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PHX - Visiting Foodie Seeking to Impress

amy626 Feb 22, 2009 04:12 PM

I'll be visiting Phoenix/Scottsdale area next month and will be doing some business dinners. In addition to being a foodie myself, my guests are also totally into great food and wine. Your suggestions would be most appreciated.

  1. drewb123 Feb 27, 2009 01:44 PM

    Binkley's is a must, a little birdie told me they will be starting to possibly open Mondays, call and see.

    Also I love Marcellino's for Italian.

    fivestaritalian.com is thier website see if they are open on Mondays.

    Metro is very nice as well. Will be open on Mondays.

    4 Replies
    1. re: drewb123
      rodeo Feb 27, 2009 04:51 PM

      If you go to Binkley's on a weakend and want to make it a evening, you should head to the famous bar Harolds just a couple hunderd yards cross the street. It a good fun bar to have a drink and people watch.

      1. re: rodeo
        amy626 Feb 27, 2009 06:29 PM

        Thanks so much everyone - decided on noca for the Monday night. Haven't yet chosen Tuesday, but will be car-less, so will have to be reasonably close and will be using the Google-map to help make that call. From what you all have said, you make the taxi ride sound well worth the price. I so appreciate all of the wonderful suggestions. a

        1. re: amy626
          Mattoclock Feb 28, 2009 06:17 PM

          You could try a trip to Kierland Commons its not too far from Desert Ridge.

          On a Tuesday you wouldn't need reservations and you can have a browse between North, Greene House, Zinc Bistro, Ocean Club and Mortons. None of them are particularly foodie but the location is great to just have a stroll and enjoy the amazing evenings we are having recently.

          1. re: Mattoclock
            Bill Hunt Mar 4, 2009 04:17 PM

            Also, Deseo is worth the effort in the Kierland Westin.


            Deseo: Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
            6902 E Greenway Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85254

    2. ipsedixit Feb 23, 2009 09:09 PM



      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit
        masnole Feb 24, 2009 06:11 AM

        I'm at the same show Amy (Etail West....) - need to get on your guest list :-)

      2. lawyerbriefs Feb 23, 2009 04:20 PM

        I second (or third) the Cowboy Ciao recommendation. We traveled from Tucson for a Saturday night dinner there and had a great time. Fine food and lots of fun! I give any restaurant that executes well--and seems to be having fun in the process--extra points, and that's why I look forward to a trip to NOCA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lawyerbriefs
          Bill Hunt Feb 23, 2009 06:45 PM

          If you are as fortunate, as we have been on six visits, it will be worth the trip up. It is not the same atmosphere as the Ventana Room, or Chef Janos' restaurant, but the food and service have been a constant 98 - 100% for us. [Have not done Anthony's at the Catalinas, so I cannot compare it - still great reports to me from those, who have.]

          Enjoy your visit. We are not as bad, as those at the U of A make us out to be... [Grin]

          I also [Edit] fourth [?] Cowboy Ciao. I love Chef Bernie's take on SW, plus Peter's wine program. Only complaint that I have ever had was the noise level. Peter has heard that from me before, so it is not news. Still, great food, wine and service in a "happening" venue.


        2. epicurina Feb 23, 2009 12:33 PM

          Peter Kasperski's four restaurants on Stetson Drive in downtown Scottsdale always impress: Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw, Kazimierz and Digestif. For business, I'd go for Ciao or Digestif since Sea Saw has a limited number of tables and Kaz (a wine bar) has mostly couches for seating. Digestif's menu focuses on fresh comfort food, and has a young, hip vibe with servers in rock n' roll T-shirts and a busy bar. Ciao does worldly cuisine, usually with a touch of humor and a Southwest edge. But the major draw for many is the stunner of a wine list; it's really a wine novel, and includes more than 3,000 bottles.

          One note: March is one of the busiest months of the tourist season due to MLB spring training, so I strongly recommend making reservations early. Enjoy!

          Cowboy Ciao
          7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

          7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85351

          5 Replies
          1. re: epicurina
            ronam Feb 23, 2009 01:18 PM

            Rancho Pinot Grill is also open on Mondays and Chrysa is making the house mozzarella at the bar.

            1. re: ronam
              hohokam Feb 23, 2009 01:29 PM

              *slaps forehead*

              Can't believe I forgot about that. Good catch.

              Rancho Pinot
              6208 N Scottsdale Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

            2. re: epicurina
              ccl1111 Feb 27, 2009 11:29 AM

              Great recommendations all around here.

              I'm increasingly becoming a huge Digestif fan, especially if you like charceuterie and interesting cocktails. I dream about the rabbit confit & persimmon and their pates.

              Others of my faves:

              Sea Saw - absolutely amazing food, Japanese inspired (do omakase) - Beard winner
              Binkleys- unbelievable in the vein of The French Laundry or Alinea - 2nd Beard nom this year & better win!
              Noca - neighborhood restaurant taken to the nth level - Beard nom in it's first partial year
              Fine's Cellar - great wine inspired food, huge btg wine selection

              Heading to Rancho Pinot for the first time tonight & excited about that.

              I haven't been to Quiessence yet but have recently heard great things from trustworthy folks.

              Have fun!

              1. re: ccl1111
                winedubar Feb 27, 2009 01:29 PM

                hi there,

                can't wait to hear what you think of rancho pinot!!!!

                1. re: winedubar
                  ccl1111 Feb 27, 2009 04:41 PM

                  W, if you happen to be online, what must I eat at Rancho?

            3. Bill Hunt Feb 22, 2009 04:30 PM


              First a few questions:

              Phoenix Meto is over 500 sq miles. Listing Scottsdale does narrow things down a bit, but just Phoenix/Scottsdale is pretty big. Do you have a "homebase?"

              Will you have an auto and be willing to travel?

              Do you have any budgetary considerations?

              Do you wish more "quiet & formal" for business dinners, and such, or do you want more vibrant places?

              Is the food the most important aspect of your selections?

              Do you have any types of cuisine that you especially like, or any that you dispise?

              These will help people make recommendations that are likely to help you. The gastro-scene in Phoenix is very good, with a lot of options, though some do tend to be a bit of a drive.

              Whatever you answer, I have two:



              6920 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

              3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

              7 Replies
              1. re: Bill Hunt
                amy626 Feb 23, 2009 11:51 AM

                Hunt - thanks for your questions and sorry for the generalties. Staying at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. Will have a car. Will drive for good food! No budgetary constraints. Like most cuisines. The real issue that I'm running into is that one of these meals is for Monday night and no one seems to be open! The food's the thing, good wine or cocktails also appreciated - vibrant or quiet, either works. Guidance appreciated.

                1. re: amy626
                  hohokam Feb 23, 2009 12:05 PM

                  In my experience, it's harder to eat out on Sunday nights than Monday nights around here, though choices on Mondays can be pretty limited too.

                  A few chow-worthy placesin Old Town Scottsdale are open on Mondays: Digestif, Cowboy Ciao, Sea Saw, and Fine's Cellar come to mind. Noca (recommended above) and Tarbell's are also open on Mondays. Unless you are planning an especially late dinner, you should have a decent number of options to choose from.

                  Sea Saw
                  7133 E Stetson Dr Ste 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                  Cowboy Ciao
                  7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                  3213 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                  Fine's Cellar
                  7051 E 5th Ave Ste M, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                  7114 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85351

                  3118 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

                  1. re: hohokam
                    amy626 Feb 23, 2009 12:33 PM

                    Thanks for the suggestions. So you know, I tried to make a reservation at Sea Saw for Monday earlier today and learned that they are now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays . . . .

                    1. re: amy626
                      hohokam Feb 23, 2009 12:45 PM

                      Hmm...I guess they need to update their website. I wonder the other restaurants in Kaperski's group (Digestif, Cowboy Ciao) have also changed their hours. I'll see what I can find out.

                      Thanks for the information.

                      1. re: hohokam
                        amy626 Feb 23, 2009 04:30 PM

                        I mentioned that to them . . . I really appreciate your efforts on my behalf!

                  2. re: amy626
                    Bill Hunt Feb 23, 2009 02:42 PM


                    Thanks for the clarifications. I see that the recs. are starting to pour in.

                    One question I forgot to ask - where are you visiting from? One reason that I ask this is that the J W Marriott has a Roy's. It's one of the nicest on the Mainland, and actually beats several of his Hawaiian restaurants. However, if your locale has a Roy's (other than each exec. chef's take on some of Roy Yamaguchi's recipes), then I'd not likely recommend it. Still, this is one of the nicer ones.


                    1. re: amy626
                      Bill Hunt Feb 23, 2009 02:43 PM

                      Oops, posted too quickly. Here is the link to that one, the Desert Ridge location.


                      5350 E Marriott Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85054

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