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Downtown Phoenix for Dinner

I'm thinking about taking my wife--we live in Tucson--to the Tony Bennett concert at Symphony Hall on April 7. Any recs for a really good meal downtown. I'd like to stay at the Hyatt, park the car and leave it from arrival until Sunday morning. We've done the Arizona Center places (eh!) and Pizzeria Bianco sounds risky (re: getting in.)

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  1. A fun place for dinner downtown is Portlands...they have everything from Salads, Burgers, Steaks, Seafood...w/ a great atmosphere. They are located @ Central and Portland st. very close to Symphony Hall.
    Great Scotch Selection!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ciaogal

      I must always hit them on an off-night. I've been invited ~3x, and each meal has left me wanting more, in the way of quality. I would choose Chevenout's [SP?] Wine & Cheese Bar, over Portland's. I know that it is not a full restaurant, but every aspect has been far better, than my experiences at Portland's.

      For a meal, I'd head up Central a bit (fighting Light Rail construction all the way) and do Durant's.


    2. For a special, romantic night, I highly recommend Coupe des Tartes. I took my mom there before the Barbra Streisand concert back in November and it's perfect for a special event. A quick, $10 cab ride and you're there. Do a search for Coupe des Tartes on this board and check out their website at www.nicetartes.com. I love it!

      1. Circa 1900 is a good choice for Downtown dining, it is located right across from Pizzeria Bianco. If you want to do Pizza then Cibo is an option as well

        2 Replies
        1. re: Molto E

          Is that in the same building/house, where Ruby Beet was once located? I've heard some good things, but have yet to dine there.


          1. re: Bill Hunt


            Circa is in the old Ruby Beet Building...I ate there once and they are doing things the right way, organic ingredients and nice product. If you are looking for a spot downtown this maybe be the best choice. Another place that I have heard mixed things about is Fate - never been though.

            Molto E

        2. The fact that anyone has replied to this question at all speaks volumes about what has happened to downtown PHX dining over the past few years.
          Cheuvront is the wine and cheese cafe referred to above.

          1 Reply
          1. re: HeatmiserAZ

            i'll second the chevronts recommendation. they also have wine & cheese tastings all the time, usually on mondays, and they are only 20 bucks. we'll usually do that instead of happy hour...

            its about the only place downtown i can guarantee will have humboldt fog cheese...that and the roosevelt ;)

          2. So there are a lot of good recommendations here - but your comment about park the car and leave it until Sunday leads me to believe you want something within walking distance? If that is the case you may find some of these rec's a bit too far. I have lunched a Stoudemires (Sp?) and thought the food was pretty decent - not much on ambiance though so may not be a good "date" vibe. Also, I seem to see a good crowd at Kinkaid's but don't recall much mention of it on chow. Anyone been?


            2 Replies
            1. re: Bazel

              Kincaid's - several years back. Had hoped that it was going to be close to restaurants of the same name in DC and Burlingame, CA, but it was not. Do not know if it is affiliated with the CA restaurant, but feel certain that the DC one is a total stand-alone. Mediocre seafood then, but they may have gotten the "hang of it," in the last few years. Because of its location, it seemed ideal for symphony, etc.


              1. re: Bazel

                I've been to Kincaid's recently. It's not innovative, but it's certainly adequate for a pre-event meal.

                Circa 1900 is also within walking distance of Symphony Hall. Portland's is a bit farther away, but still potentially feasible. I think everything else mentioned would require a drive and might make the OP late for the show.

              2. I go to Kincaids a few times a year (pre-symphony mostly) and I have had good experiences.

                Silverbear sums it up well with non-innovative, but certainly good atmosphere and good quality.

                1. Is the Compass restaurant at the top of the Hyatt still mediocre? I haven't been in YEARS.

                  Sadly, Bazel is right, there isn't much worthwhile within walking distance of the Hyatt. The Downtown Phoenix restaurant scene still has a ways to go...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pickychick

                    I used to go the Compass Room once a year just to see if the food could match the view. After a string of disappointments, I gave up and haven't been back for a long time. I think that revolving restaurants, a Hyatt signature in several cities, are usually designed for two clientele: 1) people celebrating special occasions who value the "wow factor" over the quality of the food. 2) business travelers trapped downtown without a rental car.

                    There have been some postings here recently in support of the brunch at the Compass Room, but I've never heard much in praise of dinner there.

                    1. re: silverbear

                      Agreed. I absolutely found the dinners to be completely disappointing. However, I have been to the brunch on a few occasions and have found that to be decent, although I will admit that I haven't been in over a year.

                  2. You know, if you're on foot anyway, you could just go put your name in at Bianco, then leave and come back in a couple hours. I guess that would depend on when you're planning to check in at the Hyatt, though. You can get in PB; the wait is just really long.

                    1. I've gotten in quickly at Pizzeria Bianco by putting my name on the list right as they open. It's nice to have a cocktail hour at the house next door, socialize, warm up the palate, work up the anticipation. Honestly, I have waited longer at the Cheesecake Factory almost every time I've gone than at Bianco's; Barrio Cafe; too. The diffference being that the food is well worth the wait at both Barrio and Bianco.

                      That said, in the OP's shoes I'd make the reservation for Circa 1900, just because there's a timetable involved. It will not disappoint.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: themis

                        I haven't made it into Circa yet. It looks good, but I really don't get downtown that much...last time I had a chance to go, there was a group in there playing some really awful "smooth jazz." So I opted for across the street, since I was not on a schedule. But with all the recs they're getting, I'll have to go back and give 'em a try.

                      2. Thanks for all of your good advice.

                        1. carlys bistro has delicious soup, sandwiches, salad, etc. it's pretty casual so i'm not sure if it would suit your request, but the food is great and the atmosphere is fun and artsy.