make your reservations quick… before the broadcast media informs the general public!
Yes, I’ll be out and about. Catch me on twitter at @JuxtaPalate.
Citizen Public House
Chef Bernie Kantak simply isn’t capable of making a bad dish. He’s my current culinary crush. His eclectic fare helped put Cowboy Ciao on the map and now his own restaurant has caused quite a buzz in the foodnik community.
- 1st: Original Chopped Salad
- 2nd: Pork sirloin w/ sweet potato puree, chevre, braised figs, apple jus
- 3rd: Anything really. They’re all terrific.
With the closing of Metro Brasserie, Zinc Bistro has reclaimed the top spot for French in the East Valley. Oui, the drive from Tempe is a pain, but necessary for great Frenchy eats.
- 1st: Smoked Salmon Pissaladiere
- 2nd: Porkloin, Cauliflower “Risotto”, Cherry Brussel Spouts
- 3rd: Beignets, Blackberry Coulis, Milk jam, Vanilla whip Cream
Easily the most talked about restaurant in 2010/11, Beckett’s Table is a must-go if you haven’t been. This month, Phoenix Magazine called it “…one blockbuster of a restaurant.” Nuff said.
- 1st: Super creamy grits n schreiner’s sausage trio: whole grain mustard, arugula, smoked onions
- 2nd: Roasted red pepper “cannelloni”: ratatouille, almond puree
- 3rd: Award winning fig and pecan pie: cream cheese citrus zest ice cream
- 4th: (YES an addition!) Each SpringARW guest will leave with a signature bag of Beckett’s Table Pumpkin Seed Brittle and a voucher good for a free dessert on their next visit
Shame on me for not eating here more frequently. Shame on you if you’ve never been. They’re in the limited company of Valley restaurants with near flawless service and extraordinary fare.
- 1st: Crispy Squid: Cannellini Bean Salad, Preserved Lemon, Parsley, Caper Berries, Chili Oil
- 2nd: Rotin: White Wine Braised Pork Sugo, Fennel Pollen, Stagionato
- 3rd: Passion Fruit & Coconut: Almond Dacquoise, Passion Fruit Anglaise, Coconut Sorbet, Meringue Sheets
Atlas Bistro BYOB
Quite possible the best restaurant you’ve never been to. Hidden inside the AZ Wine shop on Scottsdale Road, Atlas rewards true foodniks with a daily changing menu. Yup, its OK to geek out here.
No menu available, but just make that rezzo. Trust me.
–Moment of honestly: I work with Citizen Public House. Beckett’s Table and Arizona Restaurant Week. They rock, but you already knew that.