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Aug 14, 2007 05:04 PM

Dish - Marketplace & Bistro

There has been a SIGNIFICANT development in the Phoenix dining landscape, the 800 pound gorilla has arrived (IMO) and it is called Dish, a food experience. I did not think about what 12,000 sq. ft. was going to look like before I walked in but the effect was sort of like whiplash. Dish aims to deliver at a level that would place it far above anything that is currently operating in this genre in Phoenix, will it succeed...time will tell, but if first impressions count for anything then I was wowed! Upon walking thru the front door, a large display case that curves around the middle of the front room has a dizzying array of prepared foods (salads of all kinds, entrees, sides) on the opposite side of the circular display case is sushi and some pastry, on the right perimeter is the house-baked bread station then cheeses (great selection), chocolates (if it was not so hot out, I would have nabbed a chocolate pretzel bar), made to order salad and sandwich station, past that is another station that serves BBQ ribs, brisket , turkey, broasted chicken, a couple of naan sandwiches and a fish of the day selection, then a gelato station with coffees and morning pastries, the end of this circuit is a beverage case with a large array of sodas, waters etc and then the cashiers. Throughout the front room are gourmet packaged goods in the Dean and Deluca kind of way. The bistro is in the second room and that is open during the evening at this point (menu attached).

A week into a place is unfair to judge but these are my impressions of what I sampled:

I had a BBQ Brisket Naan (tasty), broasted chicken (tasty with a nice spice to it), a couple of side salads (just ok), cupcake (decent, not enough frosting, but a relief from the spots that slather it on) and a brown butter tart (decent). Many of the foods will be tweaked along the way as the recipes for most of the front room offerings come from their consulting group (eatZi's). With this much selection, I would think that it will take some time to weed thru what works and what needs some help.

Food that is ordered to be eaten there can be enjoyed in an area in the front room or during the day the bistro is open to bring food from the front room into and sit down at a table. This is week one of operating a monster venture and I think they are doing a great job (lots of staff, eager to help and give samples). I will definitely be going back and my shadow will now cross the former leader in this space a lot less. I think the ripples felt from Dish's opening will be felt at many local spots and this is something Phoenix deserves.

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  1. Thanks for the write-up. I'm planning on stopping tomorrow afternoon and am looking forward to it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: azhotdish

      Initially, I think you should stay with the" made to order" stations over the prepared items. But then again, you never know if you don't try it.

    2. Where's it located? There's a blurb in the Trib that mentions the Gainey Ranch area of Scottsdale but gives no address. Thanks!

      Sounds like the new Food Bar on steroids.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tastyjon

        Dish is located in the Gainey stripcenter at Doubletree Ranch and Scottsdale Rd.

      2. Mr. J and I were going to meet there for lunch today but I ended up in a meeting(10 minutes to get lunch..grrrr).

        We'll try it very soon.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mamamia

          I just got some feedback from someone else that just went there and we both felt the "Made To Order" selections were tastier at this point than the prepared foods. The two sides that I had were the Tuscan Tomato Pasta Salad and the Balsamic Bacon Potato Salad. I am told the focus from the head chef is on the bistro right now and then he will start tweaking the prepared stuff.

          1. re: mamamia

            Lucky for you, there was just a thread about where to go when you only have 10 minutes for lunch... :)

          2. Needing to run to the golf store in Scottsdale this morning, I stopped by Dish for breakfast and some first impressions; unlike Molto, I left disappointed. Yes, they've been open for five days, and I'll most likely return, but I think they have some serious tweaking to do. I apologize, this is a little "stream of consciousness", I have a few things to get done and not much time to write this.

            My first thought upon entering were "I'll bet the DeMarco's are jealous". This is clearly no LGO, which vast amounts of space for inventory and prepared items. When I arrived at 9:30, the cases were already filled with prepared salads, crabcakes ($8.00/ea, ouch!), sushi, etc. However, the boulangerie in the corner had plenty of staff preparing items, but no one standing in front of the shelf that contained their bread. I had to ask someone how to purchase the bread; someone came over and offered me a sample. I tried the four cheese loaf ($5.00), but was unimpressed as the smoked mozzarella and asiago overwhelmed the others. I decided on a boule of sourdough ($3.00), which I haven't yet tried.

            As I was standing two steps away from the cheese case (any AJ's has a better selection), one of the two women I saw sitting at a stand in the corner (hostess of some type?) of the store came over and asked a staff member a question, and they chose to do it directly in front of me, blocking my view. UNPROFESSIONAL. Where do these people learn their customer service skills?

            I wandering around looking for something to catch my eye, but was generally turned off by the high prices. Sure, some of this stuff you may not be able to find anywhere, but I'm not paying $6.50 for a small box of crackers, no matter how good they are. $16 for sea salt with herbs? $14 for a bottle of Markham wine I've seen for $10. Oh yeah, I'm in Scottsdale. And you'll certainly never find me paying $10 for dried, three-color pasta.

            Since I still hadn't eaten, I decided to try something from their small breakfast menu. I went with the fried egg sandwich ($7.00, served on a house-made egg roll), with tomato, cheddar and bacon, but opted for it on ciabatta instead. Snooze - after about two bites, I was done. The ciabatta was pretty thin but had a decent flavor, just nothing memorable. I actually had to pull a piece of bacon out because it was so tough, and since there were only three slices to begin with, talk about a disappointment. OTOH, nice touch on the sea salt grinders on the tables in the lobby to add some flavor. I also opted for a medium iced americano ($2.25), which the guy quickly made, and it was excellent; someone clearly trained him to pull espresso, because these tasted like 18 second, well crema-ed shots (sorry, ex-coffee nerd).

            To wrap it up, a sourdough boule, small block of English cheddar cheese, some French sheep's milk feta, Italian butter (from the production of parm-regg), a box of crackers, my sandwich, americano and a bottle of Acqua Panna for $31 and change. Worth it?

            I really wanted to like it, because I've envisioned a better executed LGO myself, but I left disappointed. I think the trend towards more gourmet items in your basic grocery store, combined with Sprouts, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and the variety of farmers markets and ethnic markets in the Valley combine for a better overall value than this place does. I hesitate to paint it in a corner, but I think Dish is aimed at those people who don't have the time or energy to visit those places. My $.02, so take it for what it's worth.


            11 Replies
            1. re: azhotdish

              Where were they serving the breakfast selections and was that made to order? There is so much stuff in there that I am sure some is better than others and it will take time to tweak the offerings. I also had a double espresso that I was surprised at the quality of the shots. When I was there there was plenty of staff at each station so I wonder when they ramp up the staff on the floor - what time did you roll in? I think I was told that they have 110 employees and 12,000 sq.ft. on Scottsdale Rd that makes a helluva committment a month so I hope they smooth it out. I am going to check out the bistro for dinner in the near future.

              1. re: Molto E

                Yes, the breakfast was made-to-order and it was near the back, to the left of the case that contained pre-packed meals, roasted vegetables, brisket, roasted chicken, butter, etc. The menu was on a flat-screen mounted high above the register (almost too high). I arrived right around 9:30, and they had plenty of staff on the floor; strangely though, I was never asked if I needed any assistance or if this was my first visit; the cashier even started ringing up my items before greeting me.

                1. re: azhotdish

                  wow...that was not what my experience was like - service-wise

                  1. re: Molto E

                    I'd like to think the service glitches don't have anything to do with the fact that I don't look like I fit their target demographic - namely, I'm young (24), wear a backwards Red Sox hat 95% of the time and was wearing flip-flops. The other customers were either older couples, white-collar from a nearby business on break, or women who look like they were headed to brunch or waiting for a shop to open in the plaza. The truth of it is, though, is that my cynical side believes it may have had something to do with it, and it agrees with the vibe I got. Apparently they think their truffle oil smells better than mine. ;)

                    1. re: azhotdish

                      well, I do not know what you smell like :) but yesterday at lunch there were many demographics represented, a bunch of groups of teenagers having lunch etc. but maybe the owners are Yankee fans...try it without the cap next time :)

                    2. re: Molto E

                      I stopped by on Friday afternoon and picked up some white bean salad and a s'more bar. I thought the white bean was delicious (maybe a tad too salty, but I'm not a salt person), but the s'more had a great chocolate in it and the mashmallow was homemade.

                      I stopped again on Saturday mid-morning and picked up some tea noodes with shiitake mushrooms (excellent), veggies (very fresh and crisp), tomato pasta salad (very good), and tuna nicoise (just ok!). I also thought the coffee was pretty good as well. And the guy working in the coffee area (I remembered after I left) used to own/work at (I believe) the Sixth Avenue Bistro in downtown Scottsdale.

                      Concerning pricing, I was shocked and surprised. Prices were all over the place, but nothing that seemed too crazy in comparison with Whole Foods or AJ's. The crab cakes were high (as they are anywhere if they're good), and most of the salads were in the $8-$9 range, which is about average for the higher-end markets. However, the white bean salad was only $4.00 a pound, and the s'more was $2.00. I picked up a chunk of smoked gouda for $1.80 ($4.00/lb), and the parm reggiano was only $10.50 (or $10.75) a pound. That is by far the cheapest I've seen in the Valley!

                      All in all, I liked the place. Yes, the coffee area backs up, and the bistro menu does not appear very extensive. But I'm sure it's a work in progress to see what works and what does not.

                      1. re: brianroaz

                        WOW, $10.50, are you serious??? I've never seen anything near that, it's always around $16. I'm up there for golf next Saturday, maybe I'll stop by again. (Hopefully this time they won't see the B on the side of the Titleist hat.)

                        1. re: brianroaz

                          Costco and Sam's both sell parm reggiano in huge blocks. That's were we usually get ours. I think it's under $10/lb.

                  2. re: azhotdish

                    I went in today around 9:20 to check it out for this point the breakfast scene is far mellower than lunch when it is hopping...I had the chorizo breakfast tacos with hash browns (8.00), which I thought were tasty but the hash browns were not. They are not serving the same price point as Los Betos (or is it Filiberto's) on Hayden and Thomas so the price is indeed more, but I expect it to be. If I was in the area during breakfast, I would tryout the stuffed french toast, crepes, or the breakfast burritos. As far as the dry packaged goods, I did not look at the prices the last time, but I did notice two products that I buy at AJ's and Dish was selling them 35% cheaper than AJ's. The products that they carry are "gourmet" packaged goods so they do have a higher intrinsic cost, but it seems Dish's market up is substantially less than AJ's. The bistro does interest me as the Executive Chef did work at the Inn at the Little Washington and Terra so he does an impressive resume. Service-wise I did not experience any gaffs and everyone was accomodating. Give them a try at lunch, go to the BBQ area all the meats there looked tasty.

                    1. re: Molto E

                      Did you try any of their pastries? I sampled the herb and cheese scone and the croissant yesterday and both were pretty good.

                      1. re: azhotdish

                        I tried chocolate croissant and a couple of scones...pretty good.

                  3. What is the address and major cross streets?
                    I am coming from Mesa how would I get there?

                    This sounds exciting! Can’t wait to go!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bjpeters

                      Scottsdale Rd. and Doubletree Ranch at the Shops at Gainey Village