Top Picks for ARW: Spring ’17
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It’s that time of year again! Time for our electric bills to triple! Time for the pool to feel like bath water! Wait, we aren’t excited about that stuff. But there is something we are excited for… it’s Arizona Restaurant Week!
Twice a year, many of the best restaurants in Scottsdale, Phoenix and beyond design a special feast for us. A unique three-course meal for either $33 or $44. Some places even include a drink or have special drink pricing to coincide with the event. We at ScottsdaleRestaurants.com have been your virtual wingman for quite a few “ARW’s, ” and we aren’t stopping now. Here are some great spots we will be hitting up this time around. You can also check out our previous Arizona Restaurant Week articles here, here and here to see some other favorites. In some instances, restaurants may not have released their menus yet. If they have, we will include them.
The Lowdown: The service and the Mandioca Frita alone is worth the trip AND the price. What is Mandioca Frita you might ask? Fried Cassava. Imagine the best french fry you’ve ever had – then imagine it way better. That is Mandioca Frita. It’s only an appetizer, but it is addictive.
First Course (choice of): Brazilian Cheese Bread; Fried Cassava with parmesan served with rose ́ dipping sauce
Second Course (choice of): Garden Party Pasta with sautéed asparagus, red bell peppers, red onions, mushrooms, spinach and feta cheese tossed in fresh tomato sauce with choice of grilled eggplant or chicken; Seafood Stew with shrimp, mahi-mahi, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, coconut milk and red palm oil served with seasoned rice; Heart of Palm Stew with sliced heart of palm, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, coconut milk and red palm oil and served with seasoned rice; Beef Tenderloin Medallions in a Madeira wine sauce served with mashed potatoes and sautéed broccolini
Third Course (choice of): Passion or Cupuaçu fruit mousse
The Lowdown: You are craving Chinese food. Your significant other wants some comfort food. There is only place for you to go. Ling & Louie’s is whatever you want it to be. All that versatility and a sweet cocktail list to boot.
Cuisine: A little bit of country (American); a little bit of wok ‘n’ roll (Asian)
The menu is coming soon!
The Lowdown: Calling it one of the hottest new restaurants in the Valley doesn’t even seem to do it justice. Hearth ‘61 at Mountain Shadows brings the hype and delivers the goods. Take advantage of the chance to have a three-course meal at Hearth ‘61 at this price!
Cuisine: Contemporary American
First Course (choice of): Sweet Prawn Ceviche with spicy cucumber gazpacho, avocado, and kohlrabi; Herb Flatbread with cambozola cheese, wood roasted pear and watercress; Creamy Burrata with citrus-smoked beets, tender spring greens, and grapefruit
Second Course (choice of): Pan-roasted Salmon with herbed farro, romanesco, braised greens and mustard dill butter; Short Rib Agnolotti with thyme, horseradish crème fraîche and toasted breadcrumbs; Organic Half Chicken with meyer lemon chimichurri and thyme roasted fingerling potatoes
Third Course (choice of): Brioche bread pudding with brown butter ice cream and whiskey caramel; vanilla lavender pannacotta with raspberry coulis and shortbread crumble; molten lava cake with black cherry ice cream
The Lowdown: Another relatively new spot that fuses Asian and American cuisine in an entirely unique way. The vibe at Zen is relaxing and brings you a heightened sense of… well, zen. The mixology is paid as much attention as the cuisine which makes for an all-around experience that has you wanting to come back as soon as possible.
First Course (choice of): Zen chopped salad with arugula, Asian pear, roasted beets, candied walnuts, roasted corn, black beans, buttermilk bleu cheese and quinoa; tuna mango poke with cubed tuna and mango, avocado and mixed greens; Zen summer rolls with jumbo shrimp, clear noodles, fresh mint, basil, cucumber, spicy sprouts and served with spicy peanut sauce.
Second Course (choice of): Half Organic Lemongrass Chicken – Asian-marinated organic chicken, purple sticky rice, sesame, scallions, roasted garlic, seasonal local/organic vegetables Korean Baby Back Ribs seoul marinated pork ribs, crispy french fries, roasted garlic, seasonal local/organic vegetables Steelhead Salmon garlic mashed potatoes, honey glaze, seasonal local/organic vegetables Pineapple Fried Rice jasmine rice, pineapple, yellow curry, egg, golden raisins, cashews, herbs, shrimp
Third Course (choice of): Fried Banana with Ice Cream; Crème Brûlée; Pineapple Cheesecake; Mango Sticky Rice; Candy Sushi
The Lowdown: Fun, eclectic dishes. A lively Happy Hour. Breakfast! If you’re in a food rut and ready to get out of it, check out Alma “WxSW.” They put a twist on almost every dish and their Arizona Restaurant Week menu is a good example. Seriously – beef tongue?! Time to try something new!
First Course (choice of): Charred Baby Octopus with tomato confit, cauliflower puree, micro cilantro and chorizo oil; Tongue Taco – Braised beef tongue, Salsa Roja, radish, queso fresco, white onion, choice of mini housemade flour tortillas or corn; Scallop Crudo with grapefruit, pickled Fresno, oranges, avocado puree and radishes; Fried Squash Blossoms with lemon, ricotta and roasted poblano coulis
Second Course (choice of): Salmon Salsa Verde with Hominy risotto and grilled asparagus; Avocado Pasta – Angel Hair pasta, basil avocado cream, cherry tomatoes, black beans, sweet corn, queso fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds; Pollo Asado – Half chicken marinated and grilled, elotes (Mexican street corn), salsa fresca, rice, and spring onion; Smokey Hanger Steak with chili roasted fingerlings potatoes, peperonata and blistered brussel sprouts
Third Course (choice of): Pecan Tart with cinnamon ice cream; churro poppers with warm chocolate; Chocolate Tart with brown butter pumpkin seed cookies.
Those are our top picks that you should have on your list. We encourage you to scope the full list of restaurants as well here. There are so many great ones that it is hard to list them all. But you really can’t go wrong no matter where you decide to go for Arizona Restaurant Week! Just make sure to get out there and see what Arizona has to offer!
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Find Tony Pontecorvo online at @disguyyy