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Another Phx 'where should we eat?' thread. (sorry)

Dh and I are coming down from Flagstaff and meeting up with 2 or 3 other couples for dinner. We have eaten out in Phx a number of times; our favorites are Zinc, Cowboy Ciao, Bloom and Mary Elaines. We suggested Zinc or CC but one of the couples is having $$ issues and it's too rich for their blood right now.
Are there any places (not chains preferably but not totally out) that have good, inventive food that aren't too expensive. Good wine list would be nice and not SWestern.

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  1. Do you have a sense of what the other couple's ceiling is dollar-wise?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hohokam

      Unfortunately, no. They have eaten at these places in the past, just this month a lot of expenses mounted up. One of the others suggested some of the chains so I'm thinking maybe $15-25 entree but not sure. I was thinking House of Tricks but they're actually more $$ than Zinc...I was surprised.

    2. If you have two other couples, you have enough for reservations at Pizzeria Bianco. You'll be able to avoid the waiting and have a great meal within their price range.

      http://www.pizzeriabianco.com/menu.html

      2 Replies
      1. re: azhotdish

        Oooo, I've wanted to try that. Okay, that's one option. Others?

        1. re: leeser

          If you do decide to do the PB route, make sure you call a week or two at least in advance. They have limited reservations per night. We went in October and the earliest they had was two weeks after we called. They do reservations at 5, 6:30, and 8 for parties of 6 to 10 people.

      2. Yasu on Shea. My experience there was only a slight notch below Sea Saw. And that's a big compliment! It's not all sushi...lots of interesting grilled options too.

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        Yasu Sushi Bistro
        4316 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

        3 Replies
        1. re: ejs1492

          Yasu is on Cactus, not Shea. It's just west of the Cactus/Tatum intersection. From what I've experienced, they are much better at dinner than at lunch, with more grilled items available for dinner.

          1. re: Firenza00

            I stand corrected! Have not been for lunch, however, was very impressed by dinner.

          2. re: ejs1492

            They were pretty good when I went a few weeks ago for dinner, but I think it would be pretty expensive for a person to be filled up by their food. Their portions are larger than tapas-size but smaller than an entree would be at almost everywhere else.

          3. Why don't you consider "Fusion" in Downtown Scottsdale. Prices look very reasonable, reasonable wine prices also. Here is a link to their menu and wine list.

            http://www.azeats.com/fusion/default.htm

            1. Rancho Pinot would be a good option. The food was fantastic in my experience, and pretty reasonably priced. Most entrees under $30, with quite a few at or below $20. I can't attest to the wine list, but several on this board seem to think it's pretty strong.

              LINK: www.ranchopinot.com

              will also second Pizzeria Bianco, assuming you can manage a reservation as noted above, or you can spend the few hour wait drinking and eating in its adjacent bar which is a good time.

              -----
              Rancho Pinot Grill
              6208 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

              1. I think Chelsea's Kitchen would be a good choice. High quality comfort food in a casual environment and all entrees are under $30, with many under $20.

                www.chelseaskitchenaz.com

                2 Replies
                1. re: hollyeve

                  what about one of the breweries? Or maybe an Irish pub - Skeptical Chymist in Scottsdale (FLW and Pima) or Seamus McGaffrey's downtown? Those entrees are under $20, or you could go with appetizers and salads or burgers.

                  1. re: Alice Letseat

                    I think Skeptical Chymist is run by the same folks the own Fibber Magees and Fibber's food is exceptional!

                2. Grazie in Scottsdale. Wood oven pizzas and a very good wine list. The combinations can be quite good without being weird. Plus a small selection of appetizers and other items. Can easily be done on a tight budget even with a good bottle of wine.

                  Tandoori Times as very good Indian, also in Scottsdale. Went there with 13 people and had a very good time.