The Sicilian Butcher: Build-Your-Own Meatballs and More

by RaeAnne Marsh

Think: elegant casual. Black-and-white checkered cloth tablecloths on the center rows of tables make lively the simple décor that’s otherwise set off by a rear wall of weathered brick. A smartly designed divider “wall” separates the large dining room into two cozier halves while keeping a sense of spaciousness. On prominent display just inside the… [More]

Our Menu Has Changed

by RaeAnne Marsh

This phrase may be annoying in a recorded phone message, but it’s exciting when applied to our local restaurants. Here are two that favor their diners with new flavors. Giordano’s Special for this final quarter of the year, and offered only at this national chain’s Arizona and Nevada restaurants, is the Street Taco Pizza, built… [More]

Giordano’s – It’s All about the Pizza

by Mike Hunter

At Giordano’s, pizza is the main event. Yes, the menu includes other offerings, but, as Giordano CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas explains, they support the main course. “Giordano’s is narrowly focused. Our business is pizza.” Serving the Chicago-style deep-dish dish pizza, Giordano’s has its own distinctive style: stuffed. In its version, “stuffed” does not mean an overly… [More]

It’s Patio Season

by Mike Hunter

Our weather makes patios di rigueur for restaurants here, but some are reason unto themselves for choosing where to breakfast, lunch or dine. Chelsea’s Kitchen Shaded by an enormous canopy from the venerable mesquite trees and dominated by a grand brick fireplace, this patio feels far removed from the bustle of traffic on nearby Camelback… [More]

Café Allegro: Culinary Notes Enhance Musical Experience

by RaeAnne Marsh

Café Allegro offers a sensory experience that starts at the entrance to Phoenix treasure, the Musical Instrument Museum. Diners can bypass the museum registration but still enjoy the lobby displays on the short stroll to the restaurant doorway. Managed by Bon Appetit, Café Allegro syncs its menu to its distinctive location, celebrating a global menu… [More]

Getaway Lunching

by RaeAnne Marsh

Lunch can be a stay-cation unto itself with a repast at one the Valley’s distinctive resorts. T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Built in 1929 as the winter home of industrialist and financier Delos Willard Cooke and his wife, the Royal Palms is a Mediterranean oasis in architecture and landscape. 5200 E. Camelback Rd.,Phoenix (602)… [More]

Babbo Italian Eatery: Innovating Traditions

by Mike Hunter

Babbo Italian Eatery’s is a comfortable atmosphere in mellow browns and soothing designs. Size variation among the many locations lends a different ambience from restaurant to restaurant — for instance, Arrowhead feels more intimate; Cave Creek, more open and informal; Scottsdale, the most spacious. Décor is understated, with framed old-timey-style photographs creating a sense of… [More]

Sandwich Flair

by Mike Hunter

Sandwiches are designed for convenience, but that’s no reason to neglect culinary flair and flavor (The origin of the sandwich is generally credited to the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu by name, who did not want to interrupt the hunt by having to sit down to a repast). Providing that in abundance, these are… [More]

Hash Kitchen: Hash Tagged ‘Good’

by RaeAnne Marsh

Very open and friendly, Hash Kitchen goes in for simplicity in its décor. Simplicity and comfort. Tables are widely spaced and booths allow leg room. Patios vary in size with location, but the outdoor seating option is available at all the restaurants. The new design puts more emphasis on the restaurant’s Bloody Mary offerings. Its… [More]

Smoothie Moves

by RaeAnne Marsh

In the heavy heat of summer, a smoothie can be a satisfying lunch as well as a refreshing drink. Here are some restaurants that allow patrons to increase the nutritional value with some whey protein or any of their own selection of add-ins. Juby True by True Food Kitchen Health-focused menu offers smoothies, juices, almond… [More]