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Aug 20, 2008 06:18 AM

Phoenix Chowhound Challenge/Help


Here is the challenge hoping you will be able to help us out. My bestfriend and I have a tradition of having dinner together once a month. The rules for the dinner are very simple

1. It must considered a fine dining establishment (No Diners, Drive-Ins or Dives for this meal)
2. He who picks the place pays (we alternate months to keep costs down and creativity up)
3. It must be a place that neither one of us has ever been to.

We have been doing this religiously for over 6 years now. It has become one of the things I love most about my life. It's a treat that both of us look forward to every month. We don't take his wife or my girlfriend, it's all about a couple of foodies enjoy great food and wine (hopefully). The challenge is that it has been 6 years of our dinners plus dining out with others. We have month's where we really struggle to find places. So who better to ask for suggestions than the chowhound gang.

Below I have listed the best list we could come up of places that we have been.

We will also be hitting R.E.M and Bourbon Steak this fall/winter.

Sorry about the length of the list:

All American Tavern Kinkaids
Asia de Cuba La Hacienda
Atlas Bistro Latitude 30
Barrio Café Lon's at the Hermosa
Binkley's Luc's
Bistro 24 Maestro's
Bloom Mary Elaine's
Blue Café McCormick and Schmicks
Blue Wasabi Methode Bistro
Braziere Mi Cocina Mi Pais
Camus Michael's at the Citadel
Canal Mortons
Chart House Mosaic
Chelsea's Kitchen Mucho Gusto
Chevront's Ocean Club
Christopher Frem Brassie Old Town Tortilla Factory
Citrus Café Olive and Ivy
City Hall Steakhouse Pepin
Cornado Café Pizzeria Bianco
Cout de Tartes Quiessence
Cowboy Ciao Radio Milano
Coyocan Steak House Richardsons
Cyclo Roaring Fork
Deseo Roka Akor
Different Pointe of View Roy's
Digestif Salt Cellar
Durants San Carlos Bay
Eddie Matney's Sea Saw
Eleve Sol y Sombra
Fate T Cooks
Fiamma Taggia
Fine's Cellar Tapino
Fogo E Brasa Tarbells
Furio Trader Vic's
House of Tricks Trente Cinq
House of Tricks Vincent on Camelback
Houston's Voltaire
Humphrey's Pacific Rim Vu
Italian Grotto Zest
Kai Zinc Bistro

Highlights this year have been NOCA and Digestif both places were very new when we tried them (usually we waited 2-3 months after a place opens to let them work out the kinks) and delivered in a major way. We both agreed easily part of our top 10 in the valley. So please start suggesting places we can always use the help.


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  1. Such is Life/Asi es la Vida (same level as Coyoacán) and Sophie's Bistro might fit in with the rest of that list. Bill Hunt has said good things about Backstreet Wine Salon, but I haven't been there myself--maybe he can say where it might fall on the spectrum defined by your previous selections. Also, Razz's seems to have some fans here, but that's another place I haven't made it to yet.

    Asi Es La Vida
    3602 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

    Backstreet Wine Salon
    3603 E Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

    Razz's Restaurant & Bar
    10315 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

    Sophie's French Bistro
    2320 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ

    1. Caffe Boa in Tempe has an extensive wine list & a knowledgable staff. I have only been for happy hour apps, but they were outstanding. Per thier website the menu changes weekly:

      Caffe Boa
      398 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281

      1. I would suggest adding Rancho Pinot on the list of places to try. Also Estate House (haven't been yet myself but have heard good things). Cibo would also be good if you haven't tried that yet.

        603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103

        Rancho Pinot Grill
        6208 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

        The Estate House
        7134 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

        1. BYOB at Boulevard Cafe' in Fountain Hills (Ask if it is still BYOB). Nice family french.

          1. Saw someone already mentioned Estate House. Daniel's is on our list to try as is Cafe Bink.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ccl1111

              Daniel's on Camelback? They have been closed for several months.

                1. re: drewb123

                  Just tried calling their number--it has been disconnected.

                  1. re: hohokam

                    wow. my husband loves that restaurant we havent been in years but my neighbors went a few months ago..

                    1. re: drewb123

                      I peeked at Yelp and saw a couple of reports from May and June of this year, but I have no idea when the people who wrote those reports last ate there.