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Feb 1, 2009 05:26 AM

Restaurants in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe

My brother is getting married and will be living in Tempe although he works in Phoenix. We were thinking of a gift certificate for he and his wife for a nice dinner but I am not as familiar with restaurants in this area as I am in other parts of the country. Does anyone have any suggestions of a place where the two of them could dine without the 2 kids between them?
Thanks for any suggestions

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  1. I might suggest VinciTorio's, a locally-owned, reasonably-priced (but not cheap) small and wonderful restaurant! My husband and I frequently went there for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

    It's in Tempe and you can check out the Web site

    Everyone we have told to go there has loved it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: anakalia

      Oregano's, a local chain with a location near ASU, has great pasta (not a fan of their pizza) and sandwiches. It is definitely kid friendly.

    2. What's your budget and what type of place are you looking for. I probably wouldn't send anyone to VinciTorio's or Oregano's for a "nice" dinner but everyone's definition of "nice" varies. (for that matter, though I would never send anyone to VinciTorio's period, but that's just my opinion. )

      6 Replies
      1. re: ziggylu

        My budget is to get a gift card for $100 which if it doesn't pay for the entire dinner for 2 would at least pay for more than half of it. . . just trying to get some ideas on what to get for a wedding gift. The more choices the better.

        1. re: chshamrock

          For $100, you can have a fantastic meal at Noca at 32nd Street and Camelback. My dinner for two included two appetizers, two beers, two sodas, two entrees and two desserts and the bill was $118 including tax.

          Noca is hip, fun, delicious and a bargain for the quality of food/price point.

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            I second both the rec. for NOCA and for Mark Tarbell's (below). Both would great, and the US$100 would go a long way on both tabs.

            At NOCA, we just did some heavy-hitting wines for a pary of six and the bill came to just slightly over that/person, without tip. I was amazed, especially considering the wines. Mark's is priced in a similar fashion and is very good.

            Either would work well.

            One could also do a lovely meal at Vincent's on Camelback. The price will be slightly above (depending on wines), but would be a great meal and the certificate will go towards most of it.


            Vincent On Camelback
            3930 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

          2. re: chshamrock

            For the romantic night out theme, either T. Cooks or Elements at the Sanctuary might provide a special memory. The former is at the Royal Palms, a beautiful Spanish/Med estate, turned botique hotel, where a doe-eyed couple can stroll through and admire the lush gardens, fireplaces, fountains, etc. Old Country cool. The latter is more modern/zen/hip and sits on Camelback mountain, with an awesome view. They both serve really good food but also have unique settings. I'm usually not a fan of hotel-based places, but these two are both foodie friendly and romantic - even if just wandering through.

            1. re: tastyjon

              Predicated on my last trip to elements (I normally rate it very highly, especially on the "romantic scale"), I'd opt for T Cooks, of the two. Hope my experience was just that one really bad, off-night. Still, I'm hesitant to make a blanket rec. for it, as I once did.


          3. re: ziggylu

            You must have a personal Grudge because the food is amazing :)

          4. Tarbell's in Phoenix is a great restaurant - very good food, great service, good wine list, uses local ingredients. The only annoyance is the parking (small lot, mostly valet) but sometimes you get lucky and find a spot... it's worth it though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: coastalgypsy

              One can generally find free parking in the lot at 32nd Place and Camelback (just behind Tomaso's), which I think is actually the lot the valet service uses for overflow. Of course, this assumes that one is up for walking a couple of hundred yards each way.

              1. re: hohokam

                Thanks for that tip, hohokam -- I'll remember that next time I'm out-of-luck in finding a spot in front of the restaurant!

              1. re: Beach Chick

                If they have two children, distance will be a factor (babysitters!), ergo, House of Tricks wold probably be the suggestion I would make...or maybe Cafe Boa....

              2. Ditto to Tarbells - we vacation every year in Scottsdale and have tried lots of restaurants. Tarbells is far and away our favorite.