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Need opinions for anniversary dinner (PHX)

Just went to Binkley's for our 15th anniversary last Thursday night. Fabulous as ever, but not as busy as usual, seemed to me. Can't go wrong with that choice.

NOCA is also a great option. Its not too loud, just lively. Never had trouble carrying a conversation there. And the food is well worth it, similar in some ways to Binkley's.

The other place we considered was Sea Saw for the Omakase, but they're not offering it anymore!

May 26, 2009
rbloom in Phoenix

Figs in Phx?

saw beautiful figs at costco yesterday - 2 lbs for about $6 if I remember right

Jul 11, 2008
rbloom in Southwest

DISH in Scottsdale has closed

I'm sad, but not that sad. I live 10 or 15 minutes away but only stopped in a few times. Had 2 good to very good dinners in the evening when they offered table service, and 2 or 3 mediocre experiences buying expensive food in the market. Once I found Andreoli, I didn't go back to Dish much...

Jul 11, 2008
rbloom in Southwest

PHX Burrata

I was just at humble pie this weekend and the burrata appetizer IS still on the menu. But they changed the name to a regular caprese. We asked the waiter why and he said too many people didn't know what burrata is, so they are selling more by calling it a caprese salad. It is still the exact same item (mini burrata loaf covered with basil pesto, toast and cherry tomatoes, balsamic glaze). They also still have the shrimp pizza with burrata too...

Also, we tried a very interesting pizza for the first time - I think it is a new one on their menu: pancetta and a sunnyside up egg. It was really good!

Jun 18, 2008
rbloom in Phoenix

Fountain Hills - Boulevard Cafe' - French BYOB

My wife, daughter and I just found this place this weekend too - and what a gem. We had a nice, casual lunch with a delicious and very authentic buckwheat crepe filled with chicken, mushrooms, and bechamel. It came with simple greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. My wife had a ham and swiss on baguette. The bread was excellent. The sandwich was american style, with lots of filling. Side of potato salad. I told the owner we would've liked it better with just a little ham and some butter, French style. He said he served them like that because Americans all want big portions. Anyway, it was still good. They had fries on the menu but when we tried to order some (my 5 year old daughter wanted some) they said they only do fries at night and do roasted potatoes during the day. Then the owner brought us some of the roasters for my daughter, no charge. We also shared a lemonade and a "Fragola" smoothie - a combo of pineapple juice, orange juice, strawberries, cream and grenadine. Less sweet than you'd think and very refreshing.

Total bill was around $25 - a very good value. We will definitely go back - I want to try the various mussel dishes at dinnertime. I really hope they can make a go of it in Fountain Hills. Though we only had one meal I think it could become a regular stop, sort of like Andreoli's but French.

One more note - for those with little kids this is a good restaurant to check out in conjunction with a visit to the Fountain Hills splash park, which is right down the street.

Jun 16, 2008
rbloom in Southwest

izakay matsu in kihei, maui?

Anyone tried this place in Azeka's plaza in Kihei? Menu looks interesting... just trying to decide if it is worth a shot.

Thanks!

May 04, 2008
rbloom in Hawaii

ISO the Best High-End Place In Scottsdale

Hey, that dinner in the kitchen at Mary Elaine's sounds amazing. If you don't mind sharing the info, could you tell us what a dinner like that will set you back?

Nov 07, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Breakfast suggestions {& Sunday Brunch}near Royal Palms Resort in PHX

Ok, by far my favorite place for breakfast in the area is Matt's Big Breakfast downtown near the stadiums etc. 10 - 15 minute drive from Royal Palms. If you go on the weekend at peak times there can be a long wait, weekdays not so bad. http://www.mattsbigbreakfast.com/

Orange Table also does an excellent breakfast. It is located in a beautiful area to stroll - the Scottsdale Civic Plaza. I love the green chile hash. Also terrific pancake choices. 7373 E Scottsdale Mall (480) 424-6819

Brunch: The super expensive, super fabulous brunches at the Phoenician and the Princess resorts are great if you like the over-the-top brunch and have a lot of cash on hand (like $65 / person?). Another option is Bloom, a restaurant I like a lot for dinner - they started serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Haven't tried it yet but I'm sure its good... http://www.foxrestaurantconcepts.com/...

Nov 07, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

PHX: Bodega Bistro (Carefree) Closed

We had been meaning to try this place for a long time. Finally headed up there this weekend only to find they had moved out suddenly 2 weeks ago. People in the nearby restaurant were surprised by the move and had no idea it was coming...

Nov 05, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

C4 at the Clarendon Review

Just got back from an excursion downtown with my daughter. After a wonderful couple of hours at Enchanted Island we went to the new "C4" restaurant in the Clarendon Hotel. We have been wanting to find a good bowl of ramen for a long time and had some hope this might be the place. Their menu says they are "Simple. Humble. Pure." Unfortunately, I don't think they've got it quite yet...

The restaurant space is very hip. My daughter really liked the display of Japanese pop-art toys in the middle of the room. They have some limited outdoor seating but the view of a parking garage isn't the most appealing. We sat down and ordered edamame for $3, tofu wedges for $3, the "Sanre Tan Ramen Bowl" for $7 and the "Okonomiyaki," a Japanese savory pancake for $8.

The edamame were dried out to the point where they looked unappealing but still tasted ok. They had salted them very lightly and also squeezed lime juice on them. Maybe that is normal in a lot of places but it seemed weird to me.

The tofu wedges consisted of about 6 rectangular sticks of firm tofu dredged in something like corn starch and deep fried, on a plate with a sweet chili sauce on the side. They looked like french toast sticks from burger king. Completely plain on the plate. Again, very unappealing visually but they tasted ok but bland. The sauce was sweet and not very spicy, almost like a thin jelly.

The pancake is served with a variety of add-ins, kind of like ordering an omelette at a breakfast place. We chose mushrooms, corn, and crispy noodles. Other options were fried egg, chicken, pork, spicy shrimp. We both liked it a lot. It tasted just like the Korean pajong pancake we've had at other places, except that C4 tops it with an aoli which tasted very good but I can't believe is "pure" Japanese! Anyway, this was the best part of the meal - nothing too fancy but good.

The ramen was really not good. I was hoping for a simple, traditional bowl of ramen but they offer a hot and spicy broth over "soba" noodles with pork, ginger and spinach. The pork wasn't the slices of roast pork I expected but some kind of crispy shredded pile of pork that tasted pretty good. There was no spinach I could find but plenty of ginger. I'm not an expert on Japanese noodles, but aren't soba and ramen noodles different? Anyway, I'm not sure that was correct, but the worst thing was the broth - it was dark like espresso and thick, incredibly salty and peppery. I like spicy foods, but this was not edible. I told them I couldn't eat it and they took it back. The manager explained they were still working with new staff. Anyway, they graciously took it off the bill, thank goodness. That was definitely the low point of the meal.

Overall, I'm not sure I would try this place again. I liked the prices and atmosphere, but they didn't seem very committed to getting those dishes right. But of course they just opened a few weeks ago.

In case anyone was wondering about the sushi, the "sushi" section of the menu only lists 5 items, all rolls: California, Philly, C4 Roll (roasted peppers, cream cheese and cilantro with habenoro salsa - yuck), spicy tuna, and veggie.

Oct 18, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

PHX ParmaCotto

Andreoli Grocer sells cooked ham and other meats at the counter - very very good quality although I don't remember the source.

Oct 18, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Fresh and Easy Market?

Anyone heard about this new market coming to town? There is a location under construction near me at 124th and Shea so I checked out their website. As near as I can tell, they have no stores open yet, but plan to open more than 20 around the valley in the near future. Just wondering who is behind this venture because it seems like they have a big bankroll...

http://www.freshandeasy.com/

Oct 17, 2007
rbloom in Phoenix

Foodbar - Scottsdale

Just curious - what time did you go and how crowded was it?

We went once this summer when it just opened. It was too hot to eat outside and we found the interior seating limited. With good weather they must double their seating capacity... We liked the food a lot and would definitely go back...

Oct 17, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Need suggestions: Asian food in PHX East Valley.

I would respectfully disagree with the recommendation for Taneko. I found the food lacking the one time I went, and it does feel just as much of a chain as PF Changs to me at least.

For Chinese, you could try C-Fu Gourmet at Warner and Dobson, or Golden Buddha at the Chinese Cultural Center. Both are known for dim sum but we've had good experiences there at dinner time as well. Both are near big asian grocery stores that can be fun to stroll around afterwards.

Korean is a good way to go for someone wanting food that is not too scary but good. Just about everyone likes Korean BBQ (Bulgogi). My favorite Korean place is Chodang at Arizona Ave. just south of Ray. Their specialty is tofu stew, which is my absolute favorite thing, but they do nice bulgogi and kalbi plates (cooked in the kitchen, not at your table).

Good luck. I'd be interested to hear where you end up...

Oct 17, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Oddball Phoenix Breakfast

I don't dispute that the food at Breakfast Club is good but I have an axe to grind with them. Maybe this won't bug you but they are not very kid friendly. We brought our child a while ago and asked for a high chair or booster - nope, they don't have either. Just not catering to families, I guess.

Oct 16, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

best phoenix cubano?

Thanks for this recommendation. I also read about Tortas El Guero in the recent thread on Tortas someone else posted. So I hauled my 4 year old daughter down there for lunch yesterday and got myself a Torta Cubana. It was really really good, and I liked the restaurant a lot. The sandwich had a lot of interesting items on it, not all of which I could identify: roast turkey (I think) breaded pork, jalepenos, ham etc. The bread was not super inspired but reminded me of the Portugese sweetbread I used to get in Providence, RI. It was soft and a little mushy, but it held up throughout the life of the sandwich. I guess I was expecting something a little crustier. The dressing was excellent - some kind of spicy mayo? I don't know.

Anyway, it was my first real "Torta" and my second "Cubana." I now sorta know the difference between the two! I'm gonna definitely keep eating both of them. Thanks to all for the feedback.

Oct 16, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Oddball Phoenix Breakfast

I like the Orange Table a lot. They do a variety of pancakes and hash dishes. I love the green chile hash. It is definitely not a chain place! The service is sometimes slow but it is a very nice location right near the Scottsdale Plaza and now that the weather has cooled they have lots of outdoor seating as well.

For lunch they do a nice green chile grilled chicken sandwich too.

Oct 15, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

best phoenix cubano?

Nope - haven't had it, haven't been there. I'll have to try it sometime but I rarely go to Desert Ridge (or any mall) if I can avoid it. Hate to shop... Thanks for the tip though.

Oct 11, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Christmas at Four Seasons in Troon...need help..

We've enjoyed the food at Sol y Sombra several times and would definitely recommend it. However, we went once on a Saturday night and the noise was absolutely ridiculous - they cranked the volume and (I think) had a live dj. Definitely not my cup of tea. Now we will only go midweek...

Oct 11, 2007
rbloom in Phoenix

best phoenix cubano?

Thanks - I searched the board for "cubano" but not torta. That helps a lot

Oct 11, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

best phoenix cubano?

Well, I've been hearing about these cubano sandwiches for a long time but, living in NE Scottsdale there aren't too many nearby options. I finally tried one at LGO recently and it was really really good, but I'd like to go somewhere more authentic. The LGO version was served on baguette - is that right? And it cost like $8, a little steep as you'd expect. So where should I go to get the real thing?

Oct 11, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Review: Paul's Little Philly - Phoenix (w/ photos!)

wiz vs. provolone: I lived in Philly for 10 years and ate my share of steaks at various joints around town. I really didn't remember wiz being served, although I now realize it was an option you could order. Anyway, give me provolone any day.

Its the rolls they use in Philly that are the hardest part to duplicate. Everyone in Philly uses the same roll - Amoroso. They're soft but chewy and crusty all at the same time. So good...

Oct 11, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Too Many Choices in Scottsdale

Lots of good recommendations I read so far. I would go with Sea Saw, Binkleys, and Pizzeria Bianco. If you don't want to deal with the wait at Bianco, definitely get a sandwich at their lunch place, Pane Bianco.

For somewhere "southwesty" I would recommend visiting the Ranch Supermarket and food court for lunch - that has plenty of atmosphere and is dirt cheap too. For a fancy dinner try Roaring Fork or T Cook's. For somewhat more casual the Roaring Fork bar food is awesome, or try Los Sombreros.

A word about Sea Saw - if you're going all out then try to get the "special" omokase. The regular tasting menu is also good and if it is your first time there you will certainly like it, but the special omokase is the best because it is whatever is freshest and most interesting, sometimes some pretty exotic stuff. The problem is getting the special tasting menu. You have to call ahead at least a few days, and you have to make sure you get the right people on the phone. During the day the staff at Cowboy Ciaou answer the phone for Sea Saw and they have no idea about the omokase. So the best thing is to call after 5 and speak to Chantal or Nobu. I am speaking from experience, having had my request not passed on properly to Sea Saw and being very disappointed when I got there. Anyway, this place is that good that I'm willing to jump through these little hoops to get the food.

One more thing about Sea Saw - they like to do wine pairings with the tasting menus. If you're really into wine I'm sure you'll love it, but for us it always ends up being too much wine and too many variations. Distracts me from the food and I also get too drunk! So I recommend just ordering what you want from the HUGE wine list and skipping their pairings...

Hope that helps...

Jun 12, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Cafe Bistro - closed for hotel renovations? (PHX)

Any idea what happened? I just noticed it for the first time a few weeks ago. Then I saw an ad for it in Edible Phoenix magazine. When I went to check it out I found it closed... what's the story?

Jun 12, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

Breakfast/Lunch in Sedona

The Coffee Pot is a kid - friendly, inexpensive, and very good breakfast place. We've eaten there several times and found it reliable and though usually kind of crowded. Hope that is helpful...

Jun 12, 2007
rbloom in Southwest

PHX- Ranch Market

"Ranch Market" is the place discussed in this thread - the one with Hispanic food. "Ranch 99 Market," the asian grocer located at the Chinese Cultural Center, is a completely different company. Confusing though...

Ranch Market: http://www.prosranch.com/

Ranch 99: http://www.99ranch.com/

Jun 12, 2007
rbloom in Phoenix

Andreoli - Italian Grocer

I'm loving Andreoli too. I live right nearby and it is really really nice to get something delicious, authentic, owner operated and not too expensive in the area. Hopefully it will last a long time.

One recommendation - I got some of the ricotta to take home. Giovanni makes it in house and it is wonderful. Completely different and far better than what you get from the grocery store. I definitely recommend it.

Jun 12, 2007
rbloom in Phoenix

Has anyone eaten at Greene House, in Scotsdale?

Gaye, good point about the doughnutsl. I didn't like them either. Could've gotten much better ones at Krispy Kreme for cheap! However, I did like the rest of the food at Greene House a lot more. The grilled chicken was superb - crispy skin and moist underneath. I only ordered it because they ran out of the fish I wanted but I was so glad I made that switch. Also, I had a great soup there. Can't remember if it was fresh pea soup or asparagus, but it was really good.

Also, I didnt enjoy North so much either - for my money, Bloom and Greene House are the best of the Fox lot.

Jun 25, 2006
rbloom in Southwest

Crab legs in Phoenix?

You could try Foster's Seafood at 90th and Shea. It is a pretty good seafood house - good but not great, but they try hard. The simpler preparations are better. They do all you can eat snow crab legs on Sunday nights usually. Check the website for details.

http://www.fostersseafood.com/

Jun 25, 2006
rbloom in Southwest