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AZ Restaurant Week - Sep 20-26: Where to go?

Check out the offerings at the participating restaurants - arizonarestaurantweek.com. Three-course menus for $29 per person all week. Which places are the ones to hit?

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  1. List of places I'd like to try or try again:

    Cowboy Ciao
    Humble Pie
    Lon's at The Hermosa
    Roaring Fork
    The Estate House
    Tutti Santi

    1 Reply
    1. re: hohokam

      Lons and the Estate House are great choices... Just went to Bourbon Steak this past weekend and it was just wonderful but spendy...this would be a great time to check them out without breaking your wallet.

    2. It seems like there are a few restaurants on the list where you can easily get 3 courses of your choice for well under the $29, so I'm not really sure what the advantage is of going to those.

      I'd probably think about doing:

      Sol y Sombra
      Bourbon Steak
      Estate House
      Cowboy Ciao
      Roaring Fork

      and, unless you're completely anti-chain:

      Roy's (Phoenix-Desert Ridge)
      Capital Grille (the Kona dry aged sirloin they're offering is really nice)

      The above include a few I've never been to, but I suppose that's the whole point of a restaurant week.

      2 Replies
      1. re: crsin

        Tara loved the Kona sirloin when we went to CG.

        1. re: Firenza00

          It's an excellent steak, and a great deal for the three courses, too, with the sirloin coming in close to $40 on the normal menu.

      2. We're doing Cowboy Ciao. We've been wanting to go for a while and their AzRW menu had the items we wanted to try, so it seemed like a great fit. :)

        I agree that some places seemed like odd choices. I love Humble Pie, but I can easily eat plenty for under $29 off their regular for myself.

        1. Doing Bourbon Steak so far. Keep changing my mind as I peruse the different offerings. We can only go on Friday since we return from France on Thursday; guess that's a good excuse, huh ;-)

          1. The site says it's $29 for a single or $58 for a couple. Does anyone know if you can go with a larger group, say 4 or 5 people?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ajs228

              Typically, restaurant week pricing is given for two and/or per person, but of course, they welcome larger groups. Last winter, we were a party of seven of at one Denver Restaurant Group participating restaurant. Since the idea is to build traffic, it's difficult to imagine any restaurant limiting the special to two people and making the other two or three select from a different menu.

            2. We haven't tried The Estate House or Canal yet, so this is a good reason to get there. Point in Tyme has a lot of freedom as to what you can choose off of their menu so that might be a good try also. I would like to use it as a reason to go to Tarbells, but was disappointed that he's not offering a choice of menu items. I'd also say Tutti Santi and Cowboy Ciao are great places to try if you haven't been there!

              1. From reading reviews and menus, I've made my reservations for:

                Bourbon Steak
                Roka Akor
                Lon's at the Hermosa

                2 Replies
                1. re: nyomi

                  I will be going to Bourbon and maybe Cowboy Ciao.

                  1. re: nyomi

                    Ok, striking Bourbon Steak off of my list and changing the reservation to The Capital Grille instead. My bf and I went to Bourbon Steak's Sunday BBQ last night, and had a strange mixture of hits and misses:

                    Oysters--they were absolutely fantastic
                    Little shrimp salad burger things--they were spiced wonderfully and every bite was delicious
                    My salmon entree--amazing actually. I think it was the best and freshest-tasting salmon I've ever had, and this includes eating it about 5 steps away from salmon hatcheries up in Alaska.
                    The grilled asparagus, corn bread and the salad w/ the corn were also raved about and much loved.

                    Unfortunately, there were misses:
                    little kona burgers-- I know they were for the masses... but did it have to be cooked to extra well?
                    bf's NY steak entree-- when "medium rare" is asked for, it's very surprising to have cold meat in the center. However, they were very obliging in cooking it a little more.

                    Still, when a steakhouse (which is what I think Bourbon Steak calls themself) serves steak, especially one that's pretty pricey (by our standards), the temperature/texture of the meat shouldn't be off by that much. So, for the $49 pp, we didn't think the value was all that great.

                  2. so far i'm going to roka akor and lon's, and hopefully adding bourbon steak :D

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: winedubar

                      Lon's is great, I go there for brunch often. The shrimp omelet and eggs benedict are both amazing.

                      Roka Akor looks awesome, I've been wanting to go there for a while. Have you seen their videos online? The food looks really good in them. You'll have to let us know how you like it.


                      1. re: BrandonPHX

                        hi brandon,

                        thanks for the heads up on lons - i've been wanting to go for a long long time.

                        i'll check out their videos, and report back for sure :) are you hitting up any spots for restaurant week??

                        1. re: winedubar

                          I'm planning on giving Roka Akor a try. I've also been wanting to try Digestif and Taggia, so I may give those a go. I was at a party that was catered by Taggia, they only had o'deurves, but they were tasty. Maybe Sol Y Sombra too, there menu for restaurant week looks good..

                          Someone also gave me a gift certificate for Fox Restaurants, so I might give North or The Greenhouse a try. Not sure if you can use the gift certificates for restaurant week, I should probably call about that.

                    2. Aiello's - haven't been yet and it's often overlooked

                      I can only pick one - you people without kids have it good. /jealous

                      Update: hmmmm....I just studied their course offerings for the week. I'm not a huge fan of their main course offerings.

                      I may have to re-think this.

                      1. So far I've got Bourbon Steak & Estate House. Maybe also Roka Akor. And I'm waiting impatiently for Wright's to publish their menu.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: emmaAmethyst

                          They just changed chefs at Estate House.

                          The same (french) menu choices are still listed on the restaurant week page.....

                        2. Yes, yes to Bourbon Steak! But... they only have short ribs, skirt steak or sand dabs, no high-end cuts; not that they won't be fantastic. (Side note: Looks like Dan Quayle wrote up the menu. The sand dabs are "potatoe" crusted and the short ribs come with horseradish, "potatoe" puree and Worcestershire Jus -- hee hee).

                          So, my advice is to check out not only the name, but menu. I also have Cheuvront in my sights for the filet. Went there a couple years back for the Bastille Day prix fixe menu and the filet was fab.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 1wino

                            I saw the DQ spelling too. Glad I'm not the only one who remembers that. :) I think I remember reading that the skirt steak is really good at BS.

                          2. I'd like to try something new, close to me here in Tempe, but I'm not seeing anything like that on the list (been to John Henry's).
                            I think we'll try Cholla Steakhouse, it seems to be the Southern-most of the Scottsdale participants. I am also intrigued by one of thier first course offerings: Petit Foi Gras Raviolis.

                            1. Are others struggling with the menus? I don't typically order (or need) dessert, so I would rather have a starter, side or salad and an entree...or a starter to split, a glass of wine and an entree to split...

                              So, (like so many have already discussed) is the value there? Also, since every place in Phoenix (Pizzeria Bianco might be the only exception) can be easily and relatively affordably accessed by the masses...do we NEED a restaurant week? Just asking...

                              My friends and I originally were very excited, but now just think we'll pick a place (any place) and go to dinner and order off the "normal" menu. Am I being negative?

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                There were some places of interest to me on the list (and I might fully participate if I weren't hoarding money for the wedding), but I was a bit dubious about several places participating in Restaurant Week.

                                Flo's, El Paso BBQ and Bamboo Club had me scratching my head as I have eaten at all three and could easily order right off the menu and stuff myself for less than $29.00.

                                I think you just have to be very selective and keep your fingers crossed.

                                (And, no, you aren't being negative. You are being a smart consumer.)

                                1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                  After looking over the various menus, I (with Tara's consent) settled on Cowboy Ciao. Their menu had the perfect combination of items we really wanted to try for a good price. It'll be our first visit there, so we are excited.
                                  Some places had nothing that appealed to both of us and some were, as Seth points out, head-scratchers. If we had more (or any) extra disposable cash, there were a few we wanted to hit, but nothing else had us overly excited.
                                  Now if Kai, Noca, or Binkley's had a RW menu, I'd all over them. :)

                                  1. re: Firenza00

                                    I'm with you Firenza00 - I kept checking the restaurant lineup (with my fingers crossed!) to see if any additional restaurants like the ones you mentioned had been added. Maybe next year more will jump on board...Not that I wasn't satisfied with this year's selection!! I'll be visiting:
                                    The Estate House
                                    Bourbon Steak
                                    Haven't had a chance to try these yet (well, had Talavera at Best of Western and drinks at Estate House) so really looking forward to it!

                                    1. re: dcblanchard

                                      We've loved most of our meals at Lon's, so that should be a good one. Bourbon Steak was on our runner-up list, as Tara is a meataholic. I've never heard of Talavera.

                                    2. re: Firenza00

                                      For those of you going to Cowboy Ciao: They automatically add tax and 20% gratuity to the check. Even with just wto of us. So we got really, really bad service (she never took our menus away, ever) and got stuck paying her to snub us. Food was great, service was definitely not.

                                      1. re: Firenza00

                                        What I can add to this is that at the top of the Restaurant Week menu, it states "$58 per couple, plus tax and gratuity". It wasn't clearly stated that it was going to be added automatically. The waitress just couldn't be bothered with us the entire night. She spent the majority of her time running away from us. My water sat empty for a long time, which is a huge pet peeve.

                                        1. re: tara17

                                          I should also mention we both thought the food was very, very good. The Stetson salad was simply terrific. I had the pistachio-crusted salmon for my main course and Tim had the crispy tiger shrimp, which were both very good. I had the chocolate/peanut butter pot pie with a "milkshake" for dessert and he had the bread pudding, both of which were also good. We both really enjoyed the food. It was the service that left something to be desired.

                                    3. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                      No, I totally agree, HomeCookKirstin. At first I was excited.... but then upon examing the menus, the only places that had all three courses that looked good to me were Tarbell's and Sol y Sombra, neither of which are new to me. For the most part I am not a dessert or salad person, I think I would rather just go to most of these places and pick my own entree and have a glass of wine instead of the salad/dessert... so I don't think I will be taking advantage of Restaurant Week (I don't think Phoenix needs one either).

                                    4. Anyone been to Taggia lately? Worth checking out for restaurant week?

                                      I accidentally made reservations for Estate House on Sunday, meaning to make them later in the week...the website says they are closed Sundays. So, was that an OpenTable mistake or are they actually staying open this week? Wondering if anyone else has encountered the same thing.

                                      Also thinking about Bourbon Steak and Digestif but it doesn't look like the latter's menu is really worth it.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: azhotdish

                                        Also have Saturday night reservations at Lon's - it's perfect weather for dining al fresco!

                                        1. re: azhotdish

                                          I had a feeling Digestif menu was incorrect -- First Course said Coming Soon! and Second Course choices looked suspiciously like appetizers. Parent company sent an e-mail Saturday with link to correct menu and sure enough, I just checked AZ Restaurant Week site again and it's been updated. Entrée choices are scallops, chicken or raviolo.

                                        2. Has anyone been to Ristorante Tuscany? I noticed that they tout themselves as 4 diamond AAA rated.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: nyomi

                                            I'm thinking of trying Tuscany. The menu sounds interesting. Would love to hear if anyone has been there.

                                          2. My boyfriend and I have made reservations for the Pointe in Tyme, and I have noted that here it was only mentioned for the lack of restrictions of their menu. How are the food and the atmosphere? Any raves or reviews? Or should we reexamine our choice?

                                            4 Replies
                                              1. re: hohokam

                                                Actually hohokam, that article is about their other on-site restaurant Different Pointe of View.

                                                I've been to Pointe in Tyme twice in the past two months, both for golf events at the resort. It's a comfortable room, large booths, lots of dark wood, etc. Certainly, your bill will come in lower doing the special menu because the prices are quite high for what is offered (think, $7 cup of soup and $13 burger at lunch).

                                                That said, we've had terrible service and quite frankly no one that's been there seemed to care. You'd think 20-30 guys ordering food and drinks would inspire some sense of urgency when there are only a few other customers, however, it was quite the opposite.

                                                If Different Pointe was on the list, I'd say check it out and report back, but based on my experiences at Pointe in Tyme, I know I wouldn't make a special trip.

                                                Just my $.02.

                                                1. re: azhotdish

                                                  Oopsie doodle. That's what I get for trying to post during a conference call. ;-)

                                                  1. re: hohokam

                                                    Thank you v. much for your input! and hohokam- I'm glad you posted that article as well as I had no idea the menu was changing. Sounds fun and new!

                                            1. I'm thinking about going to Lon's. Never been there, but I've always wanted to try it. I figure we could always go to Cowboy Ciao and eat anytime...Lons isn't anywhere that I'd keep in mind for a dinner. Something like this would be perfect to try it. How do you guys feel about it?

                                              Also, does anyone know what will be on Cowboy Ciao's menu?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Mahilover


                                                Click on the restaurant you want and it will show you the menu. CC's is there. :)

                                              2. We went to Bourbon Steak last night and had a GREAT experience. Service, food, everything was top notch.

                                                The portions are smaller - I am sure to make it fit the price - but for us it was the perfect sized portions.

                                                A really great meal -3 courses each, 2 cocktails and 1 glass of wine - for $100, plus grat, at a beautiful restaurant.

                                                The chef sends out the duck-fat fries complimentary (amazing), as well as a potato bread with black truffle butter (also amazing), then we each had the wedge salad, I had the short rib and my boyfriend had the skirt steak, then I had the beignets with the vanilla pot de creme and he had the sorbet trio.

                                                Highly recommend! (also, service was great and not at all snotty re: restaurant week menu and check price, which is nice)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                                  We did Bourbon steak last night...the staff was great. Checking in when we first arrived was awkward as they seemed backed up and a little discombobulated! But after that, excellent service. Erik was our waiter - ask for him if you go! We specifically asked not to be rushed and he was fantastic about it.

                                                  The duck-fat fries were amazing as were the beignets (tasted almost identical to the ones at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans - quite a feat!).

                                                  Our food was good overall, but portions seemed very small. Both my husband and I had the sweet corn/grilled cheese appetizer. Good, but no real flavor pows. My husband had the skirt steak and very much enjoyed it (I took a taste and found it to be very chewy, not at all tender though). I had the short rib. It was tender and richly flavorful. The horseradish potato puree had no real horseradish flavor - again a little surprised about the lack of punch. My husband had the ice cream trio - VERY TINY. 3 balls the size of quarters of chocolate/espresso/vanilla ice cream. All delicious though. Again, the beignets/creme brulee' were a home run.

                                                  Restaurant decor is dark and minimalist - very well done. Outside seating looks very comfortable (not something we desired this time of year though!). Not sure if portion sizes were reduced due to the restaurant week menu or if they serve that way regularly...All in all, very enjoyable experience. I would love to return again for just a cocktail and those duck-fat fries!

                                                  1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                                    We had a wonderful experience at Bourbon Steak.

                                                    The portions were definitely ample (we asked the busboy if they were smaller than usual, and he informed us that they were slightly smaller, but that they increased the portions later in the week, as they had some complaints early).

                                                    The duck fat fries were really great (especially the truffle ones).

                                                    The service was great (as you would expect from a high end place like this), with no attitude about "people looking for a restaurant week deal".

                                                    The food was excellent. I would recommend the corn soup (I have to disagree with ButterflyWest, as it had a huge flavor burst of sweet corn - like it should), skirt steak, and the begniets (which my New Orleans schooled wife said were just like she remembered from her school days). That seemed to be the best combination of items from the menu (although the "Fish and Chips" looked good as well, if people are meat averse).

                                                    Drink prices were not cheap (which quickly inflates the bill), but considering the value of the deal, we were OK with that. I loved my Domain Wachau Reisling (it is a new entry on my list of all time faves), but it was pricey for a single glass.

                                                    I also loved the interior design of the restaurant. If I won the lottery, I would hire their designer to do my home (we especially loved the white stone walls). The busboy (can you tell we made a friend that night?) told us that they won a big time design award for the restaurant.

                                                  2. Went to Talavera at the Four Seasons up North in the middle of nowhere tonight. The Restaurant Week menu is not explicitly shown on the menu which turned out to be a plus because they simply used the regular Chef Tasting Menu. When you mention RW, then they'll give you the $29 price otherwise you get charged the regular price.

                                                    We started with the Crab & Melon and Blue Fin Tuna Tartare. Crab had excellent flavor and Tartare came with a delicious passionfruit foam which was a refreshing touch to this done-to-death dish.

                                                    Main course we picked Short Rib and Chilean Sea Bass. Short rib was not as fall-apart juicy as the ones I've made but the Sea Bass was perfectly cooked.

                                                    Desserts were the highlight - playful, creative and whimsical. The Apricot one resembled an Egg Benedict with apricot sorbet as the yolk on a chibouste (egg white sugar concoction with a thin crispy caramelized top). The chocolate trio of beignets, bon bons and malted milk with a chocolate straw was fun. Corn semifreddo lacked flavor of corn.

                                                    Absolute best part was the petit fours which looked like giant apricot pits which were actually crispy thin chocolate balls with apricot sorbet in the center. Nice play on food.

                                                    Maybe not the most exciting mains but high quality given the same mains cost $35 on the menu and kudos to the dessert chef for creativity.

                                                    Service was excellent as expected for the Four Seasons and the grand sweeping views from our table at the patio perched on the side of a mountain made it feel like a mini getaway.

                                                    Estate House will be next.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: heleny

                                                      Oh, darn it, we had been planning on doing Talavera -- I was so impressed with them after the West of Western festival it shot to the top of my short list -- but at last second I rescinded and we made reservations at Sol Y Sombra instead.

                                                      The other one will be tomorrow night; my sis and I going to Roy's in Chandler. We're island girls and have been to the other two Roy's and never been disappointed with the experience; we figured, might as well have hit all the local ones.